In part 2 of an interview with Bernie Pinsonat, in the continuing series called Bernie Burns, publisher Stephen Sabludowsky asked about the interplay among the budget, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s presidential ambitions and politics and the desires for many of the legislators to be re-elected, given the upcoming Louisiana political season, this fall.
SABLUDOWSKY: There's two things that really strike me. Number one, and I certainly would like to get your take, but number one, we're dealing with a election year, a statewide election year and so a lot of people from legislator to dog catchers to parish presidents--their careers are now on the line-- Lt. Gov., Insurance Commissioner, and so on. In addition, we have a situation where our governor is obviously trying to be president of the United States. So, I mean, those two things, and plus given the incredible budget situation--I've been following this now for a few decades myself and it's never been this bad. So I'm just wondering, given the election, given the governor's desires to be president--I mean, how does that play into all of this?
PINSONAT: Well it's a complicating factor, that's a good point Steve. We'll never had a governor play at the level of national politics that Jindal obviously has. It's hurting, it has hurt him with some, the poll I've done show him about at 50% think he should drop this and 50% think it's okay. It doesn't mean they are cheering for him to be doing it but, but it's okay. But it has hurt his popularity and I think that Jindal's has made a conscious decision that just something, that's a price that I'm just going to have to pay. Whether the skeptic out there--really does he have a chance or--I don't think Jindal pays attention to a lot of that. But it is a backdrop that is complicating the budget solution--his national ambitions in the positions he's taking nationally, obviously affect his role he'll play at the capital. When you're so strict on what revenues and how they'll be interpreted and whatever else and with $1B.6,deficit--how do you expect to raise that kind of money, so. Jindal may come up with a plan, I don't really see going very far, especially since there is opposition, and it's normal opposition, but there's no question that Jindal's playing national politics is complicating the eventual outcome. Now will--you've made a good point, there's also hundred 144 legislators who's up for reelection and a lot of those can be reelected, some are term-limited, but the ones what to be reelected this fall, it is a different time for them. Jindal's gone this time. So they don't have to worry about Jindal. It's their hide that could be skinned if no solutions found. And, you have the backdrop of anti-taxes and you have a conservative state and all of those things play into this and it adds to--which is one of the things reminded me of.
PINSONAT: Besides all of the various problems that cause the backdrop, the backdrop of the session to be complicated, add to that, the reelection of 144 legislators. And the question is--how would we get out of this. I don't know how big of a role Jindal will eventually play. I don't know how many legislators Republicans, or anyone else would really, I do not believe will go over the plank for Jindal. I think that Jindal knows that their on their own and he's on his own. There's a common shared responsibility to get something done and I think that's the glue that will hold it together--will it hold it together throughout the session, that's the $64,000 question? Steve, So, no matter how we look at it though, it is a unique situation as you said--you've been doing this as long as I have and is been, but never have we faced this type of session, with so many complications, with so many negative possibilities, because of the atmosphere, because of the constraint, because of all of the interests in how they look at their future and how they can get us out of this mess