Feb 142013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

With the much-enjoyed 2013 Mardi Gras now an endearing memory it’s time to turn our attention to the Lenten season and fasting. It’s always good to give up things like fancy desserts and fine liquor for a few months but with politicians like ours, we’re giving up much more.

Allan and Danae liked Bobby Jindal the Congressman — but not Bobby Jindal the Governor.  This Lent, we are thinking about all those college students who have been negatively impacted by the constant cuts to higher ed. We’re thinking about the thousands of Medicaid recipients who will no longer get the quality of services they need; and the mental health patients and their families who are suffering because doctors, clinics and hospital beds are not available.

If Governor Jindal had done a better job of building Louisiana’s economy — you know, creating new jobs, increasing trade through the Port of New Orleans, helping small businesses, the backbone of our economy — the citizens of Louisiana might be willing to promote Governor Jindal to Vice President Jindal.

The state’s voters feel the same way as evidenced by Govenor Jindal’s declining poll numbers. Lord save us from more Jindal-inspired budget cuts in the upcoming legislative session. The Governor’s race can’t come too soon.

President Obama — whom Danae has voted for twice now — isn’t doing much better. Creating mandatory early childhood education is a good thing. The more a child knows when he or she reaches first grade, the better prepared they will be to succeed on achievement exams. But where are the proposed manufacturing jobs going to come from? Manufacturing jobs overseas are poorly paid positions – the exact opposite of jobs that would be funded under the increased minimum wage President Obama is now proposing.

We like the idea of a new trade pact with the European Union which could drive down prices.  But we’re not sure that all the conflict in the Middle East and North Africa won’t cause chaos in the stock market.

Back at home, Mary Landrieu is gearing up for another tough Senate battle. Her poll numbers are better than Governor Jindal’s and she has done a great job in directing funds Louisiana’s way for coastal rebuilding and wetlands restoration.

We also have a local juvenile court race coming up in April with attorneys Doug Hammel and Yolanda King already having qualified. Clerk of Court Arthur Morrell estimates that only 10% of the voters will make it to the polls.

Congratulations to Jim Letten who will be joining the faculty of Tulane’s School of Law.  Jim will be an inspiration to Tulane students.

Allan Katz spent 25 years as a political reporter and columnist at The Times-Picayune, and is now editor of the Kenner Star and host of several televsion programs, including the Louisiana Newsmaker on Cox Cable. Danae Columbus is executive producer of Louisiana Newsmaker, and has had a 30-year career in public relations, including stints at City Hall and the Dock Board. They both currently work for the Orleans Parish School Board. Among the recent candidates who have been represented by their public relations firm are City Councilwoman Stacy Head, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and council candidate Dana Kaplan.

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