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Archive for October, 2011

BATON ROUGE—He would have made 91 on November 27 had he lived until then. He didn’t.

Still, he worked right up to the end. A blood clot in his leg hospitalized him and when he was released his doctor said he could not return to work. His last day on the job was September 20. He died exactly a month later, on October 20.

James Jene (Gene) Ruffin was a retired bricklayer who couldn’t stay retired. He went back to work as a security guard, first for a Baton Rouge hospital and then for a company under contract to the State of Louisiana in the Claiborne Building, which houses the Division of Administration, the Office of Risk Management, the State Land Office, the Department of Education, the Department of Civil Service, and various other state agencies.

Because of bid laws, the contract for security shifted from firm to firm on an annual basis but whichever firm would win the contract would simply take on the employees from the previous firm. The contractor might change, but the personnel rarely did. Even when one of those firms defaulted on the guards’ paychecks and lost the contract, Mr. Ruffin stayed on. He never did get paid for those two weeks.

He was a short man who moved with all the agility and speed one might expect of a 90-year-old. That is to say he never hurried. He also was a quiet man but one who always spoke.

He and fellow guard Robert Goree became fast friends. Mr. Goree, himself in his eighties, is a native of Grambling and a graduate of Grambling State University. He is a retired teacher and often gave Mr. Ruffin a ride to work, letting him out of his car by the loading dock where one of the guard stations was located.

“I can still see him shuffling up that long ramp going into the building, taking those little steps of his,” said Mr. Goree, who was one of three people to offer a tribute to Mr. Ruffin at the funeral. The other two were grandsons.

Several employees of the Office of Risk Management were members of a coffee club with each member charged only with bringing an occasional fresh bag of Community medium roast coffee to replenish supplies. There were no monetary dues to belong to the club. Both Mr. Ruffin and Mr. Goree were honorary members, welcome to partake of coffee in the community kitchen of the Claiborne Building’s basement.

Mr. Goree always got a fresh cup in the morning. One cup, that’s all. Mr. Ruffin, who didn’t come on shift until 2 p.m. would usually come into the kitchen during the 2:30 break and pour himself a cup of what by that time of day was a syrupy sludge, more akin to number two west Texas crude than real coffee. But he drank it, nevertheless.

Those of us in the break room at 2:30 grew accustomed to checking his belt each day. There was this one belt loop that he always seemed to miss and it became something of a running joke with all of us.

But the joke may ultimately be on us. How many of us will be working at 90? Most of us, provided we make it that far, will more likely be sitting in a sun room in some rest home with a lap blanket and shoulder shawl nodding off in front of some nameless soap opera on television. But Mr. Ruffin was working.

One of fondest memories of Mr. Ruffin will be the ongoing trash talking with Mr. Goree over the Grambling-Southern rivalry. Mr. Goree loves Grambling but Mr. Ruffin lived for Southern. He never missed a game. One of his sons usually drove him to out-of-town games but for one recent game, that son was unavailable to drive him so he and another son hopped a Greyhound and rode for hours on end to an out-of-state game. That’s devotion.

He and Mr. Goree never passed up the opportunity to trade friendly insults. It was not only fun to watch, it was heartwarming. It’s a certainty that Mr. Goree is going to miss their good-natured banter and the affable rivalry in the weeks and days leading up to the annual Bayou Classic game between the two schools.

And we will both miss Mr. Ruffin.

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BATON ROUGE (CNS)—While the media was busy gushing over the “overwhelming,” “record-setting” landslide re-election victory by Gov. Bobby Jindal Saturday night and on into Sunday, they overlooked a couple of pretty important points.

Someone once said statistics are for losers. Okay, so let’s look at the statistics while we lick our wounds.

Sure, Jindal pulled down a whopping 65.8 percent of the vote. But he had a $9 million campaign budget. If you lived in Louisiana and you have a phone, you received no less than a dozen pre-recorded messages from him. Those cost money, but he had plenty.

His opponent? Well, Haynesville school teacher Tara Hollis had a campaign budget in the neighborhood of $50,000. Most of that was in the form of in-kind contributions. In actual monetary expenditures, the total was more like $18,000, so give Jindal a 500-1 advantage in available bucks. Still, she managed to account for 17.8 percent of the vote.

The official numbers show that Jindal, with a four-year track record and that $10 million war chest, tallied 673,155 votes to Hollis’s 182,808. In all, 1,022,770 people cast votes.

But let’s look back at the last two gubernatorial elections.

Four years ago, when nearly 1.3 million people voted, Jindal got 699,275 votes. But in 2003, when 1.4 million voted, he got only 676,484. That means that Jindal has basically been a standstill candidate at best, incapable of drawing more than 700,000 votes from some three million registered voters.

That’s hardly a mandate by any measure. A mandate would have been reflected in a much larger turnout than the dismal 33 percent of registered voters who cast ballots last Saturday.

A mandate would seem to dictate that he would have received more votes in this election than he did in 2003—when he lost. But he didn’t.

If he were as great as the media makes him out to be it seems he would have gained substantial strength over the past eight years. Instead, he is held to 65.8 percent of the vote against an opponent with a mere fraction of his financial resources.

In 2003, in a head-to-head contest with Kathleen Blanco, those 1.4 million voters gave Blanco 52 percent to Jindal’s 48 percent. And Blanco was no Edwin Edwards.

Let’s look at 2007 a little more closely.

Four years ago he had two candidates who poured money into their campaigns. John Georges spent $9 million (roughly the same amount as Jindal spent this year) and got 14.4 percent of the vote. Walter Boasso spent $5 million and received 17.4 percent.

Did we mention that Tara Hollis spent $18,000 this year and got 17.8 percent?

That begs the question of what might the numbers have looked like had the Democratic Party run a candidate with greater name recognition—and a larger campaign war chest.

Jindal, knowing he was a lock for re-election, was not content to merely run for governor; he threw his support—and campaign money—behind 86 legislative candidates and five candidates for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

But, it turned out much of that support—and money—was more style than substance, designed to make Jindal appear to be a wizard at handicapping elections. All one has to do is look at the track record of candidates endorsed by him in the past. A hint: he has a worse winning percentage in backing candidates than David Vitter. Ouch.

Of the 86 legislative candidates whom he endorsed, 54, or 63 percent, were unopposed. It’s pretty easy to back a winner that way. Of the remaining 32, He picked 18 winners outright (56 percent) and lost six. The remaining eight are headed for Nov. 19 runoffs.

Even more significantly, none of the incumbents targeted for defeat by Jindal lost. Repeat, none. These include Sen. Ben Nevers (D-Bogalusa), Rep. Bernard LeBas (D-Ville Platte), Rep. Robert Johnson (D-Marksville) and about a half-dozen others.

With the exception of districts in which incumbents were pitted against each other because of reapportionment, not a single statewide official or legislator running re-election was defeated. That says more for voter apathy than it does for Jindal’s ability to influence an election.

When the new legislature convenes next spring, Jindal will have 24 Republicans in the 39 Senate seats and, depending on the outcome of the November runoffs, between 54 and 62 in the House.

That means he will have a majority in both houses—but significantly, not the super (two-thirds) majority needed for him to push through certain of the major proposals he has planned for his new term.

Easy to overlook, however, is the one area in which Jindal did score major victories—BESE.

Education is at the top of Jindal’s to-do list and to that end he contributed $5,000 each to five favored BESE candidates (The legislative candidates he backed got only $2,500 each). Three of those won, another lost, and the fifth, District 6 incumbent Chas Roemer, is in a surprise runoff with Democrat Donald Songy.

Jindal was successful in BESE District 5 where Jay Guillot of Ruston unseated incumbent Keith Guice of Monroe, thanks in part to an influx of Jindal cash and a vicious attack campaign by Guillot. Guillot, it should be noted is a principal in the Ruston engineering firm Hunt Guillot & Assoc. (HGA) that has contracts with the state totaling nearly $17 million. The firm, along with partner Trott Hunt, was a major contributor to Jindal’s campaign.

Guillot has said he will seek a ruling from the State Board of Ethics on whether or not he can serve on BESE and contract with the state. He had ample opportunity to seek such an opinion in the months leading up to the election, but did not avail himself of that opportunity.

Roemer has his own ethics issues because of his repeated votes on matters involving charter schools. His sister, Caroline Roemer Shirley, is executive director of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools. She has already been directed by the ethics board not to participate in discussions of charter school matters coming before BESE because of her relationship with Chas Roemer. That, however, has not deterred him from voting on those same matters.

Republican Jim Garvey of Metairie, a Jindal endorsement, won the District 1 BESE seat as did another Jindal endorsement, Holly Boffy, a Republican from Youngsville, who easily won in District 7.

Ironically, Glenny Lee C. Buquet, the only Democrat whom Jindal backed financially for a BESE seat, lost to Republican Lottie Polozola Beebe.

If Roemer wins his runoff with Songy, Jindal will be all but unstoppable in his efforts to establish a statewide system of for-profit charter schools that will in all probability have selective enrollment of only the best and brightest students while at the same time providing a financial windfall for the charter operators.

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The question of the day has to be: How much is enough?

The election is over. Bobby Jindal won in a cakewalk—just as every pundit said he would. It was, after all, a no-brainer. He had somewhere in the neighborhood of $9 million to $10 million with which to literally overwhelm and obliterate a Don Quixote-type opponent who had all of $50,000.

There’s no way on earth Jindal could have spent all that money, even with the $2,500 in financial support he gave to each of 86 legislative candidates (54 of whom were unopposed) and the $5,000 to each of five candidates for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

We repeat. No freaking way.

If he did go through that money, can Louisiana really afford to have this guy keeping watch over the state’s financial interests?

But wait. An email sent out by unnamed supporters is announcing yet another fundraiser.

To quote Oliver Twist, Jindal is now saying, “Please, sir, I want some more.”

Holy mother of all fundraisers. The man wants more.

The email says:

“A fundraiser for recently re-elected Governor Bobby Jindal will be held at the L’Auberge du Lac Resort on Wednesday, November 2 from 11:30 to 1:00 in the Embers Restaurant.”

(We can only assume that’s from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

It goes on:

“Participants will meet with Governor Jindal to discuss economic and leadership plans to move the state forward. Promoting all aspects of economic development are key components of the Governor’s goals. Governor Jindal will address the LASIE (Louisiana Association of Self Insured Employers) Conference from 1:15 to 2:15.

To put things into perspective and to illustrate to whom the governor is cozying up, consider this: if a business can afford to be self-insured, it’s not your basic mom and pop corner grocery. These are major players–corporations like AT&T, Entergy, Exxon Mobil, Dow Chemical, and the like. That’s not to say these corporations are participating, but companies of that caliber certainly are.

The email continues:

“See the attached draft invitation for details.”

There was no attachment to the email, but the rest of the email contained the real zinger:

“Please consider being a Gold ($5,000) or Silver ($2,500) sponsor. There is still time to add your company’s name. Call 225-338-0705 with questions.”

So, how much influence do you think your little $25, $50 or $100 contribution will have with the governor if your interests and the interests of one of these heavy hitters should happen to conflict?

Remember, this is the same governor who boasted only a few short months ago that the majority of his donors were from supporters giving $100 or less.

But that was then. This is now.

Note, too, that Jindal, with his political smarts, waited until after the election to hold a fundraiser of this magnitude in Louisiana.

It’s a safe bet, however, that all those out-of-state fundraisers over the last couple of years attracted the same kind of corporate money.

If you’re still not convinced, just be sure to check out the legislative bills introduced during Jindal’s second term and follow the money back to these same corporate donors.

Again, the question of the day: how much is enough?

Does your greed know no limits?

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It’s long overdue, but it’s finally here. And it was worth the wait.

We’re talking about Life in Looziana, a book of vintage Fred Mulhearn cartoons.

Fred, many around Ruston will remember, once ran Mulhearn’s Florist Shop in what is now Monjunis Restaurant. Then, for some inexplicable reason, he gave up the serenity and aromatic delights of the florist business in favor of LSU Law School. He now works as an attorney for the Louisiana Department of Revenue and Taxation.

But he never gave up his passion for pithy editorial cartoons.

Introduced along with some samples of this work to the late Jim Hughes, at the time executive editor of the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, he was quickly signed on as a part-time editorial cartoonist for the newspaper.

Justifiably, the unofficial title of “Louisiana’s Own Cartoonist” was bestowed upon him by the late Secretary of State Fox McKeithen. The fact that Mulhearn was born in McKeithen’s neck of the woods (Winnsboro) probably didn’t hurt. Mulhearn and wife Roxanne currently reside in Denham Springs.

In addition to his book, a whole boatload (which is an exact term of measurement in south Louisiana) can be found on his internet web page: http://www.fredmulhearn.com.

But back to the book: it is, he proclaims “a collection of cartoons and commentary about what makes Louisiana different, unique, and sometimes just plain weird.”

Without giving anything away, all of Fred’s observations are accompanied by the appropriate cartoon illustrations.

He notes, for example, that “Translucence is not a desired quality in coffee.”

If you have ever attended a crawfish boil in south Louisiana, you understand Fred when he says, “In other states, old newspapers are taken to recycle bins. In Louisiana, we use them as table cloths.”

Most businesses have their own special niche when it comes to profitable holidays. Toy stores have Christmas, jewelry stores have Valentine’s Day, florists have Mother’s Day. In south Louisiana, car washes have love bug season.

The Lord may have sent plagues of frogs and locust on the Egyptians, but they somehow missed out on nutria, West Nile mosquitoes, and Formosan termites.

When a candidate for governor is tossed out the race by the courts because of a prior felony, Fred notes that the poor guy should’ve run for Insurance Commissioner.

Among the great chefs of Louisiana, Fred did not neglect to include “the folks who fry the chicken at Popeye’s.”

On a Sunday morning in Podunk, Louisiana, a couple walking to church observes that the governor is flying in for the day’s service—again.

And when food comes in a brown paper bag and the grease soaks through the paper, you know it’s got to taste good.

Out of professional courtesy, the Ringling Bros.-Barnum and Bailey Circus waited until the legislature adjourned before coming to Baton Rouge.

In one cartoon that hits very close to home in its timing, Fred notes that everyone is relieved when elections are finally over. Everyone, that is, except consultants, pollsters, ad agencies, printers, TV stations, newspapers, billboard companies, advisors, direct mail firms, etc.

One of the more unrealistic mass marketing schemes is that of Christmas cards depicting snow scenes when real Looziana Christmas weather involves dreary, rainy days.

And when you forget to purchase your Lottery and Powerball tickets, you can always simply flush a five dollar bill down the toilet: same result, just as much fun.

What possible purpose does the Rose Bowl Parade serve? They don’t even have throws.

Finally, Fred observes that in other states, women would be insulted by a gift of cheap plastic beads.

In Louisiana, some women disrobe in public to get them.

The book, at $14.95, is a bargain if you’re from Louisiana. If you’re not from Louisiana, you can’t possibly understand its contents or its concept. But get it anyway. It’s sure to be a classic. You can get yours at Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, order from Cavalier’s website at http://www.cavalierhousebooks.com or by ordering direct from Fred at http://www.fredmulhearn.com.

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Gov. Bobby Jindal over the past year made multiple out-of-state fundraising trips to ensure that his own re-election campaign didn’t suffer the same financial dilemma as the state he was supposed to be running.

To that end, he has to be considered an unqualified success. He amassed some $10 million for his campaign that, barring an upset of monumental proportions, has attracted only token opposition.

Jindal must be given due credit. That he was able to attract so much money for his campaign at the same time the state was drowning in red ink is truly remarkable.

He couldn’t, after all, sell state prisons or the Office of Group Benefits (OGB) to finance his campaign but he could certain attract cash in large chunks from adoring benefactors in such remote reaches as Wisconsin, California, Florida, New Hampshire, New York, and Ohio—places with such an obvious stake in the outcome of a Louisiana gubernatorial election.

But, hey, that’s ancient history, right? All that hard work paid off. He’s a lock for re-election. The loss of a few public school teacher jobs is just collateral damage. The fact that health care premiums are going to cost more for fewer benefits after the privatization of OGB—along with about 150 OGB employees who will lose their jobs—is just one of those unfortunate things. When those three prisons are ultimately sold and the state prison guards who work there are forced to take drastic pay cuts, the election will be long past and no one will even notice, right?

Right? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

But we digress. The point of all this banter is to illustrate how serious Jindal really is taking this election, his own cakewalk notwithstanding.

His campaign has shoveled money into 93 separate legislative races, 49 in which his candidate is unopposed.

That’s right: $2,500 each to 49 hand-picked candidates ($122,500 total) who didn’t even draw opposition.

Even more interestingly, he dumped $2,500 each into the campaigns of nine ($22,500 total) legislative candidates all on the same day—Sept. 19, a full 11 days after it was apparent they would have no opposition. The others got their blood money well in advance of the qualifying deadline of Sept. 8.

Most of those 49, of course, were incumbents but some were somewhat surprising at first but on reflection, probably made perfect sense to the governor.

But the most significant contributions from the Jindal campaign coffers went to candidates for five of the eight seats on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Those five candidates, including one currently holding a $16 million contract with the state, received $5,000 each—double what the individual legislative candidates received.

That should illustrate just how much importance Jindal places on those races. It is the current BESE membership, after all, that has blocked his attempts to appoint John White as State Superintendent of Education. White was brought in (from New York) to replace Paul Vallas of Chicago as Superintendent of the Recovery School District (RSD). Only a few weeks after White’s appointment to head RSD, Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek resigned (some say he was forced out) and Jindal immediately moved to place White in that position, only to be thwarted by BESE. Now he wants revenge and he wants his way.

Of the three races in which he did not place bets, one candidate, DeSoto Parish Superintendent of Schools Walter Lee, is unopposed in District 4 which includes the parishes of Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Bienville, DeSoto, Red River, Winn, Natchitoches, Sabine and Vernon. The remaining two apparently are considered as lost causes. They are District 2 (all or parts of the parishes of Assumption, St. James, St. John, St. Charles, Jefferson, and Orleans), and District 8 (all of the parishes of East and West Baton Rouge Parish, Avoyelles, East and West Feliciana, St. Landry, Pointe Coupee, Lafayette, St. Martin, Iberville, and Ascension), in which no incumbent is running but three of the candidates are Democrat and a fourth is No Party.

In District 1, comprised of St. Tammany and parts of Jefferson and Orleans parishes, Jindal has tossed $5,000 to incumbent Jim Garvey of Metairie who is opposed by fellow Republican Sharon Hewitt of Slidell.

In District 3, Jindal is supporting another incumbent, Glenny Lee C. Buquet of Houma. She is opposed by Lottie Polozola Beebe of Breaux Bridge. Both candidates are women but what makes Jindal’s endorsement unusual here is that his candidate, Buquet, is a Democrat while her opponent is Republican.

Keith Guice, a Monroe Democrat, is the incumbent in BESE District 5 and Jindal is going after that seat. He kicked in $5,000 for his Republican challenger, Jay Guillot of Ruston.

Guillot is a partner in the multi-disciplined engineering firm of Hunt, Guillot and Associates (HGA) that has contracts with the state totaling nearly $17 million. A single contract in the amount of $16 million calls for the firm to manage grants for infrastructure “and other projects undertaken as a result of damages incurred as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and to a lesser extent as a result of hurricanes Gustav and Ike,” according to the contract description provided by the Division of Administration.

Guillot has said if elected, he will request an opinion from the State Ethics Board on the propriety of his serving on the board while contracting with the state. The question of why he would wait until after the election remains puzzling since that avenue has always been available without having to wait for the results of an election.

The most high-profile and perhaps most controversial BESE candidate is incumbent Chas Roemer, a Baton Rouge Republican in District 6. He is being opposed by fellow Republican Elizabeth Meyers of Denham Springs and Democrat Donald Songy of Prairieville and Jindal has cast his lot—and another $5,000—with Roemer.

What makes this particular race controversial is Roemer’s sister, Caroline Roemer Shirley. Ms. Shirley is executive director of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools and Chas Roemer has consistently voted on matters concerning charter schools and which directly benefit his sister’s organization. In some instances, Chas Roemer has even made or seconded motions on actions involving charter schools in which his sister has a vested interest.

The State Ethics Board has even issued a ruling that Ms. Shirley may not appear before BESE on matters involving charter schools because of her brother’s membership on the board. The ethics board also has ruled that she may not even communicate with BESE members on matters involving charter schools for that same reason.

This obvious ethics question apparently causes little or no concern to “the most ethical administration in America,” the administration that is “accountable and transparent.”

In BESE District 7, Jindal has taken aim on another incumbent, Republican Dale Bayard of Lake Charles. Instead, the governor is backing challenger Holly Boffy, a Youngsville Republican.

The nine unopposed legislative (eight House and one Senate) candidates to whom Jindal contributed $2,500 each more than a week after the close of qualifying included:

• Stuart Bishop of Lafayette (House District 43);
• Walt Leger, III of New Orleans (House District 91);
• J. Rogers Pope of Denham Springs (House District 71);
• Hunter Greene of Baton Rouge (House District 66);
• Eddie Lambert of Gonzales (House District 59);
• Jared Brossett of New Orleans (House District 97);
• Mickey Guillory of Eunice (House District 41);
• Helena Moreno of New Orleans (House District 93);
• Sharon Weston Broome of Baton Rouge (Senate District 15).

All but Bishop are incumbents and five of the nine (Leger, Brossett, Guillory, Moreno and Broome) are Democrats.

Why would Jindal sink $12,500 into the campaigns of five unopposed Democrats?

Possibly….no, definitely to build a consensus for his political agenda. Call it quid pro quo. A Democrat indebted to a Republican governor when a key bill comes up for a vote. What could be sweeter?

Other unopposed legislative candidates to whom Jindal contributed $2,500 each but prior to the qualification deadline included Republicans:

• Gordy Dove of Houma (House District 52);
• Page Cortez of Lafayette (Senate District 23);
• Dan Morrish of Lake Charles (Senate District 25);
• Steve Carter of Baton Rouge (House District 68);
• Jody Amadee of Gonzales (Senate District 18);
• Tom Willmott of Kenner (House District 92);
• Tony Ligi of Metairie (House District 79);
• Frank Howard of Many (House District 24);
• John Alario of Westwego (Senate District 8);
• Charles Chaney of Rayville (House District 19));
• Patrick Connick of Marrero (House District 84);
• Norby Chabert of Chauvin (Senate District 20);
• Neil Riser of Columbia (Senate District 32);
• Craig Hensgens of Geydan (House District 47);
• Mike Walsworth of West Monroe (Senate District 33);
• Mike Huval of Breaux Bridge (House District 46);
• Joseph Harrison of Gray (House District 51);
• Eric Ponti of Baton Rouge (House District 69);
• Charles Kleckley of Lake Charles (House District 36);
• Kirk Talbot of River Ridge (House District 78);
• Joseph Lopinto of Metairie (House District 80);
• Clif Richardson of Baton Rouge (House District 65);
• Ronnie Johns of Sulphur (Senate District 27);
• Taylor Barras of New Iberia (House District 48);
• Johnny Guinn of Jennings (House District 37);
• Cameron Henry of New Orleans (House District 82);
• Henry Burns of Haughton (House District 9);
• Scott Simon of Abita Springs (House District 74);
• Fred Mills of St. Martinville (Senate District 22);
• Brett Geymann of Lake Charles (House District 35);
• Daniel Martiny of Metairie (Senate District 10);
• John Schroder of Covington (House District 77);
• Gerald Long of Winnfield (Senate District 31);
• Kevin Pearson of Slidell (House District 86);
• Conrad Appel of Metairie (Senate District 9).
Unopposed Democrats who received $2,500 from Jindal before qualifying:
• Francis Thompson of Delhi (Senate District 34);
• Girod Jackson of Harvey (House District 87);
• David Heitmeir of New Orleans (Senate District 7);
• Major Thibaut of New Roads (House District 18);
• Mike Danahay of Sulphur (House District 33);
• Jim Fannin of Jonesboro (House District 13).

Republican legislative candidates who received $2,500 contributions from Jindal and who have opposition include:

• A.G. Crowe of Pearl River (Senate District 1);
• Joel Robideaux of Lafayette (House District 45);
• Frank Hoffman of West Monroe (House District 15);
• Garrett Monti of Luling (Senate District 19);
• Kirby Roy of Hessemer (House District 28);
• Steve Pylant of Winnsboro (House District 20);
• Sherman Mack of Albany (House District 95);
• Thomas Carmody of Shreveport (House District 53);
• Barrett Byrd of Alexandria (House District 25);
• Billy Chandler of Dry Prong (House District 22);
• John Smith of Leesville (Senate District 30);
• Dan Claitor of Baton Rouge (Senate District 16);
• Simone Champagne of Jeanerette (House District 49);
• Tim Burns of Mandeville (House District 89);
• Jane Smith of Bossier City (Senate District 37);
• Franklin Foil of Baton Rouge (House District 70);
• Don Menard of Carencro (House District 39);
• Greg Cromer of Slidell (House District 90);
• Sam Little of Bastrop (House District 14);
• Bodi White of Watson (Senate District 6);
• Richard Burford of Stonewall (House District 7);
• Steve Pugh of Ponchatoula (House District 73);
• Joseph Harrison of Gray (House District 51);
• Jim Morris of Oil City (House District 1);
• Jack Donahue of Mandeville (Senate District 11);
• Julie Harrington of Krotz Springs (House District 38);
• Paul Miller of Ville Platte (Senate District 28);
• Bob Kostelka of Monroe (Senate District 35);
• Fenn French of New Orleans (House District 98);
• Nancy Landry of Lafayette (Senate District 26);
• Alan Seabaugh of Shreveport (House District 5);

Democratic legislative candidates who received $2,500 contributions from Jindal and who have opposition include:

• Elbert Guillory of Opelousas (Senate District 24);
• Karen St. Germain of Pierre Part (House District 60);
• Andy Anders of Vidalia (House District 21);
• Rick Gallot of Ruston (Senate District 29);
• Rick Ward of Port Allen (Senate District 17);

One thing each of those 93 legislative candidates and five BESE candidates–and every voter–might want to keep in the back of their minds as regards all those contributions:

Bobby Jindal considers those payments as nothing more than an investment–an investment in commodities and the recipients of those donations are the commodities on which he expects high–very high–returns.

So much for the myth of an independent legislature.

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