Both candidates remaining in the governor’s race — Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican David Vitter — have repeatedly criticized Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal on the campaign trail.
And it appears Jindal isn’t eager to pick which of the two he would prefer succeeds him in the Governor’s Office.
The National Review caught up with Jindal in Boulder, Colorado, on Wednesday and asked whom he prefers.
Jindal has frequently butted heads with both men.
“We haven’t made that decision yet,” Jindal, who is running for president, demurred when asked if he planned to endorse in the race, NRO reports. “That doesn’t mean we won’t. But we haven’t made that decision yet.”
It’s no secret that Jindal and Vitter have an icy relationship. And as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Edwards has been one of Jindal’s most vocal opponents at the State Capitol.
Legislators get raise in per diem costs
Louisiana legislators got a pay raise.
Their pay package increased because their per diem — daily pay for when the part-timers attend hearings and official functions in Baton Rouge and elsewhere — jumped from $150 to $157.
The per diem is linked to the federal government’s rates and adjusts automatically.
The $7 a day boost will cost taxpayers another $60,480, at least, because legislators already are scheduled to meet in regular session for 60 days in 2016. That’s $420 more for each of the 144 legislators.
The daily payment is on top of their $16,800-a-year base pay. Legislators also receive office, travel and other expense allowances.
‘Ragin’ Cajun’ Carville hosts Edwards event
Political pundit and Louisiana native James Carville hosted a fundraiser for Democrat John Bel Edwards at his Washington, D.C.-area home.
Carville, an outspoken Democrat who has been dubbed the “Ragin’ Cajun,” occasionally gets involved in Louisiana politics.
The Democratic Governors Association-sponsored Edwards event sold tickets for $1,000 and $2,500, according to an event invitation.
Edwards faces Republican David Vitter in the Nov. 21 runoff.
The America Rising PAC, which backs Vitter, released a statement on Edwards’ fundraiser, noting that Carville is perhaps best known for running Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign for president.
“By raking in campaign cash from Clinton cronies, Edwards is sending a clear signal to Louisiana voters about who he stands with,” America Rising spokeswoman Amelia Chassé said in an email.
Jindal gets in on debate complaints
Gov. Bobby Jindal sent representatives from his Republican presidential campaign to a meeting with rival campaigns to discuss changes to the formats for nationally televised debates, Politico reports.
Jindal’s complaint is that the networks that televise the debates exclude him from the prime-time stage featuring the top 10 or so leaders in national polls. Instead, Jindal has been relegated to the earlier, “happy hour,” events among other also-rans in the three debates so far.
But the catalyst for the meeting is widespread dissatisfaction with the Wednesday prime-time debate on CNBC, with candidates accusing the moderators of asking lame questions and deliberately trying to provoke conflict.
Holden, Nungesser agree to civil campaigns
Democrat Kip Holden and Republican Billy Nungesser, the candidates running for lieutenant governor, promised to play nice for the next three weeks leading to the runoff election.
“We have agreed that we are going to run a campaign dealing with the issues at hand and not get into the mudslinging,” said Holden, who is Baton Rouge’s mayor-president.
Nungesser, former Plaquemines Parish president, agreed, saying he told Holden, “I’m running nothing but positive ads.”
The battle in the primary for a spot in the Nov. 21 runoff got particularly nasty between the main GOP candidates — Nungesser and Jefferson Parish President John Young. “It was really kind of an ugly thing,” Holden said.
“I’m going to have to end up spending a bunch of money on TV and everywhere to make people feel good about voting for lieutenant governor,” Nungesser said. “There’s just not a lot of appetite to vote.”
They’re jockeying for the No. 2 position in state government. The lieutenant governor, who takes over if the governor dies or becomes incapacitated, spends most of his time overseeing Louisiana’s tourism industry.
Some candidates agree to Press Club forum
The Press Club of Baton Rouge begins a series of Monday forums in the three remaining statewide races on the Nov. 21 ballot.
The attorney general’s race is first up on Monday. Former U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, has accepted the invitation to participate, but incumbent fellow Republican Buddy Caldwell declined.
On Nov. 9, the two gubernatorial candidates have been invited. State Rep. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat from Amite, has accepted. Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter has not yet responded.
On Nov. 16, the two lieutenant governor candidates, East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden, a Democrat, and former Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, a Republican, have both agreed to appear.
The Press Club meets in the Iberville Room at the Belle of Baton Rouge Hotel, 102 France St. Parking is free in the garage off Mayflower Street.
Lunch, which is served at 11:30 a.m., is $13 for members and $17 for nonmembers. The public is invited, but only members of the Press Club and the news media are allowed to ask questions.
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