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Jindal travel critiques need to show its harm to LA

Where in the world is Gov. Bobby Jindal? Learning that you just can’t win as governor on the issue of travel.

When former Gov. Mike Foster spent perhaps a couple of days of his entire eight years in office outside of Louisiana, critics said he should be out “selling” the state. When former Gov. Kathleen Blanco tried, almost totally unsuccessfully, to do just that, critics rightly pointed out such quixotic travel did taxpayers a disservice. Now Jindal is coming under fire not because he goes nowhere, not because his travels on state expense yield next to nothing in return, but because he goes everywhere on his own (campaign’s) dime.

Jindal just isn’t taking off on a whim, at least he’s getting invited to deliver speeches that often only tangentially address state issues. This is why his organization or others pay for his peripatetic lifestyle. The main focus of these is Republican party-building and refreshing his own campaign coffers, and to date he has been doing it in a way that has gotten him noticed on the national scene to the point he has been selected as the counterpoint to Pres. Barack Obama’s state of the union lite speech in 13 days.

The question is, does this schedule help or harm the state? On the balance, from current evidence, the answer is the former. These speaking trips don’t cost the state’s taxpayer’s a dime, they do at least present Louisiana in a positive light, and they don’t preclude Jindal from taking “homework” along. In fact, when Jindal let a legislative pay raise controversy get out of hand last year while firmly ensconced at the Capitol this showed he didn’t have to be out of state to let inattention play havoc with his agenda.

Some argue against the extensive travel because it somehow detracts from his ability to do the job as governor, although they never explain exactly how that occurs and/or how the state would be better off if he stuck around Baton Rouge more. That’s probably an assertion that won’t fully be answered until it comes time for the 2011 contest for governor, when a comprehensive comparison of what Jindal said he would do against what he actually has done can happen.

So far, Jindal has initiated meaningful (despite some lame protestations otherwise) ethics reform, backed a few business tax cuts early, did not stand in the way of individual income tax cuts late, restructured workforce development, and curbed some low-priority government spending. Still on the agenda are health care reform to increase efficiency, realigning higher education spending on the basis of outcomes, eliminating even more dubious government spending, and (for a grand slam) the elimination of individual income taxation.

If Jindal can accomplish all of this in the next almost three years, such a record of achievement would demonstrate that travel didn’t seem to impede it. But if he lacks the political will and/or capital to do much more than he has, then the travel issue becomes legitimate. But until then, unless somebody can demonstrate exactly how Jindal is putting too much time into talking and not enough into doing, this criticism seems pointless.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Sadow,

I can't say there is any harm to the state from his politicking and fundraising travels.

On the other hand, I can't see any improvement in the ratings that compare LA to the other states.

If your purpose is to discredit or quiet the critiques, I suggest that you list specific results of his travel especially those to raise money for his campaign(s).

How many businesses did he recruit to LA? How many jobs have been created from businesses recruited to LA? How many businesses did he convinced to increase their presence in our state? What contracts for existing businesses did he facilitate?


Anonymous said...


jkdufour said...

Com'on Sadow, he leaves his "job" because he doesn't know what a "job" is....never had a real one ! We elected him to go to his office, do things to change LA from the gutter to a few notches up (FAILED), stop hiring and spending (FAILED), increase education levels (FAILED), ethics reform (MISERABLY FAILED), ETC.

Now he goes around giving speeches for personal money and we keep his paycheck and benefits rolling in ! PLUS, while he's gone, the no-experience, incompetent, hot-dog, not-too-bright, grandsonyoung, Timmy Teple runs this state under the ground ! AND JINDAL'S SMART ?


Anonymous said...

Some of you old fogeys and young dunces are "stuck in the 50s" with the paradym that work and place go together. I make a 6 figure income, and work from where ever I chose to be. My clients don't know (and don't care) if I am in the office, on the golf course, the Las Vegas Strip, or the Great Wall of China. I am just as available, and just as effective as if I were in my corner office. Technology has made the office obsolete for all but the dunces who need supervision.

To those of you who thing we are the dumbest people on Earth, I agree with you as far as you are concerned.

There are no perfect Govenors, or perfect people. Mr. Jendal has made some freshman errors, and I don't always agree with him (example creationism) but on balance, so far there isn't anyone who wants the job that I would trade him for.

Born in 55

jkdufour said...


One of the reasons we are considered so dumb is because we can't even spell our governor's's not Jendal, goofy !