A press release issued on April Fool’s Day which is not, we don’t believe, a joke…
Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) Commissioner Troy Hebert has been tapped to be Governor Bobby Jindal’s Legislative Liaison for the upcoming legislative session. Hebert will also remain as Commissioner of ATC, a post he has held since 2010.
Prior to becoming Commissioner, Hebert served 15 years in the Louisiana State Legislature: 12 years as a representative and 3 years as a senator.
The 2015 Regular Legislative Session begins on April 13, 2015 and ends on June 11, 2015.
Hebert has led a rather colorful existence in recent years, one which would make his appointment a rather curious one for a governor who, assumedly, would want to keep friction and controversy to a minimum in this, his final legislative session before leaving office and running for president full-time.
After all, there is all of this…
Not only does Troy Hebert berate, intimidate, harass and even fire personnel, he keeps the pressure on even after they’re gone.
Hebert, director of the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, has already been shown to be an egotistical administrator who insists that his underlings rise and greet him with a cheery “Good morning, Commissioner,” whenever he enters a room.
He has contracted with 17-year-old girls in efforts to entrap bar owners into selling alcohol to underage patrons.
He has said he would rid his agency of all black employees and indeed, has already had to settle one lawsuit with an African-American former agent whom he fired and is currently facing litigation from three others.
He has ordered an investigation into the background of LouisianaVoice’s Editor and even boasted that he could have LouisianaVoice’s computer hacked if he so desired.
He even threatened criminal trespass charges against a woman who took his crippled Great Dane dog home in the belief it had been abandoned.
But most demeaning of all, he forced agents to write essays as punishment as if they were school children.
The incident with the dog is perhaps the most curious of all, and it has certainly followed Hebert around for the last couple of years.
But Hebert, a relic of the old days when Democrats ran the state legislature, isn’t exactly the guy you’d think would be the first choice to deal with a House and Senate full of unruly and dissatisfied Republicans, some of whom have it in for Jindal in the first place.
Of course, if you don’t have much of a legislative agenda and you’re not particularly concerned with what goes on in the session you can make a pro forma hire for a legislative liaison without any consequences of particular significance.
We noted last night the exodus of many of Jindal’s top staffers to Iowa, where they’ll be doing advance work for his PAC in attempting to ramp him up for the caucuses in that state early next year, and how those moves will create the impression he’s mailing in the rest of his tenure as Louisiana’s governor. Hebert as his man at the legislature looks like more along those lines.