This week, while defending his controversial comments at the White House after the nation’s governors met with President Obama, Jindal responded to a question posed to him by Mike Barnacle on MSNBC Morning Joe about the state’s low rankings, 47th in per capita income. Barnacle acknowledged that the number is historical and not a product of Jindal’s years as governor (pertinent segment starts at 4:26.) Jindal responded with a rapid-fire litany of positives and accomplishments under his watch, claiming that if the President were to follow his footsteps, the country would improve as Jindal states Louisiana has done over the past six years.
Earlier this week, Jeff Crouere, radio talk show host of WGSO AM and Stephen Sabludowsky, publisher of Bayoubuzz.com, discussed the issue of the governor’s performance and the improvements or lack of advances made during his administration.
In the third segment of the Google hangout, Crouere and Sabludowsky continued the discussion started in the second segment. The common threads in this part are Gov. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana economic development, and the state’s “brain drain.” Crouere and Sabludowsky were also joined by a caller, James, who weighed in on the issue of Jindal’s failure to address the problem of talented people leaving the state.
Crouere: I think it's an opportunity for Kennedy and Dardenne to see what they can offer. As you say, Jindal, he's checked out here in Louisiana. I think he is already running for President and he is already looking toward-- not that he was ever really checked in. I think he was really running for President from day one, anyway, from when he was first elected as Governor, but even more so now than ever.
Sabludowsky: Let me just mention this. I personally think that he probably had some ambition way back six years ago I still think he's the most talented of all the people that I have seen run for governor and be governor. I just think that his ambition, his raw ambition, really soured a lot of people on him. It is not his philosophy; it is his ambition that has really caused his downfall here in Louisiana.
Crouere: Look at what he does. He does interviews with national shows like "Face the Nation." He'll go on Fox News, but he won't do local interviews.
He'll make news conferences in front of the White House, but he won't do it here locally. He's really showing his disdain, almost, for his own constituents that put him into power because he has forgotten about them, I think, a long time ago. And I think that has really contributed to low approval numbers. I don't think his philosophy really, because certainly Louisiana is a red state. I think it is how he goes about his business which has been so upsetting to people here.
Sabludowsky: Exactly. I totally agree with that.
Crouere: Ok, let's take some calls. James in Metaire is with us.
James: You know, Bobby Jindal seems to have...his ambition seems to greatly outpace and outperform his performance as governor. You know, when Vitter gets into the Governor's mansion, and I think that's almost a sure thing, and it's a tragedy for Louisiana. You know, C.B. Forgotston's list of the LA misery, we are 50th, 49th. You know, Vitter comes in and can improve that. He can show that he's done something in the state so maybe that's..Jindal's performance has just been in the gutter. I don't know how this guy thinks he can go on to a higher-level position of responsibility because his record, Jeff, based on his record, it just wouldn't work. He probably thinks he can charm people into voting.
Crouere: Well, let us just talk about that for second. His accomplishments, I'm trying to think of what his accomplishments would be. I guess he would point to the ethics bill that he passed and maybe the voucher bill, because he did not get his tax reform through. Steve, the ethics bill was very incomplete and did not really include the executive branch, and the voucher bill has really been challenged in court. And we still have, if I'm not mistaken, still have court challenges going on as far as that program. What would you say his biggest accomplishments are?
Sabludowsky: Without doubt, economic development. I mean, would I call him a failure? No, because I think that Steve Moret who he chose for Secretary of economic development, who...I think we question whether or not he was worth the amount of money that he was going to get for salary. I think Steve Moret has done a really terrific job, and if you look at what is going on with the "$70 billion" worth of projects that people are talking about, but I haven't seen personally, I think that economic development is definitely his strong suit.
Crouere: Would you agree with that, James?
James: Well, Jeff, I'm looking at a column which Elliott Stonecipher wrote about two weeks ago, and despite that the Jindal administration has tried to spin those numbers as far as population goes, according to the demographer, the most well-known or the most visible demographer, every day, Jeff, it continues the bleeding: the out- bleeding of residents in the state. 50 people a day or 50 residents a day, more than two residents an hour, continue to leave the state. The state has a natural population growth of births over death, but Jindal has done nothing to stop the bleeding of residents who leave to go find greater opportunities.
Crouere: So let me ask you this: has a population decreased since he became governor?
James: No, no, no.
There's natural growth. You know, people have children and the births exceed the deaths, but the out-migration has continued. People who were raised here, educated here, continue to leave.
Crouere: So out-migration is outpacing in migration?
James: Absolutely. According to Elliott Stonecipher, it is a fact, and Jindal has done nothing to make that better.
Crouere: So Steve, how can you have economic development if we are still losing more people than we are bringing in?
James: ..and talented people, talented taxpayers continue to leave, Jeff. That is a record of failure.
Crouere: Yeah, I would agree with that. Steve?
Sabludowsky: Well, number one, as you know Jindal does say that his greatest achievement has been stopping that out-migration, having more people coming in, the brain drain...So that's what he says. Now, I didn't read the thing from Elliott Stonecipher, and I think what Stonecipher was saying--the mass improvement in terms of the population and the economy was related to the Katrina money. And that money is obviously drying up. So there is that issue. I don't know the answer to that. I can tell you this: I personally have asked Steve Moret and also Jindal's secretary, or at least the workforce development people to do a Google hangout to talk about these issues because I hear $70 billion being pounded all of time. $70 billion with the projects, I don't see them. I see some on Canal Street, due to Katrina money, and the joint effort of Jindal and Landrieu in others. But I don't see those projects, and I've asked them to...
Crouere: Hang on, Steve, we'll come back with more and will wrap it up right after this on Ringside WGSO.
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