Louisiana’s Worst-Kept Secret Gets Unveiled Today

Jay Dardenne gets his payoff at a 3:30 press conference this afternoon. Ephialtes finally gets his swag from Xerxes.

It’s widely expected that Edwards will announce Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne as his incoming commissioner of administration.

Dardenne, a Republican, crossed party lines to endorse Edwards, a Democrat, in the Nov. 21 election against Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter.

Dardenne recently confirmed that he has been considering joining Edwards’ administration in a key role. The commissioner serves as the governor’s top budget official.

Everybody knew this was coming.

And nobody bought the weak denials that both Edwards and Dardenne offered when the latter endorsed the former.

We’re going to be watching a pattern which is quite obvious so far with Edwards; namely, that every denial he’s made of things said about him in the campaign and otherwise shortly gets proved false, and all of his “centrist” promises have an expiration date.

He denied he’d negotiated the Commissioner of Administration job in return for Dardenne’s endorsement. Now it’s obvious that was a lie.

He said he’d call two special sessions of the legislature to fix the budget. He repudiated that within hours of getting elected.

He said he wouldn’t roll back the state’s education reforms. Now he’s talking about doing just that.

Interestingly, he also denied he had any role in F. King Alexander’s kiboshing the Les Miles buyout. Our sources say that’s a lie.

There will be lots more.

But what can’t be denied now is that Jay Dardenne has ever been a conservative. He’s a careerist, and he’s just put himself in a position to lock down a six-figure government income for the rest of his life. If he makes only the $167,000 that outgoing Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols has been making, by the end of Edwards’ four-year term he’ll vest at 80 percent of that, or $133,600, for the rest of his days.

Good work if you can get it.

And to make Edwards’ budget balance, you can bet Dardenne will be looking into your wallet for taxes the state can collect.

Dardenne’s supporters have been spending a lot of time lecturing the rest of the state’s Republican voters about how if they hadn’t voted for David Vitter perhaps the governor’s mansion could have been kept in Republican hands. Today’s events are the retort to that – why vote for a fake Democrat when one can have a real one?

Say what you want about David Vitter, but he wouldn’t have gone to work in a John Bel Edwards administration. Jay Dardenne sure did.



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