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Probably as a happy confluence of political ambition and real desire to reduce state spending, Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy has not displayed any shyness in tossing out many ideas – most good, some already implemented, and a few unworkable – addressing the downsizing state government. But recent remarks of his on the topic have caused his credibility on the issue to take a big hit.
In a speech to a civic organization interested in politics, Kennedy threw out some bromides for cost-cutting about which he has stumped for some time, but then let go with one that may have left his listeners in disbelief: that the state has between 30,000 and 35,000 political appointees, who make an average of $80,000 a year. Subsequently, he repeated such numbers in a call into the Moon Griffon radio talk show.
As well the in-person and radio audiences should have felt in disbelief – because that simply is not true.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 07:15
The last gasp of Democrats trying to retain power in the Louisiana for the foreseeable future came yesterday when the Senate bucked the plan preferred by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal for Congressional redistricting. Aided by a few new Senate Republicans looking for political cover that they could exploit on this issue, when that assistance no longer can be forthcoming, then comes the flatline.
Jindal prefers SB 24 by state Sen. Neil Riser, which closely tracks legislation that already has cleared the House, that creates two north-south districts. This bill lost as narrowly as possible, 19-20, while the Senate passed a rival measure, SB 3 by state Sen. Lydia Jackson, 23-15, which creates a northern and a central band preferred by Democrats because it makes for a map that is more competitive for their candidates.
Riser’s measure lost because five southern Louisiana Senators who have switched from the Democrats to Republicans in the last four years, all but one in the last few months, went against it
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 07:20
Seldom does a high-profile politician come along that both Louisiana Democrats and Republicans fervently hope will run for office. One has emerged as a candidate for governor later this fall – all because, for different reasons and at different levels, she is such a useful idiot.
In fact, as far as these go, former lieutenant governor candidate for Democrats Caroline Fayard is about as useful an idiot as you can get. The term “useful idiot” came from European communist movements, to describe somebody that thinks of herself as an ideological ally of a group but instead is held in contempt by it and used for its own purposes that do not match hers. The modern formation of the classical definition describes well her relationship with state Democrat power brokers.
They face an ongoing crisis as Republicans now hold all levers of power in every single elective policy-making way – all executive branch offices, both chambers of the Legislature, the Public Service Commission and (counting the appointed members) the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 07:30
Democrats look set to follow a scorched earth strategy as a final tactic to try to influence the drawing of legislatures’ district boundaries, as they come to grips with the fact that they no longer call the tune when it comes to that function and with the change in leadership that they are undergoing.
Evidence of this accompanied the introduction of HB 42 by independent Michael Jackson. He’s not currently a Democrat, but was for many years until he felt the white-based hierarchy of the party disregarded too thoroughly the contributions and aspirations of blacks in it and chose to play a spoiler that possibly may have cost it a Congressional seat. And this introduction itself showed how things have changed in three years as to runs the party now.
This map actually found a way to draw a second majority black district in Louisiana, in an exercise in convolution that contorts so that it’s a nonstarter constitutionally.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 07:45