Free Dartmouth
Two Louisiana Politicians
10/14/2006 05:30:00 PM | Nathan Empsall

I just posted this on my personal blog, The Wayward Episcopalian: Nathan in New Orleans. Since it's political in nature, I thought I'd share it here:

A Brief Word on Louisiana Politics

Good news: The Louisiana Democrats have refused to endorse U.S. Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) in his bid for a ninth term! If you've not heard of Rep. Jefferson, he's being investigated for bribery charges. He hasn't been indicted yet, but the Feds did find $100k he'd been paid stashed in his freezer. Now, as folks who know me can attest, I'm a staunch Democrat, but I can't stand idealogues or corrupt crooks, no matter what party they're from. I really hope Jefferson is kicked out off Congress, and this helps the odds of that. The state party has endorsed state Rep. Karen Carter instead. In Louisiana, the General Election and primary are the same thing, so both will appear on the ballot. If no candidate gets 51% of the vote, the top two advance to a run-off. With the state party backing Carter, it's doubtful Jefferson can reach 51%, so my hope is that Carter beats him and proceeds to a runoff with a Republican. It would be wonderful if the Dems took back the House, and even better if the most corrupt Congressmen were kicked out.

While I'm on the subject of Louisiana politics, let me say that if I were a Louisiana voter - which I'm not - I'd probably vote Republican for Governor in '07. And if I lived in Metairie, Slidell, or the North Shore, I'd probably vote Republican for Congress this year. First-term Congressman Bobby Jindal (R-LA) has done a heckuva job for Louisiana. When I asked Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) in a Dartmouth Free Press interview who the best Republicans to work with are, he immediately mentioned Jindal. When the 35-year old and former Rhodes Scholar Jindal ran for Governor in 2003 (he lost to Democrat Kathleen Blanco, 52-48, and is considered a leading candidate for the '07 race), he was endorsed by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, a Democrat. He's been the most active member of the Louisiana Congressional delegation in helping residents deal with FEMA claims and other constituent services, often picking up the slack for other offices (Jefferson's office refers such FEMA problems to Jindal's). I disagree with Jindal on a number of issues - he received an unfortunate American Conservatives Union rating of 100 in 2005 - but many of those issues would matter less if he were a Governor. I won't say Blanco's done a terrible job, but Jindal is exactly the kind of person we need more of in American politics, especially in Louisiana.

You can read about Jindal's proposed revisions for FEMA here, or about his bio here and here.

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However, Jindal is a fundamentalist Christian who opposes abortion, voted to preserve the ban on privately funded abortions at US military facilities overseas, and also does not support stem cell research.

And frankly, as a native New Orleanian who was around to see the insanity that was Gov. Mike Foster (a man who did not reject David Duke's endorsement), I would not trust anyone who opted to work with Gov. Foster and would consequently certainly not vote for Bobby Jindal. If he's so fabulous in terms of coping with FEMA, why didn't he use his genius to work some magic on the GWB, et al?

By Blogger Ms. NOLA, at 10:53 AM  

First-term congressmen don't have much magic when it comes to dealing with presidential administrations.

I've known many fundamentalist Christians who make for fine politicians - it's not the religious believe, misguided as it may be, that in and of itself leads to bad politics (though the two do often go hand in hand). And I myself am "pro-life" (though, if given the chance, I wouldn't overturn Roe today), so that doesn't bother me - although yes, I certainly disagree with the Congressman on stem cell research. But I'm not a one-issue voter, especially with Jindal gearing up for a run for Governor, where his stances on such issues will have little effect on national policy, or even state policy, given that LA's state legislature is still Democratic.

I was talking to a Democratic friend today, and it turns out he's known Jindal since he was in college. He had wonderful things to say about him and his family - and remember the turnout Jindal performed at the (state?) hospital system. It's the kind of thing Louisana needs right now.

But luckily for you, I voted absentee in NH, not LA, and voted Democrat for all the major offices. :-)

By Blogger Nathan S. Empsall, at 6:15 PM  

"I've known many fundamentalist Christians who make for fine politicians"

Like Ted Haggard.

By Blogger Timothy, at 11:50 PM  

Jindal " is considered a leading candidate for the '07 race), he was endorsed by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, a Democrat."

Wow. What. an. endorsement.

By Blogger Timothy, at 11:57 PM  

Nathan: "First-term Congressman Bobby Jindal (R-LA) has done a heckuva job for Louisiana."

Oh, I just realized you were joking!
"heckva job, Jindal!" I get it now.

By Blogger Timothy, at 12:00 AM  

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