Internet Gambling a Bad Bet, Jindal Argues
In a guest column published in Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, Gov. Bobby Jindal urges Democrats and Republicans to join forces to stop the legalization of Internet gambling. Three states have authorized bills that legalize or expand Internet gambling, and Louisiana might be up next.
Jindal is opposed to Internet gambling because he believes it has the potential to increase the income inequality. He writes: "I believe that putting a casino in the pocket of practically every American will exploit society's most vulnerable, threatening to saddle the poor and disadvantaged with spiraling debt." Jindal distrusts the gambling companies and investors who claim that Internet gambling is harmless and encourages Louisianians to follow him. Jindal asserts that it is "impossible to implement a responsible gambling protocol in an Internet gambling environment."
Jindal also fears that criminal organizations will use online gambling to "move money and fund their activities." According to the FBI, "supposed safeguards in place to protect minors from participating, along with other anti-fraud measures, are easily defeated by criminals."
Jindal concludes by pointing out that the Justice Department was wrong when it reversed its position that the Wire Act bans online gambling. If several states allow Internet gambling, Jindal believes, it will be impossible to stop in states that prohibit it. Therefore, he urges leaders in Washington to "restore the original interpretation of the Wire Act and ban Internet gambling."
Senator Election: Energy vs Healthcare
Since 2002, Mary Landrieu's re-election strategy has been to attract sufficient support from independents and Republicans in an increasingly conservative Louisiana. According to a recent article by Bill Barrow, the successfulness of this strategy in the 2014 election, however, depends on what voters find most important: Landrieu's newly gained power as chairwoman in the Senate Energy and National Resources Committee or her vote for Obamacare. The stakes are high; if Landrieu loses the election to a Republican, the Senate might fall into Republican hands. Since the Republicans are likely to keep the majority in the House, they will then control the Congress.
Landrieu has support across party lines. Mark Miller, a business owner in the energy sector, says: "I'm a die-hard Republican, but I love Mary Landrieu." Donald "Boysie" Bollinger, the shipbuilding magnate who helped bankroll the Republican takeover of the Louisiana Legislature, also supports Landrieu. However, Landrieu's stance in health care and budget issues has driven people who supported her in 2008, such as Lafayette attorney Clay Allen, away from her.
On the Republican side, the support for Bill Cassidy is far from unanimous. Skeptics argue that he's not conservative enough. The appearance of Tea Party candidate Rob Maness and at least one other candidate on the ballot might block Cassidy from a first-round majority.
Healthcare remains one of the most important issues in the race. The LA chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a national tea party group, has spent $600,000 on TV advertisements connecting Landrieu and negative impacts of Obamacare. Cassidy has repeatedly stated that the Republicans are going to "repeal and replace" Obamacare. Landrieu, on the other hand, contends that she would have voted for the healthcare bill again.
Gov. Jindal Faces the Nation
When Gov. Bobby Jindal appeared on CBS Face The Nation recently, he criticized Obama for thinking that he, "with the pen and the phone," can make decisions without Congress. However, Jindal asserted that if Obama plan to make decisions without Congress, they should be focused on what Jindal sees as important issues: increasing domestic production of energy; creating jobs; delaying the mandates in Obamacare; and approving the Keystone pipeline.
Jindal not Concerned with Poll Numbers
According to a recent poll by the left leaning Public Policy Polling, Gov. Bobby Jindal is one of the most unpopular governors in the country. His approval rate is only 35%. However, Jindal appears unconcerned with these numbers. He is more concerned with other numbers, he says; "the number of people working in Louisiana, the number of kids getting a great education, and how many people are moving into our state."
WWL-TV political analyst Clancy DuBos believes, on the other hand, that Jindal's low approval rating can hurt him in the upcoming state legislative session. He says: "When your numbers are down, you look weak...when your numbers are down that low, I think your lame duck period starts a little sooner."