Monday, 16 May 2016 13:09
Aswell's Bobby Jindal: His Destiny and Obsession, coming to site near you
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by Tom Aswell, Publisher of

I have added a new signing for my new book Bobby Jindal: His Destiny and Obsession but first I want to begin this post with a sincere apology.


When I submitted the finished manuscript to Pelican Publishing, I was asked to submit the usual list of acknowledgements to those who helped with the book, those who inspired me and those who supported my efforts. I did so, including the editors at Pelican, members of my family and others who have influenced me through the years—from teachers to former employers.

But I committed the unpardonable sin of neglecting to thank five important people who gave of their time and efforts to add to the book. Each of them contributed an entire chapter about Bobby Jindal, writing about ethics, higher education, budgetary matters, public education and his general policies that did so much to damage this state.

Accordingly, I would like to use this space to thank the following:

  • Clancy DuBos, publisher of New Orleans’ Gambit newspaper, who wrote a scathing critique of Jindal’s audaciously insensitive “farewell tour” of Louisiana. DuBos pointed out—correctly—that Jindal had bid farewell to the state long before his term of office ended.
  • Bridget Jacobs, a veteran of more than 20 years in higher education, who, appropriately enough, provided an in-depth examination of how Jindal single-handedly almost dismantled Louisiana’s state colleges and universities with crippling budget cuts and soaring tuition costs.
  • Lamar White, publisher of his own political blog, CenLamar, and who has broken some significant national stories about Jindal’s failed policies. For the book, White wrote extensively about Jindal’s failed ethics reform and ultimately, how “reform” was anything but that.
  • Stephen Winham, retired Director of the state’s Executive Budget Office, was unquestionably the most qualified of just about anyone in the state to write about Jindal’s catastrophic budget and tax policies that dug the state deeper in debt with each passing year of his tenure in office.
  • Jason France, aka The Crazy Crawfish, as his blog is known. Jason is a former employee of the Louisiana Department of Education and was in position to give us an insider’s perspective of the controversial policies pursued by Jindal and Superintendent of Education John White.

To these five individuals, I literally cannot adequately express my gratitude. Without their contributions, the book would have been a much more difficult project.

I also would like to take the opportunity to express my thanks to three individuals who were kind enough to take the time to read advance copies of the manuscript and to provide a few favorable words on the back cover of the book. They are:

  • Bob Mann who holds the Manship Chair of Journalism at LSU and who writes his own political blog, Something Like the Truth, which was chosen by the Washington Post in 2014 as one of the top 100 political blogs in the nation;
  • Tom Kelly of Winnfield (or more specifically, Garr’s Mill), who gave me my very first newspaper job at the Ruston Daily Leader and now Publisher and Editor of the Piney Woods Journal, a publication dedicated to Louisiana’s timber industry, and
  • Bill Brown, a fellow Ruston High School alumnus and retired editor of theColumbus, GA. Ledger-Enquirer and the Montgomery, AL. Advertiser.

The latest book signing date that was finalized on Saturday will be in my hometown of Ruston on June 25 and will be during the annual Louisiana Peach Festival so if you want a book signed then, you’ll have to catch me between bites if sweet, juicy peaches, the best I’ve ever tasted.

I will be sharing a booth with Winnsboro native and longtime Ruston resident (he was there long enough to marry a wonderful Ruston girl) Fred Mulhearn. Fred, an attorney, recently retired from the state. He has published a terrific book of his classic Louisiana political cartoons, Life in Looziana, and continues to create his cartoons for a number of Louisiana newspapers. Go here and click on Classic Editorial Cartoons:

Before we go any further, it might be worthwhile to point out that my book about Jindal is not a puff piece in the mold of the two books by Jindal which probably resulted in his dislocating his shoulder from repeatedly patting himself on the back. It’s important to make that clear because some readers still think I’m shilling for a book that is pro-Jindal. I can assure you it is not.

It’s the kind of book that result in my being removed from Jindal’s Christmas card list—had we ever been on that list, which we certainly were not.

This 294-page book is an examination that addresses several issues:

  • How did Jindal become a multi-millionaire after only three years in Congress?
  • Jindal’s claims of a new high standard of ethics are debunked by his own actions as governor.
  • Jindal’s claim of transparency is also belied by his penchant for secrecy.
  • His vindictive nature in firing or demoting anyone and everyone who dared disagree with him.
  • His awarding of prestigious board and commission memberships to big contributors.
  • His sorry record in protecting the state’s environment and the state’s coastline.
  • His mysterious deal to sell state hospitals via a contract containing 50 blank pages.
  • His single-handed destruction of higher education and health care.
  • His near-comical, yet pathetic candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

There is much, much more, of course, but you will have to get the book to read it.

Here is the current schedule for upcoming book signings:

  • The Winn Parish Library in Winnfield: Thursday, May 19, at 2 p.m.
  • Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Mandeville, Saturday, June 18, from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Louisiana Peach Festival in Ruston. No specific time has been set, so I’ll probably be hanging around most of the day.

You may order a signed copy of the book from Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs by clicking on the image of the book cover at the upper right. You may also purchase it directly from me at the Winnfield or Ruston signings, at the Barnes and Noble signing in Mandeville, from any other Barnes and Noble or

This schedule will be updated as additional signings are scheduled.

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