And, as is usually the case with Governor Jindal, he’s right and wrong at the same time.In the piece written for Politico.com, Jindal reminds us that 30 Governors are Republican, George W. Bush was not popular at the end of his 2nd term, and Republicans took control of the House in 2010 and held it in 2012.
And, while it’s true that Republicans can win some elections, winning elections isn’t the problem – it’s what you do after you’re elected that counts and that is where the Republican Party is failing miserably at all levels.At the State level, every Statewide elected official is now a Republican – from the Governor to the Agriculture Commissioner (who wants to be Governor, by the way). The Republican Party controls the State House and the Senate.
So, what exactly did Republicans accomplish in the last legislative session with all of this massive power? Not much.In fact, in my opinion, Republicans haven’t accomplished much during Jindal’s six years as Governor, except for gaining more Republican elected officials, and, in spite of this, I’m sure that if he wanted, Jindal could easily be elected for a 3rd term. Unfortunately, that fact alone is not a sign of Republican strength or Jindal’s popularity as much as it’s a sign of how truly weak the Democratic Party is outside of the City of New Orleans.
“Gold Standard Ethics Reforms” – a waste of time and paper.“Tax Reform” – not the Governor’s problem.
“Education Reform” – we’re still 49th in the Country in terms of college graduates.
But, we can proudly say “I’m A Cajun” on our driver’s licenses and license plates should we desire.No, Louisiana Republicans including Governor Jindal have lost their way and sooner or later it will catch up to them.
When you have Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne (who also wants to be the next Governor) asking the Governor to veto an appropriation of $200,000 to the Bayou Country Superfest concert in Baton Rouge, not because Dardenne thinks the state has other priorities that could be funded but because Dardenne only wants to give the concert $100,000, something is wrong with this picture.And, when the only fiscally Conservative statewide elected official is a former Democrat in State Treasurer John Kennedy, some Republicans must have missed a couple of memos about what being a “Fiscal Conservative” really means.
Despite the state Republican Party touting the successes of having a majority in the State House and Senate, the legislature is no better.“Fiscal Hawks” felt they needed to find their own one-time money and get in bed with the Legislative Black Caucus to get a budget deal done instead of making their Republican counterparts sit up and take notice and push them to make significant reforms.
When a handful of legislators meet in secret to hammer out a budget compromise, after the House Speaker and the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee each said that their budgets were the best thing since Acadians discovered that crawfish really were good eats, you see what a muddled mess the legislature is in.An even bigger problem, especially for us in Jefferson Parish, is that our local and parish leaders and our legislative delegation not only missed the memos, they never completed their orientation.
No, for us who call Jefferson Parish home, we face a truly miserable fate at the moment thanks to several elected officials who claim to be Republican.Led by Sheriff Newell Normand and urged on by a Republican-majority (6-1) Council and Republican Parish President, these “Republicans” have managed to change a state law to deny residents the right to vote on whether Jefferson Parish’s two public hospitals are leased to a private company.
In fact, two “Republicans”, State Rep. Joe Lopinto (Metairie) and State Senator Danny Martiny (Kenner) carried the bill through the legislature to strip you of your rights.It doesn’t matter which side of the hospital debate you fall on, you don’t get to vote on it anyway thanks to Normand, Lopinto, Martiny and the Jefferson Parish Council.
After Lopinto and Martiny got their bill passed (ironically, in the Senate by a 36-1 vote with only former Democrat and now Republican John Alario voting “No” – clearly old John hit the wrong button), I asked about a dozen Republican legislators across the state why they would vote to deny Jefferson Parish resident the right to vote. To a person, each one said that, since the Jefferson Parish delegation was “FOR” it that, if they voted Against the bill, Jefferson Parish legislators might vote against bills impacting their districts and parishes.Is that what the Republican Party has become: The Party of Protecting Our Own Turf?
Now, I know there’s going to be a “Special” Council Meeting on July 10th so the Council can hear input from the public and patronize us, but you already know the fix is in. If it wasn’t, the Council would be out there in front of the TV cameras, along with Sheriff Normand (who has never met a camera that he wouldn’t slick back his hair for), to “educate” the public.
Yeah, taking away the right to vote is a Republican attribute and something the State Republican Party should be proud of. Where are the press releases about this?We can drill down even farther and look at the machinations of the allegedly “Fiscally Conservative” Republican Mayor Mike Yenni.
In three years in office Mayor Yenni has:- Tripled sewerage fees
- Tried to Double Property Taxes
- Tried to close playgrounds instead of eliminating Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in perks for his political appointees
And, now Yenni wants to borrow $47 Million (plus an additional $17 Million in Interest) for the next 20 years to pay off some existing debt and do some “beautification” projects.The cost of this debt issue, Principal and Interest, is more than the annual budget of the City and will increase the City’s debt by 34%, yet Yenni still maintains that he is a “Fiscal Conservative”.
In what universe is Doubling Property Taxes and borrowing more money “Fiscally Conservative”?Like I said in the beginning, Governor Jindal is both right and wrong.
He’s right in the fact that Republicans need to stick to core Conservative Values both Fiscally (less government; lower taxes; reducing onerous rules and regulations stopping businesses from growing and penalizing individuals for success; eliminating entitlements) and Socially (ending abortion; repealing ObamaCare).However, since the Governor himself sold Louisiana voters a bill of goods by letting us believe that he was a True Conservative and not just a Social Conservative, he’s not exactly someone who should be throwing stones at the Party and expecting everyone to rally around him.
Until Republicans can get it right and nominate a candidate who is both a Fiscal AND Social Conservative, they are destined to continue losing the elections.Everywhere that is except for Louisiana, Jefferson Parish and Kenner.
Here being a “Conservative Republican” means to some that you protect your own turf, deny residents the right to vote, double property taxes and borrow millions of dollars.Yeah, that’s the "Conservative Republican" way.
Bedwetting and all.