Bobby Jindal

Friday, January 26, 2018

One if by land, two if by air: Mike Edmonson and his possible misuse of helicopters

Posted By on Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 12:50 PM

Mike Edmonson, former head of the Louisiana State Police. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Mike Edmonson, former head of the Louisiana State Police.

The latest news on former State Police Col. Mike Edmonson had me checking my calendar. When I heard the FBI was looking at his possible misuse of State Police helicopters — after earlier reports of Edmonson pressing troopers into service as overland couriers and personal chauffeurs — I could have sworn it was April Fools Day.

Nope. It was all true, according to The Advocate. The feds are following up on a scathing Legislative Auditor’s report that accuses Edmonson of helping himself to every possible freebie for his own and his family’s benefit. The newspaper reports that federal agents have questioned “a growing list of state troopers — and even inmates who once cooked for Edmonson and his family”.

Advocate reporter Jim Mustian notes the federal inquiry generally tracks the legislative audit but goes further in reviewing helicopter log books “and other travel records related to the frequent trips Edmonson took during his nine years as superintendent.”

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Editorial: Lawmakers, quit passing the buck on the governor's proposed budget and offer some solutions

Posted By on Thu, Jan 25, 2018 at 1:56 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards, left, and Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne presented the governor’s budget proposal for fiscal 2019 to a joint legislative committee Jan. 22. - PHOTO BY SARAH GAMARD/MANSHIP SCHOOL NEWS SERVICE
  • PHOTO BY SARAH GAMARD/MANSHIP SCHOOL NEWS SERVICE
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards, left, and Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne presented the governor’s budget proposal for fiscal 2019 to a joint legislative committee Jan. 22.

Gov. John Bel Edwards proposed a dire state operating budget on Jan. 22. Faced with almost $1 billion in expiring taxes, the governor proposed gutting the TOPS college scholarship program by 80 percent, cutting an additional $25.6 million in direct state aid to higher education, and slashing nearly half a billion dollars from the state’s already-strapped Department of Health & Hospitals. “This is not the budget I want to present and certainly not the budget I want implemented,” Edwards told lawmakers. “This is what falling off the cliff looks like.”

There are several reasons why and how Louisiana got into its current mess. First, a temporary 1-cent sales tax imposed two years ago will expire June 30. Second, the Stelly Plan — which reduced state sales taxes and raised income taxes — was dismantled by former Govs. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, and Bobby Jindal, a Republican in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Third, Jindal and state lawmakers propped up the state’s shaky finances year after year by using one-time funds rather than recurring revenues. Jindal and lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans alike — also failed to seek long-term fiscal reform.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Gov. Edwards and Florida Gov. Scott exchange words over Scott's trip to poach Louisiana businesses

Posted By on Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 4:38 PM

Florida Gov. Rick Scott. - PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced this morning he will be leading a "trade mission" to New Orleans to "meet with Louisiana companies to share how Florida is making it easier for families and job creators to succeed and why they should consider moving their operations to Florida." And that has Gov. John Bel Edwards steamed:
“Rick Scott was Bobby Jindal’s biggest cheerleader and surrounds himself with the same set of advisors who turned Louisiana’s $1 billion budget surplus into a $3 billion budget deficit. We’re happy to have him visit Louisiana and see for himself all that Gov. Edwards has done to turn this state around — record low unemployment, higher wages, historic economic development announcements and stabilized funding for higher education. However, Gov. Scott should call this what it is — a fundraising stop on his yet-to-be announced U.S. Senate campaign. Louisianans would appreciate the honesty and hope that he’ll take his political contributions and leave.

“Instead of fundraising, we recommend he spend time with the first responders we willingly dispatched to Florida last hurricane season when his state needed assistance.”
This isn't Scott's first time playing the domestic "trade mission" gambit — Scott did the same thing to Louisiana in 2016, as well as to another state with a Democratic governor, California.

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

12 Clancy DuBos 'Politics' columns of 2017

Posted By on Sun, Dec 31, 2017 at 12:00 PM

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In our annual Year in Review issue, Gambit political editor Clancy DuBos always composes his Top 10 political stories of the year. Here are 12 of his "Politics" columns from 2017.

• Counting coup, for now: DA Leon Cannizzaro and Mayor Mitch Landrieu exchange barbs over funding and crime

• All-out war in Jefferson Parish: Mike Yenni and Chris Roberts have accused each other of being unfit for office

• The target is truth itself: A National World War II exhibit on Nazi propaganda resonates today

• Our monumental challenge: Coming to grips with the past as the city takes down its monuments to the Confederacy

• Disarm all abusers: House Bill 223 prevents domestic abusers from possessing guns

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Editorial: Paging Dr. Cassidy — move on from health care repeal

Posted By on Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 1:46 PM

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy takes questions about health care at a town hall forum in Metairie earlier this year. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy takes questions about health care at a town hall forum in Metairie earlier this year.

Congressional Republicans began trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) literally the day after it was passed in 2010. The GOP-controlled House has voted to repeal it many times in a series of completely symbolic exercises that tossed red meat to their supporters without actually accomplishing anything. Now, with the GOP in control of both houses of Congress and the White House, it’s abundantly clear that Beltway Republicans have no idea how to follow through on their promise of “repeal and replace” — even though they’ve had seven years to figure it out.

“We Republicans have looked for a way to end it and replace it with something else without paying a terrible political price. We haven’t found it yet, and I’m not sure we will,” said Arizona Sen. John McCain on the Senate floor, shortly before three attempts at repeal failed in late July. “All we’ve managed to do is make more popular a policy that wasn’t very popular when we started trying to get rid of it.”

McCain is correct. During the last seven years, the ACA has continued to rise in public opinion polls. Even its detractors praise some of its provisions, including coverage for pre-existing conditions and letting young people stay on their parents’ policies until age 26. A Gallup poll conducted in April found 55 percent of Americans now approve of the ACA, while only 30 percent want a complete repeal.

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Bobby Jindal's back, with more health care advice

Posted By on Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 1:27 PM

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal is offering his advice on repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Former Gov. Bobby Jindal is offering his advice on repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal — who made fierce criticism of the Affordable Care Act a cornerstone of his aborted run for president — wrote an op-ed yesterday for Politico titled "How to Drain the Health Care Swamp."

"We must repeal all of the new Obamacare spending and taxes," Jindal wrote, "and consider that our baseline against which we measure any repeal plan."

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wall Street Journal: President-elect Trump considering Bobby Jindal for Health & Human Services

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 1:57 PM

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal (left) reportedly is being considered for President Donald Trump's cabinet — despite Jindal's vituperative criticism of Trump in the GOP primary last year. - PHOTO BY STEPHEN LOVEKIN/
GETTY IMAGES
  • Photo by Stephen Lovekin/ Getty Images
  • Former Gov. Bobby Jindal (left) reportedly is being considered for President Donald Trump's cabinet — despite Jindal's vituperative criticism of Trump in the GOP primary last year.

A Wall Street Journal report about President-elect Donald Trump's transition team and potential Cabinet includes one extremely familiar name: that of former Gov. (and presidential candidate) Bobby Jindal:
The team has also been assembling a list of people to fill key jobs in a Trump administration. Some have been close to home. Among those discussed for attorney general are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a top campaign adviser who heads the Trump transition team, and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, according to two campaign aides. Mr. Trump’s slim campaign team, which has included former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, may form the core of a Trump administration. Names discussed for Health and Human Services secretary include Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Ben Carson, one of Mr. Trump’s former primary rivals, one member of the transition team said.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Attorney General Jeff Landry vs. Gov. John Bel Edwards on LGBT discrimination, transgender issues

Posted By on Wed, May 25, 2016 at 5:30 PM

Gov. John Bel Edwards: "Folks running for office seem to forget that we have an obligation to protect all of our citizens."
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards: "Folks running for office seem to forget that we have an obligation to protect all of our citizens."

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, squaring against Gov. John Bel Edwards once again, says the state doesn't have to comply with an executive order protecting LGBT state workers and contractors from discrimination. Landry filed his opinion the same day the Louisiana Senate failed to pass LGBT nondiscrimination laws in the workplace — by a vote of a mere 8 yeas to 25 nays.

Edwards' order, the first statewide measure protecting transgender people in the state, prohibits discrimination on the "basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, disability, or age," and extends that protection in services provided by state agencies.

Landry's opinion says "there is no constitutional or statutory provision in Louisiana banning discrimination on the basis of 'gender identity'" and that Edwards has overstepped his constitutional authority "by attempting to create new legislation in violation of the separation of powers."

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Jindal evolves on Trump: From "narcissist and egomaniac" to "I would vote for him"

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 4:27 PM

jindal_trump.png

Former Gov. (and former presidential candidate) Bobby Jindal once was one of Donald Trump's fiercest foes in the presidential race — but that was then and this is now, when it appears Trump is likely to become the GOP nominee.

Gone from his website is Jindal's much-touted September 2015 speech slamming Trump:

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... and in is a more pragmatic Jindal.

"If it comes down to a binary choice between Donald Trump, I'm supporting the party's nominee," he told CNN today (as reported by Politico). "I'm not happy about it. I don't think he's the best qualified, I don't think he's the one most likely to be successful, but I would vote for him over Hillary Clinton."

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Suing Big Oil no longer 'frivolous'

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2016 at 11:48 AM

JILL MASTROTOTARO/SIERRA CLUB
  • Jill Mastrototaro/Sierra Club
Turns out John Barry was right about the efficacy of suing Big Oil to foster discussions about paying for coastal restoration. That’s no surprise to anyone who has followed various environmental lawsuits brought by a few brave coastal parishes and the regional flood protection authority.

Back in 2013, when the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) filed its landmark lawsuit against scores of oil and gas companies, then-Gov. Bobby Jindal and other energy industry bootlickers breathlessly denounced the suit as “frivolous.” Barry, who was then vice chair of the SLFPA-E board, predicted the litigation would prod energy companies to help pay for coastal restoration.

Jindal and a compliant Louisiana Legislature frantically passed a ham-fisted law seeking to derail the lawsuit retroactively. Jindal also contrived with egregiously conflicted “reformers” like oil-and-gas bidnessman Jay Lapeyre to purge the SLFPA-E board of litigation supporters. They almost succeeded. Fortunately, the rule of law and a new governor could soon get things back on track.

That is, if Louisiana politics doesn’t get in the way.

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