This was taken at the Pontchatoula Rotary Club on Friday, and it’s a 29-minute talk about the structure of the state government and its holes.
It’s the same talk he’s given multiple times, and most of what he’s said is relatively uncontroversial.
But what’s interesting is the clobbering he gave Gov. Bobby Jindal – calling him the “least accessible governor” he’s worked with and saying it’s been 18 months since he talked to him.
Kennedy also hammered Jindal for vetoing a bill requiring the state to cut $22 million in consulting contracts in the Department of Education, after the governor’s allies killed a bill he and Rep. Dee Richard were pushing to force the state to eliminate 10 percent of the consulting contract spending. Of course, it’s an overly simplistic question – the state won’t save money by arbitrarily demanding a haircut from its consultants; those consultants have the right to force the state to live up to its end of those contracts and they’ll sue to enforce that right, which will cost the state money, and those who hold vital contracts will likely declare them void if the state won’t pay at the agreed-upon rate – meaning they’ll have to be re-bid and there’s no guarantee you’ll save money on re-bid contracts. The way to cut contract spending is to kill contracts as they expire – meaning giving up a project or program government is currently doing and devolving power to either local government or the people.
He also tore into the state’s economic development strategy, calling it “elephant hunting” and saying too much time and effort is spent trying to bring in mercenary big companies to site plants and headquarters here and not enough to help small business people create jobs in small quantities over a large profile.
A good closing line, though. “Texas is five and a half times bigger than Louisiana. We’re ten and a half times more interesting than they are.”