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Tuesday, 07 August 2012 02:08

The media state of the Jindal Veepstakes

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jindal-deanLouisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is a hot item locally and nationally.  As he was with Rick Perry, he has become one of Mitt Romney's favorite political surrogates on the campaign road which has further fanned the flames over whether the second-term governor will be Mitt's pick for Vice President.

Yet, honestly, not all of the media about Jindal has been "hot" such as favorable.  Some of it has been, quite frankly, very ugly, in fact, much so.



Unquestionably, some conservatives are writing positive copy while many in the liberal media has shed light from an all together different angle upon him. 

Sometimes, the middle of the road publications such as the mainstream Los Angeles Times will take the centralist approach, casting his pros and cons together, trying to present a balanced biographical sketch of the possible Vice President within the one-thousand or so words available.  

Today, media-wise, Jindal certainlyhas had much better days.  

 In trying to present today's segment of our ongoing series of "The Good, the Bad, the Pretty and the Ugly of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal", I have been forced to to comb through four pages of ten of the most recent articles on Google News to find what i consider to be a good balance of fresh news and commentary.  

Why is this so?

In part, because some believe Louisiana is not the "Louisiana Miracle" that is being projected.  For instance, in healthcare, due to budgetary issues and changing times in the healthcare industry, Louisiana's Charity system is in chaos.   Even one of Jindal's top supporters wrote yesterday that the governor should reconsider his mega-plans for Big Charity due to a business model that just is not there.

On the education front, again, Jindal's highly-touted reform is being given grades ranging from A plus to F-minus.  His law, as presented by many critical voices in the media, reshapes Louisiana into a laboratory of religious doctrine in place of science defanged of accountability while his main message in getting the legislation passed this spring was teachers and schools need to be held accountable.

Jindal is being presented in media circles as being an expert in education and healthcare, yet, outside of Louisiana, based upon some of the recent media, he is quite vulnerable in those areas. 

Perhaps worse, Jindal has been portrayed by the national pundits and by some very powerful anti-government spending  leaders, such as Grover Norquist, as the man, if Vice President, would  reform the nation out of the tax and spend bottomless pit--called Washington DC.

Yet, in Louisiana, there is a mini-revolution brewing in the land of the very conservative House of Representatives who  want to have more bargaining power over the Governor when it comes to the Louisiana budget and the issue of government spending.   These conservatives, while trying not to embarass the governor during this time of great public exposure, are not very pleased with his budget-handling over the years of his administration. 

For balance, Mitt Romney has a few weeks before he must announce his pick.  I personally have seen Jindal 's popularity in the state soar after it appeared the public wanted his head on a platter.  His reversal on the very unpopular legislative payraise comes to mind.  Within days after vetoing that payraise that he pledged to approve, the governor's popularity moved 180 degrees after he caved into the public pressure and then vetoed monies that were going to non-governmental organizations (NGO)  requesting state funding.

Jindal has the ability to turn minds around as quick as anyone I have ever seen in government.  Believe me, Jindal Veepstakes, which does not look nice right now, is far from over.

Here is today's continuing installment of the Good, the Bad, the Pretty and the Ugly of Bobby Jindal: 


BAYOUBUZZ NOTE: This article was posted on the Internet prior to the publishing of this column..."

A powerful Louisiana Baptist minister from Monroe Louisiana has lashed out at Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s education program due to the law’s voucher program which provides public money to help fund religious private schools, even schools that are not equipped for the students allocated.


Rev. C. Welton, speaking on the behalf of the Interfaith Alliance, a national, nonpartisan grassroots and educational organization based in Washington that has 185,000 members nationwide made up of 75 faith traditions as well as those of no faith tradition sent a letter to Jindal.


The letter has been published in the Washington Post"

Here are excerpts from the letter:

Your school voucher scheme is bad for religious freedom and bad for public education as well as a blatant attack on the religious freedom clauses in the United States Constitution.

Thankfully, thoughtful educators, concerned citizens, and media representatives in the state are exposing your ruthless attack on public education — the provision that the founders of our nation considered essential to the survival of our democracy. You seem unable to distinguish between religious indoctrination and basic public education.



Congress eliminated the extra Medicaid money it was giving Louisiana because of the hurricanes. With the state match, that means we are facing a deficit of $860 million in our Medicaid program, which provides health care for the poor, disabled and uninsured.

We knew this day was coming sooner or later. It came sooner because of federal budget problems. Louisiana wasn't ready.

In response, the Jindal administration has apparently decided to save money by choosing to deliver health care through "public-private partnerships" between the state's 10 charity hospitals.

But it will take at least a year, and likely longer, to negotiate the partnerships, because local providers will understandably want to know how they're going to get paid.

We don't have years.

Under Gov. Bobby Jindal's voucher program, considered the most sweeping in the country, Louisiana is poised to spend tens of millions of dollars to help poor and middle-class students from the state's notoriously terrible public schools receive a private education. While the governor's plan sounds great in the glittery parlance of the state's PR machine, the program is rife with accountability problems that actually haven't been solved by the new standards the Louisiana Department of Education adopted two weeks ago.

For one, of the 119 (mostly Christian) participating schools, Zack Kopplin, a gutsy college sophomore who's taken to to stonewall the program, has identified at least 19that teach or champion creationist non-science, and will rake in nearly $4 million in public funding from the initial round of voucher designations.

Many of these schools, Kopplin notes, rely on Pensacola-based A Beka Book curriculum or Bob Jones University Press textbooks to teach their pupils Bible-based "facts," such as the existence of Nessie the Loch Ness Monster and all sorts of pseudoscience that researcher Rachel Tabachnick and writer Thomas Vinciguerra have thankfully pored over so the rest of world doesn't have to.

Here are some of my favorite lessons:

  1. 1.Dinosaurs and humans probably hung out:"Bible-believing Christians cannot accept any evolutionary interpretation. Dinosaurs and humans were definitely on the earth at the same time and may have even lived side by side within the past few thousand years." -Life Science, 3rd ed. Bob Jones University Press, 2007

Jindal has a relaxed, natural energy in front of a crowd.  He discusses matters of complex policy, and the astonishingly successful solutions he has implemented as Governor, with the familiarity and passion of a science-fiction fan talking about his favorite Star Trek episodes.

He fully understands the stakes in November.  “I’m here to tell you, this really is the most important election of our lifetime,” he explained.  “We really can not afford four more years of this president.  And I mean that not only in the sense of the trillions of dollars of debt.  I mean that not only in the sense that we can’t afford four more years of on-the-job training.  We can’t afford the change to our country that will happen under his leadership.”

He cited a number of metrics of economic success, from GDP growth and employment to family income, which suggest Obama has been moving the country in the wrong direction.  “I don’t want the President to get us accustomed to this being ‘the new normal’… to get us to believe this is simply the best we can do,” Jindal warned.  “Look, I believe he has done the best he can do.  But that’s not the best America can do.”

Policy-wise, some of Jindal's biggest professed accomplishments carry an asterisk. Yes, he passed ethics legislation, but he has also fought efforts to make his own office transparent. He sponsored a huge education reform law, but the newly expanded private school voucher piece of it has already produced major controversies. And that great big income tax cut -- well, it wasn't his idea, he only signed it to keep the Legislature from taking even more draconian action, and he still doesn't have the trust of Baton Rouge's self-defined fiscal hawks.

Jindal also would have to answer for Louisiana's consistently low rankings on all sorts of well-being measures.

LSU is using stopgap funding to stave off many of the immediate cuts to the 10-hospital health system that cares for the poor and uninsured and trains many of Louisiana's medical professionals. But the Jindal administration has said continued drops in financing should be expected annually.

Before they cobbled together the temporary fix, LSU health-care leaders grappled with how to strip more than $300 million in annual funding -- a quarter of the hospital system's financing -- from its budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.

The scenarios, outlined in documents released by LSU in response to a public records request, described likely hospital closures, thousands of layoffs, jeopardized patient care and medical training programs pushed to the brink of elimination.

Mr. Lucas is also the proud owner and registered agent of at least three dozen different companies, the overwhelming majority of which are non-profits (or, to borrow a term from my friend Dambala, “con-profits”) listed as “Not in Good Standing” by the Louisiana Secretary of State." >

Dambala excavated the bones a few months ago. Suffice it to say, Leonard Lucas is a shady, almost comically ridiculous figure. He’s named as a registered agent for numerous non-profits, yet none of those companies disclosed their 990 returns.

SHOCKING: Bobby Jindal’s Vouchers Will Provide Over $700,000 Per Year To School Led by “Prophet, Apostle.” 2

Meet Leonard Lucas, a former, one-term Louisiana State Representative and erstwhile candidate for New Orleans City Council. When Mr. Lucas sent out a press advisory announcing his candidacy for City Council,here’s how The Times-Picayune reported the news:

Lucas, the founding pastor of Light City Church and a one-term state representative, sent out a statement riddled with grammatical errors saying he will formally announce his candidacy today  at 1 p.m. at the shuttered Schwegmann’s Shopping Center on Bullard Road.

And when Leonard Lucas isn’t butchering the English language, he’s busy trying to convince people that he’s an “apostle” and a “prophet.

Mr. Lucas is also the proud owner and registered agent of at least three dozen different companies, the overwhelming majority of which are non-profits (or, to borrow a term from my friend Dambala, “con-profits”) listed as “Not in Good Standing” by the Louisiana Secretary of State." >

Dambala excavated the bones a few months ago. Suffice it to say, Leonard Lucas is a shady, almost comically ridiculous figure. He’s named as a registered agent for numerous non-profits, yet none of those companies disclosed their 990 returns.

And all of this apparently qualifies Mr. Lucas for nearly $700,000 a year in public voucher funding for his school. Mr. Lucas’s school was approved for 163 voucher spots at $4,555 per student. To be clear, the Jindal Administration, in the first year, has already preliminarily granted eighty spots, at a cost of $364,000. Quoting from his website:


The Light City Church School of the Prophets is a training institute for those who sense the flow and pull of the prophetic upon their lives. The mandate of the school of the Prophets just as it was in the Old Testament days is to train men and women effectively in the prophetic. It is a time of proper training, mentoring, and developing of the spirit in the prophetic realm. It is a time that you are taught how to hear from God, how to speak the mind of God, and how to nurture the gift of prophecy.Those individuals that accept the challenge to attend must have an understanding that they are yielding themselves to the tutelage of Apostle Leonard Lucas Jr., who walks in the fullness of his calling and wears the mantle of an Apostle and Prophet. If you believe this is the calling upon your life, we invite you to join us for dynamic teaching and thought provoking sessions. Classes are held every Friday at 7:00pm at Light City Church, located at 6117 St. Claude Ave. Please call 504-301-4593 for more information.

I don’t know Mr. Lucas personally, but I know this: He is not an Apostle. He is not a Prophet. And he does not deserve or merit taxpayer dollars. If anything, he deserves a thorough audit. And considering the “school” had only held classes every Friday, it certainly appears as if it was suddenly created out of thin air, a farcical attempt to garner public money.

But in Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana, with the full support of Superintendent John White, Apostle/Prophet Lucas is the future of education.

Lord help us.

Governor Bobby Jindal's education reform is giving new power to superintendents across the state when it comes to hiring and firing faculty and staff. But school board members are voicing their concerns.

St. Landry Parish Interim Superintendent Joseph Cassimere appointed a new principal last week at Eunice Elementary, without a single vote from the board.

"It kind of takes away from everything the school board could do, or the school board members could do," said St. Landry Parish School Board Member Anthony Standberry.

School boards across the state no longer have a say in who goes and who gets hired. Standberry warned, it could be a slippery slope.

"For one person to have that say as to who stays and who goes, that's just quite a bit to put in one person's hands," said Standberry.

But Cassimere said he's taking on this new control with great care while acting as superintendent.

Gov. Bobby Jindal: Mitt Romney Will Restore The Middle Class And Strengthen The Economy

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal made the following statement on the July employment report:

“The disappointing jobs report is just more evidence that the only thing President Obama’s economic plan has ‘worked’ to do is slow the recovery, stifle job creation, and make it harder for small businesses to succeed and hire workers. After the 42nd straight month of unemployment over 8 percent, Americans are desperate for new leadership in the White House. Mitt Romney’s Plan for a Stronger Middle Class will bring our economy back and create millions of good jobs.

 In fact, if the governor had had his way, lawmakers would have imposed no standards whatsoever on private schools participating in the program. Only when state Rep. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans, and others objected loudly to the lack of accountability provisions did Jindal relent — and even now the voucher bill's accountability language is vague. It required state Education Superintendent John White to draft unspecified standards by Aug. 1. White met that deadline, and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved White's proposed standards the next day. Voucher supporters breathlessly hailed the accountability measures as groundbreaking, but a closer examination shows White and BESE have set the bar very low — too low, in our opinion — for private schools that stand to rake in millions of taxpayer dollars through the voucher program.

  For starters, only a few schools will even be subject to the so-called accountability standards — and many of those that don't measure up won't face any repercussions for four years. Here's why:

  • Only those private schools that accept at least 40 students in grades that are subject to testing in public schools — grades 3 through 11 — will have to administer the public school test for each applicable grade level, and then only to the voucher students. State officials estimate only a quarter of the participating private schools will enroll enough voucher students to trigger the accountability standards. Applying those standards to only one-fourth of participating private schools falls woefully short of "accountability."

Jindal has been hopscotching the country for the past few months campaigning with and for Romney and appearing on numerous television news talk shows. 
He is considered to be among the top three finalists for being Romney’s vice presidential running mate, along with former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and U.S. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio.

“Win or lose, he’s going to come out of this looking good,” said Pearson Cross, head of the Political Science Department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “There’s not really a down side to this for Jindal. He’s gaining valuable experience – the kind of experience that will come in handy for a national campaign.”

Asked Jindal’s motivation for spending so much time with Romney, especially since he has pledged “I have the job I want,” Jindal spokeswoman Shannon Bates said “Louisiana and America cannot afford another four years of President Obama.

“Obamacare, job-killing energy policies from the Obama Administration, and the President’s out-of-control spending are real threats to Louisiana,” she said. “In order to move Louisiana forward, it is critical that we elect Mitt Romney and make Barack Obama a one-term President so we can repeal and replace Obamacare and grow our economy.”

Gov. Bobby Jindal may have won his most recent budget battles with a group of Louisiana House fiscal conservatives, but the win won't rid the governor of legislative criticism for his budgeting tactics.

Lawmakers who unsuccessfully tried to shrink Jindal's spending plans are hitting the books in the legislative offseason. They're beefing up their knowledge of how state spending and contracting works — delving into details that can be tough to dissect in the limited weeks of a legislative session.

The bloc of lawmakers who object to the Jindal administration's patchwork financing of state government agencies and programs are getting organized, calling themselves the "Budget Reform Coalition."

More than two dozen House members led by Rep. Brett Geymann formed a political action committee, set up a website and announced plans to travel the state seeking support for their push to change how Louisiana spends its money. They also are considering sending out political mailers and advertising directly to voters.

"We believe the whole process is broken," said Geymann, R-Lake Charles. "The key for us is going to be getting enough information for us to make a decision. We're going to put a lot of pressure on government to provide us the information to help us craft a budget that works."

While Palin was the antithesis of a policy wonk, Jindal, 41, is a former Rhodes scholar who made his name deep-diving into substantive issues like healthcare. At 24, he was appointed head of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals, beginning a pattern of firsts and youngests that have marked Jindal’s nearly two decades in public life.

Despite that contrast, however, Jindal could serve Romney in the same manner that Palin boosted McCain in 2008. He is likely to appeal to the social conservative base of the GOPmore than the candidate topping the ticket. A convert to Roman Catholicism, Jindal steadfastly opposes same-sex marriage and legal abortion — without exception — supports prayer in the public schools and earns high marks from theNational Rifle Assn.

His placement on the ticket could also serve as a one-man rejoinder to the image of the GOP as a province of the rich, white and privileged. Jindal is none of those things.

The son of immigrants from India’s Punjab province, Jindal was born in Baton Rouge three months after his parents arrived in the United States so his mother could attend graduate school at Louisiana State University. (Jindal has released both his birth certificate and evidence his parents immigrated legally to the U.S.),0,1486366.story?track=rss




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