Last year, he traveled throughout the country promoting the Romney campaign. This year, he has been using his position as Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association to maintain a constant presence on network television programs such as Meet the Press.
He will be back on the national stage next week when he speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). This high profile conference frequently features Republicans who are planning to run for President. Although he denies the ever-present rumors about his presidential ambitions, it is no secret that Governor Jindal intends to launch a campaign for the White House.
In effect, he is using the people of Louisiana as a stepping stone for his national ambitions. While being paid to serve as the state’s Governor, Jindal is diverting his time and attention to his national political ambitions. This clear desire for the national stage has drawn the ire of an increasing number of Louisiana residents. Recent polls have shown that Jindal’s approval rating is falling. In fact, in one poll, the Governor registered an anemic approval rating of only 37%.
Along with the distressing political news, Jindal received a major setback in the courts yesterday. His highly touted teacher tenure plan that was rushed through the legislature has now been ruled to be unconstitutional. The Governor plans to appeal, but his entire education reform agenda is now in serious jeopardy.
This unconstitutional plan is the same one that Jindal has been touting as he travels across the country. The Governor has hyped this education reform plan as an example of the progress he has made in Louisiana. In light of the court’s decision, the Governor may have to adjust his voluminous talking points.
One thing he will not mention in his frequent speeches to national audiences is the environmental disaster occurring in Assumption Parish. The Bayou Corne sinkhole first appeared in August of 2012. It is growing and has forced the displacement of over 350 Assumption Parish residents.
Sadly, the state’s frequent-flyer Governor has refused to visit the sinkhole site and has been strangely silent about this potential environmental catastrophe. Ironically, while Jindal has refused to visit Bayou Corne, environmental activist Erin Brockovich will be making a visit this weekend. It is pretty embarrassing that Brockovich can travel thousands of miles to see the sinkhole, yet the Governor cannot travel a few miles from his mansion in Baton Rouge.
To date, the sinkhole has consumed nine acres and could expand to over 40 acres. Scientists now believe that the sinkhole was created when a cavern collapsed in a massive Napoleonville salt dome. This cavern was being excavated by the Texas Brine Company, which may have culpability for the damages that have resulted from the sinkhole.
According to one report the collapse occurred because of the “failure of the salt wall separating the cavern from the surrounding natural formations.” Once the wall collapsed, “millions of cubic yards of rock and other material” were able to flow into the cavern. Eventually, the cave in “caused the sinkhole to emerge near Bayou Corne.”
This disaster has led to five lawsuits already and many more will be filed in the days ahead. As the sinkhole grows, natural gas is appearing on the surface, while tremors are being felt below the surface. The people of Assumption Parish are obviously quite concerned, but it is unfortunate this concern is not shared by their Governor.
It is time for Governor Jindal is stop chasing the national spotlight and start focusing on major problems, such as the Bayou Corne sinkhole, in his state.
In effect, he needs to do his job, earn the salary he is being paid and stop treating the people of Louisiana as second class citizens.
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Bayoubuzz Interviews December 2012
La. Commissioner of Ag. Strain says financial crises on Mississippi River Crises--Bayoubuzz.com
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