Saturday, June 14, 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'."


Grandmère Mimi said...

Jindal could stop the raise that he doesn't like, but he won't. He's going to be worse than we imagined, Jim. How can he possibly appear weaker? He's hunkered down, enclosed by his circle of protectors, operating in secrecy. He caves in when the legislature says, "Boo!" We're in a fix. I take no satisfaction in saying, "I told you so," because our state is sliding deeper into the sh*thole every day.

Jim said...

I agree Mimi. He's like Buddy Roemer lite. If he doesn't get rid of Teepell and Sellers he will be in real trouble.
C B Forgotston said that Rush Limbaugh should apologize for calling him the next Reagan. He said that's like calling Pee Wee Herman the next John Wayne.