The chairwoman of the state Democratic Party and others are crying foul over a legislative report card released by LSU students this week.
State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, a New Orleans Democrat who was rated an “F” on the LSU Student Government report card released Monday, has denounced the much-hyped report card as “bogus” — arguing grades based on budget and tax policy votes don’t accurately reflect legislators commitment to higher education. LSU professor Bob Mann also has raised questions over the ratings.
The rating scale gave legislators positive scores for voting along with the state Board of Regents and LSU administration’s priorities, including the controversial SAVE tax credit scheme and tuition autonomy. It is largely budget-based and doesn’t rate legislators on bills that covered campus sexual assault legislation or admissions standards.
Peterson pointed out that the SG chief advisor, Zack Faircloth, is the son of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s top lawyer, Jimmy Faircloth, and Jindal appointee to the University of Louisiana System board, Kelly Faircloth.
SG President Andrew Mahtook said he had no comment regarding the direct criticism of the report card, but said SG stands by the report 100 percent.
“The report card was set up so that no bill would cause immediate failure or an A,” Mahtook said. “To focus on one specific one would be to analyze it wrong.”
Mahtook said he had the ultimate say over the final ratings.
LSU SG had promoted the report card as a new annual project put together by students, following years of cuts to funding for higher ed and the threat of potentially catastophic cuts this year that prompted a student-led rally at the Capitol.
View the ratings for all legislators here.