It was quite a remarkable request of the news media during yesterday’s luncheon sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Baton Rouge. The featured speaker was Dr. Fred Cerise, recently sacked by Gov. Bobby Jindal’s handpicked LSU Board of Supervisors for opposing the governor’s plan to privatize the state’s public health care system.

Bobby Jindal - Caricature
Bobby Jindal – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Before introducing Cerise to the group of about 50, League President Jean Armstrong made a request that might sound routine in Putin’s Russia, but is more than a bit discordant in a state like Louisiana that is, for now at least, still a (somewhat) functioning democracy.

As Baton Rouge Advocate reporter Mark Ballard noted in his story in today’s paper, Armstrong “ordered reporters and photographers not to identify anyone in the audience. She said state employees were part of the luncheon crowd and their attendance could lead to their firing.”

Given Jindal’s well-publicized intolerance for dissent, Armstrong’s admonition was both compassionate and wise.

But what does it say about the state of Louisiana’s so-called democracy that state workers are so afraid of incurring the governor’s wrath that they dare not reveal their identity at a public meeting (not a partisan rally), held merely to discuss an important public policy question?

7 thoughts on “Bobby Jindal’s “democracy” of fear

  1. I’ve read books about Huey Long – that reminds me of how he routinely behaved. I’m glad Louisiana is more of a democracy today than in those days.


  2. Jindal and John White have “sucked” the passion out of the teaching profession. The rubric used to evaluate teachers is so flawed and it sets up teachers to fail. I guess they need a place for Chad Roemers’ sisters’ “Teach for America” teachers (so called.


  3. This administration is brutal towards the poor. I have read T Harry Williams book as well. PJ is just as ruthless but meaner than HPL. Pyoush is an ideologue who lacks empathy. Those of us who worked for him in DHH in the 90’s experienced the same callousness as today. I predict when the profit is gone so will the privatization. This lesson is repeated over and over… Where will LA. be when all its public health/ safety/ and service infrastructure is sold off? the privates will have left and our basic state services closed…


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