Former Gov. Bobby Jindal doesn't appear much on the public stage these days, but he's still casting a long shadow on Louisiana politics.
Although he wasn't a candidate, Jindal was still a factor in the election for governor in 2015. While there are many possible interpretations of Democrat John Bel Edwards' surprisingly decisive win, one way to read the result is as a referendum on the state's outgoing chief executive, with Jindal's old nemesis David Vitter, a fellow Ivy League conservative with a well-earned reputation for cynicism, as an ironic stand-in.
As candidates for state treasurer campaign, the main topic of conversation is one not in the…
Jindal's fiscal policies have hung over the budget battles of the last year and half, too, mostly because he left a mess that lawmakers and Edwards are still trying to clean up.
Now, it seems, he's becoming a factor in this fall's special election for treasurer. As the Advocate's Mark Ballard explained recently, that's because two of the leading candidates, state Sen. Neil Riser and former state Rep. John Schroder, were heavily involved in budget matters on the legislative side during Jindal's tenure. A third, Angele Davis, was Jindal's top budget advisor in the early days of his first term.
Like Jindal, all three are Republicans. And like every candidate for governor back in 2015, Republican and Democrat alike, all are distancing themselves from the former governor and his unpopular policies, and painting themselves as having been independent voices.
It can't be fun to start out a campaign on the defensive. Still, the job these people are running for is pretty technical in nature, even if campaigns for the office tend to draw on much broader themes.
At least Jindal's record, and their responsibility for it or lack thereof, gives them something to talk about. From what I can tell, voters don't seem tired of the subject just yet.