Our money

Yesterday, Speaker of the House “Chuckle” Kleckley returned from a 3-day junket to Venice, La. at taxpayers’ expense.  In addition to Kleckley, Speaker Pro-Tem Walt Leger and the standing committees (16) chairmen and vice chairmen were on the junket.  We don’t know how many other leges and staff attended.

Just based on the chairs and vice chairs, we know that over $15,000 of my and your money was spent on per diems alone. In addition, each received 55 cents per mile round trip from their homes.

After-the-fact, a statement was issued. Here are a few of the more salient points along with my comments:

Press Release: Members gained more knowledge and insight on matters of the institution and the future challenges that the state faces.

My Comment: Who knew one had to go to mouth of the Mississippi River to learn about the House of Representative and the challenges facing the state. Some of these leges are going into their 6th year and they still don’t understand what they are supposed to be doing.

Press Release: The group discussed the economic impact the river has on Louisiana, dredging issues, and coastal erosion. They also toured the coast and the river, and heard from the governors new chief of staff, Paul Rainwater.

Translation: The group traveled down the river to get to the great fishing grounds along the coast. Rainwater gave us our marching orders from Bobby Jindal.

The junketeers are the same leges who said it would be waste of money to hold a special session to find revenues to reduce healthcare cuts. That’s like calling a lunch meeting at Ruth’s Chris to discuss hunger in the state.

I guess we should be thankful they didn’t go to Venice, Italy to study house raising.

C.B.