Beginning this evening, Louisiana got its first taste of Jindal’s full-scale assault on public education in Louisiana. At “Believe in Louisiana” a Federal 527 (think Swift-vets for Truth) org growing out of Jindal’s political apparatus, the Governor rolled out two new TV ads backed by more than $100k in media buys per week throughout the state.
Jindal’s first ad sends a familiar, yet strange, message. The ad displays an all-white “failing” school. The racial note would not normally be mentioned, except for the starkness of this visual. It cannot be overstated that a majority of the State’s failing schools are in largely African-American, urban school districts. This dissonant note complicates a simple message. Watch for yourself:
And this air assault isn’t the only method to the madness. Jindal’s political shop (also known as the “press office”) has been slamming opponents left and right through selective press “essays” and harsh missives circulated to allies:
The governor’s deputy communications director, Aaron Baer, a Topeka, Kan., native, is paid $72,000 annually by state government. He previously had worked in Jindal’s campaign and for the Louisiana Republican Party.
Baer has written about a dozen emails criticizing reporters and officials who fail to fully embrace Jindal’s education revamp. Baer emails his essays — called “Setting the Record Straight” — to the “press.” The governor’s office won’t say exactly to whom the emails are sent or how a lot of people not in the media receive copies.
Jindal did not respond to two requests for comment. But his communications director, Kyle Plotkin, said in a written statement that it’s legal for press staff to defend Jindal’s “legislative proposals.”
Those are public officials firing away as if they were Republican Party officials, pressing an agenda that was only revealzed this morning. More damning is Senator Conrad Appel’s letter:
State Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, last week wrote a letter later distributed by the Louisiana Republican Party to its members. He asked readers to call their legislators and insist that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to revamp public schools — the bills had not been filed at the time — be approved intact.
A plan not even revealed to the public should be approved “intact,” i.e. without changes. That’s public engagement!