If politicians want credit for bringing home the bacon, they're going to have to put up with some criticism when they don't.
That goes for legislators, but it also goes for the governor.
In the wake of the surprise floods of Aug. 5, Gov. John Bel Edwards has been on the front li…
Was it political payback?
Two Jefferson Parish Republican lawmakers, both frequent critics of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards' fiscal politics, say the governor's veto of $2 million in capital outlay funds for a drainage project benefiting Old Metairie and Uptown New Orleans amounted to political gamesmanship.
Neither area flooded during the instantly infamous Aug. 5 storm, but the charges by state Rep. Cameron Henry and state Sen. Conrad Appel come as residents in both communities reel from post-flood revelations about the poor working order of the city's drainage infrastructure.
The accusations set off a long back-and-forth between the governor's office and the two lawmakers, both of whom have pushed Edwards to cut spending rather than raise revenue. Henry accused the governor of using his veto for retribution — a common tactic among governors, actually — and noted that he didn't veto a seemingly less vital museum project. And Appel took to Twitter to question whether flooded homes are Edwards' priority.
Richard Carbo, Edwards' communication director, said there's nothing to the allegations, citing fiscal limitations and the Legislature's own listing of the project as a relatively low priority, although Jefferson officials say it's in fact a high one. And state Sen. J.P. Morrell, a New Orleans Democrat and gubernatorial ally who backed the project, pointed his finger at his Republican colleagues for not backing measures to raise more revenue and increase the state's overall bonding capacity.
The truth is that the professed reasoning of everyone involved is perfectly plausible, so people who live in the area may never really know why the funding was blocked. That's the good news for all these pols. The bad news for them is that, the next time it floods, their constituents probably won't care why the project didn't get funded — only that it didn't.