Do Jindal’s absences make any difference? Tuesday, Feb 24 2015 

jindal-smoking-cigar

Is he really missed?

Reporter Mark Ballard reports that Bobby Jindal was absent from Louisiana for almost half of 2014. ( Story here.)  Other than the extra cost to taxpayers for his security details, I’m not sure being absent from the state is necessarily a bad thing.

The time Jindal is in Louisiana is spent traveling around the state doing photo-ops and handing out checks, many of which are from the Federal government. Jindal cut ribbons for new businesses underwritten by taxpayer funds that may or may not actually open. He does the same for existing businesses that may or may not expand and would have done so even without the taxpayers’ dollars.  Jindal practices the opposite of Free Enterprise by favoring some businesses over their in-state competitors.

Early initiatives

Jindal’s first initiative upon assuming office as governor in 2008 was passing the “Gold Standards of Ethic.”  The result was to bifurcate, increase the standard of proof for conviction and to generally eviscerate ethics enforcement in Louisiana.

Then, Jindal also led an effort to allegedly make state government more transparent.  The result was to make the governor’s office the least transparent in the United States.

Next Jindal pushed the leges to increase the constitutionally-imposed state spending limits by $1.1 Billion in order to spend a $1.1 Billion surplus he had inherited from Gov. Kathleen Blanco.  That initiative is a singular factor in the state’s structural budget deficit that has now reached at least $1.6 Billion.

Common Core initiative

Jindal supported an overhaul of the members of BESE for one purpose.   He wanted BESE to hire his his hand-picked Superintendent of Education, John White.  Job one for White was to implement Common Core for Elementary and Secondary education.  BESE and White did exactly Jindal told them to do.  Then the political winds changed and Jindal flip-flopped.   He is now leading a national effort to stop Common Core’s implementation not only in Louisiana, but in the entire nation.

OGB initiative

Without lege approval, Jindal “privatized” the state employees’ health insurance program.  The result of which was to reduce $500 Million in reserves to below $200 Million.  As a result, state employees’ premiums and employers’ (we taxpayers) portion of the premiums have dramatically increased while benefits have dramatically decreased.  That trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

Pension reform initiative

Then there was Jindal’s effort to address the crisis in state pension plans.  Only one minor piece of legislation in his package passed, but was found by the La. Supreme Court to have been unconstitutionally-passed.

Subsequently, Jindal led a surreptitious, unconstitutional, effort to give an extra $55,000 increase in retirement benefits to State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson.   The legislation was shot down by the first court that looked at it and was not even appealed.

Tax reform initiative

Another of Jindal’s initiatives was to “reform” the state tax structure.  It consisted of  eliminating the Personal Income Tax by increasing the State Sales Tax and shifting the tax burden to businesses.  The plan was so poorly thought-out that Jindal was forced to abandon the plan on the first day of the lege session.

Are we better off?

The above are just a sample of the initiatives which occurred when Jindal was in the state and exercising his brand of hands-on management.

As we look forward to the impending budget disaster in our state, I cannot help but look back and wonder if Jindal had been less involved whether the citizens of Louisiana wouldn’t be better off.

Most people that I talk to can’t wait until Bobby’s no longer governor.

What do you think?

C.B.

 

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill
 

Jindal deserves credit Monday, Feb 23 2015 

Jindal at House Podium

Leading and motivating

Bobby Jindal is not the type of person to claim credit for all of his accomplishments.  Such is one, recently, whereby he not only led by example, but provided motivation.

According to a Gallup poll, in 2014 Louisiana tied Alabama for third place in frequency of church attendance by our citizens.

To date, Bobby has not acknowledged the credit he is due for this achievement.  We’ve not seen as much as a press release from this humble man.

For years, Bobby has been leading for example.  On many an early Sunday morning he has quietly board a State Police helicopter to attend church services in North Louisiana and elsewhere.  That’s leading by example.

In addition, Bobby has proved to be a great motivator for church attendance in the ways he carries out his secular duties as governor.  His handling of the state’s finances, alone, has been a tremendous motivation for church attendance.

This motivation manifests itself daily as I hear people say:  “All we have left to save our state colleges and healthcare institutions is prayer.”

As one, who on occasion, has disagreed with Bobby on policy initiatives, it is only fair that I point out his accomplishments.  This ranking puts Louisiana near the top of one of the “good lists” for which we strive.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledged part the leges played in this accomplishment.  If they had not supported and enacted Bobby’s fiscal initiatives, the motivation for regular church-going would not be nearly as intense.

Please join me in giving Bobby the credit he is due for providing the leadership and motivation to attend church regularly and for finally giving us a national ranking for which we can be proud.

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill

Leges wishing to opt-out of mailings Thursday, Feb 19 2015 

First Amendment

 

State Senator Danny Martiny recently made this demand of me: “Take me off your list until u do something positive about anyone.”

Martiny’s reference was to my emailing list to members of the La. Lege, other public servants and subscribers.  My periodic mailings address issues of concern to me primarily about state and local government.

The mailings are sent to each lege via a public email server owned by the taxpayers.  The address to which it is sent is also provided by the taxpayers.

After a gentle reminder, Martiny, an attorney, subsequently  acknowledged his awareness of the provisions of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

A public service announcement

Other leges may not be as familiar with the First Amendment as is Martiny.   As a public service, here is some background on the First Amendment which leges might find useful in dealing with members of the public.

The First Amendment states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. (Emphasis Mine.)

Portions of the First Amendment have been interpreted as follows:

“The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government.” (Emphasis Mine.) Source: Legal Information Institute of Cornell University Law School.

“The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances guarantees people the right to ask the government to provide relief for a wrong through the courts (litigation) or other governmental action.” (Emphasis Mine.) Ibid.

Contacting leges

Not only do we have a right to contact the leges regarding matters of government, they are prohibited from interfering with our exercise of that right.  That includes the blocking of emails as some leges have done in the past.

Opt out provision

Any lege not wishing to receive my communications, please forward me a copy of your letter of resignation from the lege and you will be promptly removed from all future mailings.

C.B.

 

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill

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