Posts Tagged 'Bobby Jindal'

Happy 4th :)

Sorry I’ve been out of pocket for a few days…life happens, I suppose.

The heat surrounded the legislative pay raise has, of course, died down since Governor Bobby Jindal vetoed the bill.  Since then, both recall petitions filed against PBJ have been withdrawn.  It appears that the effort to recall Speaker Tucker at www.recallpayraisetucker.com has also been withdrawn.  The www.recallmichot.com site has been turned into a watch-dog organization to keep a very close eye on Mike Michot.  Recall Them All still seems to be up and running, but with the individual recalls withdrawn, I don’t really see much coming out of that.

Congratulations to all the people of Louisiana, and thank you to those who made phone calls, sent angry letters, and made your voice heard to our elected officials.  Though this whole process was stressful and frustrating for most of us, I hope it has shown us all that we can make a difference in our state government…as corny as that sounds 😉

R&R’ing,

-Your friendly neighborhood blogger

13 days…

…and yes, we plan on dragging this out until July 8!  Governor PBJ (my new favorite nick name…get it?  Piyush Bobby Jindal!) had a nice little press conference yesterday from which we can gather the following gems:

“I would probably be the most popular person in modern polling history if I did that (veto the bill), but I don’t want to give the Legislature any excuse to slow down our reforms.”

-Governor Bobby Jindal

Now, every sane person who heard/read this should say the same thing: Huh?  Note to Melissa Sellers: if you want Bobby to keep copping out of the veto, fine…but for goodness’ sake, please re-write his responses.  They make less and less sense as the days go by…

Bobby also made a trip up to Shreveport for the ceremonial signing of SB 87, which is the bill everyone should be really happy about but we’re all just too pissed off about the pay raise to care.  Thanks to Moon Griffon, about 15-20 protestors showed up holding signs that read “VETO PAY RAISE…YOU PROMISED” and “VETO, and represent the people who cast their vote for you”  (Check out the Shreveport Times pics).  But the picture below is my absolute favorite:

 

Now THAT is classic.

Moving on to other news, State Representative Regina Ashford Barrow has been making news…or rather, her son has.  James Barrow, the 21-year-old son of the Representative, was arrested last week in connection with the fatal shooting of Brent Cole, a church musician from DeQuincy.  One of Mr. Barrow’s friends was arrested too…Michael Smith, Jr., 20-years-old.

 

James Barrow

 

Michael Smith, Jr.

Brent Cole

The wonderful thing about this story, though, is that Barrow’s bond was set, at the request of James Barrow’s family (aka, Representative Barrow and company…) at $100K, while his friend Mr. Smith’s bond was set at $250K.  Hm.  Too bad for Smith that his mommy isn’t a legislator too.  Then, on Friday, Barrow gets released from prison and put under house arrest under certain conditions; one of those being that he has to submit to random drug tests.  Well, he flunked.  Yesterday, in fact.  So now they’re both back in prison.  Story developing…

14 days…

We’re at the 2-week mark in the countdown to the Legislative Pay Raise being passed into law without the Governor’s signature.  But now that Sine Die has come around, I’ll try to outline some of the key pieces of legislation that have come and gone in the 2008 Regular Legislative Session.

The first fuss of the session was over SB 6, by Senator Edwin Murray, which proposed an official state cocktail.  Not only that, but it was a crappy cocktail that no one had ever heard of!  I mean, sheesh…could’ve at least been the Hurricane or something 😉  So anywho, SB 6 actually passed but was slightly altered.  See, now, the Sazerac is just the official cocktail of New Orleans, not the whole state.  Fantastic.

Moving right along, there was some discussion about HB 199 by Representative Ernest Wooton, which would’ve allowed permit holders to carry concealed weapons on college campuses.  But, after some stern words from state college officials and a lot of dissent from Louisiana legislators, nothing became of it.

Trying to stay positive, we come to SB 87, by freshman Senator Buddy Shaw, which effectively repealed the Stelly Tax Plan that everyone pretty much hated.  Three cheers for Buddy Shaw and for the Jindal administration finally deciding to back this $300-million tax break for the people of Louisiana.

More good news, HB 321 by Representative Don Trahan, has also been sent to the Governor and is waiting for his signature.  This is a nice, mild school choice victory that will raise the limitation on charter school proposals from 42 to 70.

Another happy note, HB 715 by Representative Brett Geymann has been sent to the Governor.  This bill, which I’ve absolutely loved all session, will effectively opt the state of Louisiana out of the Real ID Act of 2005.  Real ID is a pretty bad idea, though I don’t think it’s the Apocalypse that it’s been described as.  If you want to read more about it, check out www.realnightmare.org.  Kudos to Representative Geymann for his initiative on this issue.

And now, for the major upset of the session that everyone’s so pissed about, the Legislative Pay Raise.  SB 672, by Senator Ann “Mercedes” Duplessis, has of course been passed and sent to the Governor.  Bobby Jindal continues to refuse to veto the legislation, but also will not sign it.  There’s been such an uproar of negative press towards the Governor that it’s even making national news now.  I would, of course, urge the Governor to veto the bill for the sake of his political future.  However you want to take action (because you undoubtedly do), your options are certainly not limited.  You can check out the plethora of recall petitions and websites that have been formed in response to SB 672:

Oh, and just googling “Louisiana legislative pay raise” is pretty fun, too.  In conclusion, let’s all read these fun quotes (courtesy of AP) from our fun elected officials from this very fun legislative session that we’ve all so enjoyed, and laugh/cry together!

“I’ve never inhaled. I’ve never used any illegal drugs. I’m as clean as they come.”

-Rep. Walker Hines, D-New Orleans, responding to questions about what prompted his bill to toughen restrictions on smoking in cars while children are inside.

 

“This is probably the best committee in the Senate. We don’t have a lawyer on it.”

-Sen. Joe McPherson, D-Woodworth, during a meeting of the Senate Transportation Committee.

 

“I have really learned that you guys are not just friends but family, and when one hurts, everybody hurts. And I just want you to know how much I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. This is going to be, I believe, a very long road for us.”

-Rep. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, thanking legislators for their support since her son was arrested last week in connection with a fatal shooting in Baton Rouge three months ago.

Okay, these two go together:

“Can we just randomly ignore rules in the House?”

-Rep. Jeff Arnold, D-New Orleans, asking House Speaker Jim Tucker whether the House sidesteps its own rules of order. That suggestion was made by another lawmaker.

“No sir, we’re not the Senate.”

-Tucker, R-Terrytown, replied.

 

 “In my experience, a good bill takes two or three years to pass. The bad ones we seem to pass the first time we see them.”

-Sen. John Alario, D-Westwego.

And my personal favorite:

“I’d challenge this young man to a battle of wits, but I don’t fight unarmed people.”

-Rep. Ernest Wooton, R-Belle Chasse, complaining about a newspaper columnist who wrote in opposition to one of his bills.

 

Rather amused and in a good mood now,

-Your friendly neighborhood blogger

18 days…

…left until SB 672 (which everyone already knows is the Legislative Pay Raise bill) becomes law without the Governor’s signature.  I watched an interview with Bobby on WWL-TV, which you can see here.  In it, he once more stated his 3-point response to the questions of “Why won’t you veto the bill?”  Except this time he said it like…6 times.  It became rather obvious that he wasn’t going to stray from his nice little minute and 30 seconds of excuses that his staff has obviously worked very hard on.  The three points, which we should all know by heart by now, are:

  1. Bobby Jindal is against the pay raise, and sees it as excessive
  2. Bobby Jindal thinks that, if he was in favor of a pay raise, which he isn’t, then it shouldn’t take effect until next session.
  3. Bobby Jindal will not veto the pay raise, even though he’s very against it in the above two ways.

 

Okay, then.  Thanks for the newsflash, Governor Jindal.  As Bill Wilson of The Daily Grind put it,

“Here’s an idea: If you’re opposed to the pay raise, why not veto it?”

A little confused,

-Your friendly neighborhood blogger

The 20-day Death March…

…began yesterday.  SB 672, which would more than double legislative pay, has been sitting on the Governor’s desk for a day now.  If he continues to let it sit, which looks like his plan, it will become law without his signature on July 8.  Which means…we have 19 days left to either get Jindal to veto it or get the legislators to “reverse” it.  And honestly, those options aren’t looking so hot for us.  But, you can try one/both if you like.  Bombarding Jindal’s office with calls, emails, and letters will be fun, even if it’s not effective.

Mailing address:

PO Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004

Phone:

225-342-7015 or 866-366-1121 (Toll Free)

Or email the Governor here.

Trying really hard to be optimistic,

-Your friendly neighborhood blogger

 

Louisiana’s New State Bird.

“Louisiana has a new state bird.  Its no longer the pelican, but the middle finger.”

-Moon Griffon, in reference to the Louisiana legislature voting themselves a more than 200% pay raise.

 

We couldn’t have said it any better, Mr. Griffon.  Seems like we’ve been getting that particular bird a lot these days…usually from our elected officials.  First came the finger from legislators like Senator Ann “Mercedes” Duplessis, who proposed a 3x increase in her own (and all the other legislators’) salary.  A certain concerned citizen was so kind as to snap this picture of Senator Duplessis’ lovely new black Mercedes Benz:

 

$75,300

Senator Ann “Mercedes” Duplessis’ shiny black Mercedes Benz.  MSRP: $75,300

Picking up on the idea, another concerned citizen saw our House Speaker Pro Temp Karen Carter Peterson’s beautiful silver Jaguar XJ8, sitting on the street in New Orleans:

 

Speaker Pro Temp Karen Carter Peterson’s pretty silver Jaguar XJ8.  MSRP: $59,995

As Brian McNabb from the Louisiana Action Council noted:

“We do not know the exact percentage of Louisiana drivers who cruise around in a Mercedes Benz but we are guessing that the percentage of Louisiana workers that have the power to triple their own salary is… little to none.”

Next, we get the finger from Speaker of the House, Jim Tucker.  Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought Jim Tucker was a Republican, and a conservative, too.  But, that label apparently changes when his own salary comes into play.  Our good friend Chad Rogers of The Dead Pelican describes Speaker Tucker’s hypocrisy pretty well:

“How  perfect in describing Republican House Speaker Jim Tucker. For he is indeed a man with no apparent conviction, who is trying to  sell a contradiction. The contradiction is that he has  paraded himself as both a fiscal conservative who demands responsible spending, and a man who joyfully praises a left-leaning Democrat for sponsoring a bill that increases legislators’ pay and thereby increases government spending.

Apparently, Tucker is against any increase in government spending that does not suit his own narrow selfish interest.”

And THEN, Speaker Tucker had the gall to call out bloggers who posted pictures (hehe…) of Senator Duplessis’ Mercedes!  Tisk, tisk, Speaker Tucker.  That’s not the behavior of someone who supposedly represents the will of not only the people of his own district, but the people of the entire state of Louisiana.

Since SB 672 passed finally out of the Senate on Monday with a 20-18 vote, it looks like both the House and Senate have decided to completely ignore the will of the people and the thousands of outraged phone calls, letters, and emails that went in to the capitol in the past few weeks, and instead have decided to give us all the finger.  It would seem that our last hope is our reform-minded Governor, Bobby Jindal, who also ran on a platform of strong ethics and conservative fiscal planning.  But he, too, has flipped the people of Louisiana off for the time being, using the outrageous cop-out of letting the legislature “govern themselves”.

These are sad times, folks.  Check up on how your Senator and Representative voted on this horrendous piece of legislation.  Thank the good guys, and don’t re-elect the bad ones.  As for the Governor, I’m still speechless on the topic.  Do what you must, but do NOT forget this when elections come around in 2011.

 

Disappointed and disgusted,

-Your friendly neighborhood blogger