Elections matter, goes the truism.
As a result, Timmy Teepell, Stephen Waguespack, the Rev. Gene Mills and other Bobby Jindal insiders have lost their easy access to the governor’s fourth floor office in the State Capitol.
Conversely, those on the outs with Jindal who are now in with Gov. John Bel Edwards include Sam Jones, Louis Reine and Kathleen and Raymond Blanco.
To be sure, some folks or entities have been in with both governors, including the Catholic Church.
Others were out with Jindal and continue to be out with Edwards.
What follows is a list of who’s out and who’s in with the change in administrations.
Was out, now in
Louis Reine: The head of the AFL-CIO in Louisiana says Bobby Jindal didn’t even know how to pronounce his last name — it’s “Wren” — and says of Edwards, “He’s very reasonable in listening to our opinion.”
Sam Jones: The Democratic state representative from Franklin served as Edwards’ top lieutenant in the House when they regularly opposed Jindal and during the 2015 governor’s race when Edwards whipped U.S. Sen. David Vitter.
Jack Montoucet: He, too, fought Jindal in the Louisiana House as a Democratic representative from Crowley and now has an ally in the governor’s office.
Mary-Patricia Wray: An Ohio native who graduated from Loyola’s law school, she worked long hours during the governor’s race attending to reporters’ needs and helping craft Edwards’ message. She now lobbies for solar energy, landfill and parish government interests.
Steve Monaghan: The head of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers union, he challenged Jindal’s education package in court and won and was an early backer of Edwards’ gubernatorial campaign. After Edwards’ victory, he is planning to retire.
Kathleen and Raymond Blanco: The former Democratic governor and her husband were among Edwards’ early campaign supporters after eight frosty years during Jindal’s tenure.
Edwin W. Edwards: They are not directly related, but the four-time governor now has someone in his old office who will return his phone calls.
Barack Obama: Jindal tried to make a name for himself among the Republican faithful by repeatedly attacking the president while lusting after his job. Edwards and Obama have their policy differences — over guns, same-sex marriage and abortion — but the president wasted no time in getting to know Edwards by visiting Baton Rouge on Edwards’ third day as governor.
Jay Dardenne: He says he could count on one hand the number of times he had face-to-face meetings with Jindal while serving as the state’s Republican lieutenant governor. Now Edwards’ commissioner of administration, he says he talks virtually daily with the governor, who was his rival during last year’s governor’s race.
Alton Ashy: The lobbyist for video poker interests raised big bucks for Jindal’s gubernatorial campaigns but saw the governor veto bills that Ashy pushed. Ashy raised big bucks last year for Edwards, too. Many insiders believe it’s no coincidence that Edwards has not sought to raise taxes on video poker interests.
Joseph Bouie: Elected to the Louisiana House in 2015, he didn’t get any quality time with Jindal during the year they overlapped in office. As the chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus now, he’s attended at least five meetings with Edwards during the past 100 days.
Foster Campbell: A frequent critic of Jindal, Campbell helped Edwards in north Louisiana, which he has represented on the Public Service Commission since 2002. He was endorsed recently by Edwards as the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.
Sheriffs/clerks of court/assessors: All three groups endorsed Edwards in the governor’s race, but two sheriffs deserve special mention: Daniel Edwards, the sheriff of Tangipahoa Parish, is the governor’s younger brother, and Newell Normand, the sheriff of Jefferson Parish, trashed fellow Republican Vitter during the governor’s race.
Working poor: About 300,000 of them will now get health coverage under the Medicaid expansion approved by Edwards that Jindal spurned.
Chickens: We don’t know exactly what Jindal thought of them, but Edwards has built a chicken coop at the Governor’s Mansion on his dime for 16 hens.
Was in, now out
Stephen Waguespack: He served as executive counsel, deputy chief of staff and chief of staff over Jindal’s first five years. He’s now president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, and, although the two have met and have cordial relations, he is leading the fight against Edwards’ efforts to reduce or eliminate business tax breaks.
Gene Mills: A pastor who is president of the Family Forum, Mills strongly backed Jindal’s opposition to gambling, same-sex marriage and abortion. Edwards recently met with him but seeks his counsel on these issues from others.
Timmy Teepell: He served as Jindal’s political guru throughout his two terms and now attacks Edwards at every opportunity through Twitter.
Mike Johnson: A Republican state representative from Bossier Parish, he pushed the “religious freedom” bill last year that Jindal championed and that Edwards voted against. Johnson published a widely-shared pro-Vitter Facebook post during the governor’s race last year that angered Edwards.
Jack Donahue: A Republican state senator from Mandeville, he took the lead in winning passage of Jindal’s budgets in the Senate as chairman of the Finance Committee, although Jindal opposed his efforts to rein in TOPS spending. Donahue now chairs the Vocational and Technical Education Committee.
Conrad Appel: A Republican state senator from Metairie, he carried the ball in winning passage of Jindal’s education bills that expanded vouchers and charter schools and that gave letter grades to schools. Edwards wants to roll back vouchers and curb the growth of charter schools.
Rolfe McCollister: A conservative, he served as Jindal’s campaign treasurer and as chairman of his transition team and promoted Jindal’s agenda in his column in the Baton Rouge Business Report, which he co-owns. Jindal appointed him to the LSU Board of Supervisors. No fan of Vitter, he did not endorse a gubernatorial candidate last year.
Roger Villere: He had access to Jindal as chairman of the state Republican Party. It’s hard to imagine Edwards calling Villere unless it was to order flowers from his Metairie florist shop.
Ann Duplessis: A former Democratic state senator from New Orleans, she found common cause with Jindal over her avid support for vouchers, and he appointed her to the LSU Board of Supervisors. Edwards met with her recently, but she has little influence with him.
Charter schools: Jindal was an avid supporter. Edwards is not as avid.
John Alario: He’s been in with every governor since he entered the Legislature in 1972 except Buddy Roemer. He served as the Democratic speaker twice under Edwin W. Edwards and as the Republican state Senate president under Jindal and now John Bel Edwards. What does his get? The Alario Center and other projects throughout his West Bank district.
Mike Edmonson: Jindal named him as superintendent of the State Police. Edwards kept him on.
Robert Adley: As a crafty Republican state senator from Bossier Parish, he carried major bills for Jindal, even as they butted heads at times. Jindal appointed his wife, Claudia, to the Board of Regents. Edwards has appointed him as a top aide who handles legislative strategy and energy issues.
Catholic Church: Both Jindal and Edwards are anti-abortion Catholics.
David Vitter: Edwards went toe-to-toe with Vitter during the two debates during the runoff election last year. “If it’s a low blow, then that’s because of where you live, senator,” Edwards told Vitter during one TV debate. But Vitter had no better relationship with Jindal, who famously refused to endorse Vitter’s 2010 re-election campaign.
John Kennedy: The state treasurer, Kennedy repeatedly ripped Jindal’s balanced budget plans as shams. Jindal in turn avoided him at all costs. A Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, Kennedy has gone out of his way to attack Edwards this year. Edwards and his aides repeatedly spoofed Kennedy during the Gridiron Show press skits in March.
Follow Tyler Bridges on Twitter @TegBridges. For more coverage of government and politics, follow our Politics Blog at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog/