Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Simple solution for a simple problem
- 2013 - 961 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- December 2011 - 152 articles
- December 30th, 2011 (Friday) - 1 articles
- December 29th, 2011 (Thursday) - 30 articles
- December 22nd, 2011 (Thursday) - 30 articles
- December 15th, 2011 (Thursday) - 23 articles
- December 13th, 2011 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- December 12th, 2011 (Monday) - 1 articles
- December 10th, 2011 (Saturday) - 2 articles
- December 8th, 2011 (Thursday) - 23 articles
- December 7th, 2011 (Wednesday) - 1 articles
- December 6th, 2011 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- Simple solution for a simple problem
- December 5th, 2011 (Monday) - 2 articles
- December 4th, 2011 (Sunday) - 1 articles
- December 3rd, 2011 (Saturday) - 3 articles
- December 2nd, 2011 (Friday) - 1 articles
- December 1st, 2011 (Thursday) - 32 articles
- November 2011 - 151 articles
- October 2011 - 169 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
|Simple solution for a simple problem|
Though it's a certainty that Sen. John Alario and Rep. Chuck Kleckley will hold down the top leadership posts in the Legislature for the next four years beginning in January, some horse trading still needs to be worked out to determine which lawmakers will be awarded committee chairmanships in the House and Senate.
Alario and Kleckley will make those decisions for their respective bodies behind closed doors with input from Gov. Bobby Jindal and his primary political advisor, Timmy Teepell. Lawmakers loyal to the governor will be awarded while those who rocked the boat, so to speak, over the past four years will be left out in the cold. After all, first-term lawmakers don't get committee chairmanships. They must earn their stripes before they're allowed to call any shots.
It's the chairmanships of two powerful Senate committees, though, that are of particular concern to those of us who live in northeastern Louisiana.
The committees in question are the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee. Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia, is a leading candidate to get the nod to chair Revenue and Fiscal Affairs. Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe, is in line to chair the Finance Committee, which he has vice-chaired since 2008.
But there's a problem.
The Finance Committee and Revenue and Fiscal Affairs are what we call the money committees in the Senate, and it's highly uncommon for two lawmakers from the same region of the state to chair both of them.
What is Alario – the incoming Senate President – to do?
Better yet, how is Jindal going to juggle this problem and keep Riser and Walsworth happy?
First, let's take a look at Riser's and Walsworth's backgrounds.
A fiscal conservative who was elected to the Senate in 2007, Riser quickly carved out a niche as a lawmaker who could get along with Democrats and Republicans alike. One of his closest friends in the Senate is a Democrat.
An independent thinker, Riser also made it known from the get-go that he wouldn't tow the line each and every time the administration came calling for a vote or demanded he support legislation the administration was pressing.
In other words, Riser baffled the Jindal administration because of his willingness to buck it.
Walsworth, on the other hand, is a loyal Republican dating to the onset of his career in the Legislature in 1996, when he first took his seat in the House of Representatives. And along the way, Waslworth has angered more than a few Democrats for his steadfast support for Republican causes and candidates.
There's also Walsworth's early support for Jindal beginning with Jindal's first campaign for governor in 2003. That was the one Jindal lost to Kathleen Blanco. But Walsworth was with Jindal then, and for the past four years as a member of the Senate, Walsworth has been there for Jindal, supporting every measure the governor asked the Senate to advance.
To some degree, Jindal owes it to Walsworth to support his bid to be named chairman of the Finance Committee. Think about it. Jindal passed on Walsworth for the Senate presidency in favor of Alario. The first slap in the face was somewhat of an insult. Two slaps could be interpreted as an invitation to do battle.
Considering Riser's desire to possibly run for the 5th District congressional seat when U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander retires, it would be wise for Riser to pass on chairing Revenue and Fiscal Affairs. If he chairs the committee, he would be expected to support the administration wholeheartedly, even when he disagreed with it. And Riser would be putting himself in a position in which he could be forced to cast votes in the Senate that might come back to haunt him one day in a race for Congress.
Yet, Riser and Walsworth – who share an apartment in Baton Rouge for legislative business – should sit down with Alario and Jindal and work out a compromise that's satisfactory to everyone.
After all, there's no need to ruffle anyone's feathers when the solution to the problem is so obvious.