It seems some of Jindal’s rivals in the Republican thunder-dome that is statewide elected office decided to step out and question Jindal’s governance philosophy.
Oh hell, let’s call it what it was: Jindal’s big-spending, one-time-money-loving, patchwork budget-ways are hypocritical from his own ideological perspective. And for a while now, a certain junior US Senator and his friend, a certain State Treasurer, have been trying to call him out on this fraudulent behavior.
David Vitter and John Kennedy had engineered a mini-coup within the Republican Party, which has been slowly building over the past two years. This legislative session, however, shit has finally hit the fan.
When Vitter and Kennedy pressed House Fiscal Teahadists to nearly shut-down the budget process, Jindal was none-too-pleased. The Kennedy/Vitter wing circulated hypocritical Jindal quotes on fiscal responsibility during the budget debate. Then, Kennedy fired off a letter out-lining his plans to cut funds from Jindal’s state budget. This is one of several times when Kennedy offered his solutions to the State Budget crisis, only to be rebuffed by the Jindalistas. We all remember the Streamlining Commission, personally led by Treasurer Kennedy, which pointed out many of the inefficiencies that Kennedy still harps on today.
When Kennedy tried his letter stunt in the House, Commissioner Rainwater fired back a nasty response that disassembled Kennedy’s arguments in vicious fashion:
Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater responded with an open letter of his own to Kennedy answering the treasurer’s plan point-by-point and jabbing at Kennedy in the preamble: “We appreciate your input, but with all due respect, the numbers that you continue to use to support your case are not based in reality and the ideas you continue to advocate for will not work.”
The bon mot wrapped in tongue-in-cheek irony came from Jindal flack Kyle Plotkin, who said in a statement, “John Kennedy has a long history of using numbers that don’t add up and proposing the same-old, same-old half-baked gimmicks. There’s nothing new here. These gimmicks haven’t worked before, and they aren’t going to work now. He’s just one confused politician.”
That “confused politician” line is the icing for sure. We all remember Senator Landrieu’s constant refrain from her 2008 victory over Kennedy, don’t we?
With this back and forth, someone was bound to get whacked. You know, somewhere it hurts.
And it turns out, with his line-item veto pen, Don Jindal whacked Kennedy straight in the mouth:
Treasurer John Kennedy, a critic of the Jindal administration’s financial policies, has found his budget cut with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s line-item veto.In his veto message, Jindal said he’s stripping more than $511,000 from Kennedy’s budget next year to “streamline” the agency, to reflect spending patterns over the last three years and to strip money for four vacant jobs.
Not only is he stripping money from Kennedy’s budget, he’s “streamlining” it. Sound familiar?
To make matters more complicated, Representative Geymann, a leader with the teahadist Vitter/Kennedy wing in the Legislature, resigned from the Natural Resources Committee:
State Representative Brett Geymann (R – Lake Charles) has resigned from the Natural Resources Committee of the Louisiana House of Representatives to focus on budget reform full-time as a Member of the Appropriations Committee. Geymann is also surrendering an apartment in the Pentagon Complex.
“I have resigned from the Natural Resources Committee effective immediately, so that I can focus on budget reform full-time in my role as a Member of the Appropriations Committee” Representative Geymann said. “I was unable to devote the necessary time to the Natural Resources Committee this session due to the challenges that have arisen in implementing real budget reform” said Geymann. “I will also give up the Pentagon Complex apartment so that there will be no confusion regarding my priorities for the rest of the term” Geymann continued. “I look forward to continuing a robust and open dialogue with leadership, and the Administration, on the core budget reform issues that are critical to a healthy and growing Louisiana for our families and businesses” Geymann concluded.
Representative Geymann notified the Speaker by a formal letter of resignation.
Geymann would be the second fiscal teahadist to leave the Natural Resources Committee this week, except he was the only one who did it on his own accord. Rep. Morris was ousted as Vice-Chairman this week for his role in criticizing Don Jindal during the budget debate.
Looks like this intra-family war is only getting started. Grab the popcorn.