John Maginnis is a Baton Rouge-based syndicated political columnist.
The State Capitol looks like the kind of place you would want to be during a hurricane, a tornado or a flood. The granite edifice stands solid on high ground, impregnable to what nature may send its way. Except for snakes.
The State Capitol looks like the kind of place you would want to be during a hurricane, a tornado or a flood. The granite edifice stands solid on high ground, impregnable to what nature may send its way. Except for snakes. The fortress's defenses would have benefited from proper weather stripping on its belowground-level side doors, through which a procession of diamondback water snakes recently slithered and ended up in various committee rooms, offices and closets. They were non-venomous but disconcerting nonetheless, reminders for those who enter here that nothing is so absolutely airtight and secure—not a policy, principle or even constitutional precept—that there is not some way around for the slippery of mind and morals. Which brings us to the end of another legislative session, one in which legislators and other politicians talked a good game about taking stands, though they did not always know or want to know what was crawling between their feet. Gov. Bobby Jindal set the theme when his big idea to repeal the income tax, which dominated the three-month run-up to the session, did not make it through his short opening remarks. He came up with a most face-serving verb for what he was doing when he said he would "park" his tax plan, though it was clear to his legislative audience that he never got it out of the driveway. Read the full column here.
(John Maginnis publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com.)
In the past five hard years of higher education's declining state support, rising tuition, defecting faculty and deteriorating facilities, college leaders have stuck together and let the Board of Regents coordinate their requests for funding from the Legislature. A lot of good that did them.