27 September 2003

Advocate writer runs blindfolded into a minefield 

There's not too much in the papers this morning about next week's election, but I did find this article fairly interesting. It's about the Democratic candidates airing lots of spots attacking each other on black radio stations. The interesting part is watching reporter Scott Dyer tiptoe around delicate issues like the racial identities of non-visible voices. I can practically feel Dyer cringe as he put this section together:

Ieyoub is also running negative ads against Leach, noting that he opposed the equal rights amendment in Congress and was characterized by one newspaper as "a champion of the political right."

"And most shocking, Buddy Leach voted against making Martin Luther King's birthday a paid political holiday," Ieyoub's ad says.

The ad plays a refrain of "I can't give you anything but love," suggesting that Leach is singing the tune.

"I said shut up, fool," a black female voice interrupts.

I'm not quite sure why it matters that it's a black female voice instead of just a voice, but Dyer has some balls for including this bit of information in his article. How does he know it's a black female voice? I mean, is it Aretha Franklin or some other famous black woman with a distinctive voice? Of course everyone knows what he's talking about, but given the sensitive world we live in it's a wonder Dyer's editors weren't a little more careful with this kind of stuff.

Sigh, The article is pretty good anyway. It's nice to see some Democrats trying to shake things up a little a bit going in to the last week of the campaign. I wish they weren't going negative, but at least they're doing something. I was just starting to get the feeling that none of them actually wanted to be governor.

26 September 2003

"Sick little man" says good night 

Jay Blossman will drop out of the governor's race today and endorse Republican Hunt Downer.

Baton Rouge television station WAFB is pushing the story.

This really isn't a surprise since Blossman has been performing so terribly in the polls. Also the League of Women voters announced yesterday that they planned on excluding him from their debate next week because he didn't make the eight percent cutoff. His endorsement of Downer is no surprise either since Blossman's animosity towards Jindal--and Jindal's biggest supporter Governor Mike Foster--is no secret to Louisianians.

Update @ 6:12 pm: The deal is done, Blossman is out, read the press releases here. In his announcement Blossman continuously stated his belief that Jindal couldn't win in a runoff. He never said why he believed this, but it seems to me like thinly veiled references to Jindal's Indian ethnicity making him unsuitable to the electorate. I tend to agree that Louisiana voters aren't ready for a non-white governor, but it's a shame that Blossman can't do the courageous thing and endorse him anyway. Of course there's the added problems of Blossman's relationship with Governor Foster, but he didn't mention those things in his press conference.

Me to Governor Foster: Shut Up, somebody cut off his mic! 

It's "Talk Like Bill O'Reilly day" on the left coast of blogistan, so I had to do something. Why do I want Foster to shut up, you ask. Check out The Advocate

Gov. Mike Foster branded French President Jacques Chirac a "snake" Thursday for Chirac's criticism of the war in Iraq.

Foster, who criticized Chirac on the same issue earlier this year, renewed those views during a discussion on whether the French president would attend ceremonies on Dec. 20 to celebrate the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.

"I don't know why you'd ask a snake to come visit you," Foster told listeners to his "Live Mike" radio show.

I've never had any problem with the Governor having his own radio show since it's a fairly direct way to answer the concerns of voters, but the fact that it degenerated a long time ago into typical right wing talk radio says a lot of sad things about the emotional stability and simple governing qualities of Mike Foster.

I don't need to remind you of the historical connections between France and Louisiana; the shared culture (even the system of law with Louisiana's continued use of the Napoleonic Code) has been impressed into the identities of most Louisianians from birth (particularly in south Louisiana). This isn't even the point though. Foster has the opportunity to bring the head of state from a foreign nation allied with ours to celebrate our bicentennial and instead calls him a snake. I can't wait to wave goodbye to you with the next election sir.

Shorter Louisiana gubernatorial candidate forum 

Moderator: How will your administration help to keep existing businesses in Louisiana and recruit new employers to our state?

Blanco: Well my work as Lt. Governor with the tourism board already created 21,000 new jobs. You can trust me to work very hard to put things back in the right direction. I'll phase out the corporate franchise taxes as soon as we can afford to.

Blossman: I think taxes are wrong, and I will create a business tax-free zone throughout the state of Louisiana. I don't know how I'll pay for any services, but those things don't matter anyway.

Downer: I'm going to shake things up; step on a few toes to eliminate the corporate franchise tax. We're going to have to start holding teachers and judges accountable for the way they're failing our citizens. This is the only way we'll get things done, and I'm the only guy to do it.

Ewing: I will eliminate the corporate franchise tax, but pay our teachers more and invest in infrastructure, did I mention that I've run a multi-million dollar business? I did? Well let me reiterate the fact that I know how to run a business and know what it takes to keep businesses here.

Ieyoub: I want to get rid of this corporate franchise tax, but we can't allow our schools and hospitals suffer. I expect that we'll have the revenue to do this because of the great wealth already present in this state. The balanced budget requirement of our constitution won't matter, because we'll make up the revenue from eliminating government waste somehow.

Jindal: I have a ten point plan to eliminate the corporate franchise tax and save revenue all at the same time. I worked for George Bush and learned a few things about government up there. Did I mention that I'm a Christian. I want to make that clear to all the voters out there, I'm a Christian.

Leach: Well, we have to do something about this corporate franchise tax, but there will be a groundswell of support for my plan to tax foreign oil processed in Louisiana refineries. The mothers and fathers of this state will help me to demand that the oil interests in this state will support the citizens of this state.

Seriously folks, some of these candidates really do have competing visions for the future of the state, but I'll be damned if they want to talk about them when they get together. Don't believe me, read about the debate here, here, and here. They say the same things over and over again. I can't wait for the runoff so the two remaining candidates might actually start defining their candidacies. So far Buddy Leach is the only person to really get his hands dirty with serious talk that might make some voters angry, but the rest of the candidates sit there talking about how nice their oppponents are and how much they care about jobs and business. For God's sake, say something.

25 September 2003

Andrew Sullivan loves his straw men 

Andrew Sullivan just loves mischaracterizing his opponents. He would have his readers believe that the Democratic opponents of President Bush would rather leave the Iraqis to their current squalor.

If you are going to criticize the war, you need to say what you would have done instead. And you also need to say what you would do differently now. Leave the country to the hands of Saddamites again? Hand it over to the U.N. and watch another genocide take place? Again, it's time the critics of Bush tell us what they're for.

First of all, Lieberman, Edwards, and Kerry all voted for the resolution. They base their criticisms on the administration's handling of the diplomatic process, the mischaracterizations of Iraqi weapons capabilities, and the failure to infrom the American people of the costs in human life and treasure. So it's fair to say that they would have been more forthcoming with the people, and they've said these things repeatedly, so they have no reason to defend themselves to the likes of Sullivan.

Secondly, the only candidate I've heard say that he would pull out American troops is Congressman Kucinich, and he almost always ties it to his statement, "UN in, US out." No one has advocated leaving the Iraqi people to the hands of Ba'athists or Islamists. So what's Sullivan getting at. I sure don't know, why don't you go look for yourselves.

To be fair, I think the candidates who were anti-war from the get-go do have some responsibility to point out what they would have done differently, but with the exception of Kucinich I heard every candidate in the debate earlier this afternoon stress their support for the continued action in Iraq. All base their criticisms on Bush's unwillingness to honestly seek international involvement. Sullivan is a master at setting up straw men and knocking them down. This game doesn't ever work ad infinitum though, that's why the American people are waking up to the Bush administration failures in foreign policy.

Foster just can't get the better of his ego 

I feel bad posting this since I think it's probably the biggest non-story of this election season, but yesterday Governor Mike Foster alluded to "old school deal making" going on with "some of the candidates" for governor. He was repeatedly pressed by reporters to give up the information, but refused because he didn't have enough documented evidence. I don't expect Foster to stay out this race; he clearly needs to support his horse and I don't have any problem with that. However, I won't be tired of the mysterious allusions he constantly makes to the press--most of which turn out to be nothing--when he takes his leave from the mansion. I'm sure he'll talk about this some more on his radio show this afternoon (is that this afternoon?) and some intrepid reporters will chase it down and then they won't find anything. Just read about it here and here

Two new polls released to papers today 

The Advocate publishes the results of the tracking poll conducted by Verne Kennedy at Market Research Insight today, and this one has Jindal with a three point lead over Lt. Governor Kathleen Blanco. This remains consistent with their previous results showing Jindal with a slight edge. Read about the poll here. Kennedy's results by candidate follow:


This poll was conducted from Thursday to Monday and has an margin of error of 3.5%.

The other poll (here's the press release, via politicsLA.com) was conducted by Zogby International and was commissioned by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. It was conducted this past Sunday and Monday and has a margin of error of 4%. Results by candidate:


Note that the results of these polls fall within each other's margin of error. They both show much higher support for Attorney General Richard Ieyoub than the KLFY poll I posted last night. A friend who has been active in the state Democratic party and studied Louisiana political history for the last forty years believes that both these polls still underestimate Ieyoub's support since come election day he will have the always underpolled organizational forces of the Louisiana blacks getting his voters out to the polls. He believes this despite the fact that Congressman Bill Jefferson and his heavily influential political group Progressive Democrats have endorsed Buddy Leach for governor. If he's wrong don't blame me, I'm just the messenger.

NBC Baghdad gets hit by terrorists 

Title says it all I guess. One dead, more injured. Here's the link. . .

I strive for accuracy. . . 

Here are the numbers as provided by KLFY-TV 10. They still don't mention who they commissioned to conduct the poll, but I'm sticking with my instincts about SMOR, Inc.

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco 21%
Bobby Jindal 18%
Randy Ewing 11%
Richard Ieyoub 10%
Buddy Leach 9%
Hunt Downer 4%
Jay Blossman 2%

There are clearly a lot of undecideds in the race and lots of time for things to change, but if the commentary on the news is any indication, and this coincides with everything else I've been reading, Blanco is clearly the second choice in this race. So if she can at least hold her current support and pickup some undecideds she stands to be sitting very pretty in the runoff. Her favorable ratings are also particularly attractive, she seems to be the only long time politician in the race untainted by any hints of corruption or dirty politics. Things should really get interesting in the next week though, so hold on to your hats.

24 September 2003

Blanco leads by three points 

KLFY-TV 10 commissioned a poll but neglected to say who conducted it during their news broadcast. I suspect that it was Southern Media and Opinion Research, Inc., because my old friend and professor Ed Renwick was on discussing the results via satellite. I was doing dishes while they went over their results, so I didn't get to write them down, but I know that Blanco led with 21%; then Jindal with 18%; next was Ewing at possibly 14%; then Ieyoub; then Leach with 8%. As suspected Downer and Blossman rounded out the bottom of the major candidates, commanding less than five percent between the two of them.

At any rate with ten days and counting until the election things are looking pretty good for Blanco and Jindal. Renwick and Jimmy Clark (the KLFY political analyst and my neighbor) were unwilling to call it a lock for either of the top two candidates, but every new poll says to me that Blanco's support is not slipping, which is what all the experts were predicting before this election got into full swing.

Anyway, the results aren't up yet online, and I'll post the exact numbers when they finally are. If you're interested keep checking in to KLFY.com, and they should have it posted before long.

Update @ 9:36 pm: klfy now has the results to their poll up but their crack news team only published the candidates' favorable ratings. I think they'll update this at some point, but don't count on it happening any time soon. Click here to see them.

Big poll in LA governor election to be released. . .  

Tune in later tonight (possibly midnight central depending on how busy I am, but maybe around 6:30 this evening) for new poll numbers in governor's race by Southern Media and Opinion Research, Inc. KLFY TV-10 is holding the numbers until their 6 o'clock broadcast, so I'll have to wait until they run them to get them out.

Channelling the spirit of Liberal Oasis 

Sometimes I feel smart when I peg a story before other bloggers I respect. Well after last night's post (no link, permalinks down, just scroll down a few posts) about our national rags' reactions to the Bush speech I went to bed. I get up this morning and find that Liberal Oasis is saying the same thing I did. I usually think LO is about the best anonymous liberal analyst on the web, so it feels good to be on the same wave length with him/her.

Governor hopefuls get grilled at forum 

By all accounts (meaning the two I read in The Picayune and The Advocate) the candidate forum last night was the most difficult one yet. They don't air these forums on Lafayette television, so I'm forced to depend on the papers' accounts for my news, but it seems that moderater John Snell did a very good job of forcing the candidates to answer the conventional criticisms that their campaigns have faced.

The most interesting proposal I read about last night: Leach proposed state financing of a stadium if Benson traded a piece of the team to be owned by Louisiana tax-payers. This will never happen, but we can always dream. Imagine, everyone in the state could be a part owner of the New Orleans Saints. I would name myself head of the cheerleaders.

Anyway, here are the links: Advocate and Picayune

"If he pulls a knife, you pull a gun." 

The state Democratic Party accused Suzy Terrell of shady financial dealings yesterday. According to this story and this press release from the state party, Terrell is illegally using contributions from last year's campaign to pay for this race. I should say it's no surprise that this accusation comes after an ad attacking Foti started appearing on television across the state. While Terrell denies any involvement in the production of the ad, she hasn't disavowed the group that paid for them. Considering how quickly the Democratic Party released this to the press, I wonder how long they've been sitting on it.

Unfortunately, Terrell's name can neither be cleared nor condemned before the election, since a full investigation would likely take months to complete. This aspect makes me doubt the veracity of the party's claim. It seems more likely that they threw it out there just to see if it would stick and to retaliate for Terrell's long history of campaign mud-slinging. I don't support these tactics (if the accusation turns out to be true, I take all this back), but it's very hard to feel any sympathy for Suzanne Haik-Terrell. She proved the kind of person she is in her last statewide election, now she's reaping what she's sown.

Update @ 9:35 9/25: A national GOP group claimed responsibility for the ad. The Republican State Leadership Committee produced and paid for it. Spokesmen from Foti's campaign wondered why a national GOP group would be interested in a state Attorney General campaign. Here's my two cents. This Attorney General race is the only Louisiana statewide that will be decided during the primary, the reason the committee hasn't gotten into other races yet is fear of the appearance of national GOP groups annointing Republicans for statewide offices. After reading this I'm convinced the runoffs will be a very dirty affair for all sides. Only time will tell. . .

23 September 2003

Major dailies deem Bush's address a failure 

The New York Times and The Washington Post both say Bush failed in the task at hand with his remarks to the UN this morning.

From New York,

Mr. Bush said in yesterday's speech that the United States invaded Iraq in part to defend the credibility of the United Nations. If we are to take him at his word, then he should continue that effort by allowing the world body to assume responsibility for the civilian nation-building process.

Unfortunately, Mr. Bush's speech did not grapple with these issues. His address seemed aimed more at a domestic audience than the world community, given how sunny a picture he painted of a situation in which the administration is finding almost nothing as easy as it had hoped.

The United States clearly fears that if the United Nations takes over the job, it will make a mess of things. We are in a mess already. What's needed now is an international plan for dealing with it.

and from Washington,

A YEAR AGO this month President Bush delivered a powerful speech to the United Nations challenging it to stand up to the Iraqi dictatorship of Saddam Hussein -- a challenge that, for a time, united the Security Council in demanding Iraqi compliance with U.N. disarmament orders. On his return yesterday, Mr. Bush read an address that conspicuously lacked such passion, determination or vision. His defense of his decision to proceed with an invasion of Iraq without Security Council support was almost perfunctory, as was his acknowledgement that many nations opposed the war. He spoke one sentence about the so-far unsuccessful search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and provided no new information to an audience that last year heard him describe at great length the threat posed by those weapons. Most remarkable, Mr. Bush had nothing new to say about the struggle to stabilize Iraq and establish a new government; more of his speech was devoted to the problem of human trafficking than to Iraqi reconstruction. If the president's intention was to rally international support for a vital cause, the burden of which cannot and should not be borne so disproportionately by the United States, he missed an important opportunity.

The Post is clearly the least forgiving to President Bush, but I suspect that the old grey lady touches on something important about the UN remarks. The editorial suggests that Bush's speech was directed more towards domestic audiences. I think Bush's sinking poll numbers over the last month are probably the only reason he went to the UN at all. This administration has given every indication that they have never had any intention of handing any authority whatsoever over to the UN, so the effect of the speech on the general assembly was never even considered. The speech was meant to mollify domestic critics who paint Bush as a unilateralist with no respect for international institutions. When the UN refuses to support the US in the Iraq war the administration will go back to the old "the UN is irrelevant" canard. Maybe we'll start to hear O'Reilly, Hannity, and Rush start attacking Old Europe again.

This routine is played out though. The UN has never looked more relevant and this truth is plain to the American people. Our armed forces are stretched to their limit and our nation can't afford the costs of the war. If the administration can't get international institutions to support our action in Iraq, the American people will not stand for more excuses from Bush and his failed foreign policy chiefs. Five Americans have already died this week, and we are facing massive deficits to continue to pay for this adventure. If the Bush administration says goodbye to the UN again, the American people will say goodbye to the Bush administration next November.

Bush's UN remarks in perspective 

Greg over at the The Talent Show has some thoughts about Bush's speech to the UN general assembly today. Go over and have a look. Keep in mind that I know we live in a democracy and that Hussein is a homicidal dictator. I know that he and George Bush are not moral equivalents, however we should always keep things in perspective, so go see what Greg has to say and let him know what you think.

Jindal fundraising in Saint's owner Tom Benson's Superdome box, what a concept? 

The Advocate gives us news that Bobby Jindal raised over $25,000 from Tom Benson at last Sunday's home-opener against the Houston Texans. The money was spread out between Benson, his wife, his brother, two of his car dealerships and two other businesses he owns.

When I read this story I thought the only solace I could take in a Jindal governorship now lay in his position beholden to the Saints owner. I have repeatedly stressed my support for the Saints on this blog, but frankly, this ain't enough to get me to vote for Jindal (not so for my brother). I should note that The Advocate over the last few years has been leading a jihad against Benson and his football team, so exposing his influence peddling was probably not a difficult editorial decision for them. The editorial voice of the Baton Rouge paper is pretty liberal, so I doubt there was ever any consideration of Jindal for their endorsement, but if there was it is almost certainly gone now.

Terrell just couldn't stand it any longer 

The Attorney General's race had been pretty quiet until this weekend, when ads started popping up attacking Foti's reign as O.P. Sheriff. You can read about this here, here, and here.

The ad appears to be pretty shameless attacks on what were once legitimate charges against Foti. The end result is to make Foti look like the victim of unwarranted cynical politics. The exploitation of issues involving a criminal who was mistakenly released from jail, strip searches, and questionable government contracts could probably have been used much more effectively, instead Terrell looks like a typical politician who can't win on the issues. It is not surprising that this comes on the heels of news that Foti had caught up with Terrell in some of the most recent polls.

Terrell is building quite a reputation for herself as a dirty campaigner. Remember that she endlessly attacked the sincerity of Landrieu's faith in debates during the Senate debates last year and ran numerous ads comially distorting Landrieu's positions and voting record. After one debate, Landrieu was so upset she reportedly told Terrell that she would see to it that she personally oversaw the end of her political career. Apparently Terrell has no problems making enemies, and this is probably the wrong state to make political enemies. If she doesn't win this election, it could be over for her in statewide politics.

Hapless Republicans eager to trash Administration-Killer Clark can't get their stories straight 

Before I post this I'll say that I haven't made any decisions as to who I'll support in next years presidential election, but I think watching the GOP smear machine running in overdrive to discredit Wesley Clark so ineffectively is fantastic theater. This story has been making the Internet rounds all day, so if you've seen it sorry about the late post, but if you haven't go check out Josh Marshall, who has a perfect summary.

22 September 2003

I'm almost part of the majorirty again 

Kos directs us to a USA Today/Gallup poll that presents some numbers which have to be pretty distressing to the Bush administration. They have him at a 50% approval rating, hovering dangerously close to the 47% disapproval. I don't find much reason to get too worked up over approval ratings, but it's nice to see that more people around the country are starting to think like I am.

Another interesting result of that poll (why didn't you mention this Kos? Your Dean love getting the better of you?) shows Clark beating Bush by a few points and Dean losing by a few. Of course this is meaningless since you can have less of the popular vote and still win the electoral college and the election isn't for another year, but it makes me feel good that a Democrat that most people don't even know is already more popular than George Bush. There are all kinds of great questions over at USA Today, so go give the poll a look-see.

When storylines coflict. . . 

It's always fun to read separate columns on the same day that contradict each other. Melinda Deslatte, who covers Baton Rouge for the Associated Press, writes today that Kathleen Blanco is proving "all the experts wrong" by maintaining the top spot in the polls going into the primary at the beginning of next month. She has done this despite the "conventional wisdom" that had her support withering as other candidates began putting together their messages and collecting endorsements.

Deslatte's piece ponders whether statewide political culture is changing.

But less than two weeks before the Oct. 4 primary, Blanco remains the candidate to beat, staying consistently atop or in the top tier of the polls and confounding political watchers as she crosses party and racial lines, attracting a base that sidesteps many of the rules of a typical Democratic campaign.

“I think we’re seeing a new norm in Louisiana politics,” said Shreveport political consultant Elliott Stonecipher. “Politics has always been just this blood sport almost in Louisiana, and we expect the governor’s race to be the ultimate. Her leading all the way through just seems to be contrary to that."

Of course you don't make money in punditry by being wrong, so Deslatte hedges a little towards the end, as she makes sure to write, "With a sizable undecided vote, a slew of candidates who only need small percentages to get into a runoff . . . the governor's race is far from decided."

So I read that story and then check in to politcsLa.com to see any news from around the state that I might not have picked up in the papers delivered to my driveway. With the Blanco story fresh in mind I read a column by Jeff Sadow, who appears to be frothing at the mouth for a Jindal-Leach runoff. There's no question Jindal's in the best position to be in the runoff right now, but Sadow is still dismissing Blanco as a serious candidate. He only notes the Lt. Governor in his column once to say, "Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco, whose support has heretofore appeared the broadest and shallowest, has to hope the failure of these others to consolidate support in voter blocs leaves enough voters from enough groups to go to her." It appears that Sadow's real purpose in this column, since he almost completely ignores all the evidence that Blanco is still the Democrat in the best position to go into the runoff, is to get off a rant about Buddy Leach's populism, which he manages to characterize in general terms and without a single quote. Watch him become a rabid dog.

Also an outsider, Leach’s staff knew he could get positioned to appeal to two groups which could provide enough for him to move on – blacks and the Angry Left/populist complex.

Leach has almost cornered the market with the latter group, convinced there’s a conspiracy against them everywhere, by trotting out boogeymen such as “big oil” and “big business.” With a big family fortune to spend, he’s adopted a broadcast strategy to reach this group.

. . .

If he can scoop up at least half the black vote, overwhelming support from the relatively small Angry Left/populist front means he will outdistance his Democratic rivals.

I don't know what to say about "big oil" and "big business" as boogeymen supposedly created by Leach. I will say that I don't consider myself a member of the Angry Left/populist front, though I certainly characterize myself as a liberal. I suspect that Sadow's column here is a function of his political beliefs rather than an accurate account of the things Leach has been saying on the campaign trail or why his policy proposals appeal to liberals. At any rate, it's his easy dismissal of Blanco that I can't figure out. He even makes a gigantic if statement that doesn't seem plausible to me under any circumstances. He states that Leach will need at least fifty percent of the black vote to keep his campaign going into November. With four of them in the race the likeliehood of any Democrat getting half of that block is very remote; this is why Blanco (especially with her support among black women) is still the woman to beat. Sadow either knew this and didn't care so that he could write a column getting off a few shots at leftist boogeymen who want to take the state back to the days of Long (congratulations for not calling on his specter in your column; though a few more paragraphs and I'm sure you would have made it) or his political analysis is failing him as he gets older.

21 September 2003

Following up. . . 

It seems that the Pic's endorsement of Jindal never showed up online, but I assure you that I speak the truth. I should also note that Randy Ewing has secured the endorsement of the New Olreans paper The Gambit Weekly and The Shreveport Times.

Anyway, I'm pretty upset over the despicable showing of the Saints today, so there'll only be light posting tonight. This may even be the only one. You'll just have to keep checking in to find out.

Is the Advocate race baiting? 

In the notebook section on the front page of Sunday's metro section, the Baton Rouge Advocate ran a few inches about Bobby Jindal keeping the circumstances of his fundraising close-lipped. Of course that's not the whole story. The story doesn't appear to be online, so I'll just quote from the beginning of it.

Bobby Jindal won't discuss trips he took to California to seek contributions from people of Asian heritage to finance his campaign for governor of Louisiana.

Jindal's campaign finance reports show hundreds of contributions from people with Indian surnames.

Many of the donations are from California addresses. The reports do not show whether Jindal traveled to California to seek the money.

The trips-at least two in July--came up during an interview with a Los Angeles Internet publisher who e-mailed a caustic comic strip about Jindal to 50,000 subscribers and to Louisiana's news media Friday.

Considering the news of Jindal's fundraising prowess and his gigantic warchest, I think it's important to question where he (or any other candidate) gets his support, but this story certainly reeks of something nasty lurking beneath the surface. To be fair to the Advocate the context of the story (it's essentially about the comic mentioned above) necessitates a discussion about the comic's subject, which is apparrently about Jindal's pandering to rich Indians in California. However, the comic should be the lede, not the news that Jindal has a boatload of Indian's supporting him. By playing up the latter it seems that the Advocate could be stirring up latent nativism in its readers. If this story develops at all, which I doubt, it will be interesting to see which way it goes.

Sunday Advertiser focuses on health care 

The local paper actually has a pretty good analysis of the health care crisis we face in the state. The meat of the article provides the news that nearly twenty percent of the state's citizens don't have health insurance. The majority of these people are working poor who make too much to qualify for medicare but not enough to afford the rapidly rising costs of private care.

Then in a move reminiscent of the work done on my high school paper the same paper publishes an entire page filled with the verbatim statements of the gubernatorial candidates regarding their positions on how to provide coverage for Louisianians. There's nothing like having a whole page in the Sunday paper reserved for political spin. I know it's too much to ask for comprehensive analysis of the major candidates' positions from Gannett's capitol bureau chief, but couldn't he at least pretend to offer a little something more than what the candidates say. Just get over there and look at it.

Picayune makes its pick for governor and candidates all agree we need more business here 

The Times Picayune endorses Republican Bobby Jindal in Sunday's edition. The editorial isn't online yet, just the headline, so sometime tomorrow afternoon I'll get the link up and put together a post in response to their endorsement. I'm not surprised, but I can't say I wouldn't have preferred to see them endorse someone else.

Also, the Advocate has a shocking story up that every candidate agrees that we need to do something about attracting business to our state. The article outlines the basic ideas that each candidate has proposed to this point. And even more stunningly they all think that the corporate tax structure is broken. It's good to know that everyone in the race has graduated high school. To be fair the article does report on some differences between the candidates, but the fact of the matter is that most of the hopefuls agree on the first steps to bringing and keeping new business to the state of Louisiana. Notable ideas not shared by all the campaigners are Blossman's (R) plan to create a tax-free zone on corporations in LA (all corps, corps of a certain size? we don't know, he don't say. I think it's any business though), and Leach's (D) proposed oil processing tax.*

The real question for the candidates is how they plan to raise revenue to curb our state's forthcoming $600 million defecit. This article goes about addressing some of the plans for how to deal with pending red ink but only as it specifically relates to business. Just go read it.

*I had an exchange about Leach, Long, and populism over at the Political State Report with their residing LA blogger. This processing tax is the only thing about Leach that could even be thought to be a throwback to Long-style populism. I'll grant that much, but one tax on an idustry that regularly benefits from friendly loopholes hardly a Longite makes. If you're interested go check out the comments to the linked post. Be careful if you comment though, blogger Stephen seemed a little testy this afternoon.

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