Louisiana Voters: Veto or be Recalled
Got non-reponsive representatives? Take a lesson from Louisiana voters.
The Louisiana State Legislature passed a bill giving themselves a better than 100 percent pay raise. Gov. Bobby Jindal, despite campaign promises, refused to veto this controversial bill because he wanted the legislators cooperation in approving his own programs, including the $10 million voucher plan that will pay the private or religious school tuition for up to 1,500 kindergarten through fourth graders in New Orleans.The teachers aren't happy with the voucher bill or the $20 million merit pay for teachers: No criteria for awarding these merit awards and the voucher system will undermine the public education system.
Louisiana citizens were outraged and objected strenuously, with recall petitions, email and phone contacts, and demonstrations.
BATON ROUGE -- Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, ...the sixth legislator targeted with a recall petition for voting in favor of doubling lawmakers salaries at the recently ended legislative session, according to records filed with Secretary of State Jay Dardenne's office. The five other lawmakers to be hit with recall petitions for their votes in favor of the legislative pay raise -- which was vetoed Monday by Gov. Bobby Jindal -- include House Speaker Jim Tucker, R-Algiers; and Reps. Steve Pugh, R-Ponchatoula; Franklin Foil and Hunter Greene, both R-Baton Rouge; and Joe Lopinto, R-Metairie. Gov. Bobby Jindal also faced a recall petition from a Baton Rouge man. Times-Picayune
But Jindal refused to veto the bill , just making statements that the Legislators need to undo it. Not until CNN and other National media got into the act, questioning him on National TV, and a recall petition for the governor was filed, did he finally act and veto the bill on June 30.
"His honeymoon is not just over, thousands want a divorce." Jindal fiddles while Louisiana Burns
"Why are vouchers so darn important to Jindal? Why is he willing to cut backroom deals, break promises, enrage his former supporters, and hurt his veep chances... over school vouchers?" Find some answers on Your Right Hand Thief blog.
The two recalls on Jindal have now been withdrawn, the demonstration for July 7 cancelled, but many here in Louisiana feel betrayed and no longer trust the governor nor many of the legislators to act in the best interest of Louisiana.
Many of the legislators who supported the pay raise are whining. "We presented this in the wrong way to the voters." "Jindal went back on his word to us." They forget that Jindal went back on his word to the voters first by refusing to veto the pay raise bill.
But questions remain: Did Bobby Jindal respond to his constituents' wishes or to the outing of this debacle in the New York Times or on CNN that may have messed up his National agenda? As one commentator put it: "...there is no time to rest on our laurels and I'm concerned that so many have been quick to drop their recall efforts. With the exception of the governor these people are still guilty of voting for their own outrageous pay increase. It's kinda like being convicted of a crime and then having your sentenced pardoned - you are still guilty! "
The 'sleeping giant' has been awoken. Voters flexed their muscle and discovered their strength. 'We can make these guys do what we want!
Politics may never be the same.
* Louisiana Federation of Teachers on school vouchers and merit pay
* Bayou Buzz on After the Veto
UPDATE: Another bill Jindal signed is causing an uproar, see my post on NowPublic .