Jindal has slip of the tongue in criticism
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s slip of the tongue didn’t go unnoticed last week as he disparaged the Affordable Care Act, which he and other critics call “Obamacare,” while talking about its repeal should Republican Mitt Romney win election to the presidency.
“There’s only one candidate, Gov. Romney, who has committed that he will repeal the Obomney, uh, the Obamacare tax increase,’’ Jindal said during an end of week national teleconference call with reporters.
The Wall Street Journal noted in its post on the session that “Obomneycare” was a phrase former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty used as he sought the GOP nomination. Pawlenty was trying to “tarnish Mr. Romney by linking his Massachusetts health-care plan, dubbed Romneycare, to the Obama version, dubbed Obamacare,” the newspaper stated.
Romney is the former governor of Massachusetts who implemented a health insurance mandate program. Those who did not get health insurance were subject to a tax penalty.
Health-care plan a problem for Obama
In the same teleconference session on Friday, Gov. Bobby Jindal said it is going to be difficult for President Barack Obama to campaign for re-election using the new national health insurance coverage mandate.
“The reality is they have said over and over it’s not a tax increase,” Jindal said. Now, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the law based on the right to levy taxes, he said.
“I think it makes it very awkward for the president. He’ll do everything he can to change the subject,” Jindal said.
The comments came as Jindal and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell participated in a Republican National Committee teleconference call with national reporters Friday. Both are considered to be potential Romney running mates.
Jindal is scheduled to appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, according to Kyle Plotkin, his spokesman.
Job hire creating perception issues
Last week, state Rep. Dalton Honoré blasted Southern University’s plans to fill a $40,000 per year job with a recent university graduate.
Honoré was upset that Southern was hiring at a time when the school also is laying people off.
On Friday, several members of Southern’s Board of Supervisors took Chancellor James Llorens to task over the hire, but for a different reason.
Southern board member Eamon Kelly, a former president of Tulane University, called the hire “a terrible decision at the wrong time.”
Board member Tony Clayton said “I get off the board in December. I have no right to be up working here in January.
Board chair Darren Mire said the general public might not know that the board had nothing to do with Sumner getting the job.
“We’re upset because of how it could be perceived,” he said. “It’s definitely a perception issue for us.”
LeBlanc offers no view on prisons issue
State Department of Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc refused to speculate Friday on whether Gov. Bobby Jindal would continue his push to privatize state prisons.
Jindal failed to get enough support in the Louisiana Legislature for two years in a row to hire a private company to run more of the state’s prison operations.
“I’m dealing with consolidation right now. That’s a next year thing,” LeBlanc said Friday on whether the governor is abandoning the privatization idea.
Rep. says she’s not surprised by reaction
State Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, said she was not surprised that two-thirds of the state Senate refused to return to the State Capitol for a veto override session.
“I figured that was going to happen,” she said.
Smith and other legislators wanted to hold a session to consider several of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s vetoes, including striking legislation to study equal pay and a measure allowing the Baton Rouge bus system to set fares.
Strain assumes new agriculture position
State Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain is now the president of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture, called SASDA.
The organization, whose membership includes agriculture officials from 15 southern states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, selected Strain at a June 14 meeting.
“To serve as SASDA president will not only give me an opportunity to strengthen the southern states’ agricultural impact to the nation, but Louisiana’s as well,” Strain said in a prepared statement.
Thompson travels to Williamsburg, Va.
State Sen. Francis Thompson, D-Delhi, squeezed in a working vacation this summer to colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.
Thompson is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board. SREB works with Louisiana and 15 other states to improve education.
He and his wife, Marilyn, recently traveled to Williamsburg for an SREB meeting.
Thompson said he hoped to fit in a little sightseeing around a heavy schedule of meetings.
“I love history,” he said.
La. budget office moving to Third St.
The Louisiana Budget Project office, currently on Goodwood Boulevard near Independence Park, is moving its offices to downtown Baton Rouge.
The group analyzes and comments on state finances to describe the impact of budgetary policy on low and moderate income residents. The Louisiana Budget Project’s positions often are at odds with fiscal conservatives.
Their new address is 447 Third Street, second floor, Baton Rouge. Telephone communication may be interrupted through Thursday but the staff should be available via email.
Ex-Sen. Marionneaux joins consultant firm
Former state Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Grosse Tete, is joining Cornerstone Government Affairs as a senior consultant. He will continue operating his Baton Rouge law practice and will serve part-time with the public affairs firm, according to a press release by the group.
Marionneaux was legally barred from seeking the 2012 terms after serving three terms in the state Senate. He was chairman of the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs committee, which vets state construction projects and state government tax policy.
“His experience as a state senator and attorney will be invaluable to our existing client base and should be attractive to companies and organizations seeking representation in Baton Rouge,” said Cornerstone Managing Partner of State Government Relations Campbell Kaufman said.
Vic Stelly to address Press Club luncheon
Vic Stelly, former state lawmaker, will address the Press Club at noon Monday.
Stelly will discuss the impact of the repeal of the economic plan bearing his name and reflect on his recent resignation from the Board of Regents.
Press Club meets on Mondays at the De La Ronde Hall in downtown Baton Rouge at 320 Third St. Lunch, which is served at 11:30 a.m., is $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers.
The public is invited, but only members of the Press Club and members of the news media are allowed to ask questions.
Compiled by The Advocate Capitol news bureau. Contact address is firstname.lastname@example.org.