Jindal urged to veto legislative pay raise — by two legislators who voted for it

posted at 2:46 pm on June 26, 2008 by Allahpundit

No foolin’. Such is the outrage over the raise that four legislators are already facing recall petitions and requests for 30 more petition packets are being processed by the Secretary of State. It’s not purely symbolic, either: The Louisiana blogosphere, at least, means business.

Whether you think it’s overblown or not, as a display of public might and civic accountability it’s darned impressive.

Reps. Tim Burns, R-Mandeville; Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe; and John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, filed affidavits declining the raise.

LaBruzzo, who was a vocal advocate of the pay raise, is now calling on Jindal to veto the measure. His affidavit contained a qualification: He will not accept the higher salary until a $300 million tax cut Jindal signed into law goes into effect. The tax cut technically goes into effect Jan. 1, but new tax tables may not be ready until July 2009…

The three new statements bring to 23 the number of lawmakers who have declined the pay raise. A lawmaker can later rescind the affidavit and start receiving the pay, but not retroactively, House Clerk Alfred “Butch” Speer said.

LaBruzzo wrote a letter to Jindal saying, “It has become obvious to me that we — the Legislature — grossly misjudged the issue of legislative pay during the past session. As a result, I am recommending that you veto SB 672 so that we can come together with our constituents to determine a more reasonable compensation plan for legislators.”…

Hoffmann said he has gotten criticism from his conservative northeast Louisiana base for voting for the raise. “The timing was bad, the amount was too much,” Hoffmann said, confirming he submitted a late affidavit. “I spoke to Governor Jindal and recommended that he veto it. … I think there is movement to veto it” among lawmakers.

I’m sitting here wondering if even the great amnesty backlash of 2007 succeeded in intimidating anyone who publicly supported the bill before the vote into opposing it. Brownback switched his vote at literally the very last minute, but that was after he knew for sure the bill had been defeated. Cornyn also reversed himself, but that was weeks before the anger really started to mount, as I recall, so it was probably done on principle. Oh, and do recall that as thanks for his reversal, he got an F-bomb dropped on him by our nominee.

Incidentally, according to Louisiana blogger LegeWatch, the ploy to decline the raises is just that — a ploy. Statutorily, it’s too late. As for Jindal, he’s still promising that he won’t veto the pay raise, but if he’s worried that vetoing it will jeopardize his agenda by making an enemy of the legislature, that shouldn’t be much of a worry anymore if the legislature itself is begging him to get them off the hook, no? Seems like a moment that calls for bold, populist leadership, not … this. Oof.


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if they raised it like 20% instead of 120% it might not have been as big a deal. You think?

kirkill on June 26, 2008 at 2:48 PM

are these the evolving community standards we hear so much about?

lorien1973 on June 26, 2008 at 2:48 PM

On the other hand, you have to give him that he’s tough on crime….

amerpundit on June 26, 2008 at 2:50 PM

hahah whoops

SECOND LOOK AT ANYONE BUT JINDAL FOR VP!

apollyonbob on June 26, 2008 at 2:53 PM

Did Jindal sign it?

If not i would have advised him to Veto it..

Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 2:54 PM

I’m thinking I’m going to start thinking Palin/Jindal 2012 instead of Jindal/Palin 2012.

its vintage duh on June 26, 2008 at 2:54 PM

kirkill – their overall compensation was already very much in line with what other legislatures get. But if they had made an honest effort to justify a more modest raise to the voters, they would have had no problem getting it.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 2:56 PM

As for Jindal, he’s still promising that he won’t veto the pay raise, but if he’s worried that vetoing it will jeopardize his agenda by making an enemy of the legislature

This is how you do it.. You have them vote on a large part of the ethics reform package FIRST, then they get 1/2 of the raise.. then after they vote on the second package the get the other 1/2 (However Make it less than what it it is now.. by a little bit, since LA has perks built in)

Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 2:59 PM

the Legislative priory are just trying to save their jobs.

LA I hope you still get them kicked out! You deserve new blood!

upinak on June 26, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Cornyn also reversed himself, but that was weeks before the anger really started to mount, as I recall, so it was probably done on principle.

Yeah, sure it was. It’s more likely that he has aides who are more in tune with a certain section of the base than many other Senators have.

By the way, I think no matter what the outcome of this pay raise thing is, Jindal’s pretty much done. If he signs it, he will face the wrath of the voters, but if he vetoes it, his reform agenda will likely stall due to opposition from the legislators who passed it. The longer he waffles, the worse it gets. He’s successfully alienating both the legislature and the voting public. It’s an amazing sight to behold.

Big S on June 26, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Oh, and do recall that as thanks for his reversal, he got an F-bomb dropped on him by our nominee.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Zetterson on June 26, 2008 at 3:01 PM

I think Jindal’s lack of courage is more disappointing than the legislators’ venality. I’ve come to expect it in them,… business as usual, but Jindal cowering under his desk isn’t a pretty sight and is a surprise. Now, no matter what he does, the perception remains.

a capella on June 26, 2008 at 3:02 PM

but if he’s worried that vetoing it will jeopardize his agenda by making an enemy of the legislature

Sure, but he’s got a line item veto and $20million worth of their pork to threaten – not to mention a bully pulpit and a sympathetic electorate. Had he been willing to play hard ball from the beginning he would have no worries about his agenda getting a fair shake.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Make them WORK for the raises.. DONT just GIVE them HUGE raises for nothing..

(IF they vote for the reforms, give them bumps in steps.. however the top needs to be lower than what it is set at now)

Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Big S on June 26, 2008 at 3:01 PM

Sorry, I didn’t mean to be redundant. I was typing while you were posting.

a capella on June 26, 2008 at 3:04 PM

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Recall them Laura. If the lege’s are being this way and you know all it will do is make waves with nothing more then veto this and that and nothing goes, and the State loses in the process. You should recall the ones who hurt the State more then help it.

upinak on June 26, 2008 at 3:05 PM

This is great. Jindal’s issue with vetoing the bill was that he would alienate the legislators and they would not cooperate with him in passing his other agenda items. Looks like he will be doing them a “favor” by vetoing it now. Hey Bobby…get a pen!

ihasurnominashun on June 26, 2008 at 3:08 PM

You should recall the ones who hurt the State more then help it.

We’re trying… believe me. It’s amazing to see how fired up people are about this.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 3:09 PM

Sorry, I didn’t mean to be redundant. I was typing while you were posting.

a capella on June 26, 2008 at 3:04 PM

No prob.

I should also say that I think that the most politically astute thing for Jindal to do, sadly, is to sign the bill. It’s fairly early in his term, so when election time rolls around again, this will seem small in hindsight, and his opponent(s) will not likely be any better on this kind of issue than he is. Basically, since he has to face the legislature before he has to face the voters again, it’s probably a better idea (for his own political survival) to give them their way.

Big S on June 26, 2008 at 3:11 PM

I’m sitting here wondering if even the great amnesty backlash of 2007 succeeded in intimidating anyone who publicly supported the bill before the vote into opposing it. Brownback switched his vote at literally the very last minute, but that was after he knew for sure the bill had been defeated. Cornyn also reversed himself, but that was weeks before the anger really started to mount, as I recall, so it was probably done on principle. Oh, and do recall that as thanks for his reversal, he got an F-bomb dropped on him by our nominee.
Allahpundit

I respect the voters of LA standing up and making their voices heard on this fiscal issue. For me personally, the amnesty issue is far, far more serious.

Should we as a nation grant “pathway to USA citizenship” for people who entered our country illegally, most of whom have already committed document fraud of some kind, including credit card theft, identity fraud , or Social Security number theft?

ColtsFan on June 26, 2008 at 3:11 PM

It is damned impressive as an example of the citizenry making their public officials account for what they do.

Wish we had more of this on the national scene.

I’m just sorry that Jindal is booting this thing so badly, and losing the trust of the conservative base.

Really hope he does the right thing here, and we can put this sorry episode behind us.

Hawkins1701 on June 26, 2008 at 3:11 PM

How come they are making so much noise about the Louisiana Legislature, but hardly anyone makes a peep these days when it comes to the antics of Dollar Bill Jefferson?

pilamaye on June 26, 2008 at 3:11 PM

By “them”, I meant the legislators who passed the bill.

Big S on June 26, 2008 at 3:11 PM

I think Gov. Jindal would be making a mistake by letting this raise go through. A dramatic pay raise was pushed through in a sneaky, dark-of-night approach in Pennsylvania a few years ago. It so angered the voters that they used the 2006 election to clean house in a major way. Incumbents got taken out in primaries and several of those that survived the primaries lost in the general election. Voters fired the top 3 or 4 members of the state legislature AND one of the two Supreme Court Justices that were up for retention after ruling the pay-jacking was legal. Guys who had been in office for 20+ years and won many elections unopposed lost to first time candidates with little name recognition. In one case, a major Democratic leader got beaten by an unknown Republican for a seat in a heavily Democratic district.

The reform measures Gov. Jindal are working on are worth fighting for, but this bill sounds a lot like a back-room deal. It would be interesting to see if he could use the public’s anger over the pay raise to leverage his reforms through with a much smaller pay raise that’s delivered in increments.

Jill1066 on June 26, 2008 at 3:12 PM

How come they are making so much noise about the Louisiana Legislature, but hardly anyone makes a peep these days when it comes to the antics of Dollar Bill Jefferson?

I’m not in Jefferson’s district, but I’d venture to guess that because there is a legal remedy available to deal with him, the people who ordinarily would get fired up, aren’t. They’re just sitting back letting it play out because that’s about all they CAN do.

This, on the other hand, people can take real action over and in fact, whatever action we take is the ONLY remedy available.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 3:15 PM

The reform measures Gov. Jindal are working on are worth fighting for, but this bill sounds a lot like a back-room deal. It would be interesting to see if he could use the public’s anger over the pay raise to leverage his reforms through with a much smaller pay raise that’s delivered in increments.

Jill1066 on June 26, 2008 at 3:12 PM

Pay raises in increments based on the “legislatures performance” in passing reforms, seems like the only way the people would support it.. (Also with a ceiling lower than what the bar is set at today) what is it like $31,000, + all the perks?

Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 3:18 PM

This is where Jindal steps up and says…”You made your bed, now sleep in it”, he could even add that he opposes the bill but it is about time the legislator owns up to what they propose and that the people will decide whether to keep them or not; or he steps behind the curtain and says “what is my veto worth to you?”.
If he is smart, he will come out ahead of this.

right2bright on June 26, 2008 at 3:21 PM

This, on the other hand, people can take real action over and in fact, whatever action we take is the ONLY remedy available.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 3:15 PM

It appears there is some culmination of past grievances regarding political hijinks and this issue pushed the steam level past the safety valve. I find the LA citizen activism refreshing and cleansing. Watching the legislators run for cover shows what an outraged citizenry can do. Keep the gas pedal down.

a capella on June 26, 2008 at 3:23 PM

We’re not talking about some massive sum here: It’s a bump from $16,800 a year to $37,500

Per AP

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/06/24/angry-louisianans-warn-jindal-not-to-approve-legislatures-pay-raise/

Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Doesn’t Jindal have an Attorney General to consult on the legality question?

Dusty on June 26, 2008 at 3:24 PM

This, on the other hand, people can take real action over and in fact, whatever action we take is the ONLY remedy available.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 3:15 PM

Recall as many of them as possible — use up every last drop of momentum. This is incredibly healthy for government, like pruning is to a rose bush.

-

deesine on June 26, 2008 at 3:25 PM

set the ceiling at $31,800 thats less than 1/2…

Give them raises in increments..
have the reform package rolled out in 3 steps..

They get an extra $5000 per step or reform passed. until the reach a final $31,800

Thats still better than 37,500 straight away.

That should save them over $820,000 each year(even more since it’s in steps)

Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 3:33 PM

[Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 3:23 PM]

True, but they also get a $6000 expense and a $100+ per diem and some perks. Right now with the $16,700 salary, total compensation is about $35k so they are bumping it to $56K. Sessions last 3 months and even if you double it for district work, taking calls, etc, the $35K seems reasonable.

This work should be a service, not a career. Short term. Volunteer. Do your duty. Then go back to being a productive member of society.

Dusty on June 26, 2008 at 3:34 PM

We’re not talking about some massive sum here: It’s a bump from $16,800 a year to $37,500

Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Look, that’s what people keep repeating, but it’s simply not so. It IS a massive pay raise because their base pay comprises LESS THAN HALF of their total compensation. And that doesn’t even take a generous benefits package into account.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 3:36 PM

Actually, I’d like to see a “truth in lege pay” bill that gives them one flat amount, NO per diems. That way they will be less inclined to keep racking up per diems promoting BS legislation.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 3:39 PM

I’m kind of for the veto if only because our NY reps are going to see this and say if some backwater like LA is going to pay their reps $36,700, were worth at least $100K. Besides, the norm is nowhere near $36,700 countrywide. States like CA, NY, NJ are the oddities, and gee, guess whose state governments are the most oppressive and expensive.

Dusty on June 26, 2008 at 3:41 PM

Dusty on June 26, 2008 at 3:34 PM
Laura on June 26, 2008 at 3:36 PM

Those were NOT my comments read under it, it said PER AP(Allahpundit)

:}

Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 3:42 PM

Chakra – Yes, I understand, but AP was incorrect; he did not understand the pay structure and what they get in terms of actual compensation for a part time job. In context, it IS a massive sum; that’s the point I was trying to make.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 3:46 PM

[Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 3:42 PM]

But were you agreeing with it? It seemed so after I read your comment just prior and after it on the stepped pay increases and your target is in the same range. Indiana passed a bill in 2007 for the new legislature in 2009: pay $20k.

Dusty on June 26, 2008 at 3:49 PM

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 3:46 PM

I agree, that the perks and everything need to be taken into account..

Also, the cost of living in LA is lower than say NY or California etc..

The increase seems to massive IMHO.

Or at least not structured properly.. it should at least be tied somehow to success or accomplishment.. and even still, the top shouldn’t be that high..

Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 3:51 PM

But were you agreeing with it? It seemed so after I read your comment just prior and after it on the stepped pay increases and your target is in the same range. Indiana passed a bill in 2007 for the new legislature in 2009: pay $20k.

Dusty on June 26, 2008 at 3:49 PM

I think Jindal should veto it because the top is set to high.. $37,500 + perks and such seem excessive to me. in one lump, coming from a mere $16,800 thats 2.23X’s as much money.. + keeping your perks..

Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 3:57 PM

coming from a mere $16,800 thats 2.23X’s as much money.. + keeping your perks..

You think that’s bad – the original plan was to triple their base pay.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 4:06 PM

I still think my idea is brilliant: a means test. Wealthy office-holders wouldn’t get a dime, poor office-holders would get what they needed. Then public office wouldn’t be restricted to only the wealthy and the corrupt. And if people went in knowing they weren’t going to be able to live like kings, public office wouldn’t attract only the wealthy and the corrupt.

Dusty on June 26, 2008 at 3:49 PM

I thought Chakra was picking on poor ol’ AP for being a Rockefeller Republican.

misterpeasea on June 26, 2008 at 4:10 PM

Cornyn also reversed himself, but that was weeks before the anger really started to mount, as I recall, so it was probably done on principle. Oh, and do recall that as thanks for his reversal, he got an F-bomb dropped on him by our nominee.

Oh man, AP, now you’ve really stepped in it. ArmyAunt is going to start calling you Allahppeaser, and _man is going to…uh…keep making a fool out of himself, while calling you a liar also. And wondering if you’re still going to be hanging around HotAir after Obama wins in November.

INCOMING!

misterpeasea on June 26, 2008 at 4:14 PM

I thought Chakra was picking on poor ol’ AP for being a Rockefeller Republican.

misterpeasea on June 26, 2008 at 4:10 PM

I just think Jindal should say this..

That’s Too Much!

Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 4:16 PM

You think that’s bad – the original plan was to triple their base pay.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 4:06 PM

These people got elected they didn’t win the lotto!

Chakra Hammer on June 26, 2008 at 4:19 PM

These people got elected they didn’t win the lotto!

Hmmm… new tee shirt idea? Nah. But “No Veto, No Vote” is gaining in popularity.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 4:26 PM

I am not familiar with LA’s constitution or the calendar. But if possible, I think Jindal should allow the bill to become law without his signature. If the legislative session has ended, he should then call a special session so that the legislators themselves can repeal the pay raise.

It would be foolish and short-sighted for Jindal to bail out these legislators now by vetoing the bill – unless he can extract something huge from them in return, and publicly.

Ed Rendell SIGNED the pay raise in Pennsylvania and never paid a price for it. The legislators did, and even a state Supreme Court justice was defeated. It actually turned into a political bonanza for Rendell because the legislature was controlled by Republicans and most of the ones thrown out by the voters were Republicans. Rendell now has a much friendlier legislature.

rockmom on June 26, 2008 at 4:31 PM

rockmom on June 26, 2008 at 4:31 PM

rockmom rocks…

right2bright on June 26, 2008 at 5:02 PM

But if possible, I think Jindal should allow the bill to become law without his signature

That’s what he (as of now, anyway) says he intends to do. In PA in 2005, they went back and repealed the pay raise four months later, and if this actually becomes law, our legislature will probably do the same thing.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 5:27 PM

Laura, that’s right, the PA legislature did repeal the raise, but by then it was way too late because many of its supporters were defeated in primaries and others were forced to retire. The Senate Majority Leader lost in a primary to a guy who ran a tire store and had never even thought about running for office. People here were REALLY pissed, and NOT at Ed Rendell.

From what I can tell the PA pay raise was much worse in political terms than the LA one. Yet Rendell came out of it unscathed.

rockmom on June 26, 2008 at 5:48 PM

I think it was the “automatic raises in perpetuity” stuff that set off the torch-bearing villagers…

mojo on June 26, 2008 at 5:55 PM

This happened under Blanco as well. The last time it was lifetime health insurance benefits. The legislators claimed they’d misread the bill.

Blanco vetoed it.

roux on June 26, 2008 at 6:12 PM

Roux, I didn’t even hear of that (I never used to pay attention to local politics) but it pretty much proves the point: if he vetoes it, this will all pretty much go away. Which is why they’re begging him to veto it.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 6:57 PM

I think it was the “automatic raises in perpetuity” stuff that set off the torch-bearing villagers…

Well that and they didn’t just vote for the lege in the next term to get the raise… They voted to over double their own pay…

That rubbed people the wrong way.

BTW sorry I missed the thread Laura, but well done.

Diogenes of Sinope on June 26, 2008 at 9:30 PM

Thanks, Diogenes! You coming to the rally? We’ll have on our Greedy Gator Legislator tee shirts (I just finished setting up the shopping cart) and are all going to try to group together at the rally. Hey, we’re filming a TV spot on Tuesday 7/1 – same director who did the SDT commercials, you want in? I need two more people.

Laura on June 26, 2008 at 10:50 PM

Rally? There’s a rally? I’m not much of a joiner…. lol

can ya link me?

7/1 I’ll be on the beach baby….

Diogenes of Sinope on June 27, 2008 at 12:12 AM

The rally.

Laura on June 27, 2008 at 2:26 AM

Har. I see others have mentioned the PA pay raise.

rightwingprof on June 27, 2008 at 10:03 AM

rightwingprof – why, are you in PA? I had a long talk with Russ Diamond about how PA got it done, and we’re modeling this after the Clean Sweep campaign.

Laura on June 27, 2008 at 2:14 PM