Monday, May 12, 2008

Don't Worry. It's Only a Vote.

I'm not one of those people who automatically thinks all politicians are spineless and unethical. I even back the idea of our state legislators getting a full-time salary.

Except for the bozo I read about in the paper this weekend who apologized for voting for a bill with an amendment attached that would abolish the state income tax, which accounts for 1/3 of state revenue. He said it was one of his "cutesy" votes. He wanted to be on record as voting against increased taxes. Besides, it's not like such a ridiculous bill would pass.

The bill passed, unanimously if I'm not mistaken. It turns out all of our state senators were either being "cutesy," pulling a stunt to call the bluff of the anti-tax crowd, or just plain had no clue what they were really voting about.

Then today, we have this genius, Rep. Noble Ellington (D-Winnsboro), who just plain admitted that he'll throw anybody else under the bus as long as he comes out looking like the man back in Winnsboro: "I'm willing to work with the governor as long as he is willing to work with me on things in my district."

"My district." Nice. Thanks, asshole. So, even though all but 2 people from the New Orleans delegation are against Jindal's proposal to give $10 million dollars in vouche -- I mean, scholarships -- to local public schools students to go to private or parochial schools, and even though legislators typically honor the wishes of local legislators when bills affect only that particular area, Ellington is more than willing to bend over so long as Jindal promises to give it to him in the future. Again, thanks. Just use protection, k?

Jefferson Parish School Board member Greg Katsanis is apparently missing his calling to serve among our fearless leaders. He switched his vote last week because "I bowed to political pressure from the mayor of Kenner, who practically threatened me."

No wonder we need such stringent ethics laws. This is also why I doubt there will be more ethical behavior because of laws. Some of these guys seem to have a set of principles that are quite disposable. They clearly lack a respect for the power they hold, or a sense of duty to their constituents, let alone a sense of right or wrong. It's like my Catholic school teachers liked to say: "Boy, if you had a brain, you'd be dangerous."

I guess I could be overreacting. It's not like how they vote affects other people or anything. Silly, silly me!

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