Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Post election wrap-up and more
- 2013 - 802 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- December 2011 - 152 articles
- November 2011 - 151 articles
- October 2011 - 169 articles
- October 27th, 2011 (Thursday) - 31 articles
- October 26th, 2011 (Wednesday) - 2 articles
- October 23rd, 2011 (Sunday) - 2 articles
- October 22nd, 2011 (Saturday) - 2 articles
- October 20th, 2011 (Thursday) - 36 articles
- October 18th, 2011 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- October 13th, 2011 (Thursday) - 46 articles
- October 11th, 2011 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- October 10th, 2011 (Monday) - 1 articles
- October 6th, 2011 (Thursday) - 44 articles
- October 5th, 2011 (Wednesday) - 1 articles
- October 2nd, 2011 (Sunday) - 1 articles
- October 1st, 2011 (Saturday) - 1 articles
- September 2011 - 200 articles
- August 2011 - 156 articles
- July 2011 - 160 articles
- June 2011 - 194 articles
- May 2011 - 166 articles
- April 2011 - 164 articles
- March 2011 - 204 articles
- February 2011 - 151 articles
- January 2011 - 162 articles
- 2010 - 2139 articles
- 2009 - 2066 articles
- 2008 - 1757 articles
|Post election wrap-up and more|
Gov. Bobby Jindal's detractors are poking holes in his showing at the polls Saturday.
It is true voter turnout was embarrassingly low in the Oct. 22 primary election, registering a whopping 36 percent statewide. It's also true Jindal faced a field of poorly funded minor opponents.
The fact remains, though, that Jindal pulled a record-setting 66 percent of the vote and carried every parish in Louisiana, including Orleans, en route to securing a second term in office. The 66 percent mark was the highest percentage of the vote any candidate for governor has garnered since the state moved to the open primary system in 1975.
End of discussion.
The big story percolating on the political scene the week after the election isn't what Jindal plans to do in his second term, but how quickly he moved to squelch talk about his choice to lead the state Senate for the next four years. A staff shake-up in the governor's office has created a buzz as well.
At a news conference Tuesday morning at the governor's mansion, Jindal declared he supports Sen. John Alario in his bid to be named Senate president. Senators will pick their leader in January when lawmakers who were elected in the fall 2011 election cycle gather to take their oaths of office. Members of the House of Representatives will name the Speaker of the House at that time, too.
With Jindal's backing, Alario is a shoe-in for the Senate presidency, but if the truth be known Alario didn't need any help in drumming up support for his drive to do what few lawmakers have ever done in Louisiana – serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives and eventually, President of the Senate.
Remember, Alario served as Speaker in the 1980s and again in the 1990s during Gov. Edwin Edwards' third and fourth terms in office. With his election a foregone conclusion to serve as Senate president, Alario will secure his place in the history books on Louisiana politics. He will have done it, too, as a Democrat in the House and as a Republican in the Senate.
Not a bad way to cap off a long, productive and at times, controversial career in the Legislature. That's Alario, though. He's always been one step ahead of the mood of the electorate, and he makes friends easily.
That would help explain why Jindal turned to Alario to lead the Senate during his final term as governor. Jindal needs an ally in the Senate who has a track record of corralling lawmakers from opposite ends of the political spectrum. Alario has been there and done that, and he's evolved into a steady hand in support of just about everything Jindal has attempted accomplish in his first four years in office.
In the meantime, Jindal has thrown his support behind Rep. Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, to serve as Speaker of the House. Kleckley gets the nod over Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette.
In the past few weeks, it appeared Robideaux had the edge to lock down the Speaker post, but that changed earlier this week when Rep. Jim Fannin agreed to support Kleckley in exchange for retaining chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee. Fannin, D-Jonesboro, is a player in the mix because he wields a good bit of influence over members of the House from north Louisiana. So goes Fannin, so go House members from our neck of the woods. At least that's the perception of it all.
Robideaux and Fannin supposedly had an agreement on the Speaker/chairmanship angle. Whether they did or not is irrelevant because Jindal intervened earlier this week and let it be known that he preferred Kleckley over Robideaux to serve as House Speaker. Accordingly, Jindal made the deal with Fannin for him to keep the Appropriations chair in exchange for supporting Kleckley in the Speaker's race.
On another front, Jindal's long-time political advisor, Timmy Teepell, won't be returning to the governor's office as chief of staff, a position he's held since January 2008.
Teepell, 36, took a leave of absence in August to spearhead Jindal's re-election campaign, a move similar to the one Teepell made a year ago when he took a leave of absence to do some contract consulting work for the Republican Governor's Association.
Politics is Teepell's preference, not sitting behind a desk on the fourth floor of the capitol fielding complaints and requests from lawmakers and state agency heads. Besides, Teepell could be accused of not playing well with others, but don't interpret that as a suggestion that Jindal forced Teepell to leave.
Instead, Teepell's going to be doing what he wants to do and what he's best at doing – running political campaigns and on the national scene to boot. And he'll certainly be afforded an opportunity to do it since he's now on the payroll with On Message Inc., an Alexandria, Va.-based media and political consulting firm that has handled Jindal's campaigns for Congress and governor. On Message Inc.'s clients stretch far and wide, including the key role the firm played in the GOP's take-over of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections.
Though employed by On Message Inc., Teepell will be based in Baton Rouge where he will keep a finger on the pulse of the Jindal administration. That's only fitting since Jindal is one of Teepell's clients now.
Thus, the "hammer" won't be around anymore in an official capacity. In his place is Stephen Waguespack, who has served as chief of staff while Teepell has been out and about playing politics.
Waguespack is a good guy who knows his way around the capitol. He's not as blunt as Teepell, and unlike Teepell, he possesses that rare trait of being able to say no and make you feel good about it.