Gov. Bobby Jindal's schedule isn't a matter of public record, and he certainly doesn't broadcast when he's leaving the state, but there's one person he is required to notify: Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who's running for governor this fall. The state constitution spells it out clearly: "When the governor is temporarily absent from the state, the lieutenant governor shall act as governor."
Dardenne drove that point home last week with the first in what appears to be a series of campaign website posts called "Acting Governor ... Jay Dardenne."
"I may be the acting Governor," Dardenne wrote, "but I have no real authority unless an emergency would require immediate action. I could issue executive orders, but they would be recalled immediately upon the governor's return. Playing these types of political games holds no interest for me. However, anticipating that the out-of-state travel will continue throughout this year, I periodically will inform you of what I would be doing if I were actually the governor." That day last week, he wrote, "I would be convening a meeting of financial advisers to discuss the wisdom of selling the remaining portion of the tobacco settlement."
Gambit requested copies of the constitutionally required notifications from Dardenne's office. Most were signed by Jennifer Bollinger or Tina Raiford of the Governor's Office of Executive Counsel. Nearly all were same-day notifications, sometimes with just a few hours' notice.