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Wednesday, 04 March 2015 18:04

Ex-Team Jindal insider slams governor, administration

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gov-mansionThere are many who are now disallusioned with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal these days.  Some have questioned his policies and his honesty on many issues.  Many of those who are doing so are members of the media, democrats, independents and yes, even some republicans.  Lately, the anger towards him has become more shrill than ever.  In part, he is getting blamed for mismanagement of Louisiana's budget while trying to take on the worlds' woes.


 In part, the facts just have not been consistent with his repeated public self-promotions. For example, when he repeatedly claimed that Louisiana productivity was twice that of the US, he always failed to disclose facts detrimental to his claim--such as, the high performance due to billions in federal money from Hurricane Katrina and Rita and the low performing economy the last three years of his administration.  When he recently asserted that Louisiana's budget problems are largely due to the drop in oil prices, he again deceived the public.  As this column noted weeks ago, the Louisiana budget had a recognized $1.2 billion dollar shortfall in October of 2014, far before the price of oil tubed. 

However, a new column or op-ed has emerged that puts the Jindal administration and the governor himself in perhaps the harshest of lights.  This one was written by an insider.  A bonafide member of Team Jindal.

The OPED appears today on the "liberal" blog, Cenlamar.  Here is the beginning and please click on the link at the bottom for the rest of the story:

Former Louisiana Republican operative and New Media Director to the 2011 Bobby Jindal campaign, Taylor Huckaby recalls the birth, life, and death of his confidence in the Jindal brand.

When I was 19, I babysat Governor Bobby Jindal’s three children.

Yes, changing diapers and making sure all the broccoli was fully eaten would be the opening salvo of my career in government and campaign communications. Each day after classes back in 2008, a female friend and I would make our way to the Governor’s Mansion gate and do our best to help First Lady Supriya Jindal and a few state troopers wrangle the kids.  We’d had the good fortune of attending the same church as then-Chief of Staff Timmy Teepell, who offered us the gig one Sunday after services.  Naturally, we leapt at the opportunity.

I’d always found myself in a love affair with politics, being particularly drawn to the conservative brand from a young age. Whereas my friends would spend their days playing Xbox or chasing cheerleaders, I would find myself charting out a pilgrimage to President Bush’s Crawford Ranch or making plans to attend Sean Hannity’s newest book signing.

So it came as no surprise to anyone that I, then a freshman student in the LSU political communication track, would be thrilled to become a part of Team Jindal— even if it were in less-than-glorious capacity. He had just been elected to his first term, and as a kid who thought of himself as a highly intellectual Christian conservative, I then believed Jindal would be my express ticket to the heights of politics.

And the babysitting gig did indeed open doors. A few short months later, I found myself working for the Louisiana GOP, churning out content for their website and writing speeches for Chairman Roger Villere.  Down the road, when Jindal ran for reelection, Teepell brought me onboard the campaign as New Media Director. I ran Jindal’s social media accounts, wrote press releases, edited opinion pieces, and crafted reams worth of letters to the editor. In fact, if you received a newsletter from the Jindal campaign in your email inbox during the campaign, there’s a good chance yours truly wrote it.

Yet as time wore on, my conservative fervor waned.  I was exposed to arguments and ideas I had not previously considered, and faced a growing disconnect between my sexuality and the official stance of the Republican Party– to say nothing of Jindal’s on-the-record remarks about gay people.

By 2012, I could no longer square my chosen career in Republican politics with my personal beliefs, and left Louisiana feeling as though I had wasted four years.  I still count many members of Team Jindal as close, personal friends — I came out as gay sitting in the Teepells’ kitchen, for crying out loud — but I had become irredeemably disillusioned and cynical about the message we were selling.

Today, in 2015, not even the slightest vestige of the Bobby Jindal I had once believed could occupy the White House remains.

Jindal now fashions himself more as a producer of Duck Dynasty than the wonkish political wunderkind I had once admired. He seems to be on an endless quest to prove something to America, though at this point, I’m not quite sure what.

He constantly wheedles to anyone with an open ear about pulling his state through repeated crises with little more than a star-spangled gleam in his eye and a generous helping of down-home guts and gumption.  Any hint of gubernatorial malpractice he papers over with dark exhortations against the Obama presidency, patently false explanations involving falling oil prices, or the more generalized threat of liberals doing… things.

The Jindal recipe for public policy and governance is, in short, a magnificently bald-faced façade. To mix a bunch of metaphors, he’s an unraveling tapestry on display within a house of cards built on a swamp below sea level in the path of a hurricane.

Since Jindal’s ascent to the Kingfish’s throne in 2007, Louisiana has lurched from one budgetary catastrophe to the next— but these budget woes are as manufactured as the belt buckles he wears on tour in Iowa.  It is a simple, time-tested political calculus which allowed Governor Jindal to perennially wreak havoc on Louisiana, escape the blame, and then be the hero all at once—but the limit exists, and now there’s no place for him to escape.



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