Category Archives: Uncategorized
According to the political press, Bobby Jindal launched another one of his embarrassing broadsides against the awful “DC establishment,” calling for a “hostile takeover” of DC by enraged teahaddists.
Jindal is, as usual, intentionally misreading the popular sentiment. Yes, people hate DC. But not because it is too liberal, or too activist. But because it is terribly broken in the era of tea party politics.
However, here in Louisiana, there is a growing resentment brewing. The signals of a “hostile takeover” are much clearer. Where? Well, let’s just let David Vitter tell it:
Louisiana’s junior senator, who is assembling his 2015 campaign for governor, repeatedly said at a Press Club of Baton Rouge meeting that he was not criticizing Jindal or “here to grade anyone.”
He did take a couple of potshots at the governor, though.
If elected governor “This will be my last political job, elected or appointed, period,” he said.
Jindal often is criticized for what some interpret as trying to make points toward a run for president and spending too much time in states that have presidential primaries and caucuses, rather than taking care of the state’s needs.
“I’m not even running to gain a cameo appearance on ‘Duck Dynasty,’ as intensely jealous as I am about that,” Vitter joked, referring to Jindal’s recent appearance on the reality television show filmed near West Monroe.
Vitter said he wouldn’t exclude the possibility, as Jindal has, of accepting federal funds to expand the state’s Medicaid program to cover more of the working poor. Currently, 240,000 Louisiana residents make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not to qualify for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu calls it “the Jindal Gap” because Jindal refuses to accept the federal funds that would provide their health care.
Chas Roemer, a Republican and president of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, told Bridges, “There’s been no interaction with the governor except through the press. I find it offensive. This is not a part-time job. This is not one that can be done from New York or Washington, D.C., or wherever his latest fundraiser is.” Roemer added he hadn’t met with Jindal in a year.
John White, Ed Reformer in chief and Jindal’s boytoy also hates Jindal these days:
John White, the state’s top education official, said Tuesday that educators deserve to know that Louisiana is committed to following through with its adoption of Common Core academic standards, taking an implicit swipe at lawmakers who have tried to derail implementation and Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is still threatening to do so.
Speaking to thousands of teachers gathered in New Orleans for a conference on the transition, White said, “You deserve clarity, you deserve a long-term plan, you deserve not to have standards and curriculum and assessments tossed about in the morning headlines like they can be changed with the waving of a magic wand.”
Treasurer John Kennedy is no fan either, as Jindal just vetoed his key legislative accomplishment:
I’m disappointed in the Governor’s veto of HB 142 allowing money to be wasted on frivolous contracts. We’ll be back next year. #LALege
— John Neely Kennedy (@JohnKennedyLA) June 20, 2014
Whomever runs for Governor in 2015 will be running against Bobby Jindal.
So, there is a revolution brewing. Not against DC. But against the tyrannical rule of Bobby Jindal, part-time Governor.
The strange thing about that call is the word choice. “Hostile Takeover.” Now, as a matter of literally meaning, this implies some sort of struggle for power. Perhaps even an armed struggle. Something like a coup d’etat.
But the term “hostile takeover” is more often used in business. You might be familiar with the “vulture capitalism,” a charming term that Rick Perry popularized in 2012 to describe the kind of “hostile takeovers” that Mittens Romney was famous for executing as a corporate raider:
Jindal’s background as a bloodless corporate consultant (McKinsey alum) shouldn’t surprise in the double meaning in this term. Jindal is of course signaling that this takeover will be through his usual privatization obsession. The only way he knows how to govern. Not shrinking government. Just outsourcing it.
I’ll be honest. I don’t like you. I’ve never liked you. Maybe it’s your awkward folksiness or your generally amateurish disposition. It’s hard to say, really. I must admit, though, that when you were elected, I felt reasonably confident that you could handle the job. I thought to myself, “Well, he’s not my guy, but at least he’s smart and moderately competent.” Holy shit, was I wrong.
I realize you’re not as dumb as you pretend to be. My guess is that you decided at some point that intellectual integrity is a political liability. And maybe you’re right. Maybe everything about politics militates against intelligent discourse. Maybe, as a matter of strategy, it’s safer to do nothing and appear smart to stupid people than it is to actually lead. I honestly don’t know.
Jindal con-profit Status: Criminal activity suspected by @Cenlamar
Originally posted on CenLamar:
Four years ago, an otherwise dull case concerning a pay-per-view documentary about the former and future Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton provided a divided United States Supreme Court with the opportunity to issue its most consequential and most controversial ruling since it halted a ballot recount in Florida ten years prior. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in simple terms, allows corporations to spend unlimited money in order to influence elections. To Chief Justice Roberts and the court’s other reliably conservative members, the previous limitations on corporate spending represented an improper restraint on speech and, therefore, a violation of the First Amendment. But for the Court’s more liberal members, limitations on corporate spending were critical in ensuring a fair, effective, accountable, and- most importantly- participatory system of democracy.
In my opinion, the free speech rights of corporations should not be entitled to the same protections as the free speech rights of citizens. Despite what the…
View original 2,180 more words
Exactly who is donating to Bobby Jindal’s 501(c)4 group? And why?
Originally posted on CenLamar:
Last Friday, against the vehement and public urging of his own Attorney General and nearly one hundred of the nation’s most respected legal experts, Governor Bobby Jindal signed Senate Bill 469 into law. Quoting his press release (bold mine):
Governor Jindal said, “This bill will help stop frivolous lawsuits and create a more fair and predictable legal environment, and I am proud to sign it into law. It further improves Louisiana’s legal environment by reducing unnecessary claims that burden businesses so that we can bring even more jobs to our state. The bill will also send future recovered dollars from CZMA litigation to coastal projects, allowing us to ensure Louisiana coastal lands are preserved and that our communities are protected.”
If you’re wondering who, exactly, the law benefits, all you need to do is keep reading Jindal’s press release, which contains this amazing confession. Quoting (again, bold and…
View original 3,018 more words
THE OTHER LAMAR HITS IT OUT THE PARK
Originally posted on CenLamar:
“A lot of people mentioned to me how omnipresent BP lobbyists were, more than the other major oil companies were (though all of them showed plenty of interest), so much more that it got a lot of people wondering, `What’s in the bill for them?’ It certainly got us wondering.” – John Barry, June 5, 2014
“As our analysis shows, SB 469 fails to protect the local governments whose concerns your letter concedes are at issue and puts at risk billions of dollars of local government claims against BP. And, here, it should be noted that BP heavily lobbied for the passage of SB 469 – a fact strongly suggesting that the now known consequences of SB 469 were not unintended at all.” – Robert Verchick, June 4, 2014
“They (BP) didn’t lobby me, because they knew my position. But they lobbied several of my colleagues.” – State Representative John Bel…
View original 3,679 more words
We’ve spoken before about the ruthless methods behind the David Vitter political money chutes seem to be remaking the political money game in Louisiana. But this innovation is radiating outward, now affecting political money nationwide.
Let’s set up the players, because this gets a little complicated.
1. David Vitter’s current Federal Senate Campaign account (this is the traditional, Federal account for which he raises and spends to get elected to the US Senate. (Latest filing showed $804k on hand)
2. The Fund for Louisiana’s Future, a SuperPAC organized as a “hybrid” to support David Vitter in both his State and Federal adventures. This arrangement was controversial to start, being as how Louisiana used to have rules about how much money a particular entity could raise from any donor for a particular race. We say “used to” because David Vitter’s buddies at the SuperPAC fixed that.
Anyway, Vitter’s campaign and the SuperPAC are “supposed” to be uncoordinated. It does seem like a joke, since the SuperPAC has a picture of Vittycent on their website. However, the rules state that they may SUPPORT a candidate, but just not work with that candidate directly as if the candidate controls them.
So in this case, Vitter is literally moving his current Federal campaign cash that he cannot spend on his Governor’s race into a hybrid SuperPAC that now has the ability to spend an unlimited amount to support him for Governor. Very, very slushy. The potential here for circumventing campaign finance rules here is extreme. Under this potential regime, any Federal candidate can launder their Federal cash back through a SuperPAC for any purpose at all, ignoring their state-level laws on campaign finance.
In Louisiana, that means David Vitter’s quest for a boatload of campaign cash for his Governor’s race is even further ahead than we thought. If you gave money to support David Vitter for Senate, he is now giving it to his buddies to spend it on his run for Governor.
You can see some of the donors in The Fund for Louisiana’s future April FEC filing.
But really making it in modern American politics for “Bobby” Jindal might have finally happened. Yes, Jindal’s got himself an honest-to-goodness, sleazy, corrupt, conflict-of-interest, family scandal on his hands:
Gov. Bobby Jindal didn’t disclose in his newspaper column this week supporting for-profit colleges in their fight with the Obama administration that his brother, attorney Nikesh Jindal, represented the schools’ association in an earlier legal fight with the administration...
“I think that it is pretty embarrassing such facts come out after the fact rather than before,” said Kevin Cope, president of the LSU Faculty Senate and a critic of the for-profit institutions.
Nothing says good ole, sleazy American politics than a politician publicly shilling for his brother’s legal clients.
But this isn’t the first time the Jindal family has been caught with their political and financial wires crossed.
The Jindal family matriarch has been a State Employee under her son, the Governor, pulling down six figures in the state’s IT department:
Raj G. Jindal is the governor’s mother and she pulls down a cool $117,915 per year as an Information Technology (IT) Director 3 in charge of workforce support and training. We assume she is a valuable, capable employee. But that’s not the point here. It’s the perception, stupid (with apologies to Bill Clinton).
One might think the governor, as a show of good faith, would ask his mom, an employee of 30-plus years and certainly eligible for retirement, to lead by example, and step down to benefit someone who really needed a job. Even if she were not eligible for retirement benefits, what a PR move it could be for the governor.
But Nikesh Jindal, the Governor’s brother, is familiar with covering his brothers bases. In a 2009 interview, Nikesh stumbled and fumbled when the subject of the Jindal family faith came up, no doubt cautious not to spoil the carefully crafted image crafted of “Brady Bunch” good Catholic convert Bobby.
Today, Nikesh Jindal is a thirty-year-old lawyer in Washington. He went to Dartmouth and Yale — “Quite a shock for a southern boy,” he said on the phone recently with a chuckle. Unlike Bobby, he has no southern accent. Nikesh remembers fondly the family’s one-story, three-bedroom house in a “small little neighborhood where you knew all the people on the street.” When asked if his family ever got together with other Hindu families to worship during holidays, Nikesh, who has never before been interviewed, became flustered. “I’ll have to think about it and get back to you on that,” he said. (All requests for an interview with Amar and Raj Jindal were declined.)
It’s fascinating to note how well-constructed the “Bobby” Jindal image has been over the years. The assiduous avoidance of any “foreign” (i.e. non-southern-christian-white) biographical items bolster’s Jindal’s cultural appeal to his old, white, intolerant base.
Jindal’s spent a lot of time attempting to burnish the ultimately “american” white boy image. This obvious overcompensation is fascinating. It is so clear, even to Jindal, that his political base could not, and would not, accept Jindal for whom he really is, for where he really came from, and from his true American story.
Perhaps now, with the eruption of family political sleaze, Jindal will finally find the acceptance he so desperately craves. Nothing says genuine American politics like a commingled family political drama, complete with slimy conflicts of interest.
Congrats “Bobby,” you might have finally made it.
Yesterday, to the shock of many, the Senate Finance flippantly moved $4.5m in funding for disabled folks to a private auto track. Apparently, your outrage seemed to work, as the fund transfer was partially “cured”, although you’d be wrong to think that meant the millionaire wasn’t getting his $4.5m in free track improvements.
Not this Legislature. Not this State.
Instead, the Senate retained the little bonus for Laney Chouest’s NOLA Motorsports track, but instead made sure they found the extra money to make it up to the disabled folks.
You get to have your pie and eat it too!
Apparently, Senator Donahue, he of “The answer to your question, Sen. Claitor, is yes,” fame, had a lot of trouble reading the Jindal Administration script on the budget today in the chamber. Keen eyed observer CBForgotston was watching:
The Senate easily adopted the budget with nary a word of protest! It’s all good, says Emperor Jindal.
Who knows what other fun little giveaways lurk in the dark matter of the Legislative Budget.
The Louisiana Legislature is poised to take $4 million of your tax dollars away from supporting disabled Louisianians in order to give it to a corporate indycar event at a private racetrack owned by a multi-millionaire. That is not spin:
“We’re taking money away from the disabled community and giving it to motor sports?” Claitor asked during the committee meeting.
“The answer to your question, Sen. Claitor, is yes,” said Sen. Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville, the committee’s chairman, in response.
After the meeting, Donahue said he was optimistic that more money could be found for services for people with disabilities as the budget advances through the legislative process. Money had to be put toward IndyCar, he said, because Jindal had promised $4.5 million in upgrades to NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale as part of the deal to lure the event to New Orleans.
NOLA Motorsports is owned by Laney Chouest, a multi-millionaire co-owner of Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO). He seems like a fine enough chap, one devoted to building a world class racetrack. Now, of course, he’s done it with his own fortune. Good for him. He even opened it to the public, so normal folks could go racing or go-karting around his prize.
But the idea that we need to pay for $4m in “track improvements” to “lure” a billion-dollar national racing league to New Orleans for a race almost no one cars about, INSTEAD of patching our meager budget for the disabled, is absolutely sick. Just because Jindal “promised” the billionaire owners he’d scoop some tax dollars up for them. Absolutely sick.
This combines the worst of crony-capitalism with the height of heartless Ayn Randism. Government giving money to a massive corporation for a playboy, rich-man’s sport instead of taking care of the disabled. This is your government. This is what they’re doing with your hard-earned dollars they collected in taxes. Blowing it on a private racetrack. You betcha.
Where is your tea party now?