Monthly Archives: February 2013

Reality Brings Jindal Crashing Down

More good news for the wannabe king of the “stupid party.” The word on Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana collapse is getting some much-needed attention. Funny what polling can do.

It turns out that cooyans back here in Loosy-ana actually expect the Governor to make choices that are responsive to us, not primary voters in Iowa. Unfortunately for Boo Boo the Boy Wonder, he didn’t get the memo. This piece from the associated press (written by a former Times-Picayune scribe) takes Jindal down a notch, or three:

Gov. Bobby Jindal faces deepening troubles in his home state even as he dishes out advice on how the divided GOP can regroup and looks to position himself as a national party front man.

The new head of the Republican Governors Association, who also is a potential future White House contender, has made a series of cuts to health services and colleges, drawing criticism from affected constituents and Republicans who say he’s not cut enough. And while he delighted conservative policy wonks nationally with his signature measures overhauling education and public employee pensions, those laws are tied up in state court as Republican judges claim constitutional concerns.

At the same time, recent polls suggest that Jindal’s once-formidable job performance rating has fallen below 50 percent just over a year after he was re-elected without serious opposition.

He’s got a large number of people in Louisiana who just do not like him,” said Baton Rouge pollster Bernie Pinsonat, not usually a Jindal critic.

Bernie Pinsonat, GOP/Lane Grigsby pollster isn’t exactly a known liberal. And according to our books on Democracy, approval rates under 50% mean that a majority would not choose you to be their leader. While Jindal might not appear on our ballots anymore (for the time-being), he certainly can’t convince Republicans nation-wide that he’s the medicine for their current sickness if his own red state of Louisiana doesn’t even like him.

And then the mountain of hypocrisy begins to tumble upon Jindal:

Yet for all his criticism of a big federal government, Jindal has approved its excess and accepted its bounty. As a congressman, he supported deficit budgets under President George W. Bush. Jindal, like every other governor, used federal stimulus money — provided through an Obama law that Jindal assailed — to balance his state budget for at least two years and, in many instances, he traveled to small towns to hand out checks to local government leaders, while sidestepping the explanation that the dollars came from federal coffers.

As many program cuts as Jindal has pushed in Louisiana, he’s feuded with his fellow Republicans in the Legislature who say he’s not done enough.

Jindal’s state government helped spend billions of dollars in federal rebuilding aid after multiple hurricanes, including Katrina. Louisiana just hosted the Super Bowl in a publicly owned stadium restored and upgraded with taxpayer money.

Jindal has refused one spending area, and that’s providing health care to our state’s working poor. Despite studies that continuously state the importance and impact of expanding Medicaid, Jindal just says “no.” Mary Landrieu takes him to task on this point, here:

He just seems to be adamant about pushing his political future ahead of the economic interests of the people of Louisiana. It’s very disheartening to me and a growing number of people in our state,” said Landrieu. D-La. “It’s his quest to be the next president and to check off the tea party ‘I am the most conservative person in America’ check list. If he were to get his mind and heart on the people he’s representing, we might have better outcomes.”

Yeehaw, and go get’em, Mary.

Mitch Landrieu For Governor 2015?

Yes, it is early.

Our Mitch for Gov Logo

Yes, we made this. Yes, you may use it.

Yes, no one should forget the horrible consequences of letting Bobby Jindal run wild through the next two years. We needn’t look past that to consider the next step. The Governor’s mansion is the most powerful office in the State of Louisiana. The wide-ranging powers emanating from the Capitol’s forth floor control nearly every aspect of Government through direct, or through fiscal, levers. Every Mayor, Police Juror, and Sheriff bow before the all powerful dictates of the Louisiana Governor. By virtue of history and tradition, he controls the legislature, which means he controls the purse. He sets the agenda, constructs the model budget and heavily influences the capital outlay to build new infrastructure for which local officials cut ribbons. Moreover, the Governor makes over 1700 direct appointments to boards and commissions all over the state. These range from the benign to the highly sought-after LSU board or Board of Regents spots.

No one person makes more impact on our daily lives in Louisiana than the Governor. And that’s why the next Governor is so important. We cannot get this one wrong.

Mitch Landrieu is the Democrats best hope to be Governor in 2015.

With all due respect to Rep. John Bel Edwards, we don’t see another viable candidate.  By all accounts, his reign as Mayor of New Orleans has been spectacularly successful. If you’ve visited the city recently like we have, you’ll note it is alight with improvements. Mitch continues to be very popular to a broad swath of New Orleanians as well.

More importantly, we know Mitch Landrieu has already shown he can be a fundraising powerhouse.  According to the Times-Picayune, Mitch has raised over $1.6m since he won the New Orleans Mayor’s race in 2010. Let’s see how he compares to other statewide potentials:

Campaign finance reports for 2012
Raised Spent On-hand
Gov. Bobby Jindal $1,301,483.46 $1,420,185.06 $3,793,100.76
Treasurer John Kennedy $579,503.14 $151,688.66 $2,333,570.49
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu $756,102.78 $259,517.73 $1,009,716.04
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne $831,325.56 $161,278.52 $717,825.45
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell $17,410.01 $68,939.71 $406,557.48
Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain $351,606.92 $116,180.01 $235,426.91

(from the Times-Picayune)

As we can see here, there’s only one official that is eligible to run for Governor in 2015 that has more money on hand than Mitch Landrieu. That’s Treasurer John Kennedy, who Mitch’s sister Mary spanked in the 2008 US Senate race.

So, we know that Mitch Landrieu is well-financed, how does he look electorally against statewide foes?

Back in 2007, Mitch was running for reelection for Lt. Governor, the State’s cultural ambassador and leader of the office of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. Here are those results:

Lieutenant Governor 2007
All 3967 precincts reporting
Click here for Results by Parish
Gary J. Beard (R) 10.55% 130876
Norris “Spanky” Gros, Jr. (N) 1.29% 15965
Thomas D. Kates (N) 1.25% 15555
“Sammy” Kershaw (R) 30.30% 375727
“Mitch” Landrieu (D) 56.60% 701887

Country music star Sammy Kershaw couldn’t keep Mitch from winning in the primary, with 701887 votes. Hmm, how many votes did the multi-million dollar campaign of Bobby Jindal garner that year in the primary?

“Bobby” Jindal (R) 53.88% 699275

Sure, it’s not apples to apples. But the simple fact that Democrat Mitch Landrieu won 2000 more votes than the political “rising star” Bobby Jindal earned is sizable. Remember, Jindal was seen as less of a partisan figure back then, and many Democrats considered his candidacy a page-turner. Jindal was considered an “ethics champ” with pragmatic, technocratic governing philosophies focused on results. Of course, from day 1, he largely abandoned this philosophy and became a screeching partisan conservative focused only on his ambition for even higher office. Under these circumstances, the fact that Mitch Landrieu still roughly equaled Jindal  despite his party “disadvantage” and the moribund status of the Democratic Party in 2007 (not to mention the still persistent Katrina displacement of African-American voters in the Landrieu’s New Orleans stronghold) means one very clear thing: Mitch Landrieu has continued to maintain a strong statewide popularity that makes him extremely competitive in ways that other Democrats are not.

Flash-forward to today. Let’s go to the polling! From PPP earlier this month:

Louisiana could have a fun race for Governor in 2015. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is seen pretty positively statewide, with 49% of voters rating him favorably to 26% with an unfavorable opinion. In a hypothetical contest with Senator David Vitter, who has a 46/38 approval rating, the two would be tied at 44%. Landrieu would have a slight edge over Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne at 44-42. If Landrieu decided to run it appears that it would be a competitive race.

Well then. Let’s review. That’s Vitter 44%, Landrieu 44%. Before the campaigns. Considering how Red Louisiana has become (although it might be trending in the other direction). Even Vitter’s own polling firm can’t soup the numbers to make Mitch noncompetitive:

 The Magellan poll, conducted Oct. 2 through Oct. 4 with 2,682 likely voters covered a number of topics, including presidential, congressional and gubernatorial elections. The margin of error is 1.9 percent… 31.1% picked Vitter; 29.4% picked Landrieu; and 16.7 percent were undecided or wanted none of the choices.

Two ties. Looks very interesting, doesn’t it?

Once the natural disaster that is the Jindal Administration is done rolling through, we’ll need a thorough cleansing, followed by a long slog to attempt to repair the Jindal-sized crater we’ll be situated in. From what we understand, this sounds eerily like the situation Mayor Landrieu found when he arrived in New Orleans in 2010. Like Ray Nagin before him, Bobby Jindal will have served two terms full of promised-reform and certified-incompetence. Another clean up job for Mitch. But one voters seem at least willing to consider handing over to New Orleans’ Mayor.

Kristy Nichols: ‘We didn’t present a truly balanced budget because we couldn’t’ (or ‘down the old rabbit hole’—again)

Jindal Admin doesn’t want to cut critical services, also doesn’t want to pay for them.

Louisiana Voice

Guest Column

The long-awaited Jindal administration proposal to balance the Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget was released yesterday (February 22). The most surprising thing about it was its almost complete lack of surprises. Once again, we were presented with a budget that uses one-time money, contingencies, and outright conjecture, along with increased college tuition, to create the illusion of a balanced budget that does little or no harm.

Perhaps the most surprising and indefensible part of the presentation was revealed in Melinda Deslatte’s AP wire story late yesterday. Deslatte reported that commissioner of administration Kristy Nichols defended the use of patchwork funding in the budget on the grounds that not doing so would result in “needless reductions to critical services.” Think long and hard about what that means.

The governor is happy to tout his refusal to increase state taxes. He is also happy to talk about his…

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Surprise! Jindal admits in brief press conference that he ‘doesn’t have a plan’ (clue) on abolishing state income tax

No plan, no problem! Let’s roll!

Louisiana Voice

Whenever Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks, be it on Fox News, CNN, to fellow Republican governors or at a rare press conference such as the one held on Thursday, his threefold purpose always seems to be to inflate weak ideology, obscure poor reasoning and inhibit clarity.

His less-than-masterful tax plan for the state, which he admitted to reporters is like so many of his ill-conceived programs in that it actually remains a non-plan, might well be entitled “The Dynamics of Irrational and Mythical Imperatives of Tax Reform: A Study in Psychic Trans-Relational Fiscal Recovery Modes” (with apologies to Calvin and Hobbes, our all-time favorite comic strip).

It’s not certain what drives him to wade off into these issues (see: hospital and prison closures, higher education cutbacks, charter schools, online courses and vouchers, state employee retirement “reform,” and privatization of efficiently-operating state agencies like the Office of Group Benefits) but his…

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Senator Mary Landrieu is well-positioned to hold her seat. Read why, here.

By Robert Mann

A recent Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey showing Sen. Mary Landrieu leading a slew of potential challengers seems to have signaled the start of the 2014 Louisiana U.S. Senate race — although election day is still 22 long months away.

According to the polling organization, Landrieu “leads all seven [potential opponents] we tested against her, by margins ranging from 3 to 12 points.” Those potential opponents, PPP said, were: Gov. Bobby Jindal, who trails Landrieu, 49 to 41 in a possible match-up; Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, trailing Landrieu, 46-43; Lake Charles U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, 48-42; former U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, 48-39; New Orleans U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, 48-38; Baton Rouge U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, 50-40; and, Shreveport U.S. Rep. John Fleming, 50-38. Not tested by PPP was BESE Board President Chas Roemer, son of former Gov. Buddy Roemer, who recently said

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