Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Images of Leadership

Posted By on Tue, Apr 1, 2008 at 12:28 AM

By: Allen Johnson

These days, a changing of the political guard often means a redesign of government Web sites, frequently with adjustments to the size of public officials’ photos. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (www.gov.state.la.us) 3-inch-high picture is bigger than the photo of predecessor Kathleen Blanco. A Republican, Jindal sports a casual look — no tie, but in a jacket — as he addresses the unseen virtual masses. The photo-rich site of Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu (www.crt.state.la.us.) promotes the state’s culture, food and music, but may take too long to download. Newly elected state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s site (www.ag.louisiana.gov), like that of Jindal, opts for a billboard-size picture (it’s more than twice the size of predecessor Charles Foti Jr. — and no one ever accused Foti of false modesty). State Treasurer John Kennedy’s (www.treasury.state.la.us) virtual portrait is only 2 inches high, even though the new Republican is vying to unseat U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. Republican Secretary of State Jay Dardenne’s Web site photo is unobtrusive (www.sos.louisiana.gov), but his biography contains the gentle reminder that he crushed his opponents with 64 percent of the vote in the fall primary election. State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon’s photo seems understated considering the magnitude of the insurance crisis (www.ldi.louisiana.gov). Finally, the state Department of Agriculture & Forestry (www.ldaf.state.la.us) focuses more attention on a link to “Fun Farm Facts for Kids” than the modest photo of newly elected Commissioner Mike Strain. Strain vows to launch a “new and improved Web site in the near future.”

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