Monday, June 30, 2008
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
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.
JINDAL BREAKS HIS PROMISE TO THE PEOPLE
Once more, thanks to We Saw That for the video.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
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.
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?
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?
Saturday, June 14, 2008
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
SB 672 BY DUPLESSIS
Mr. Speaker (Jim Tucker)
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
When they are speaking in your area and stressing their great 'conservative' credentials, call them down on it.
SB 672 BY DUPLESSIS
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
May God protect us all."
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.
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
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 Snopes.com 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
"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
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.