Tuesday, 11 March 2014 19:39

Jindal's legislative stint part-time, plays on taxpayer's dime

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jindal-historicAs he faces the final two years of his term, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is weak at home and irrelevant nationally. It is crystal clear to anyone who has followed Jindal that he has a burning ambition to become President. Jindal started unofficially running for President the day he was elected Governor. While he regularly gives interviews to Fox News and other national media outlets, Jindal totally ignores media representatives in his home state. Instead of focusing on his powerful position as Governor of Louisiana, Jindal has continually neglected his constituents to campaign and fund raise throughout the country.

A better presidential strategy would have been for Jindal to focus on generating great results for the people of Louisiana and then showcasing his record to the nation. Sadly, there is not much that Jindal can tout as accomplishments. In his first term, he passed an ethics reform package that was incomplete and excluded the entire executive branch of government. His education reform package, specifically his vouchers plan, has been the target of both lawsuits and criticism. Last year, he tried to pass tax reform legislation, but it was DOA in the legislature.

This year, the Governor is in an even weaker position with legislators. He is one of the most unpopular Governors in the nation, with an anemic 35% approval rating, according to the latest survey from Public Policy Polling. Obviously, the voters of Louisiana are tired of being neglected. The result is that his agenda is quite limited in this legislative session. While last year, Jindal proposed ambitious tax reform legislation. this year he offered few specifics in his address to legislators on the opening day of the session. In his speech, he did not mention the burning issue of the session, education reform.

In 2010, the Governor introduced to the state the controversial curriculum known as common core; however, in recent months a growing number of parents and activists have expressed deep concern about the program. Critics are lambasting common core for everything from data mining to unwanted federal oversight of education. Two dozen bills have been introduced in the session to deal with common core, but legislators have no idea where the Governor stands on those issues.

During the session, legislators should not expect to see much of the Governor. To continue his unofficial campaign for President, Jindal will spend even more time outside of the state. This will be a session in which legislators, not the Governor, will be doing the heavy lifting. It is a far cry from previous Governors who have dominated the legislative agenda.

Instead of earning his salary and serving the people who elected him, Jindal will continue to pursue his presidential dream on the taxpayer's dime. Unfortunately for Jindal, all of this effort is not bearing any political fruit, for his presidential prospects seem dim at best. The Governor recently addressed CPAC and finished 10th in the 2016 presidential straw poll. Only 2% of the activists preferred Jindal, who is obviously not motivating and energizing the grassroots activists who will dominate the early Republican primaries and caucuses.

Unloved at home and unwanted in the Republican Party, Governor Jindal can find comfort in his fantasies, the only place where he will ever be elected President of the United States.

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Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]

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