Last Modified: Friday, July 20, 2012 7:52 PM
Just a “fer instance,” if you will permit it:
Imagine a president named Mitt, and a vice president named Bobby.
Imagine the president leaving the White House, even the country, for an extended business or pleasure trip.
Imagine the vice president with some pretty steep responsibilities — or at least the possibility of pretty steep responsibilities — in the president’s absence.
Now imagine that Mitt does not even bother to tell Bobby that he’s leaving for a long spin on Air Force One, and he may be gone for some time. Think Bobby would be peeved?
If Bobby is worth his salt as a No. 2, if he is serious about performing his duties and fulfilling his responsibilities as vice president, he would be justifiably perturbed.
Now imagine a governor named Bobby, and a lieutenant governor named Jay. Ah, but you don’t even have to imagine that.
That’s why the recent flap — well, the latest recent flap — involving Gov. Jindal and Lt. Gov. Dardenne should matter to all Louisianians. The governor, who has spent much of the year out of state attending to national Republican Party interests, does not inform the lieutenant governor when he leaves the state. Given that Dardenne has some constitutional responsibilities in the governor’s absence — according to the state Constitution, he becomes the governor — the governor’s failure to keep Dardenne posted on his personal whereabouts might be viewed as irresponsible, a roadblock to the lieutenant governor doing his job.
Through a spokesman, Jindal’s office told the Advocate in Baton Rouge, “The governor remains the governor wherever he is.” But that’s only part of the truth. Article IV, Section 19 of the state Constitution says when the governor is out of state, “... The lieutenant governor shall act as governor.” That’s “shall,” not “may.”
It is abundantly clear to all that the governor harbors ill feeling toward this lieutenant governor, who is a member of his own political party. Jindal may have encouraged an opponent for Dardenne in 2011, has quarreled with him over tourism spending (the lieutenant governor is in charge of the state’s tourism promotion efforts), has slashed his budget. It’s within the governor’s rights to feel any ol’ way he wants.
But Dardenne was chosen by Louisiana’s voters, freely elected in a statewide vote — despite the governor’s apparent wishes. The people spoke, and chose Dardenne for the No. 2 position.
That’s why, no matter the governor’s personal feelings or druthers, his official actions ought to be taken with the letter of the law and the good of the citizens in mind. The state operates best with its leadership in harmony. As the state’s leader, harmony should start with him.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.
Posted By: Dwight On: 7/25/2012
Title: Republican purity is more important than children
Posted By: Claude On: 7/21/2012
Title: Absent Governor
Bobby has been absent for a long time - he failed to lead this state in the first term and lost my support for the second term. He was elected to run Louisiana, not to run for VP. Take notice. The Republican Party has lost another moderate member of the party...I am going Independant and will hold my nose and vote aginst Bobby if chosen for VP...We lost the chance for a real candidate for President when John Huntsman was snubbed for not being "Conservative" enough...We Republicans bring up RRR a lot, but most Conservatives forget what he did and why. We have lost the vote of most women and now moderates are jumping ship....What has this party come to? Our State is tied with Mississippi as number 1 for infant mortality and the Governor cuts health care cost? Give me a break.
Posted By: Gary On: 7/21/2012