Site Selection magazine, a leading economic development pub, this week released its 2010 Top Business Climate Rankings, and Louisiana earned its highest ranking to date — improving to ninth best in the U.S. from 25th in 2009. It is the largest improvement of any state.
Site Selection has been ranking states for 18 years, with scoring based 50 percent on a survey of site selection consultants and corporate executives who make location decisions for major business investment projects and 50 percent on quantitative measures primarily linked to the national Conway Data New Plant Database of new and expanded business facility activity. Louisiana ranked seventh best on the executive survey.
“Louisiana, by moving up to ninth place in the overall Business Climate Ranking and up to seventh place in the Executive Survey Ranking, shows that it has done the hard work of putting together a top-notch economic development team and program,” says Ron Starner, general manager of Conway Data Inc. and Site Selection. “Plus, LED has effectively marketed the state as a destination of choice for businesses. This could not have happened without the solid leadership of Gov. Bobby Jindal and Secretary Stephen Moret and their entire team of high-quality professionals. Leaders at the local and regional levels throughout Louisiana must also be credited for doing amazing work on the ground in local communities.”
“This terrific news is a reflection of Louisiana’s continued economic progress during a difficult national economic period,” says Moret. “Our dramatically improved ranking is in large part the result of recent economic competitiveness improvements in Louisiana, such as business tax cuts, governmental ethics reform, the creation of Louisiana FastStart and our focus on business retention and expansion, as well as our enhanced focus on small business development."
Moret, however, stipulated that the state would likely have climbed higher had the survey been more inclusive of recent projects. “We would have done even better if Site Selection had included all of our project wins from earlier this year. Apparently they inadvertently left out at least several dozen of the major business investment projects that were announced or in progress earlier this year. We expect those projects will be included next time around.”
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OCT 30 If you're a Louisiana native of (ahem) a certain age, you might have fond (or fuzzy, as the case may be) memories of a Zebra concert and singing "Who's Behind the Door" until your ears rang. This post on NOLA Defender profiles the leader of that band, Randy Jackson.
OCT 30 The National Journal offers this analysis of Bobby Jindal's willingness to stump in any Senate campaign that's not in Louisiana. Why is that? The Journal asks some GOPers and finds that the answer is one we already know: he's so unpopular here, because he's been so busy running for President, that his support might be "toxic."
OCT 30 If you're not obsessed with the Texas governor's race - what's wrong with you? Here's another installment, from our own IND contributor Lamar White Jr., who explains why Wendy's "infamous" wheelchair ad was a shock to the national media - but not to anyone familiar with Greg Abbott's record.
OCT 30 Blogger Tom Aswell is still all over the OGB mess - and all by himself, apparently. In this post, he's revealing orders from the Jindal administration to destroy records from the state employee health insurance plan. Those orders (he's heard) have angered the Secretary of State and caused an administration lawyer to quit her job. Wow!
OCT 30 Blogger Crazy Crawfish is taking aim at state Superintendent John White again, this time for comments White made recently, claiming that there is no real opposition to Common Core in Louisiana. Crawfish is documenting proof to the contrary here, and lays down the gauntlet to "mainstream news media." (Don't hold your breath on that one, buddy.)
OCT 30 Gambit covers Advocate publisher John Georges' recent visit to Loyola in this post. Georges touches on how things are going in this new gig, what he thinks about the Pic's decision to move printing to Alabama, and how he feels about his political campaigns.
OCT 30 A NOLA lady has alleged she was drugged and raped at a Bywater club that had a clothing-optional policy until recently, and she's now become the victim of a smear campaign, columnist Jarvis DeBerry writes in this post. She chose to reveal her story and her name, and she's being punished for that now, he says.
OCT 30 BESE member Lottie Beebe pens this letter to the editor of the Advocate about the state Department of Education. The DOE isn't exempt from the state public records law, and because of recent lawsuits she tried to require regular reports about how many requests had been made to the department and how many remained unanswered. She wasn't successful.
OCT 29 Manny Schewitz blogs on Forward Progressives about recent Facebook posts from David Vitter, including one that purports to take you to a petition to stop Ebola (say what?) but actually signs you up for his newsletter or campaign email list or some such nonsense. Dave must think we're dummies, Manny says -- and Dave's probably right.
OCT 29 Usually, the copy on Red Shtick is satire. But in this post "from the publisher," we get a pretty astute political analysis of Edwin Edwards' charisma and old-school populist swagger. Edwards isn't concealing billionaire backers, or trying to make his opponent out to be "Satan," the post says. He's just running. Huh; imagine that.
OCT 29 Salon's Elias Isquith writes this fairly hilarious commentary on a National Review post about Bobby Jindal's attempts to "beef up" in preparation for a presidential run. But it's not just funny; Isquith seems to have Bobby's number, commenting on how the Gov "and his team are hopelessly ensconced in the Tea Party bubble."
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