It’s Less Than A Week Before The Election, And A Major Gubernatorial Candidate Is Running On This…

…not exactly the weightiest issue imaginable.

“Regional office hours?” That’s the closing offer?

John Binder asked on Facebook if Dardenne would also install Coke machines in all the DMV offices in the state while he’s at it.

“Regional office hours” sounds like a good idea until you realize it’s the 21st century and the vast majority of people who need to interface with the governor will do so via phone, e-mail or even social media – and that governors are expected to attend events and functions around the state as is.

This is (1) not a major change in current policy, the current governor’s Quixotic attempt to secure the 2016 GOP presidential nomination notwithstanding, (2) a promise of inefficiency given that he’s promising to inflict even more travel costs on the taxpayers than are currently spent on in-state gubernatorial travel, not to mention the time lost traveling that could be spent on actual work, and (3) not particularly responsive to the major issues facing the state.

Do “regional office hours” promise to resolve a billion-dollar structural budget deficit? Do they promise to complete the needed reforms to breathe life into public education in Louisiana? Will they reduce the culture of criminality affecting the state’s larger cities which puts public safety at risk and burdens the taxpayer with outsize incarceration costs? Will they produce the gains in public infrastructure needed to salve the traffic problems in our population centers which will only get worse as our looming industrial expansion comes to fruition?

Don’t think so.

We’ve always liked Jay Dardenne, and we hope his career in public service extends beyond January. There is a specific office coming open in the fall of next year, that of mayor-president in East Baton Rouge Parish, for which he is desperately needed to save the city from a fate it will otherwise share with Baltimore, Detroit and others in decline.

But very little of this campaign has made any sense.

Dardenne hasn’t made any serious effort to address the major issues confronting the state. He’s made a point to talk about how he’s not had a hint of scandal in his career, which is a passive-aggressive shot at David Vitter’s 15-20 year old sexual improprieties the voters have already said they don’t particularly care about. He’s griped about Bobby Jindal’s travel and David Vitter’s Super PAC. He’s run a TV ad about collecting child support from deadbeat dads, and now he’s touting “regional office hours.”

Dardenne has offered some policy ideas on addressing the state’s problems, some of which aren’t bad. None of those have been included in his core messaging. It’s fair to ask if he even has crafted any core messaging.

And meanwhile Dardenne has not laid a finger on Scott Angelle, when without taking Angelle’s voters and adding them to his base of support is quite clear he has no chance at the runoff. That’s a criticism which can be equally leveled at Angelle; we’ve been waiting for both of them to recognize this fact and add to it, and now it’s too late for that to make a difference.

So instead we have “regional office hours.”

If our readers can explain this, we’re willing to listen. We’re at a loss.



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