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Monday, 23 February 2015 19:19

Ode to the Louisiana governor’s campaign promises

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Jindal-collageImagine the next Louisiana gubernatorial candidate making this  campaign speech pronouncements:

“For too long, our state’s leaders have only looked out for themselves and their own self-interests”.


Enough is enough.

My friends, tomorrow starts today.

I make these pledges before you.  While my predecessors have made promises, not only did they fail to deliver, they did not fulfill those pledges due to their own personal motives, to enrich themselves.

I will be different.  My word is my bond.


I promise to only work roughly half of the days on Louisiana government business.  I will travel almost every other day to cities across the nation, and even to foreign countries, using my state campaign war-chest to promote my own political future, even though state law prohibits my doing so.   I will use your precious resources, your State Police to accompany me (and others) on these trips and will use private jets owned by campaign contributors.

I will not tell you where I have been nor what I am doing on some of those days I travel.  You don’t have the right to know.

I will use your state treasury to daily, and sometimes more than daily, to issue political statements totally irrelevant to you, your kids, your schools and your healthcare.   This is important for I need to be considered a policy-wonk.  I need to stand out from the rest of the crowd for my own personal national campaigns.   In fact, I will, whenever possible, interject myself into national (even international) controversies, simply so I can appear on national TV news interviews, be supported by partisan editorials and get my brand out to the public.  I won’t care one bit about what the local media says or what my voters say.  I won’t care about polls, yet criticize others for not paying attention to the people.  I will go around you and those who oppose me.   

I will promise to be a careful steward of our budget and resources.  I will do things the Louisiana Way, not the Washington Way.  We cannot spend money we don’t have.  We can’t pay our bills using our credit cards.  Yet, I make this solemn oath—I will cut taxes and more importantly never raise taxes.   Listen closely.  I am not saying anything about fees,  those are not taxes.  Also, I will give large corporate tax breaks to “ginny-rig” the economy, especially with low natural gas prices to spur greater business growth.   My guiding light will be—one from a small state (especially a southern one) cannot be president of this nation—unless there is  a “economic miracle” on the resume. 

I have learned the national media types are fools.  They do no advance homework.  I will tell them and the rest of world about all of the spectacular things I have done during the course of my administration, even if none are true.  For starts, I will claim that productivity has doubled since my taking over.  So, what if the money comes from one-time money such as hurricane disaster recovery?   So what if the latter years of my reign, after the disaster recovery cache runs dry, our productivity numbers tube.   So what if our job growth falls substantially below the national average, or if we get serious warnings from two of the three credit rating firms?  What do those matter, anyway?  When I talk, I go on for minutes, in machine-gun fashion, never giving any interviewer any opportunity to question what I am saying.  If they really do get testy, I will just ignore their question and discuss what I want, change the subject.  I will not embarrass you.

I will refuse to take any federal money promoted by presidents of the other party during times of economic collapse even if those funds are dedicated to stimulate the economy.  However, I also promise to travel around the state, delivering money for roads and highways, without telling anyone that the funds came from the despised stimulus.

I will not take any federal money for high-speed broadband and will make certain that this state will be dead last in Internet speed.  While cities such as Chattanooga Tennessee can use the same stimulus money to build wi-fi twenty to fifty times faster than the speeds existing in any of our cities, I will remain an economic purist.  I need to do this to gain the approvals of Washington DC think tanks, lobbyists and talk show hosts.  I am sure you understand.  If you don’t, then,  tough!

I absolutely will ensure that our legislature abides by the strictest campaign financing rules.  We must own the ethics gold standard.  Yet, you will not be able to see what I am doing nor what members of my administration are doing.  I will keep you in the dark for months until all is said and done.   Some things of public interest, such as some of my travels, you don’t have the right to any information, whatsoever.   I will invent the “deliberative process” to cloak my office’s actions.  You can bet one one thing for certain as long as I am your governor.  Transparency will not exist.

I will leave this state in the worse budgetary mess in its history.   I will waste the billion dollar surplus we now have.  I promise to raise college tuitions.  I promise to keep our kids hooked on cigarettes so those friendly tobacco companies can pay famous Louisiana lobbyists to demand no increases in tobacco sales taxes nor any extensions of four cents tax on a pack of smokes.   Who cares if our kids get cancer some day or heart disease?  Who cares if the air we breathe becomes even more polluted, if cancer alley becomes one of the most dangerous place in the world.   Who cares if our lands cave in with sink holes, if our waters become polluted?  What matters is this—donors will contribute to my causes, my campaigns and my PACs.  And guess what?  On some of these national bank accounts, you won’t know where I am getting any of the money.   Convenient to me, I will blame the IRS scandal.  We all hate the IRS, you know.

If you like your higher education and healthcare systems, you can’t keep them.  I will starve  higher-ed until it looks like a refuge.  I will cripple our healthcare delivery system so it can no longer walk.  I will  give contracts to insiders and contributors, and make certain we remain the nation’s most unhealthy state in the nation.  After all, I know a thing or two about healthcare.

I pledge that once the fiscal dike breaks and our budget woes come cascading to drown us, I will not accept any blame.  None.  Nada.  Instead,  I will blame oil prices and the nation’s economy.   Most of all, I promise to always blame the President.   But, don’t be scared.   I have a special relationship with the man upstairs.  He likes the fact I am recruiting other ethnic groups to the fold.   He likes my claim that only he can save us.  He loves my comments that he always wins.  Friends, don’t worry if your kids can’t see doctors or if they are deprived of healthy meals.  We are safe.  My oversized “Governor of Louisiana” western- belt buckle, cowboy boots and bible will guarantee that our prayers of need will be heard.

These are just some of the promises and campaign pledges I make to you.  I need your vote.

I also need your salary.  I need the right to use you so I can create campaign PAC’s, write policy papers that will fix all of this nation’s problems  although back home, I have not fixed any, but have made matters so much worse.

I need you.  And, you need me.  You need my competence.  You especially are thirsting for my deeply-rooted ethics code.  We can make a difference.

Please vote for me…I promise to adhere to these campaign pledges                  

**************************************************************************************************************************************************      Friends.  I take little pleasure writing this column.  I have found it quite painful.             

But, as we rev up to the legislative session, let me ask you these questions--would you vote for this candidate for governor?  Would you trust him with the people’s business?   If not, would you continue paying him?  Would you pay your employee for half of a job, especially if the work product is horrible?

Our Governor, Bobby Jindal, is making shreds of this state as he mocks us with his selfish uncompromising urge to become the nation’s most powerful.

OUr State of Louisiana,our kids cannot afford the status quo with  the status quo, Governor Jindal. 

It is time he “man’s up”.  It is time he either resigns as our state’s chief executive, do a Sarah Palin, allowing him to continue his bizarre presidential run or suspend it totally until he leaves office.  It matters little if other states governors are running the circuit.  We are a poor state, getting poorer.  Promises have been deeply and utterly broken. 

This state is at a crossroad.  We’re in one of the greatest times of need.  Seven years ago,  we were there, courtesy of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Now, we are here, again, due to a man-made disaster.   Our own product, Bobby Jindal. 

Regardless, whether he resigns or stays in office, he owes the people of Louisiana.  We should mandate this legislative session that he repay us for his incessant travel, for his personal political use of our state’s office.  For starts, he should pay back half of last year’s salary.

To protect our state from future abuse, it is time we send a message to our future  politicians.   We extend you our public trust.  We do not extend you a license to abuse us.  When you put your own personal ambitions and welfare before the needs of the people, you will lose.

It is time for the people of Louisiana to stand up and to tell our governor, we would never elect him, nor do we want him unless things radically change.  We are worn.  Tired.  We suffer from a horrible bout of Jindal-fatigue.

Something must change.   It must be him.

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Stephen Sabludowsky | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.