Monday, June 30, 2008

Jindal Veto Press Conference Video

Thanks to We Saw That.

Faced with Recall, Jindal Vetoes Pay Raise Bill

Faced with public outrage and a recall petition, Jindal announced today that he has vetoed the pay raise.
Gov. Bobby Jindal reversed course Monday and vetoed a bill that would have doubled the base pay of Louisiana legislators.
Jindal announced that he was 'correcting his mistake'.

Breaking story here.

Actually, the people vetoed the raise, Jindal just belatedly put his pen to it.
Hopefully he can learn from this and develop more of a spine in standing up when he needs to.

The final paragraph of the governor's veto message says:
The Governor concluded his remarks by calling on the public to continue their close involvement in government and the political process. The Governor said, “to all the citizens of Louisiana who have become so vocal on this issue and so involved in the process - stay involved. There is a lot more to do. Don’t tune out or stop paying attention to the political process now. This government belongs to you; it is your business. I’m going to need your help.”

You got it backwards Governor - the people are going to need your help.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Why Louisiana's Anger?

For those who are not yet aware, a recall petition has been filed against Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. The fair-haired boy of the Republican Party, hailed by Rush Limbaugh as ‘the next Ronald Reagan’, mentioned prominently in the national media as a possible running mate for John McCain, has hit the skids after only five months in office.
What could possibly have gone so wrong so soon?
At a time when average wages are down in Louisiana, when gas prices and food prices are soaring, the Louisiana Legislature voted itself a 125% increase in pay, from $16,800 to $37,500 per year. This is in addition to a per diem allowance of $143 per day and $6,000 per year in unvouchered expenses. Inexpensive housing is also available to members of the legislature when in session.
Governor Jindal announced that he will not veto the raise despite a campaign promise last fall that he would ‘prohibit the legislature from increasing their pay before the subsequent election’. He claims that if he opposes them on this issue they will hijack his ‘reform’ agenda.
The raise is scheduled to go into effect on July 1. Jindal said that he made a ‘pledge’ to legislators that he would not veto the increase, despite his promise to the voters.
And people are angry. Jindal’s conservative supporters are up in arms, recall petitions have been filed against 4 legislators, including Speaker of the House Jim Tucker, and on Friday the petition to recall Jindal arrived in the office of the Secretary of State.
Will it garner the more than 900,000 signatures required to force a recall election? Conventional thinking would say no, but we are living in the age of the internet and anything can happen.
The people of Louisiana have been ill-served for a long time, and just when they thought they had a knight in shining armor to save them, they have been betrayed.
Betrayal is a strong word, but it is popping up often these days.
Jindal still has until July 8th to veto the bill. He has said that he will not do it because he gave that pledge to the legislature.
Let’s hope that his promise to the people will trump his pledge to the 72 politicians who voted for this raise.

How About a State Fowl?

C. B. Forgotston suggests a new State Fowl:

Why the Nation Laughs at Louisiana

While not taking our eyes away from the Jindal Recall Effort for too long, this was just too good to pass up.

Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) and Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) have actually co-sponsored the Defense of Marriage act in the Senate. Really. The ho-meister and the toe-tapper have actually taken a (wide?) stance for traditional marriage by co-sponsoring the Defense of Marriage Act.

From the Young Turks YouTube Channel:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Recall Bobby Jindal Website Up is up and running. The operator of this website will be working with Ryan Fournier, who filed the recall petition, and will have contact information for coordination and a legal copy of the recall petition that will be downloadable.
We will keep you updated as we get more information.

One of his biggest problems is that prepared speeches and structured interviews are great and have their place, but his failure to truly communicate with the Louisiana media and to hide behind Melissa every time a reporter has a question is now very damaging.
He'd better get real!

From The Advocate:
On Friday Jindal refused three requests for an interview on the recall. Instead his office released a prepared statement: “The voters of our state are angry . . . . . "

blah, blah, blah,
that the Legislature more than doubled their own pay and I agree with them. It was excessive and they should reverse it. Yatta, yatta, yatta, I’m sure more voters will take extraordinary steps to show their anger over the pay raise before this is all said and done — that’s how a democracy works.”
blah, blah, blah blah, blah, blah blah blah . . . . . .

Friday, June 27, 2008

Updated Recall Jindal Video

Updated Recall Jindal video from The Bossier Independent

Jindal Recall: Papers Filed

From LaNewsLink:

According to the office of the Secretary of State, the papers were filed by Ryan Fournier of Jefferson Parish.
The governor issued a statement that says ""The voters of our state are angry that the legislature more than doubled their own pay and I agree with them. It was excessive and they should reverse it. I'm sure more voters will take extraordinary steps to show their anger over the pay raise before this is all said and done - that's how a democracy works."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shreveport Pay Raise Protesters Greet Jindal

From Central La Politics:

Jindal in LaLa Land

The governor held a press conference at the mansion today (after greeting protesters in Shreveport) and revealed that he is probably the only person in the state today who is 'proud' of the legislature.
He also reaffirmed that he was 'sorry' the legislature doubled their pay and promised to keep better control of them from now on. Good luck on that one.
Sticking to his talking points as always, the governor said “We had some tremendous victories from this session that involved every single agency in our government pushing the people’s reform agenda. We have a lot more work to do, but our accomplishments from this session are many and they are great steps forward to the New Louisiana we are working toward to become the best place in the world to raise a family, get a quality education and pursue a great career.”

The entire press release from Melissa and Bobby can be viewed at Bayou Buzz.

New York Times: Jindal and the Raise

The New York Times this morning took note of the furor in Louisiana over the legislative pay raise and of the position that the governor has taken. This sort of attention will very likely tarnish his carefully cultivated image as the Republican conservative Wunderkind.

The reformist image of Gov. Bobby Jindal, considered by Republicans a top potential vice-presidential choice, has recently taken a beating after Mr. Jindal refused to veto a sizable pay increase that Louisiana legislators voted for themselves this month.
The increase would more than double the salary of the part-time legislators effective July 8, to $37,500 from $16,800, with considerably more money available once expenses are added in. It has touched a nerve in this impoverished state.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Jindal: Does a Pledge trump a Promise?

Breaking a long precedent for Louisiana governors, Gov. Bobby Jindal will not hold a press conference this evening following the 6 p.m. end of the three-month Legislative session to discuss the accomplishments of his first regular lawmaking period.
Instead, Jindal will meet with the media Tuesday afternoon at the Governor's Mansion, after most legislators have left the capital.
The end of a legislative session normally is an opportunity for a governor to appear with a contingent of lawmakers to review the achievements of new legislation and the state budget.
Jindal held press conferences following the end of each of two special sessions he called in February and April, with he and lawmakers congratulating each another.

This means that

1. He will veto and wants to wait until the legislators leave town.
2. He does not want to appear with them because he is afraid that some of the outrage against them will transfer to him. If this is the case he can take a hint: It already has.

If he does veto the bill after giving the legislature a 'pledge' not to, he will have a nest of opposition when the legislature next convenes. On the other hand, he will be keeping a 'promise' to the people that he made while campaigning.
Does a pledge trump a promise?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Recall Jindal Website Set Up

In addition to websites seeking the recall of Jim Tucker, Mike Michot & soon to come Robert Adley, I found a Recall Jindal website today.
Will it go anywhere? Who knows, but it is a reflection of the anger that he is incurring by failing to veto the pay raise.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pinned Down, Jindal Sticks to 'Talking Points'

Bayoubuzz Publisher Stephen Sabludowsky asked the governor at a press conference today "to detail the specific 'pledge' he made to the legislature (not to veto the pay raise) and said that the public had a right to know about that deal and that he was not answering the questions.
Unfortunately, I got three three-pointer

"If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On the Lighter Side

The legislature and the governor have pretty much 'mooned' the people of Louisiana. Perhaps we can take solace from a previous governor.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jindal's Promise and The Truth

When he was running for governor, Bobby Jindal proposed in a campaign mailer in a section titled "Make the Legislature accountable to the citizens they represent" that he would 'prohibit the legislature from giving themselves raises that take effect before the subsequent election."
The only way a governor can 'prohibit' anything the legislature does is by the veto.
The legislature voted to more than double their pay - and it takes effect next month.


Once more, thanks to We Saw That for the video.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jindal Will Not Veto Pay Raise

Bobby Jindal says he will not veto the legislative pay raise. ""One thing is for sure, I will not bail them out on this and do their job for them."

Strange. He didn't mind doing their job for them last week when he vetoed Senate Bill 401 by Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, which was designed to increase access to organ transplants by the poor by allowing some transplant centers that don't meet Medicare requirements to still receive state reimbursement through Medicaid.

He also did their job for them when he vetoed House Bill 418 by Rep. Mickey Guillory, D-Eunice, which would make an exception to the state law governing "abuse of office" for elected officials who are responding to a request from a constituent "or any citizen of the state of Louisiana.

And again, he did their job for them when he vetoed House Bill 231 by Rep. Jean Doerge, D-Minden, which would have exempted the Firefighters Retirement System from a 2007 law meant to create pressure on public companies to avoid investments in countries that sponsor terrorism, such as Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. The new law requires all public pension systems in Louisiana to take proactive steps to avoid such investments.

Without saying whether or not the bills should stand, the point is that he is being very disingenuous (dishonest?) when he says he will not 'do their job for them'. Using the veto on a bad bill is the governor's perogative. It is his job to veto if he thinks a bill is bad.

Below are two videos, the first of which is the governor stating that he will not veto the bill, along with some cutesy remarks from House Speaker Jim Tucker.

The second video is New Orleans Rep. Austin Badon (of Hannah Montana fame) saying that the people will understand, and that it won't require a vote every year for an increase (therefore, the people will forget).
Badon is dreaming. The people don't understand.
Thanks to We Saw That for the videos.

Bobby and the Devil

"While Alice and Louise held Susan, her sister continued holding the Bible to her face. Almost taunting the evil spirit that had almost beaten us minutes before, the students dared Susan to read biblical passages."
Sound like something from the Exorcist? Well, almost. This is from "Bobby" Jindal's account of the exorcism of a girl when he was in college. The guv and his friends performed the exorcism themselves. (Priest – we don't need no stinkin' priest!).
That's our governor! Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, braver than Michael the Archangel . . . . .
The Bible says that we should fear the power of the darker forces:
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Maybe it takes a unique perspective, like that of a Hindu turned born-again Catholic. Sounds kind of weird, but it plays well in evangelical churches around Louisiana and gets you a lot of votes. Sort of a mix of Pope Benedict and Benny Hinn. In addition to casting out the demons, they also cured her cancer. Wonder if he hit her on the forehead and she fell back in a dead faint?
Jindal has gotten by with a lot and got the benefit of the doubt from a lot of people when they elected him as governor. Now that he is being 'vetted' as a vice-presidential candidate, all these little things are going to come out.
My favorite comment on this is from Oyster "When Jindal helped exorcise the demon out of his friend Susan, was it cast into the herd of swine in the Louisiana State Legislature?
Just askin'."
Some links on the subject (check Google - there are hundreds)
For your viewing pleasure, a video from the Young Turks

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Video: Louisiana Legislature Follies of 2008

Legislative Pay Raise: Why are We Surprised?

To no one's surprise, the Louisiana Legislature has given itself a big raise. The governor will not veto it because he says that the legislature has bullied him into believing that they will not pass any more of his prized legislation if he does so. "I will not veto this as it is very clear to everyone that the result would be a grinding halt to the tremendous reforms and progress our state is making." To put it in layman's terms "I surrender unconditionally".

Not being able to pass his 'fluff' ethics legislation and other pet projects would really look bad on Bobby as he tours the talk shows and makes appearances at national venues in his quest for national recognition. He must be able to tout all the great things that 'he' has done, but he needs the leges to help him. After all, this is what he is about - not governing Louisiana.

Should he veto the bill? Of course. After all, in his victory speech on election night he said "And some who've been feeding at the trough may not go quietly, but that is up to them. They can either go quietly or they can go loudly, but either way they will go".

The only place they are going is to the bank with those fat raises.

This was the wrong thing to do at the wrong time. People are worried about gas prices, the housing market is in trouble, prices are rising fast (largely due to the price of gas) and people are looking for reassurance from their government. Of course, that is always a mistake, but nonetheless, people do look there for stability. The people in the legislature who voted for the raise apparently are so out of touch that they don't see that their constituents are viewing the raise as greedy and arrogant.

If they really are concerned with compensation, they should vote it in for the next legislature - not for themselves. While campaigning, Jindal said "We cannot allow the good old boy network to run things anymore." Of course, they do and will continue to. Jindal is no match for the seasoned pols who run the legislature. His chosen leaders Tucker and Chaisson and their followers have proven that the governor needs them much more than they need him.

Rush Limbaugh said Jindal is 'the next Reagan'. C. B. Forgotston says that Rush should apologize. "That’s like saying that Peewee Herman is the next John Wayne."

All of this is only shocking if you truly believe that the legislature as a whole has your best interests at heart. It is only shocking if you believe that Jindal really is a reformer and cares more about the people of Louisiana than he does about his own political future.

Am I surprised? Of course not. As I wrote on the night that he was elected:
"No one seems to be able to see past the hoopla to the fact that Louisiana has once more gone hook, line and sinker for a slick packaged, smooth talking 'reformer'."

Friday, June 13, 2008

List of House Votes on Pay Raise Bill

This is how house members voted on the pay increase:

Mr. Speaker (Jim Tucker)
Badon, A.
Burns, T.
Jackson, G
Jackson, M
Jones, R
Smith, G
Smith, P

Burns, H
Smith, J
St Germain


Louisiana House Votes to Double Pay

The Louisiana House of Representative voted to increase their pay more than double today. The original bill would have called for an increase from $16,000 to $50,000. The house 'compromised' and only voted the raise to $37,500. The governor has said that he will not veto the bill. The legislators are also paid (currently) a $143 per diem when they are in session in addition to the base pay.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

List of Senate Votes on Pay Raise Bill

The Senators who voted 'yea' to increase their base pay from $16,000 to over $50,000 per year believe that you will forget about this vote by the time they run for re-election.
When they are speaking in your area and stressing their great 'conservative' credentials, call them down on it.

EG +$5,829,043 GF EX

Mr. President (Joel Chaisson)



Louisiana Senate Votes Unconscionable Pay Raise

Senators (including my own Senator Robert Adley) took less than five minutes Tuesday to pass a pay raise for themselves and House members pegged at 30 percent of the pay of members of the U.S. Congress.
With no votes to spare, the Senate approved, 20-16, Senate Bill 672 by Sen. Ann Duplessis, D-New Orleans, sending it to the House for debate. House members cheered passage of the bill while watching the Senate proceedings on their desktop television monitors.
Duplessis told reporters after the vote that Gov. Bobby Jindal will not veto the measure, although he may allow her bill to become law without his signature. "He takes a position of no position and has agreed not to veto it," Duplessis said. "At a lunch today (Tuesday) he said he will not veto it. Those are the words from his mouth."
"I strongly disagree with this pay increase," Jindal said through spokeswoman Melissa Sellers. "They are a separate branch of government and must manage their own internal affairs." Sellers did not say whether Jindal would veto the bill if it passes. It would go into effect July 1 if passed.

A Musical Ode to the State Senate & State House of Representatives

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Louisiana Conservative Blogger named to Republican State Central Committee

Deryl Bryant, known in the blogosphere as '4unionparish' has been appointed to an empty slot on the Republican State Central Committee. He reports on Louisiana Conservative today that John Kennedy spoke to the group on Saturday.
Mary Landrieu’s political views are EXACTLY the OPPOSITE."
He continues "The Landrieu “machine” is going to benefit greatly from the Barrack Hussein Obama Presidential campaign."
Barack Hussein Obama. Really, he wrote that. (Just don't dare call his man "Bobby" Jindal by his proper name - Piyush.)
He goes on "I believe we can expect a regular assault by Obama and Landrieu as they both seek political offices that neither is competent to hold, nor deserve to have."
Hate to tell you, Deryl - if they are elected to the office they deserve to hold it. Some may think that you are not competent nor deserve to have a seat on the Republican State Central Committee - but there you are!
Deryl ended his post with the following, and I completely agree:
"I gratefully accepted and I am now a member of the State Central Committee for the Republican Party of Louisiana.
May God protect us all."

Pay Legislators Minimum Wage

The Louisiana Republican Party went on record Saturday opposing any increase in state legislators’ pay during their current term of office.
The party’s governing body voted in favor of a resolution by member Mike Bayham of St. Bernard Parish. There were a handful of dissenters.
“We should just be like the (U.S.) Congress where it doesn’t take effect until the next election where voters could determine that legislators merit it or not,” Bayham said.
Bayham said he did not think it right for today’s legislators to vote themselves a pay raise when some are newcomers with less than six months in office and other term-limited legislators would be getting “a money grab” that boosts their pay in their final years in office.
The Louisiana Legislature is considering a bill by state Sen. Ann Duplessis, D-New Orleans, that would tie state legislators’ pay to a percentage of that of members of the U.S. Congress. The annual base pay of a legislator would increase from $16,800 to $50,700.

The Advocate

A part-time job that pays Fifty Grand a year? Sounds good to me. My suggestion to the legislature would be that since they are there to serve the people (I'm sure that each and every one of them has made this statement at some point), then they should be in step with the people they serve.
Their best argument for an obscene pay raise is that if they don't increase the money, then it will be difficult to get quality people to run for office.
New Flash: quality people don't run for office for the financial rewards, but to truly serve. Legislators currently get a base of over $16,000 per year. Perhaps if we set their pay at the minimum wage level, or better yet pay nothing but traveling expense and lodging then we would get people who truly do want to serve.
How about convening the legislature only every other year as Texas does? This would surely cut down on their financial hardships, and would certainly cut down on the hardships they inflict on the people they 'serve'. Of course, in the case of an emergency the governor could call them into session.
$50,000 + expenses - No!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Lie (Unless it's for the Republican Party)

I'm getting emails from 'Christian' friends attacking Barack Obama. Now if you disagree with his political stands, that's fine. Get a blog, comment on blogs and articles where possible and talk to anyone who will listen to your differences. If you don't like the fact that a black man is running for president and you feel culturally threatened, then out with it. You have a right to your opinions. If you believe that he is a Muslim and you are angry at his Church of Christ pastor, then say so.
This post isn't an endorsement of Barack Obama. It is, however, an endorsement of intelligent and truthful discourse. It astounds me that in every election, year in and year out, and on every 'hot-button' issue, 'Christian Right' Republicans, who are oftentimes neither Christian nor right, send out dozens of untruthful, outrageous emails about the candidate or position they oppose.
I received two of these today. The first one states:
The last quotation is the one that is really scary!
(Last quotation) From Audacity of Hope: "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.

"If you ever forwarded an e-mail, now is the time to do it again.

This is the quote directly from the book and in context:
"Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

The other email had this Obama 'quote':
'As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides,' Obama said. 'There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. And the anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all. It should be swapped for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing.' If that were our anthem, then I might salute it.
The quote was one conservative writer's idea of a joke, which has been picked up and repeated as though it were true in a chain e-mail.
This is a ridiculous example of how false stories are started, spread and, in many cases, believed. It began with a column dated Oct. 27, 2007, on a Web site called the Arizona Conservative, which is written by John Semmens and clearly labeled as humor. His column, in fact, is called "Semi-News -- A Satirical Look at Recent News."Nevertheless, his column on Obama has been copied and sent around in e-mails, masquerading as true stories.
Thanks to for tracking down the source of this latest e-mail falsehood.

So to all those good 'Christians' who enjoy spreading falsehoods, you should contact your old bud Judge Moore in Alabama and get him to actually read those ten commandments to you.
They are, after all, more than just a block of stone to fight over.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Jindal Off VP List - Or Not

In answer to a direct question about the possibility of Jindal being his running mate, McCain said "I believe Gov. Jindal is the next generation of leadership, not just of the Republican Party but of America.
"What he's been able to accomplish in his 36 years on earth is remarkable," McCain said. But he quickly added "Gov. Jindal has a full schedule on a full agenda here."
The Times believes that this means Jindal is out of consideration. I'm not so sure. This could also be a ploy to throw off speculation which McCain doesn't want at this time.
If Barack Obama picks Hillary Clinton to be his running mate, then Jindal's appeal seems to increase.
What better foil than a VP candidate who is young, non-white and who appeals to the 'conservative' base of the party?
Obama may not pick Hillary. Anything could happen in the next month or two to change the dynamic, but just remember - it ain't over until it's over.

Monday, June 2, 2008

NY Times calls Jindal New (true) Champion of the Right

In an article today, The New York Times says that "Religion and fiscal stringency have a friendly home at the state Capitol here, with a conservative, Bobby Jindal, in the governor’s office, a host of straight-arrow novice legislators eager to please him and an honored spot for the Louisiana Family Forum in the old marble halls. . .

On the floor of the House this year, several legislators have invoked the position of the Louisiana Family Forum, a faith-oriented, anti-abortion group that is affiliated with conservatives like James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family and Tony Perkins, who helped found it. Its executive director, the Rev. Gene Mills, has become a frequent presence in the legislative halls. At the group’s modest offices here, Mr. Jindal is seen as practically one of the family. ."

Rev. Gene Mills (executive director of Louisiana Family Forum) says he counts several “close personal friends” on Mr. Jindal’s team of young activists and has known the family of the governor’s chief of staff, Timmy Teepell, for “years and years.” Mr. Teepell, a former deputy political director at the RNC whose family has been active in the home-school movement in Baton Rouge, has emerged as Mr. Jindal’s point man at the Louisiana Capitol, forcefully advocating for the voucher program, for one.
The governor’s secretary of labor, Tim Barfield, was a founding member of the Louisiana Family Forum and, Mr. Mills said, is a “squeaky-clean young man.”

And here is the clincher: "Mr. Jindal’s spokeswoman did not respond to messages on Friday."
They must have thought that it was the Shreveport Times. They never refuse to talk to national media, only Louisiana media.