Friday, October 19, 2007

Is Bobby Jindal good for Louisiana?

Republican candidate for governor Bobby Jindal said he would vote to override President Bush's veto of a bill to expand a health insurance program for children, but Jindal, a congressman, didn't show up in Washington on Thursday for the vote.

The veto override in the House failed by 13 votes, killing the bill to expand and reauthorize the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Four House members didn't vote, including Jindal, R-Kenner — who has received criticism from his opponents in the governor's race for skipping the vote that sent the bill to Bush's desk.

Mr. Jindal told a group in Jefferson Parish this week that he had “150 specific proposals,” after rattling unflinchingly through a good many in a 12-minute speech.

He makes a particular case for a “war on corruption,” as he puts it, in Baton Rouge, proposing to tighten financial disclosures on lobbyists and legislators and to prohibit business relationships between legislators and the state. He promises to build up infrastructure like ports, to devote attention to research universities and promote technical training. He hardly mentions Mr. Bush, a sharp contrast to four years ago when he often boasted of his connections to the president.

Past governors have charged into Baton Rouge promising reform only to founder in the change-resistant Legislature. Mr. Jindal will most likely face long odds too, if he fulfills the near-universal prediction that he will come out on top.

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