Recently, I had a long talk with a legislator, who I will label as “Legislator X”. Legislator X told me (off the record) that the deal for the pay raise was the “vouchers” legislation. In other words, Jindal wanted success with his school voucher legislation and so he let the legislature do what they wanted to do regarding the pay raise. Were there other deals? We do not know. But, this one legislator identified the vouchers and I believe this legislator would be in a very good position to have a good idea what was occurring behind the scenes. Bobby Jindal, if he really wanted transparency in government should tell the public what occurred... The public deserves an answer.
Since political pressure forced Jindal to renege on his end of the pay raise/voucher deal, the pertinent question at this point is: What new "deals" (if any) did Jindal make with the Leges he shafted?
At least Sabludowsky and Clancy are in the ballpark on this one. Political analyst John Maginnis is a little slow on the uptake (NYT link has been added):
Jindal was being vilified on talk radio and the Internet by once-fervent supporters, who had just as fervently turned against him over his stubborn refusal to veto the pay raise bill. His own words from his flawless gubernatorial campaign -- a pledge to prohibit the Legislature from taking the raise the way it did -- had returned to haunt and mock him. The national VP short-list buzz was muffled by a New York Times story in which he was cast as weak and unwilling to stand up to Louisiana politicians, whose level he had sunk to. To bottom it all out, a recall petition was filed against him last week.
Politicians who get into this kind of pickle usually did something wrong and at least got something out of it, whether sex or money. Jindal didn't do a thing and got nothing out of it but grief.
Bullshit. Don't cast Jindal as some innocent bystander. Jindal was in on it from the beginning, and made promises to key legislators that he wouldn't veto pay raise legislation if they would vote for his voucher program.
Beyond the vouchers, it's quite likely that Jindal traded many other things, too. Look closely at this quote from this article from the News Star:
Northeastern Louisiana lawmakers, both those who voted for and against the legislative pay raise, said Gov. Bobby Jindal's veto on Monday was a breach of trust between the executive and legislative branches.
"He made a lot of promises to a lot of legislators, and anytime you tell someone something and don't stick to it right or wrong it's going to create a problem with trust," said Rep. Jim Fannin, D-Jonesboro, who voted against the raise.
"Let me be very clear: we opposed this pay raise from the very beginning."
-- Gov. Jindal
Meanwhile, Gov. Jindal currently has less than 48 hours to veto the substantial pay raises for his own cabinet. As WVUE's Allison Braxton reported yesterday on Fox 8 news:
In the governor's proposed budget he's seeking raises for at least three of his cabinet secretaries, with a nearly $75-thousand dollar increase for his economic development chief secretary Stephen Moret. That would bring his salary to 320 thousand dollars a year. Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine is expected to receive a 60-thousand dollar pay raise... to 180 thousand. Jindal's homeland security chief will get a 27-thousand dollar pay bump... to 165-thousand dollars a year.
State lawmakers say the governor has 48-hours to line item veto pay raises for his cabinet and they fear the raises will go into affect with very little opposition from the public.
So, here's where the rubber meets the road for all the "No Pay Raise" zealots. Here's the real test. If pay raises are such an outrage, will y'all pressure Governor Jindal to line item veto the enormous salary increases given to his Cabinet? Will you righteously ask why Jindal's cabinet deserves massive raises, right now, on top of their six figure salaries? Will you pressure Jindal about this issue with the same intensity that you pressured him about the pay raise bill? Or will you let it pass without rallies at the Capitol, and 24/7 internet frothing, and radio show ranting?
Where is your principled outrage now?
So this is your test, pay raise zealots. I predict you'll fail.
Update: Jeffrey posted similar thoughts around the same time. His is more delicious to read, I must admit, and chock full o' links.