A distant figure to most legislators in recent years, of late Jindal has become even more remote as he steps up out-of-state travels for a presumed presidential campaign. The question is whether Jindal's presidential yearnings will undercut the home-state record he needs to run on.
Jindal's own plan — income tax abolition and a sky-high sales tax — was laughed out of the 2013 Legislature.
Out-of-state travels combine with weakened political power to make Jindal something of a no-show as his term winds down.
Sandy Rosenthal: " ... if there were a good reason for Jindal to continue shielding Big Oil from its legal responsibilities to the people of Louisiana, we would have heard it by now."
Jindal has been traveling throughout the state on a “64-parish tour.” But critics deride the events as little more than a series of photo ops, and key state lawmakers say they haven’t talked policy with the governor since the legislative session ended in June.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is traveling the state signing bills, announcing plant expansions and inaugurating infrastructure projects. He calls the travel business as usual. Pundits, however, see it as calculated to shore up his home base ahead of a likely 2016 presidential run.
Shrinking government is a conservative ideal, but public institutions and infrastructure bear the burden.
One frustrated legislator says tactic offered by Jindal is akin to money laundering.
Lawmakers and statewide officials describe decreasing access to a governor who has cultivated alliances, but few friendships, over the years. His allies say they are satisfied dealing with Jindal's staff; others say he would accomplish more if he were more hands-on.
The revenue offsets in his initial plan were always completely negotiable as long as they yielded an income tax repeal. That's why it kept changing.