The Best and the Worst in Louisiana Politics in 2014: The Runners-Up

By Robert Mann

In my most recent column in | The Times-Picayune, I offered a tribute to Louisiana’s politicians and public officials for remarkable achievements in 10 categories during 2014.

Here are the runners-up in the various categories. Please feel free to suggest additions to this list in the comments section below:


  • State Rep. Karen St. Germaine for introducing the “Employment Non-Discrimination Acts” (ENDA), which would prevent Louisianans from being denied equal opportunity in the workplace because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
  • State Education Superintendent John White and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for standing up to Gov. Bobby Jindal in the fight over the Common Core education standards.
  • State Treasurer John Kennedy for challenging the Jindal administration’s fiscal irresponsibility.
  • Mary Landrieu, who needed white votes to have any chance of winning re-election, dared to state the obvious fact that racism has an ugly history in Louisiana. Also for refusing to renounce her vote for the Affordable Care Act.
  • David Vitter, for joining Sen. Elizabeth Warren to oppose the repeal of Dodd-Frank bank oversight legislation.


  • Bobby Jindal and Sen. David Vitter, both of whom once strongly supported Common Core, but who reversed their positions for political reasons.
  • Attorney General Buddy Caldwell who testified in committee (on a medical marijuana bill he hadn’t read and didn’t know anything about) that pot was tied to “some of the most vicious, brutal murders (and) rapes.”
  • House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Fannin – and most of the rest of the Louisiana legislature throughout the Jindal administration – who would not attempt to fix the budget or challenge Jindal’s spending recommendations.

Shameless Ambition

  • There was no runner-up to Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Most Embarrassing Statement 

  • “It’s going to be a great event worshipping the Lord and praying for our nation.” –Gov. Bobby Jindal’s spokesperson, Shannon Bates, about his prayer rally, scheduled for Jan. 24 on the LSU campus.
  • “I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.” –Bobby Jindal, keynote address at the annual conference hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, June 2014. 

Villain of the Year 

  • Louisiana’s film industry. As Inspector General Stephen Street told The Advocate, “If a person is determined to steal from these programs, the way it’s set up right now, it’s not that hard to do.”

Shrewdest Move

  • The Republican Senatorial Committee, which programmed Rep. Bill Cassidy to repeat 250 times a day, “Mary Landrieu voted with Obama 97% of the time.”  As one reader observed, “The RSC bottled up Cassidy the week of the runoff. Witness protection programs could learn something from the RSC on how to make a Senate candidate disappear from public view.”
  • Congressman-elect Garrett Graves, for distancing himself from Bobby Jindal and persuading the public that he was a reformer.

Biggest Blunder

  • Bobby Jindal’s embarrassing flip-flop on Common Core. To quote an astute reader, Jindal’s move “won’t gain him nearly as much currency with the Glenn Beck crowd as he’ll lose with the mainstream conservatives whose financial support he desperately needs to have a prayer in the primaries.”
  • The Robertson’s of Duck Dynasty fame. As a reader observed, the family ran “a relative with no previous political experience for Congress after having pushed Vance McCalister on voters of the 5th Congressional district.”
  • Mary Landrieu’s decision to attack Cassidy ad nauseam on one topic (attempting to portray him as weird) rather than accentuate her positives.

Dissembler of the Year 

  • “President Obama has chosen to bypass Congress and the Constitution to grant citizenship to over five million illegal immigrants.” –State Elbert Guillory.

Most Innovative Idea

  • The Governmental Accounting Standards Board, forproposing new rules that would require state and local governments to report how much revenue they lose to business tax breaks granted for economic development.

Best in Show

  • New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu for winning overwhelming reelection in February against significant opposition and for bringing back an almost ungovernable city just by being there, knowing the details of governing and giving hope.



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6 Responses to The Best and the Worst in Louisiana Politics in 2014: The Runners-Up

  1. Dianne Hanley says:

    Dear Bob,I love the list!I’d like to add a suggestion. For fortitude in Louisiana Politics: the citizens groups, especially Together Baton Rouge/Together Louisiana for going up against the major lobby machine of the payday industry. The industry started with just a few lobbyists thinking it would be business as usual against a little band of La. citizens. But the lobbyists efforts had to increase to nearly 50 lobbyists in order to beat back the powerful message and truthfulness of the pain and suffering this industry has inflicted on the citizens of our state. Unfortunately many of the politicians of our state could not/would not let go of their dependence on paid lobbyists to hear the cry of their constituents.  Peace, Dianne Hanley Executive Director St. Joseph Spirituality Center 2980 Kleinert Ave. Baton Rouge, LA 70806 225-383-3349 (w) 225-588-9936 (c) From: Something Like the Truth To: Sent: Friday, December 26, 2014 9:19 AM Subject: [New post] The Best and the Worst in Louisiana Politics in 2014: The Runners-Up #yiv6431127513 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6431127513 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6431127513 a.yiv6431127513primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6431127513 a.yiv6431127513primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6431127513 a.yiv6431127513primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6431127513 a.yiv6431127513primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6431127513 | Robert Mann posted: “By Robert MannIn my most recent column in | The Times-Picayune, I offered a tribute to Louisiana’s politicians and public officials for remarkable achievements in 10 categories during 2014.Here are the runners-up in the various categories” | |


  2. gjrushing says:

    To bad the rebellion is being trumped up by those lying to the uninformed. Bobby Jindal is a charlatan of the worst degree. Throwing his own state and those who voted for him under his politic bus to nowhere.


  3. Ken Burk says:

    I had considered “double Bill” for the villain position, but not having seen or heard anything about his little scandal since early December, I figured that it had been swept under the rug and he got a pass on it. Has anything happened with that issue?
    Altough I feel that I can touch on facts about many of the current politicians, I am completely surprised (after your mention of her) at what a dumb-ass Ms. Whitney was, not that I would have ever considered her. How is it that her signs seemed to be in front of every mom and pop convenience store in Baton Rouge?


  4. Fredster says:

    <blockquoteShameless Ambition

    There was no runner-up to Gov. Bobby Jindal.


  5. Fredster says:

    Trying to think of how to phrase this one.

    Best Bus driver: Bobby Jindal for throwing everybody under the bus.

    Eh….you get the drift.


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