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Archive for the ‘Budget’ Category

By Dayne Sherman

Special to LouisianaVoice 

Louisiana is Ground Zero for political scandals. From U.S. Rep. Bill Jefferson’s “cold cash” saga to U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s unanswered allegations of payroll fraud at LSU, the state knows how to lead the country in at least one statistic: corruption.

One writer devised his own method of ranking states by corruption and guess who was number one?

Here’s a hint: http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/ranking-the-states-from-most-to-least-corrupt/

Even our new House Whip, Steve Scalise, who describes himself as “David Duke without the baggage,” has become an international disgrace for speaking to a neo-Nazi group 12 years ago while he was a state representative.

A quote attributed to Pericles 2400 years ago is still true: “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” Indeed, these political scandals are at the expense of Louisiana citizens. They matter. We pay the price for wayward politicians and their blinding ambition. This lust for power is equal only to their lust for “other things,” as Sen. David Vitter seems to be chief among sinners.

On Jan. 9, Louisiana House Speaker Chuck Kleckley came out like Clint Eastwood in a western flick, standing up tall to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s latest plan to cut $370 million from Louisiana higher education. He says he won’t back the budget plan. But let’s be clear-minded. Kleckley is Jindal’s paramour. He has done and will continue to do whatever the governor tells him to do or he’ll lose his speakership.

This is all political theater, a cruel PR scheme to help Kleckley win election as State Treasurer. Recall, Louisiana higher education has been cut by over $700 million since Jindal took office, the deepest cuts of any state in the country. Other states are investing in colleges and universities post-recession, and we are not.

Kleckley’s recently found courage when the state faces a $300 million deficit this year and 1.4 billion next fiscal year starting July 1, is a fake news story. Jindal’s conservative principles haven’t worked. On the contrary, they’ve been a disaster aided and abetted by lapdogs in the Legislature. Make no mistake, the greatest hypocrite among them is Kleckley.

The bayou budgetary apocalypse is coming. Get ready.

At the same time, President Obama has announced a truly bold new plan to give all Americans two years of free community college. Clearly, the best news of 2015.

Upon hearing this great news, a number of Louisiana’s college and university “leaders” (They’re paid to be leaders but are mostly sycophants in leisure suits.) began to question the details. Why aren’t they excited? Don’t educators want nothing more than to educate? Don’t they need students? Well, their master Jindal is against everything good—or bad—that Obama wants. The “leaders” answer to Jindal. These rascals served as cheerleaders for Jindal’s foolish WISE Fund, a mere pittance, but they became skeptics over the real deal.

How will we fund a community college education for all Americans? I’d say having ended two wars, one in Iraq and the other in Afghanistan, will do it. We can save trillions by staying out of endless international conflicts. No need to raise taxes. Let’s just stop blowing up other countries and then rebuilding them on the taxpayers’ dime.

I believe nothing could be better for America and the world than investing in Americans. Jindal has shown through $700 million in cuts to Louisiana higher education, and another $370 million before he’s through, that he doesn’t believe investing in our state is good for his long-term political career.

Obama, on the other hand, believes investing in Americans is good for the country. Fortunately, Jindal will never be able to bring to the nation the disasters he’s brought to Louisiana. He’ll never be President.

[Dayne Sherman’s new novel is Zion. Signed first editions available from the author. His political blog is www.TalkAboutTheSouth.com.]

 

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In the four years of our existence, LouisianaVoice has poked fun at, criticized, questioned and challenged Gov. Bobby Jindal on a number of issues and finally, it has come down to the harsh reality that forces us to say what we have refrained, out of respect for the office, from saying thus far:

Bobby Jindal is a fool.

Of course we’re going to get some push back for making such a disrespectful comment about the man elected—twice—to be the chief executive officer for the State of Louisiana. Yes, we’ve called him silly and an embarrassment in the past, but his performance in London goes far beyond embarrassing.

His little tantrum at the National Governors’ Conference luncheon a year ago was an embarrassment to Louisiana; his performance in London yesterday evoked memories of Wisconsin Republican Sen. Joe McCarthy’s claim in Wheeling, West Virginia on Feb. 9, 1950, that he had a list with the names of more than 200 “known communists” employed by the State Department. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/mccarthy-says-communists-are-in-state-department

Jindal seems hell-bent on out-cruzing Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz with his outlandish claim in his speech to the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), named ironically enough, for the late U.S. Sen. Henry Jackson, a Washington Democrat.

A little background on the Henry Jackson Society is in order here.

Created in 2005, HJS purported to offer a forum for those who believed that any form of totalitarianism required a hardline response—either diplomatic or military.

The HJS Associate Director is a man named Douglas Murray, who also is a columnist for The Spectator and Standpoint. The Spectator, a conservative magazine is Britain’s oldest continuous publication, dating back to 1828 and owned by David and Frederick Barclay. The lesser-known Standpoint was founded in 2008.

Much like their Republican counterparts in the colonies, the Barclay brothers, who also own the London Telegraph, have been accused of avoiding taxes by placing their assets under the ownership of offshore companies and controlled through trusts.

But back to HJS Director Murray, who in March of 2013 wrote an article in Standpoint in which he lamented the fact that “white Britons” were in the minority in 23 of London’s 33 boroughs (this is starting to sound eerily familiar). http://standpointmag.co.uk/node/4868/ful

Concern over the growing divisiveness of the strident organization was such that two months later, the Guardian editorialized that Britain’s Labour Party should cut ties with HJS. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/may/20/labour-cut-ties-henry-jackson-society

Fast forward to January of 2015 and Louisiana’s governor, who has problems back home sufficient to keep him in Baton Rouge, i.e. a budget deficit that grows daily, deep cuts pending for health care and higher education, controversy over the proposed open burning of 15 tons of munitions in Minden, crumbling state infrastructure, looming $180 million bill from Medicaid/Medicare over his hospital privatization deal, and a fast-approaching legislative session at which hard decisions will have to be made. Instead, he chooses to traipse off to London to give an inflammatory speech chock full of inaccuracies and misconceptions.

Ostensibly on a state-sponsored economic development trip (meaning taxpayers pick up the tab for his travel, lodging and meals as well as his support staff and state police security detail), he nevertheless manages to squeeze in an address meant to appeal to his rabid right wing supporters back home as he continues his quest to at least show up in David Letterman’s Top Ten List of Why Bobby Jindal Never Shows Up in the Top Ten List of GOP Presidential Hopefuls. The sad truth (for Jindal, that is) is that he doesn’t even rate a mention in any such Letterman list.

So, what, exactly, did he say that registered an 11.2 on the 10-point Richter scale of Political Absurdities?

Only that there were areas in Europe where non-Muslims are not allowed and radical Islamic law is allowed to override local law. He calls them “no-go zones.”

But when he said, “Non-assimilationist Muslims establish enclaves and carry out as much of Sharia law as they can without regard for the laws of the democratic countries which provided them a new home,” Jindal got it all wrong. When he added, “It is startling to think that any country would allow, even unofficially, for a so- called ‘no-go zone,” he got it all wrong.

“I’ve heard from folks here that there are neighborhoods where women don’t feel comfortable going in without veils. That’s wrong. We all know that there are neighborhoods where police are less likely to go into,” Jindal told CNN. “I think that the radical left absolutely wants to pretend like this problem is not here. Pretending it’s not here won’t make it go away.”

http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog/2015/01/19/bobby-jindal-sticks-no-go-zone-talking-point-london-speech/

He got that all wrong, too.

That’s all wrong as in Joe McCarthy’s outrageous—and unsubstantiated—claims that ultimately hastened his political demise.

When challenged by CNN, Jindal was undaunted: “I think your viewers know absolutely there are places where the police are less likely to go. They absolutely know there are neighborhoods where they wouldn’t feel comfortable.”

When asked by CNN if that was because of crime and not because of a concentration of Muslims, our governor said, “This isn’t a question.” He stuck to his guns, saying the left “wants to make this into an attack on religion and that’s not what this is. It’s absolutely an issue for the UK, absolutely is an issue for America and other European and Western nations.”

He “absolutely” repeated his “no-go zone” claims, throwing in a few more absolutelies in the process, later in the day during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEjlHY2caIs#t=48

Jindal even managed to evoke the “American exceptionalism” claim in the Blitzer interview—while standing on a busy street corner….in London, no less. The only thing absolutely missing was a court jester’s hat for Jindal to wear for the CNN interview.

The problem is he got his information from Faux News which later issued corrections that there was “no credible information” that such “no-go zones” exist in France or Europe.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/01/18/fox-news-corrects-apologizes-for-no-go-zone-remarks/

Lest one think his London speech was not “political,” Jindal even managed to slip in attacks on Hillary Clinton, apparently on the supposition that she will be his Democratic opponent in next year’s presidential election (insert chuckles, chortles and guffaws here).

The Democratic National Committee (DNC), fully cognizant of his budget problems back home in Louisiana, was quick to criticize Jindal, saying he was “just embarrassing himself now” and that he is “very interested” in being president but not so much in governing.

But we disagree with the DNC; he long ago transcended embarrassment. He embarrassed himself many years ago when he insisted on dropping his Indian first name (Piyush which, by the way is still his legal name, calling into question the legality of all documents signed as “Bobby”) in favor of adopting the name of a character on The Brady Bunch sitcom. (We still say it was his good luck that he wasn’t a fan of The Beverly Hillbillies: We just don’t believe Jethro Jindal would’ve caught on.)

He embarrassed himself when he wrote an essay for the New Oxford Review entitled “Beating a Demon: Physical Dimensions of Spiritual Warfare” about his supposed exorcism of a female classmate at Brown University.

He embarrassed himself when he gave that awful response to President Obama’s State of the Union address in 2009.

He embarrassed himself when he insisted against all expert engineering advice to the contrary on building those $250 million sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico in an unsuccessful attempt to stem the flow from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill onto the Louisiana coast—unsuccessful because the berms washed away in a matter of days, sinking tens of thousands of dollars of cranes and bulldozers with them.

He embarrassed himself when he, a Roman Catholic, went to all those Protestant churches in north Louisiana during his first term to speak about his “born again” conversion to Christianity—while aides were passing around forms for congregation members to complete with their names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses for future political contribution solicitations (it’s illegal to solicit campaign contributions in the church itself).

No, he didn’t embarrass himself this time. Oh, that he had only limited the damage to embarrassment.

Instead, he showed himself to the world to be the fool he really is and in the process, made the citizens of this state who twice elected him, appear as hysterical, hate-mongering David Duke and Joe McCarthy disciples of demagoguery.

And for that, we should all be embarrassed—or worse, humiliated.

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It’s a good thing Gov. Bobby Jindal doesn’t have Vince Lombardi as a boss.

Whenever one of his players became prone to fumbling, the legendary coach would make the player carry a football everywhere with him—when he was eating or sleeping or even in the bathroom—as a reminder to hold onto the ball.

Jindal would look silly sillier having to carry a copy of the state budget with him everywhere he went.

But it would be an appropriate punishment for the way he has fumbled the state’s finances throughout his administration. To simply blame falling oil prices is the worst cop-out. He is now into his eighth year in office and he has had a budget crisis every year—and this is the first time since he took office that oil prices have experienced a major drop.

The fact is, Bobby Jindal is simply inept and an embarrassment to the state that has had more than its share of embarrassments.

After sell-offs of state property, privatization of state agencies, wholesale layoffs of state employees, raids on Office of Group Benefits reserve funds, devastating cuts to higher education and health care, and cutting state contracts, we now learn that at least one agency—there most likely will be others to follow—is instituting an employee furlough plan that will result in employees losing about a month’s pay projected over a 12-month period. Hopefully, the furloughs will last only through the end of the fiscal year (June 30).

Secretary of State Tom Shedler announced today (Jan. 14) that yet another proposed $3.8 million mid-year budget cut for his agency by the administration will force the implementation of an agency-wide furlough beginning next week. He said he has been advised to prepare an impact statement to the Division of Administration (DOA) by Friday outlining how the reduction would be facilitated.

“This level of reduction this late in the fiscal year is truly daunting,” Shedler said. “After holding the largest election our state has seen in decades just this past fall, my office’s resources are down to the bone. The administration is asking for us to give up bone marrow and it is extremely painful. You can’t cut enough pens, pencils and travel allowances to get to this number.”

Schedler shared the budget numbers with his senior staff Wednesday morning, telling them that if the Secretary of State’s office receives an executive order calling for the cuts, he will immediately seek Civil Service approval of a furlough to begin next Tuesday (Jan. 20), or soon thereafter.

Once approved, all Secretary of State employees, both classified and unclassified (including Schedler), will be required to take one day off per pay period (state pay periods are every two weeks, meaning that over a full year, employees would be required to take off 26 days, or nearly a full month, without pay) through the rest of the fiscal year.

If the furloughs last only through June 30, that would mean about two weeks’ lost pay to employees, still better than the previous Jindal method of wholesale layoffs.

“Furlough days will be staggered throughout the agency so that office hours can be maintained for the public,” Schedler said.

He said the one-day-per-pay-period furlough plan would produce an anticipated savings of $1.1 million through June 30. The administration has requested $2.6 million in state general funds that otherwise would be used for elections, he said. The remaining balance would be achieved from various savings in operational costs. With primary and runoff elections for governor scheduled for this year, $2.6 million would be a lot for the office to absorb.

“I recognize that this kind of reduction is unsustainable in the long run,” he said. “So, as I have my entire career, I plan to be fiscally responsible. As we await an executive order and Civil Service approval, immediate action was necessary to maximize savings while continuing to look for a more permanent solution if the budget picture does not improve.”

Secretary of State Press Secretary Meg Casper added that some state museums may have to close additional days in order to meet the required spending cuts.

Casper said has not heard how other state agencies will handle the pending executive order from Jindal to reduce spending but an official of one other agency, asked if he knew of the pending executive order, replied, “Oh, yeah. It’s coming…and going to be brutal.”

Of course, as the fiscal crisis worsens in Louisiana, Jindal is nowhere to be found. The last we heard, he was planning to bash Hillary Clinton in a speech in London next week—before returning to his home base of Iowa.

We’re as yet unclear on how the London speech relates to Louisiana’s fiscal woes. Maybe it’s just us, but it seems he was elected governor of Louisiana and should be in Baton Rouge minding the store—especially when it seems the store is going bankrupt.

 

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We really don’t like clichés and while it may be the pot calling the kettle black, a rose by any other name should be avoided like the plague. And at the end of the day, we like to think outside the box and avoid the low hanging fruit.

But the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Take, for example, the latest twist in the saga of Walter Monsour, erstwhile Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority (RDA), an agency responsible for the redevelopment of blighted areas of East Baton Rouge Parish.

The problem was that RDA was operating on a shoestring budget of $847,000 and from that meager allocation, Monsour was drawing down $365,000 in salary and benefits—about 43 percent of the agency’s total budget.

On top of that, his son’s law firm was getting about $190,000 in contract payments from firms that received contract payments from RDA.

Mayor-President Kip Holden had earlier rejected RDA’s request for $3 million in funding from the city-parish and funding from federal tax credit programs had been drying up.

Under fire for his salary, Monsour resigned in November. In his resignation letter, he said he made his decision to leave in order to “extend the financial life of the RDA.”

Of course that’s not the end of the story. Things just don’t end that way in the realm of Louisiana politics and the politically connected.

Monsour, it turns out, has landed on his feet. He has been hired by CSRS, Inc., a self-described firm of engineers, architects, planners, surveyors and fund-sourcing experts.

Monsour joins the Baton Rouge-based firm’s “senior leadership team” and will lead a newly-formed private sector development business unit, according to an announcement by CSRS.

If the name CSRS seems familiar, perhaps it’s because we included them in our recent post about state contracts and campaign contributions to Gov. Bobby Jindal.

In that post, we discussed Jindal’s executive order to cut back on state contracts and speculated whether or not those cuts would apply to those who contributed generously to his various political campaigns.

We noted that CSRS had a $5 million contract with the state—to provide landman services on an “as-needed” basis—and that the company and its principals had contributed $10,000 to Jindal.

Well, that’s not entirely accurate. It turns out CSRS has been awarded 11 contracts totaling $15.2 million during Jindal’s administration and the campaign contributions total $20,000.

There were, besides the $5 million contract, which began on July 1, 2013 and will end on June 30, 2016, two others which combined to account for the bulk of that $15.2 million.

The first was a contract with the Office of Coastal Restoration for $4.1 million that ran from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2011 that called for the firm to “augment” existing professional engineering staff. Upon expiration, it was immediately renewed for $4.2 million.

As for Monsour, he may have been thrown under the bus but he’s got his game face on and it looks like a win-win situation for him as he steps up to the plate with his boots on the ground for this cash cow and you can bet he won’t leave any money on the table.

And that’s the elephant in the room.

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Having laid off about all the personnel he can, after cutting higher education and health care to the bone, and after selling all the state property he can and privatizing state agencies and hospitals to benefit political allies, Gov. Bobby Jindal has finally turned to his only recourse in making even deeper cuts in the state budget to cover an ever-widening deficit: state contracts.

Meanwhile, LouisianaVoice has learned that a Jindal “policy advisor” recently appointed as an Assistant Secretary at the Department of Environmental Quality will remain in that post only about nine months before enrolling in law school.

Chance McNeely, who has served as a $65,000-a-year policy analyst for the governor’s office since last March, began in his new position of Assistant Secretary for Environmental Compliance this month but is already making plans to leave.

Jindal, you may recall, has issued two hiring freezes and two expenditure reductions and even issued a directive last April that “no agency use employee transfers, promotions, reallocations or the creation of new positions in such a manner as to exceed a ceiling” imposed by the administration.

State Treasurer John Kennedy and others have been calling on the governor to cut contract expenses across the board as a means of saving money for the state but those calls have largely been ignored by Jindal who no doubt will now claim this decision as his own.

The state issued 3,576 contracts or contract amendments in Fiscal Year 2014 (July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014) totaling a little more than $3.6 billion, according to figures provided by the Office of Contractual Review.

The Office of Group Benefits accounted for 17 contracts totaling nearly $1.5 billion, the most of any state agency. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana has a $1.1 billion contract to administer the health benefits program for state employees, retirees and dependents, which accounts for most of that $1.5 billion figure.

The governor’s office, through the Division of Administration, was second highest with 807 contracts or amendments costing more than $744.2 million.

The Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) normally has the highest amount of active contracts in terms of value at any given time, but the 730 contracts/amendments approved by DHH during Fy-14 accounted for $454.9 million, third highest among state agencies.

In fiscal 2007 (July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007), the year before Jindal took office, there were 6,621 active contracts totaling $3.3 billion, up from the $2 billion in contracts during the 2005-06 (FY-07) fiscal year because of hurricanes Katrina and Rita that year. The next year’s total increased to $4.72 billion. Jindal took office in January of 2008, halfway through that fiscal year. In and to $5 billion in FY-2008-09. The number of contracts decreased from 7,286 to 6,781 that year but the cumulative amount of those contracts increased to $5 billion.

The number of state contracts continued to decline through the 2013-14 fiscal year but they increased to a high of $6.55 billion in 2011-12 even though the actual number of contracts continued to decrease to fewer than 4,800.

Across the board cuts will most likely not work as some state contracts necessarily must remain intact. Those would include contracts funded in whole or part by federal dollars in such areas as highway construction, Medicaid benefits and community development projects.

But in many other contracts it will be interesting to see if the cuts will be carried out since many of the contractors are major contributors to the campaigns of Jindal and other state politicians.

Jeez, how will the administration decide which contracts to cut?

Those contractors who don’t pony up with campaign cash are the obvious candidates.

Then there are those who give only token contributions to the governor’s political campaigns. Cuts, yes, but perhaps not so much.

But those who open up their wallets and bank accounts? No way. Gotta dance with who brung you (apologies to the late University of Texas coach Darrell Royal).

A random check by LouisianaVoice turned up 26 companies with state contracts totaling nearly $1.4 billion which, either through the companies themselves or through corporate representatives, have combined to pour more than $283,000 into one or more of Jindal’s state campaigns. That means that for every dollar contributed, the donor receives a contract of nearly $4,947. A 10 percent net profit on those contracts would mean a bottom line return of $495 for every dollar contributed—a nice investment by anyone’s standards.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some major contractors, the amount of their contracts and their campaign contributions (in parenthesis) to Jindal:

  • CSRS, Inc.: $5 million ($10,000);
  • DB Sysgraph, Inc.: $1.2 million ($5,000);
  • United Healthcare: $14.86 million ($20,000);
  • Coastal Estuary Services: $18.87 million ($18,000);
  • Vantage Health Plan: $45 million ($11,000);
  • Louisiana Health Service (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana): $1.1 billion ($7,500);
  • Alvarez & Marsal: $7.4 million ($5,000);
  • Acadian Ambulance: $4.3 million (13 contracts) ($15,000);
  • Van Meter & Associates: $8.7 million ($17,500);
  • Fitzgerald Contractors: $655,400 ($2,500);
  • Global Data Systems: $1.74 million ($5,000);
  • Sides & Associates: $4.4 million ($6,000);
  • GCR, Inc.: $10 million ($2,000);
  • GCI Technologies & Solutions: $32.5 million ($5,000);
  • SAS Institute, Inc.: $630,000 ($6,000);
  • Hammerman & Gainer, LLC: $67 million ($20,000);
  • Rodel, Parson, Koch, Blanche, Balhoff & McCollister: $3.7 million ($26,500);
  • CH2M Hill: $3 million ($13,500);
  • Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc.: $7 million ($17,500);
  • CDM Smith, Inc.: $6 million (two contracts) ($2,500);
  • Eustis Engineering Services: $3 million ($1,000);
  • Sigma Consulting: $3 million ($21,250);
  • MWH Americas, Inc.: $3 million ($5,000);
  • McGlinchey, Stafford, PLLC: $2.8 million ($17,000);
  • Faircloth, Melton & Keiser, LLC: $4.1 million ($19,000);
  • Adams & Reese, LLP: $1.33 million ($3,350);

In addition to the contributions to Jindal, four contractors also contributed to the Louisiana Republican Party: DB Sysgraph ($5,000), GCR, Inc. ($6,000), CGI Technologies and Solutions ($5,000), and Blue Cross/Blue Shield ($2,000). Blue Cross also contributed $15,500 to Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon and $2,500 to Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley (R-Lake Charles).

Vantage Health also contributed $10,000 to Donelon and $3,500 to Kleckley and United Health Care contributed $3,000 to Kleckley.

Another firm, Hunt-Guillot of Ruston, held a three-year, $20 million contract to perform grant management activities in connection to hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. That contract expired last June 30. Hunt-Guillot also held a five-month, $3 million contract in 2011 for additional grant management of recovery projects related to Katrina and Rita.

Hunt-Guillot made two contributions totaling $4,750 to Jindal’s campaign in 2007. Additionally, Hunt-Guillot principal Trot Hunt made two contributions of $2,500 each to Jindal during his 2007 campaign for governor.

And Jindal made a $5,000 campaign contribution to Hunt-Guillot principal Jay Guillot during his successful run for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2011, campaign finance records show.

As the vise tightens around Jindal, who is striving desperately to hold things together until he leaves town a year from now in his quest for the presidency, hard decisions will have to be made. He can’t keep firing employees and he’s run out of state property to sell.

After seven years, it may be in Jindal’s final year that the legislature finally stands up to his amateurish manner of handling the state’s finances. Speaker Kleckley, heretofore one of Jindal’s staunchest allies in the House, has come out publicly in opposition to any additional cuts to higher education. The Public Service Commission earlier refused to surrender its automobile fleet to Jindal who wanted to sell them at auction. It’ll be interesting to see who will be the next to grow a pair.

Jindal is rarely in the state these days and when he is, he is too busy taking potshots at President Obama and planning prayer meetings when he should be minding the store and doing the job to which he was twice elected. There is more than ample evidence by now that Jindal is having trouble holding things together by remote control.

To continue on his course of self-promotion at the expense of four million Louisiana citizens is the worst kind of duplicity and deceit and he most certainly deserves his near certain future of political obscurity.

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