Jindal’s ALEC Fetish sends his Poll Numbers South

I’ve been writing about my governor frequently because the experience of the state of Louisiana with Jindal and his ALEX cronies should be a I'm with stupidcautionary tale to the rest of the country.  Bobby Jindal is currently working on a tax overhaul that will punish any one that has to buy stuff–and conversely sell stuff–in the state so he can reward his rich friends and corporate donor base.   Similar tax plans are being bandied about in Kansas and other states with Republican governors who have no idea what it takes to get a state into the economically healthy column. Their plans are basically to turn their states into Mississippi if their not near there already.   These plans will essentially un-develop the states.  Banana Republicans–like my governor–appear to be more interested in their memes and donors than in actually governing their states to prosperity.  It’s a race to the bottom.

The GOP has plans for a comeback. But it may cost you a lot. The idea is to capitalize on recent Republican state takeovers to conduct an austerity experiment known as the new “red-state model” and prove that faulty policies can be turned into gold.

There will be smoke. There will be mirrors. And there will be a lot of ordinary people suffering needlessly in the wake of this ideological train wreck.

We already have a red-state model, and it’s called Mississippi. Or Texas. Or any number of states characterized by low public investment, worker abuse, environmental degradation, educational backwardness, high rates of unwanted pregnancy, poor health, and so on.

Now the GOP is determined to bring that horrible model to the rest of America.

In Kansas, the Wall Street Journal reports that Governor Sam Brownback is aiming to up his profile “by turning Kansas into what he calls Exhibit A for how sharp cuts in taxes and government spending can generate jobs, wean residents off public aid and spur economic growth.” In remarks quoted in the same article, Brownback announced that “My focus is to create a red-state model that allows the Republican ticket to say, ‘See, we’ve got a different way, and it works.’ ”

Brownback’s economic inspiration is Reagan-era supply-side economist Arthur Laffer and the folks at Americans for Prosperity, the conservative outfit backed by the deep coffers of the Koch brothers.

This new austerity talk focused on “fiscal innovations” is emboldening Republicans in other states that have been gerrymandered into submission to the GOP, including Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and alas, my home state of North Carolina.

The Jindal plan has disaster written all over it. It also has ALEC’s cloven hoofprints all over it.  Louisiana is already a low tax state with high sales taxes and fees.  There’s no real reason to make things worse other than help Bobby get through a 2016 Republican Presidential Primary.

Gov. Bobby Jindal‘s impending tax overhaul will hurt low and middle-income households in Louisiana, liberal think tank the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities said this week. The CBPP added a DC-based conservative group, the American Legislative Exchange Council, was seeking to “move to remake Louisiana,” starting by influencing state tax policy.

“There are some states that really stand out in terms of ALEC’s footprint,” Doug Clopp of the liberal non-profit advocacy group Common Cause said during a Wednesday conference call on ALEC’s economic agenda. He added there is currently “a raft” of ALEC bills in the Louisiana Legislature.

ALEC, a 501(c)(3) organization chaired by Indiana Republican Rep. David Frizzell, provides a forum where state lawmakers and corporate representatives collaborate to create an annual list of “model legislation” for which the organization then lobbies.

According to the CBPP, Gov. Jindal’s impending tax overhaul, for which few details are currently public, very clearly mirrors “ALEC agenda” items on tax policy. At its most basic, the plan would involve doing away with income and corporate taxes in favor of a higher sales tax.

Today, PPP has confirmed exactly how impopular Jindal and his remaking of Louisiana has become in Louisiana.  Dig these nasty poll numbers! It appears his political career in Louisiana is well-over.

When PPP last polled Louisiana in 2010, Bobby Jindal was one of the most popular Governors in the country. 58% of voters approved of the job he was doing to just 34% who disapproved. Over the last two and a half years though there’s been a massive downward shift in Jindal’s popularity, and he is now one of the most unpopular Governors in the country. Just 37% of voters now think he’s doing a good job to 57% who are unhappy with him.

The decline in Jindal’s popularity cuts across party lines. Where he was at 81/13 with Republicans in August 2010, now it’s 59/35. Where he was at 67/22 with independents back then, now he’s at 41/54. And what was a higher than normal amount of crossover support from Democrats at 33/58 is now 15/78. There was a time when Jindal probably would have been seen as a slam dunk candidate for Republicans against Mary Landrieu in 2014. But now he actually trails Landrieu 49/41 in a hypothetical match up.

Jindal’s ambitions lie within the District Beltway. However, he’s not doing very well on that account either.

A 57 percent majority of Louisiana voters now disapprove of their Republican governor’s performance, compared to 37 percent who approve, according to PPP. In August 2010, those numbers were nearly reversed, with 58 percent approving and 34 percent disapproving.

Jindal lost favor both inside and outside his party, according to the survey. His approval rating fell by 22 points among Republicans, by 26 points among independents and by 18 points among Democrats.

The poll surveyed 603 Louisiana voters between Feb. 8 and 12, using automated phone calls.

Jindal, who is considered a possible contender for the next presidential election, easily won reelection as governor in 2011, taking 66 percent of the vote against a field of nine rivals. His term lasts until 2015, when state law will prevent him from seeking a third consecutive term.

PPP’s most recent national poll found Jindal running behind former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan in a hypothetical GOP primary.

Jindal has been trying for the last three years to grab a political podium on the national stage.  He bombed his first opportunity by doing a miserable job of rebutting Obama’s 2009 SOTU.

The 2009 Republican response to the State of the Union was supposed to be Bobby Jindal’s coming out. The Republicans were in dire need of a fresh, young leader, and Jindal was a governor aspiring to Washington. Who better to redefine the party than a son of immigrants who was living proof of the American Dream? It was a match made in heaven.

There was just one problem: Jindal’s speech fell flat. It fell so flat that the only person who defended it, among both liberals and conservatives, was Rush Limbaugh. Instead of kick-starting his national career, Jindal’s speech prematurely ended it and confined him to the state sphere instead.

Jindal’s prime time Republican convention speech was cancelled due to Hurricane Issac. He was never really a contender for the Romney VP nod which would’ve probably been the ultimate kiss-of-death any way.  He’s been playing the ultimate sour grape since Romney’s loss for both Romney and the party of stupid. (I prefer Hillary Clinton’s characterization of the current Republican party as the Party of Evidence-Denial.) Jindal also has a habit of backing real losers in elections.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) issued one of the more pointed post-election public criticisms of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign Tuesday, saying that the Republican nominee did too little to set out an inspiring vision for governance.

“Mitt Romney is an honorable man. He’s a good honest man. He deserves our respect, and our gratitude,” Jindal told The Huffington Post in a phone interview. “The reality of it, the campaign was too much about biography. It wasn’t enough about a vision of where they wanted to take our country, and how they would do it.”

“The reality is people are not being inspired by a biography,” Jindal said. “We have got to offer that vision.”

Jindal made the comments as he talked about the need for Republicans to detail their policy ideas. He said that the Romney campaign’s focus on marketing its candidate as a businessman who could fix a stalled economy, rather than running on a bold presentation of conservative principles, was, “one of the reasons this got obscured.”

Those of us that have lived under Jindal’s Banana Republican approach to governance know him best and, it seems, the more you know him, the more you can’t stand him.

Since his national debut, Jindal has made an overwhelming number of decisions in Louisiana that sparked heated response from concerned observers. Host Melissa Harris-Perry addressed these decisions in an open letter to Jindal in November, which coined the hashtag, “#FBJ”: Forget Bobby Jindal. As we fast-forward to 2013, the governor is still in the news for his questionable policy changes.

Harris-Perry discussed with her panel the motives behind Jindal’s actions.

On Jan. 29, Gov. Jindal sent a note to the president via the Washington Post requesting a meeting about Medicaid to “give states more flexibility” in deciding the future of the program. This op-ed was published just as Jindal’s new Medicaid cuts went into effect in his own state. “Over the last five years, governor Jindal has cut Medicaid every year,” said Louisiana senator Karen Carter Peterson to the panel. She described the low eligibility rates in the state–one of the lowest in the country–and how this, in addition to Jindal’s other political ideaologies, is ”to the detriment of our citizens.”

Being Different author Rajiv Malhotra believes that all of the governor’s actions are to propel him to the forefront of 2016 ballot, whether or not they benefit the residents of Louisiana. Thus far, Jindal has willingly transformed into whatever the GOP needed him to be. “[Bobby Jindal] became as white as he could except for his skin color,” said Malhotra. “He’s uncomfortable being an Indian-American; he’s rejected that…except when it comes to fundraising.” Malhotra noted that Jindal was easily able to reject his ethnicity, until recently when the Republican party realized they needed to be “less white” in order to win the masses.

“The Republican Party actually does have more minorities and governorships than the democratic party does,” clarified Patrick Millsaps, former chief of staff for Newt Gingrich in 2012. Although opposed to some of Jindal’s proposals, he explained the inaccuracy of attributing the governor’s faults to race relations and identity versus the real issue: budget decisions. However, Jindal’s polictical decisions are called into question when his authenticity is challenged.

Democratic strategist John Rowley expanded on Millsaps stance and mentioned the problems Jindal will face in this “era of authenticity.” He listed several instances in which Jindal put himself at a disadvantage. ” [He] changed his religion, he changed his name…he’s changed some of his policy positions–he’s even changed his campaign tactics,” said Rowley.

Jindal, a 41-year-old, second-term governor, was initially considered a possible vice presidential pick for Romney, despite the fact that Jindal endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican primary. But Jindal and Romney lacked personal chemistry, according to multiple sources, and Jindal had a limited presence for Romney on the campaign trail.

I know that I have a handful of Louisiana Readers for this blog who really care about the nuts and bolts of Jindal’s miserable policies and even worse results.  His educational policy blunders alone could fill an entire blog and then some.  I guess I keep bringing this up because Jindal’s had the audacity and the ability–given the nature of the Louisiana Legislature–to turn our our state into an ALEC crockpot.  He’s probably done more drastic things than the governors of Florida and Wisconsin.  He’s also attacked our public unions–what little is left of them–and our schools and public welfare and health programs.  His recent role in the Republican Governor’s association has brought them into the light.  For this, I’m thankful.  It’s probably way too late to help my state but maybe we can stop him from going national. I hope that I let you know what to expect if you’re in one of those states where ALEC is running amok with a Banana Republican enabler.

Again, Jindal’s vision for the future only contains paths to Jindal’s personal advancement.  Hurricane Katrina’s impact on the Democratic Party allowed him to get much further in the state that he would have under more normal conditions. The majority of the state has been a little slow to realize this but they sure know it now.  However, Jindal’s policies are not unique nor or they just custom-made for Louisiana.  So, as Cassandra of the Swamp, I’d just like to tell you to watch out for anything associated with my governor.  It will do no one any good but Jindal, his cronies, and and his donor base.