In a column titled "Louisiana: Let The Revolution Begin Over Legislative Pay Raise", Jeff Crouere writes:
Finally, the sleeping giant has awakened. The people of Louisiana have been roused from their decades old slumber. The issue of a legislative pay raise has struck a chord like no other issue in years.
As noted by political watchdog C.B. Forgotston, “The people of the state are more upset about this pay raise than anything I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime of living in Louisiana.”
Well, if that's true it's pretty freakin' sad. I guess if Governor Jindal vetoes this bill, we can go back to being complacent about flood protection, the coast, schools, jobs, roads, crime, housing and rebuilding New Orleans.... until, presumably, a few decades pass and the Legislature wants to award itself another raise. Then a new generation can safely revolt! (Of course, there might be fewer South Louisiana leges at that time because 1/3 of the state will have washed away, but why should that possibility elevate anyone's blood pressure?)
One very beneficial impact of this [pay raise] debate is that, finally, voters are paying attention and inundating the Governor's office, legislative offices and media outlets with their denunciations of this monstrosity. It is the type of passion that I have been waiting to see all of my political life.
Crouere hopes that this pay raise kerfuffle will inspire a lasting civic passion in Louisiana where the Katrina/Rita/Federal Flood disaster of '05, and the prospect of a Nazi Klansmen Governor in '91, couldn't. Lay your bets, Pelicans.
As noted by Forgotston in an open letter to Jindal, “If you don’t side with us on this issue, all of the reforms that you are pushing (and have passed) will be meaningless.” [oyster note: most of them already were] As usual, Forgotston is quite right. All of the legislative accomplishments from tax cuts to ethics reforms will be lost on the public if this pay raise becomes law.
[This] is the equivalent of a political death sentence.
This overheated rhetoric is the equivalent of a future YRHT blog post that writes itself. Anyhoo, Chad Rogers-- who has never saw fit to "rant" about, say, Louisiana's coastal destruction-- is there to keep things in perspective:
Jindal needs the support of those who have fought the longest and the hardest for reform in this state.
If he fails to veto this bill and allows it to become law, the consequences will be disastrous, for his future and to the future of this state. Among the ranks of reformers I have spoken to, a kind of despair is already setting in. It is painfully clear that if Mr. Jindal doesn't take a stand on this, the hopes reformers (most of whom have worked longer and harder than I) will be dashed and many of us will acknowledge permanent defeat.
It will be considered nothing less than treason, a knife plunged into the heart of anyone who had hopes for Jindal as a reformer. If the legislators get a raise, Jindal will have left them for dead crying "Et tu, Bobby?"
These are the stakes.
Those aren't the "stakes" at all. Acting like this is a life or death matter, or that this "issue" will have lasting political impact, is naive. But I'll play along for political purposes.
Governor Jindal: if you don't veto this bill, it will be the greatest catastrophe for the "Gret Stet" since... since... well I can't even remember when. Three Novembers ago, when I was gutting my flooded house, and throwing out my daughter's moldy toys, all I could think about was the heinous possibility of those damn legislators passing themselves a pay raise. And sure enough, they did it, and now I am hella-pissed!!
And precisely what constitutes being a "reformer" in Rogers' mind, anyway? Is it someone who works hard to torpedo a competent alternative to Ray Nagin, and "would have voted for Nagin" if they lived n New Orleans?
Jeffrey has an excellent post on this "issue".
Update: The (websiteless?) Greater New Orleans Republicans speak out on the issue. These are the "reformers" who, like Rogers, endorsed Ray Nagin for re-election. To my knowledge, they have kept their reformist jaws shut about the massive pay raises Nagin has awarded to his executive branch.
The Conservative Voice warns: "Bobby Jindal is the best chance Louisiana has ever had to be President of the United States since Zachary Taylor but should he fail to publicly veto the pay raises he will throw that opportunity away."
Jindal says he disagrees, but won't veto it.
Forgotston: "Rush owes President Ronald Reagan an apology."