State Senator Ed Murray, D-New Orleans, has been in the Louisiana Legislature for 22 years and says he thinks that Governor Bobby Jindal’s regime has been “a terrible disappointment, especially for the medically indigent and the state’s public education system from kindergarten to the graduate departments of our universities.”
Louisiana’s best hope, he says, is that the 2015 Governor’s race will produce a chief executive for the state who will undo the damage that the Jindal Administration has inflicted on public medical institutions and public education.
“The problem is this Governor is opposed to raising the state’s revenues so that we are stuck in a condition each year having to slash the most vulnerable and crucial state services, like medical assistance for the disabled and our schools,” said Senator Murray.
“In the previous administration, we were able to pass a tax that pulled the state out of the hole because former Governor Mike Foster – who is certainly a proud conservative – recognized that if he didn’t, the alternative was to slash vital services whether they be services for children who have disabilities or our universities. In this administration, we’ve had to cut those services that were previously spared because Governor Foster had the courage and the vision to recognize that raising revenues was the only responsible way to go.”
Senator Murray who is term limited and will be leaving the Legislature in 2015, says the best hope for Louisiana, is that the 2015 election will produce a progressive governor who would be willing to pass a tax either on special interests or across the board on everyone so that the State of Louisiana can begin to restore its medical services to the indigent and its schools.
“The odd thing about it is that I had high hopes for Governor Jindal when he was first elected,” said Senator Murray. “The Governor is certainly intelligent but he has a blind in his philosophy about raising taxes. As a result we have done nothing but slash services for the last six years and, because the Governor of Louisiana is very powerful, I guess we will slash even more in the next two years. It is ironic to me that the people of Louisiana understand the flaw in Governor Jindal’s philosophy and his favorable ratings have fallen to 38% in a recent poll.”
Senator Murray says he hasn’t decided whether he will run for another public office now that his tenure at the legislature is coming to an end. There has been speculation that he will run for a vacant traffic court judgeship but he says no decision has been made. “It has been an honor and privilege to represent the people of New Orleans and our region for more than 20 years,” he said. “I like public service and don’t want to rule out running for another office, but I really haven’t decided.”
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.