Jindal Touts Endorsements From Several Major Papers

Last week and over the weekend, a number of Louisiana’s newspapers offered endorsements for Saturday’s statewide primary election.

And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was the big winner over the field of nine unknown challengers – scoring endorsements from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Monroe News-Star and Ouachita Citizen.

The Picayune’s endorsement is a recitation of good things Jindal has done in office…

Gov. Bobby Jindal points to a lengthy list of achievements from his first term as Louisiana’s top executive, including significant ethics reforms, major economic development projects and important public education initiatives. He rightfully is proud of that record.

It goes on to tout Jindal’s work to improve the national perception of governmental ethics in the state, $10 billion in capital investment in Louisiana during his term, a host of encouraging economic statistical numbers, his educational reform initiatives and his plan to build a new teaching hospital in New Orleans.

But then it offers an admonition…

Although he has the benefit of hindsight, the governor and his administration also have been impressive in the face of hurricanes, tropical storms and the BP oil spill. Gov. Jindal’s wonkish side comes out during those moments, and his highly specific briefings are a comfort for Louisianians whose homes and families may be in harm’s way.

It is that Bobby Jindal — engaged, focused, accessible — that Louisianians need to see more often in the next four years. Not only during disasters, but week in and week out.

During his current term, the governor has too often seemed detached from the legislative process and was frequently distracted by the national Republican spotlight. That sometimes left him trying to stop ill-advised moves by lawmakers rather than advancing his own policy initiatives.

We hope in the next four years that Gov. Jindal will bring his talents to bear on the state’s most pressing issues: eliminating duplication in higher education, creating a tax system that is fair and that fosters economic growth, pressing Congress for the essential resources needed to restore Louisiana’s coast.

The endorsement from the News-Star is similar, though it contains a bit of criticism of the field of challengers.

Even if the field was well-known and well-financed, it’s hard to imagine not supporting Gov. Bobby Jindal for re-election.

Given the weak field of challengers oppposing him, Jindal should win in a walk.

No doubt Jindal’s prowess at fundraising dissuaded other, more prominent, candidates from opposing him. His $10 million warchest was formidable indeed.

But it’s hard to find much to criticize in Jindal’s first term of office.

The News-Star points to a number of economic wins for Northeast Louisiana in Jindal’s term, including the chicken processing plant in Farmerville, the expansion of Gardner Denver Thomas, the growth of CenturyLink and the Lamb Weston sweet potato processing plant. It also touts Jindal’s efforts to get Next Autoworks off the ground, though folks with a more objective view of that project would actually count those efforts as a negative.

The News-Star also touts Jindal’s efforts in workforce training.

The endorsement does, however, mention one of Jindal’s opponents as someone to watch in the future…

We must say that one of his challengers holds tremendous promise. Tara Hollis, an educator who jumped into the race for governor after watching how budget cuts cost many of her colleagues their jobs, impresses with her enthusiasm and her research. In time, she could become a factor in state politics, but not yet. These are not the times for a novice.

Also in Northeast Louisiana, the Ouachita Citizen endorsed another term for Jindal.

It’s been four years since Louisiana voters embraced a 36-year-old Republican congressman from Kenner and elected him governor.

Yet, Louisianians did embrace Bobby Jindal, who blazed the campaign trail four-plus years ago promising to bring about change, most notably a departure from politics of the past.

It would be naïve to suggest Jindal has put an end to all of the political shenanigans that have plagued Louisiana, and stymied her growth, for decades. Jindal, though, has made significant strides in cleaning up the state’s image, especially in the eyes of the nation as a whole, which for years, justifiably recognized Louisiana as a Banana Republic.

The Citizen touts Jindal’s record on taxes…

Besides improving Louisiana’s reputation here at home and across the country, Jindal’s most significant contribution since he took office in January 2008 – from our vantage point – concerns the hard line he has taken on not raising taxes to fuel the misguided demand for more and bigger government. Sadly, too many Louisianians still believe more government is the answer for the problems we face in life. Hopefully, in time, they’ll recognize the error of their ways.

Not only have we not witnessed an increase in taxes in Louisiana in the not-too-distant past, Jindal signed legislation that resulted in a tax cut for middle-and-upper-income wage earners. Though it could be argued that Jindal was a bit hesitant to embrace a roll back of the dreaded Stelly Plan, which gave us higher income taxes roughly 10 years ago, the fact of the matter remains that Jindal signed off on the bill that put Stelly out of its misery. And Louisiana and her people are better off because of it. No ifs, ands or buts.

The paper also touts Jindal’s efforts on behalf of the northeastern part of the state, then points toward a second term…

Jindal must continue to work to improve economic opportunities for Louisiana’s people in the face of a national recession. He also must not rest until Louisiana’s public schools no longer rank among the worst-performing schools in the nation.

There’s more Jindal must do before his tenure as governor concludes, but we feel comfortable in putting him on the spot to accomplish it all.

Why?

Because it is inherently clear to us that Jindal may be the most capable governor Louisiana has elected in the past century.

And he deserves another four years in office to prove it.

As the week goes along the parade of endorsements will surely continue. And with the weak field opposing Jindal it’s unlikely he’ll fail to rack up endorsements from more of Louisiana’s media outlets.

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