Friday, 29 April 2011 18:52

Louisiana Politics: Tucker, Jindal, Tea Party, Villere and Landrieu

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Stephen SabludowskyLouisiana House Speaker Jim Tucker is at odds with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s budget proposal.

He does not like the idea to sell state prisons or the group benefit program.


He questions where are some of what the Governor calls the “efficiencies” to be cut.  Secretary of Administration, Paul Rainwater says efficiencies are definitely in the budget.

He is down on the idea of raising tuition for higher education, a proposal Jindal supports.

So a week into the session, at a time when the Louisiana budget is facing serious budget deficiency of 1.6 billion dollars, it appears that the mood in the House and among conservatives in the Senate is to cut the budget, not raise certain fees as supported by Jindal and to forego his plan over the sale of prisons and the State Group Benefit Plan.

Which means that, at least on the issue of the budget, at a time when Governor Jindal faces re-election, the Speaker is outflanking Jindal on the political “right”.

Which also raises the question whether the Tea Parties in Louisiana and other similar groups who have very strident about federal government spending will take to townhalls or to the Capitol steps to be heard on the Louisiana budget and state spending?

So, I asked Jeff Crouere, a co-founder of the Northshore Tea Party, which is one of the largest Tea Party groups in Louisiana these questions.

His response?

“Speaker Tucker raises some valid concerns. The Governor’s budget is stuffed with one time money, again, such as the sale of the prisons.  I am one Tea Party leader who is very upset with the Jindal budget and I believe all Tea party leaders should be concerned.”

Mitch Landrieu On “60 Minutes”

Just prior to his administration’s one-year anniversary, this Sunday, May 1, 2011, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the city of New Orleans will be featured on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” In the interview, scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CST, Mayor Landrieu will discuss the challenges New Orleans faces, its promises ahead, and of course, the Mayor’s first year.


Curious minds would want to know if there will be any questions concerning what is becoming somewhat of a touchy issue dealing with the NOPD, his superintendent and traffic tickets—a matter the Mayor stated yesterday has been forwarded to the Office of Inspector General for review.


Roger Villere

Might Roger Villere, the extremely successful Chairman for the Louisiana Republican Party find himself in the middle of some strong political  winds.

Yesterday, Governor Jindal appointed Villere to the Louisiana Bicentennial   Commission.  Although Villere lost his race last fall for Lt. Governor an office which focuses upon tourism, recreation and culture, he has been very involved with the tourist industry and other cultural and business affairs. His family goes back to the Governor Jacques Phillippe Villeré, Louisiana’s second governor. He certainly has the credentials and the name--to serve this commission.   

It also would be hard to say that politics had nothing to do with the appointment as Villere has been a strong supporter of Jindal for years. 

But, the budget might create some gusts of conflicts that Villere would prefer did not exist.

Since there is somewhat of a disagreement between Republican House members and Jindal over the budget and while it is doubtful that Jindal will raise taxes, it is fair to assume that there could be continuing disagreements within the Big Louisiana Republican Tent over the 1.6 billion dollar state hole.

Plus, Villere is not just the Louisiana Republican chairman and a Jindal administration commission appointee but he is also a member of the executive council of the National Republican Committee.

In the past, Villere, on behalf of the Republican Party, has been very vocal in support of the Governor’s agenda—especially with his party’s email blasts.  However, given the various positions Villere holds and the likely cross winds that  would exist in the coming months over the budget, it will be interesting to see how the very deft Villere will handle his Chair job and whether we will receive those Villere email blasts denouncing Democrats and supporting the Governor, as we certainly have seen so often in the past.

by Stephen Sabludowsky, Publisher of


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