In today’s Low Popahirum, we’ve got an entry from C.B. Forgotston about how Gov. Bobby Jindal is installing his minions among the state’s more powerful political organizations, specifically LABI and PAR.
And while the migration of Stephen Waguespack and Camille Conoway to LABI and Stephen Procopio to PAR can be interpreted as Jindal building a spider-web of power in Louisiana politics – another interpretation would be that those organizations will naturally look for people with experience and contacts with which to leverage influence at the Capitol and such people have emanated from every other gubernatorial administration – he then makes a whopper of an allegation…
“Perhaps it is merely coincidental that Jindal and LABI have the same priority for the 2014 Regular Session — workforce development. Rumors abound that LABI will do a one-eighty toward Jindal’s side and against the oil and gas industry on the legacy lawsuits issue.”
We asked about this one, because there could be some reasonable suspicion about it. Jindal is the first conservative politician in Louisiana to have a cordial, if not friendly, relationship with the trial lawyers (though he certainly won’t be the last now that Republicans hold the levers of political power in the state), and when negotiations that produced the current deal aimed at resolving the legacy lawsuit issue were ongoing there was quite a bit of consternation in the oil patch that Jindal wasn’t on their side. Given that the biggest player opposite the oil companies seeking relief from legacy lawsuits was Roy O. Martin, one of Jindal’s largest backers, none of that was a major surprise.
And when Waguespack got the LABI job, there were lots of people who said he was going to be Jindal’s representative rather than the business community’s.
So far, though, most of the folks who harbored those doubts have said Waguespack is his own man to the best they can tell.
And while this isn’t particular proof of that, when we asked about Forgotston’s rumor-mill allegation on the legacy lawsuit issue and whether LABI will change its stance there, the response we received was…
Time will certainly tell, but for now one wonders where Forgotston got the idea LABI’s about to do a 180 on legacy lawsuits. Given that LABI works relatively closely with LOGA and LMOGA on a lot of issues, and given that LOGA and LMOGA are screaming about the state’s low rig count and that those lawsuits are the reason for it, it would seem a peculiar time for a flip.
The evidence isn’t in yet. He might be correct. Or he might not.