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11.1.12

Committee top spots tilted to conservatives, reformers


Permanent standing committee chairmen-designates are out for the Louisiana Legislature, and with it perhaps some skewed regional news but good news for the conservative, reform agenda.

In the Senate, the partisan breakdown, 11 from the GOP of the 17, was fairly proportional to their presence in the chamber as a whole. But regional differences titled north and southeast. North Louisiana (and especially Ouachita Parish, with two) hit it big with seven chairmen, a part of the state with only about a fifth of the state’s population. And the 2010 census revealed that while the New Orleans Metropolitan Statistical Area had about a quarter of the state’s population and got about that many of the chairmanships, the Northshore picked up three spots and the River Parishes picked up another, so including Pres. Republican John Alario, half of the 18 meaningful positions of power are held by individuals within 50 miles of Orleans Parish.

The real shutout occurred with the Baton Rouge MSA where, despite comprising one-sixth of the state’s population, only one chairwomanship got scored there, and the remaining one was out yonder west. Demographics and partisanship had something to do with these skewed results, but also experience and, particularly in the case of the Baton Rouge area, compatibility with the Gov. Bobby Jindal agenda.

Bossier City tax hike punishes citizens for govt mistakes

If you're a Bossier City property owner or renter, happy New Year: anybody who read this space was warned. And, as a consequence of their past blundering, Bossier City lawmakers last year made it official: they’re raising taxes on the citizenry this year to make it pay for their mistakes.

In 2010, elected officials moaned and complained about how refusal to renew what was listed on the books as a 6 mill property tax would imperil funding of public safety services. That was their immature way of threatening voters to keep the gravy train rolling, instead of making sensible decisions they long resisted such as selling unneeded and underperforming real estate like the CenturyLink Center and Cyber Innovation Center. Even at a loss, the combination of curtailing the money these lost each year would more than have filled any budgetary gap by removal of the tax.

Voting down the renewal might have been the device to get it through those small brains with the giant egos that sit on the Bossier City Council and in the mayor’s office that they could no longer retain their venture capitalist attitude with the people’s money.

10.1.12

Partisan left calls Jindal partisan for calling them out

It’s always fascinating to observe how the left, imprisoned by its false assumptions about how the world works, views the events that invalidate its worldview. Members of the mainstream media and Louisiana Democrats provide a perfect prism by which to investigate this phenomenon in their parsing of Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s brief second inauguration remarks.

About the only prospective issue raised by Jindal in an otherwise image-laden, retrospective campaign concerned elementary and secondary education, reinforced by his backing of various candidates to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education who said the same or did not appear to oppose it. And it turned out to be about the only issue of which Jindal spoke in his address, saying “In America, you do not have a right to have everything your neighbor has, you do not have a right to a big house or a fancy car, and you do not have a right to redistribute your neighbor’s wealth. But I would suggest this. I would suggest that we long ago decided that every kid does have a right to a quality education from an excellent teacher. And by getting a good education, kids then do have an opportunity to pursue their dreams.”

Also, he stated that the “key to reforming education here in Louisiana is not massive spending and tax increases. Throwing more money at the problem has proven to be a failure ... All we need to do is muster the courage to change our ways and to abandon old, tired methods that failed generations of our children. Anyone who stands in the way of providing real opportunities to all our kids must now stand down. Anyone who stands in the way of giving all our parents and all our children more choices when it comes to education must stand down.”

9.1.12

Jindal gambles lying down with dog doesn't bring fleas

Thus as Gov. Bobby Jindal’s second term in office begins today, a little prior to his swearing in will come the Legislature’s organizational sessions, where expected to be named Senate President after his swearing in for a second term, state Sen. John Alario, represents a gamble by Jindal.

About to begin his fifth decade being visited on the state, Alario has gone from a populist, liberal Democrat who could tax and spend with the best of them, to a more circumspect moderate (according to his Louisiana Legislature Log voting record) Republican. His chameleon political nature at once simultaneously makes him suspicious and desired to lead the Senate on behalf of the governor, who signaled his acceptance of Alario’s taking the chamber’s top position.

In previous stints as a liberal Democrat House speaker, Alario proved effective in promoting a populist agenda.

8.1.12

Time seems right for bolder Jindal policy-making

Will Gov. Bobby Jindal in a second term shed caution in his agenda and throw deep? Indications are that there’s no better time to do and, if he doesn’t go for it this time with conditions such as they are, he never will.

Jindal’s first term demonstrated him as the most conservative in the state’s history and as its greatest reformer. Of course, the baseline does not offer any more than a couple of other governors right of center because they too fully accepted the populist premise of big government doing more than it needed, while several past governors only acted as reformers in the sense that they wished to make government more honest, not less intrusive. What distinguishes Jindal to date is he is the first to reject explicitly the populist persuasion and seek to remove government from areas in which it does not belong and/or where it cannot work as efficiently as alternatives can.

But, Jindal has governed as a cautious reformer.