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Tuesday, 22 February 2011 17:21

Louisiana Politics: Jindal Says Will Face Opposition, Treasurer Kennedy, GOP Takeover

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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is on the campaign trail, at least, electronically.

On Tuesday, his campaign sent out a e-request for money for his campaign war chest.  

Over the past year, Jindal has been criticized for travelling around the nation collecting outside money for a local election.  This email appears to be intended primarily for a local audience as he takes on one of his favorite targets, Washington D.C. while saying  "I will face opposition from those pushing a Washington "spend and tax" agenda instead of our Louisiana "do more with less" agenda.  I need to know I can count on you to be by my side through this election."

So far, he has no opposition.

Here is his campaign request:   

Here in Louisiana we know Washington's spending spree is not a sustainable model.  It is also the exact opposite of the approach we have taken and will continue to pursue at home – in Louisiana we're doing more with less.  Indeed, we have cut overall spending by 26% since I took office in 2008.

Louisiana continues to outpace the national economy and rather than Washington's wasteful ways, our focus continues to be to establish a strong economy that creates more jobs for our people.

As we continue making progress, we still must overcome budget challenges in 2011 to ensure we keep creating opportunities for taxpayers.  And to no surprise there are already folks saying we should raise taxes to fill our budget gap. 

Let me assure you, raising taxes is absolutely out of the question and I will veto any tax increase that crosses my desk.  The path to prosperity is not through higher taxes, and it would be the worst thing to do to our families and businesses.

I will face opposition from those pushing a Washington "spend and tax" agenda instead of our Louisiana "do more with less" agenda.  I need to know I can count on you to be by my side through this election. 

Treasurer John Kennedy Speaks

AG: Chinese drywall relief should come soon to Louisiana


From LaNewsLink

Sign Up Now For Public Policy Seminar Series (A Few Seats Available)

The Louisiana Institute of Public Policy & Politics offers a new seminar series beginning March 1st.

Topics will include Intergovernmental Relations, the State Budget, Education, Healthcare, Infrastructure and more. We will hear from experts, top ranking public officials and policymakers.

The classes will be held each Tuesday night in March (except Mardi Gras) from 6-9 pm in the Board Room of Governor Roemer's Business First Bank on Jefferson Highway.

The sessions are limited to 50 participants. There are some seats left.

For more information email your request to: [email protected]


TIMMY TEEPELL, Chief of Staff for Governor Bobby Jindal

BRUCE GREENSTEIN, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services

DR. JIM RICHARDSON, Public Administration Institute - Professor & Director LSU Department of Economics

CHAS ROEMER- Member, 6th District, Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

ROY FLETCHER- Political media consultant, Attorney, PHD candidate LSU Political Science Department

JOHN MATESSINO- President & CEO, Louisiana Hospital Association

JON RINGO. Special Assistant to the Governor- Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

JENNIFER MARUSAK, Driving Louisiana Forward

CHRIS J. MEYER, Advisor to the Superintendent, Louisiana Department of Education

CAMILLE CONAWAY, SSA Consultants representing Blueprint Louisiana

BRIGETTE T. NIELAND- VP Communications and Director, Education & Workforce Development Council, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry

ERIC LEWIS- Black Alliance of Educational Options

(More to come...)

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GALLUP POLL: Number of Solidly Democratic States Cut in Half From '08 to '10


PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup's analysis of party affiliation in the U.S. states shows a marked decline in the number of solidly Democratic states from 2008 (30) to 2010 (14). The number of politically competitive states increased over the same period, from 10 to 18, with more limited growth in the number of leaning or solidly Republican states. Even with Democratic Party affiliation declining during the past two years, Democratic states still outnumbered Republican states by 23 to 10 last year, and there were 14 solidly Democratic states compared with 5 solidly Republican states. Still, the political map this year looks very different from the Democratic-dominated map in 2008.

Looking more closely at the changes in state party affiliation since 2008, only one state moved from a Democratic positioning to a Republican positioning -- New Hampshire, which was solidly Democratic in 2008 but now is considered leaning Republican. Alabama, Kansas, Montana, and South Dakota moved from a competitive designation to solidly or leaning Republican status. A total of 12 states -- Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin -- shifted from solidly or leaning Democratic to competitive. No states have moved in a more Democratic direction since 2008.

Gallup has documented the decline in Democratic Party affiliation at the national level from its recent peak in 2008 and early 2009. After several years of increasing Democratic affiliation beginning in late 2005, the current political situation is similar to what it was in the mid-2000s, when the parties were more or less even.

(A listing of each state's classification for 2008, 2009, and 2010 is available by clicking on story title link above.)

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Obama Poll Numbers Continue To Fall

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 21% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -20.

That’s the lowest level of Strong Approval yet recorded for President Obama and the lowest Approval Index rating since November. Republicans have a nine-point advantage over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

Thirty-six percent (36%) of voters nationwide believe that their state government employees are paid more than comparable private sector workers. Twenty-one percent (21%) say they’re paid less. Overall, 48% of voters nationwide side with the Governor of Wisconsin in his dispute with labor unions while 38% support the union. Most Republicans and unaffiliated voters support the Governor while most Democrats support the union.

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LA. Senate election completes GOP takeover- "We've hit a political milestone"
by Jan Moller - Times-Picayune (excerpt)

When state Rep. Jonathan Perry, R-Kaplan, eked out a 688-vote victory Saturday in a hard-fought special election to fill an Acadiana-area state Senate seat, the Louisiana Republican Party completed a political sweep that would have seemed improbable just a few years ago. Perry's victory over Democrat Nathan Granger gave Republicans a 20-19 majority in the state Senate, marking the first time since Reconstruction that the GOP has had majority control of the upper chamber. In a state where the GOP already holds the Governor's Mansion, a House majority and all of the constitutional statewide offices, it also means Republicans now control every significant office in state government for the first time in modern history. It's not just a turning point. We've hit a political milestone," said Joshua Stockley, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

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Senator Vitter's LCRM is rapidly becoming a major player in Louisiana politics


Jonathan Perry’s win over Nathan Granger in Saturday’s 26th District Senate race marked a huge milestone in Louisiana politics. With Perry moving ahead to the state Senate, Republicans now have 20 of the 39 seats in that body – a number which would have been considered impossible just a few years ago. In fact, at the end of the last election cycle only 16 of the 39 seats were held by GOP senators; to flip four seats without even crossing a statewide election cycle is almost unheard of. (H)ow did Perry win? For two reasons, it seems. First, he had enormous volunteer support from conservatives all over the state. Perry’s volunteers made 30,000 phone calls and knocked on 8,000 doors in a campaign which produced just under 20,000 votes on Saturday.

U.S. Senator David Vitter’s Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority pumped in a good bit of needed support to Perry’s campaigns. LCRM sent out no less than seven mail pieces in a six-week long campaign, a couple of which contained a personal endorsement from Vitter. A robocall in the district with Vitter’s voice exhorting voters to turn out for Perry also made it to phones there last week.

LCRM is rapidly becoming a major player in Louisiana politics and a driver of the state’s political makeup. It came on the scene in 2007 with over a million dollars in support of conservative candidates, which naturally brought on howls from those on the Left. That year Republicans managed to win 50 seats in the House and 15 (later 16 after Robert Adley switched from Democrat to Republican) in the Senate, both numbers dramatically higher than in previous cycles. In the past year, LCRM has become more and more active in state legislative races, with some $37,000 in expenditures alone in the past two months in Perry’s race and the Senate District 22 race before it won by Fred Mills (the District 22 expenditures were made to stop independent David Groner, who was challenging a pair of Republicans). And with a growing track record of success behind it, LCRM may be cementing itself – rather than Jindal – as the power base for Republicans in Louisiana

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Perry ready to get to work
by William Johnson - The Daily Advertiser (excerpt)

Republican Jonathan Perry made history this week by narrowly defeating Democrat Nathan Granger in the race to fill the open state Senate District 26 seat. Perry's election means the GOP will now have control of both houses of the state Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction. "But this is not just about numbers," Perry said. "This is about bringing a more conservative mindset to the Senate." Granger earlier congratulated Perry on the victory.

On Monday, while appearing beside Gov. Bobby Jindal, Perry returned the compliment to Granger, who currently serves on the Vermilion Parish Police Jury, saying he ran a clean campaign. "I wish him the best. I am sure he will continue to be a valuable public servant," said Perry, who appeared with Gov. Bobby Jindal at UL's Dupré Library to announce his "budget flexibility package," said he knew Perry well as a member of the House and expects him to continue to be an outstanding legislator in the Senate.

For Perry, the election was about what he called the "three no's" — no tax increases, no fee increases and no repeal of any tax exemptions for small business. "If we can hold back restrictions on small business, that is the best and fastest way to grow our economy," he said. "We don't have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem."

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Disagreements emerge over La. court redistricting
by Melinda Deslatte - Associated Press (LA)


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EDITORIAL: Independent body should draw lines
Shreveport Times (excerpt)

The redistricting sniping went public a few weeks ago when one of Louisiana's newest congressmen called foul that the rest were stacking the re-election deck against him.

Freshman Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, would be drawn into a district with four-term Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, with the numbers favoring Boustany. The tension is created by Louisiana's loss of one of its seven congressional seats following the 2010 census count.

The conflict-of-interest fest gets thornier. In less than a month, state lawmakers will convene to finalize not only these congressional maps but to redraw their own House and Senate seats. With term limits meaning a number of state lawmakers will be ineligible to seek re-election, several will be eyeing seats on the other side of the state Capitol. That means some House members will want to help senators redraw their districts and vice versa. The public should rightfully ask how such conflict-of-interest scenarios are allowed to exist?

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EDITORIAL: Stand up, be counted in remapping
The Daily Advertiser (excerpt)

If you're looking for rock 'em, sock 'em entertainment this evening, Acadiana has more to offer than what we're suggesting here. But if you're a committed member of our democracy, someone who likes to hold elected officials' tasseled Italian loafers to the fire, then think about going tonight to the Acadiana Center for the Arts, 110 Vermilion St. in Lafayette. At 6 p.m., state officials will bring their "Redistricting Road Show" to Acadiana to talk about the difficult job of remapping state government and U.S. House districts based on the recently released 2010 census results.

We'd encourage you to attend. It's often assumed, and not just out of cynicism, that redistricting is about the political survival of elected officials. But a big show of concern by the electorate might be enough to nudge the political calculation toward the public good and away from the election prospects of local legislators. Maybe

Census figures, political fights, Supreme Court decisions, federal law — it's all very complicated. But no part of this process works better if it unfolds outside the view of people determined to see that their representatives do the right thing.

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EBR area pushes for more representation
by MARSHA SHULER - Advocate (excerpt)

Baton Rouge area officials pushed Monday for greater political influence as new legislative election district lines are drawn to align them with population shifts. Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden told lawmakers in charge of drawing district lines that population increases in the area warrant expanded representation.

Three of the 39 state Senate districts and eight of the 105 House districts are wholly in East Baton Rouge. A few others include parts of surrounding parishes. The redistricting process must be done every decade, based on the U.S. Census, to ensure that each person’s vote carries as much electoral weight as the next person’s. The Louisiana Legislature will hold a special redistricting session March 20 to April 13.

Jason Decuir said the black population in Baton Rouge warrants a fifth majority black legislative district in the House. He suggested that overall growth of black residents in House districts currently represented by white Republicans, a new minority district could easily be excised in the southern part of the parish.

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Farmerville welcomes Gov. Jindal
by Greg Hilburn - News Star (excerpt)

FARMERVILLE — Gov. Bobby Jindal returned Monday to the parish where he orchestrated one of his biggest economic victories, and the light, but grateful crowd showed its appreciation. "What he's done for this community will never be forgotten," said Farmerville Mayor Stein Baughman. "We like to say this is his second home, and we'll always treat him as one of us."

Jindal, who was here as part of his statewide town hall tour, spoke at the Claiborne Electric meeting room in downtown Farmerville. Two years ago, the governor closed a deal that allowed Foster Farms to buy the former Pilgrim's Pride chicken processing plant in Farmerville, which Pilgrim's Pride closed.

Jindal committed $50 million in state funding to facilitate the sale, and it saved 1,300 jobs and the livelihoods of as many as 200 contract chicken growers.

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Jindal reveals budget ideas

LAFAYETTE — Surrounded by university students, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced proposed legislation Monday that he said could buoy higher education and health-care funding during downturns in state revenue.

Both areas shared the burden of the state’s budget problems in the past two years — higher education by as much as $315 million and Medicaid funding by $264 million.

One proposal is an idea that Jindal unsuccessfully pushed twice in the past. He wants to increase how much can be cut from statutorily protected funds during a budget deficit. Instead of 5 percent, Jindal wants to be able to cut up to 10 percent. Jindal also is proposing the diversion of interest earnings to reduce cuts to public services and the elimination of the protections on certain funds.

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Revised health-care delivery plan released
by MARSHA SHULER - Advocate (excerpt)

The Jindal administration has published its latest version of a new health-care delivery system for the poor — one it hopes will allay opposition from a coalition of physicians and other health-care providers that is key to its success.

“There may still be some new ideas the coalition will bring forward, but most groups we have spoken with see no real reason to oppose it,” state Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein said Monday.“So much of their discomfort with it has been addressed,” Greenstein said.

On Monday, DHH officials launched three days of telephone conferences so health-care providers, insurance interests and others could ask questions about the proposal.

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From Daily Kingfish

Jindal's Recycled Idea Factory

by: Lamar Parmentel

Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 10:31:08 AM CST

With highly-scripted theater, Bobby Jindal marched in front of a friend group of students and educators in Lafayette yesterday and proclaimed his latest budget ideas. His ideas would "buoy higher education and health-care funding during downturns in state revenue." And doesn't that sound lukewarm. He didn't even set out to repair, or to protect, or to maintain, but only to "buoy". Like throwing attaching an inflatable life-preserver to an anvil. 

Jindal is proposing one old "solution" and one new one. First, in with the old: Jindal wants to be allowed to cut more money from statutorily-protected funds in order to redirect monies to higher-ed and healthcare. This idea has been rejected by the legislature twice in the past.

Jindal's second proposal deals with redirecting interest revenues to cover reduced public services. Ok, that reshuffles the deck, but there are still only 52 cards. 

The problem with Jindal's advice, of course, was two-fold. First, Jindal is running his head into the wall with the legislature. Perhaps with a new Republican majority, he'll have more luck. But the problems seem to be parochial, not partisan. Dedicated funds are lawmakers pets, and no one likes it when you mess with their pet. 

The second and more important problem with Jindal's budget proposals is more profound:

None of the proposals would help reduce the projected $1.6 billion budget shortfall in the fiscal year that starts this summer.

But at least they're "creative" solutions!

Joseph Savoie, ULL president, who previously served as the state’s commissioner of higher education.Savoie called the proposals “creative solutions” to the state’s budget problems.

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Governor Jindal Announces New Rice Mill In Mer Rouge Louisiana
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