400 suggestions: Treasurer John Kennedy’s Thursday night fraud

Screenshot 2016-02-12 09.01.28By Robert Mann

Does anyone know how state Treasurer John Kennedy got on our TV screens on Thursday night to deliver the official Republican response to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ statewide message on the state’s fiscal crisis? I’m told by Republican sources in the Legislature that Kennedy wasn’t tapped by House leaders. In fact, some House Republicans were apparently quite displeased that Kennedy hijacked their message and purported to speak for them.

Whatever Kennedy said to persuade the state’s TV stations to give him airtime, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate clearly did not promise them a specific plan to counter Edwards’ proposal to raise various taxes and cut spending where possible to address the state’s fiscal crisis. Kennedy, instead, delivered a demagogic campaign speech, short on details but long on folksy rhetoric and thinly veiled dog whistles aimed at vilifying poor.

“We need to start saying no, as the law allows us to, to our friends on Medicaid who go to emergency rooms – expensive emergency rooms – to be treated for things like acne, to get a pregnancy test, to have a wart removed, to talk to someone about losing weight, to see if they need glasses,” Kennedy said. “It costs five times as much to treat them in an ER than it does in a private clinic.”

Kennedy was counting on his viewers knowing virtually nothing about the state’s budget process (in other words, that lawmakers have three weeks to find more than $900 million in revenue or savings for the current fiscal year).

Rather, he seemed to rely on his viewers’ predisposition to believe that millions of shiftless poor people are robbing them blind by seeking treatment for warts in emergency rooms.

Kennedy’s speech, in other words, wasn’t about budgeting. It was about fomenting resentment against the poor.

The thrust of Kennedy’s message was that the state doesn’t need a new dime in revenue – in other words, that this fiscal year’s $900 million shortfall and next year’s $2 billion shortfall can be eliminated by budget cuts alone.

“Basically, what the governor is saying,” Kennedy said, “he’s telling Louisiana families and Louisiana businesses that they have to cut their budgets so that Louisiana state government doesn’t have to cut its budget.”

To bolster his claim that budget cuts can do the trick, Kennedy said he had “sent the governor and each legislator over 400 different ideas and suggestions about how they an reduce spending without hurting anyone.”

On Friday, I asked Kennedy’s office to share that list of 400 ideas. Here is what I received:

Screenshot 2016-02-12 13.20.57

That’s right, Kennedy’s brief letter merely provided hyperlinks to a series of reports, one of which was more than 20 years old. Another was dated March 20, 2001. The most recent report in Kennedy’s letter was from 2010. (And, by the way, he apparently did not send the list to every member of the Legislature, as he claimed; he just cc’d “Louisiana State Legislature” at the bottom of his brief letter.)

Contrary to what Kennedy implied in his speech on Thursday night, these were not 400 ideas that he had developed. They were, instead, just a dusty compilation of the work of others.

“I guess I shouldn’t be shocked, but it’s extremely disappointing that someone who knows better should use 20-year-old recommendations to make the case for budget cuts,” Jan Moller, who heads the Louisiana Budget Project, told me. “John Kennedy was a top aide to Buddy Roemer the last time Louisiana faced a similar budget crisis. He, more than most, should understand that our current problems won’t be solved without new revenues. The fact that Kennedy uses data from the Edwin Edwards administration to make the case for more cuts only provides more evidence that John Bel Edwards is right.”

It’s also worth noting that most of the recommendations in these reports (suggestions for various budget and managerial reforms) were accepted and made by previous administrations. The reports contain most of the low-hanging fruit — and it’s been picked. That’s another reason Kennedy’s lazy recycling is so disappointing.

While Kennedy has built a reputation as a straight shooter firmly in command of the state’s fiscal matters, what stood out to me, beyond his shameless fear mongering, was that he missed his chance to present a detailed plan for the kind of budget cuts he demands.

Wouldn’t you think that a man who claims to have spent the last eight years fighting former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s reckless fiscal policies might be able to produce a four- or five-page plan that lists all the cuts Gov. Edwards should enact in the place of budget cuts? Kennedy has several web sites at his disposal and, presumably, the email addresses of all the state’s political reporters. He could share his plan easily with voters. (I wonder why he didn’t post his pitiful letter to Edwards on his website?)

Could it be that Kennedy did not present a plan on Thursday night for the same reason Republican House leaders refuse to do the same? And the reason?

Such a budget-cutting plan would spark a revolt among their constituents. Instead of offering specifics, Kennedy instead offered viewers resentment against Louisiana residents living in poverty who depend on Medicaid for their health care.

In addition to accusing Medicaid recipients of abusing emergency rooms to obtain routine care, Kennedy made this dubious claim: “According to the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 10 percent of the $9 billion taxpayer dollars that we spend every year on Medicaid is attributable to fraud. That’s $900 million a year. Even if CMS is half wrong, that’s $450 million a year. We need to embed about 15 auditors from the Legislative Auditor’s Office in DHH, root out the fraud and prosecute the perpetrators to the full extent of the law.”

In other words, just balance the budget by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse.

Moller correctly noted “the fraud issue is an old canard. It exists in Medicaid, as in the rest of the budget, but writing it out on the kind of timetable we’re talking about is almost impossible and there is no evidence that it’s more prevalent in Louisiana than anywhere else.”

“Treasurer Kennedy is correct about Medicaid fraud, but he grossly overestimates the possible savings,” Bob Johannessen, press secretary for Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals, said. “The 10 percent fraud figure that he attributes to CMS includes not only fraud but also waste and abuse. Waste is the overutilization of services or the misuse of resources that directly or indirectly adds unnecessary costs. To suggest that auditors could easily ferret out wasteful health care practices as easily as they can identify fraud is wrong. Nonetheless, fighting fraud is a key initiative of this administration. Over the past eight years, as the former administration downsized government, DHH lost a substantial number of our fraud-fighting staff. We are now working to rebuild this critical function.”

Moller, however, observed ”the groups with the most incentive to root out fraud are the private Bayou Health providers that get paid a monthly managed-care fee to treat patients. That’s the whole point of these reforms – to give the market an incentive to ration care and control costs.”

In his speech, Kennedy argued “we need to embed about 15 auditors from the Louisiana Legislator’s Office in DHH, root out the fraud and prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Kennedy leads citizens to believe that money can be recovered quickly with the addition of 15 auditors,” Johannessen responded. “In reality, when the auditors discover possible fraud, their evidence is sent to the Attorney General who then builds the case. Allowing for due process, the resolution of any one case could take years, and there is never a guarantee the guilty party will pay restitution.”

In other words, attacking fraud is a good idea but not if you need to squeeze out a billion dollars in savings in four months’ time.

As for Kennedy’s allegations about improper or overuse of the state’s emergency rooms, Johannessen told me: “[Kennedy] fails to point out that DHH has already adopted the industry best practice of managed care when we introduced the Bayou Health program. By adopting managed care, just like private insurance companies, DHH has taken a critical step to stop the improper use of emergency room care.

“For the high-cost Medicaid users,” he added, “Kennedy suggests that better managing their care will reduce Medicaid spending substantially. He doesn’t tell you, or he doesn’t understand, that a majority of this population are seniors in nursing homes, fragile newborn babies or people with disabilities who require long-term care. This is expensive care and the costs are not easily reduced without putting lives at risk.”

But better to issue some meaningless rhetoric about Medicaid “fraud” and improper use of emergency care than offer up a detailed list of reasonable cuts. Developing a detailed plan for balancing the budget with specific cuts only would mean that Republicans would be sharing some of the responsibility for governing the state. That’s clearly not the role that Kennedy and the most conservative Republican members of the House want to play.

In Kennedy’s case, he’s content to try and demagogue his way to the U.S. Senate. But he needs a new foil. Now that Jindal is gone, that will be Edwards.

As for House Republican leaders, they are hoping Edwards is a one-term governor. Sharing responsibility for governing might complicate things when blame is assigned. Better to put it all on Edwards by just saying, like Kennedy, “We don’t have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.”

That’s not true, of course. Louisiana is one of the lowest taxed states in the country, but it rings true because that’s what people want to hear.

“There is certainly plenty of room for debate about which taxes to raise and by how much,” Moller said. “How much of the burden should fall on business vs. individuals vs. local government? How much should fall on rich families vs. poor families?

“People of goodwill can, should and will disagree on those questions,” he added. “But to pretend that we can get out of this mess without raising revenues is not a serious position to take in February 2016 – and Mr. Kennedy’s letter to the governor only proves that.”

60 thoughts on “400 suggestions: Treasurer John Kennedy’s Thursday night fraud

  1. John Kennedy sounds like a political hack. He has a way of speaking in broad generalities that lack specifics. Someone with his experience in state government should be able to sit down with pen and calculator and offer real solutions to the problems facing Louisiana. Until he gets specific, I will discount his words as grandstanding, plain and simple. Put up or shut up is what I ask of our treasurer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was hoping to find the answer to your opening teaser question down here in the Reply cellar, but no such luck :(. This drawling goober is running for U.S. Senator, and just got him some free promo time. Somehow. Was this supposed to be a “Republican Response”, a la’ a STOTU address? Where was the talk about cutting tax credits and raising the corporate dole? All those favors to attract business by Jindal didn’t seem to do much good, aside for giving him an excuse for galavanting the globe.
    But the cheap and cruel shot against the poor of the state takes the cake. Forcing work out of food stamp recipients, along with his mean comments about Medicaid patients shows where his heart is. The same place Jindal’s is.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is all about Kennedy establishing his Republican creds to run for the Senate. He’s pulling a Jindal for his own advantage at the expense of the people of Louisiana. This is despicable, and he should be ashamed. He will never get my vote.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do not disagree with a single word of your piece and would echo Chris Andrews’ comment.

    That said, I am very disappointed that Gov. Edwards did not fight fire with fire in his address last night. In my humble opinion, he should present his own defense, not you, not me, not Jan Moller, not Tom Aswell, not Chris Andrews or anybody else.He should present his own case in the same kind of terms Kennedy has so successfully used, i. e., he should give actual examples of what he has done and is doing to address each of the specific things Kennedy has said ad nauseum.

    It’s not like JBE didn’t know exactly what John Kennedy was going to say. Couldn’t he have used some concrete examples to defuse the impact of Kennedy’s response. Kennedy is going to keep saying these things at least until he is elected U. S. Senator. JBE had better start addressing the issues he raises head on. For whatever reason, Jindal was able to get away with ignoring Kennedy. Edwards is not going to be so lucky.


  5. to our friends on Medicaid who go to emergency rooms – expensive emergency rooms – to be treated for things like acne, to get a pregnancy test, to have a wart removed, to talk to someone about losing weight, to see if they need glasses,” Kennedy said. “It costs five times as much to treat them in an ER than it does in a private clinic.”

    I wonder if Kennedy is aware he just gave one of the best reasons for expanded medicaid? It will cover those not currently eligible for medicaid as it is now, will cover those who are in the “gap: between medicaid eligibility and not being eligible for subsidies through the A.C.A. All of them would be treated for those conditions at primary care physicians or primary care neighborhood clinics. And of course I have some serious doubts about anyone going to an E.R. to be treated for acne, or to have a pregnancy test. Pregnancy tests are one of the things that Planned Parenthood does. I just don’t buy the examples he cited.

    If he can’t come up with anything better than decades old studies done for Edwin Edwards then he’s not serious at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You need to be around an E.R for a while. The people who go to E.R.’s for the most illogical reasons are usually on Medicaid. I worked in an E. R. for over 5 yrs. & continuously saw the triage nurse’s job complicated by people who came in for frivolous reasons & crowded up the waiting room. It is a real problem.


  6. First, I want to commend both you and Tom Aswell for holding JBE accountable for his re-appointment of Mike Edmonson. I know Tom has criticized heavily JBE for both that appointment and other exorbitant salaries released entailing the top brass of JBE’s cabinet appointments. I expected excuses (particularly regarding Edmonson), and neither of you gave excuses, and I commend both of you on your bluntness on JBE’s Edmonson reappointment.

    Entailing this particular post, I want to state that I am one viewer who understands PERFECTLY the budgeting process and the time constraints involved, but the bottom line is that (and I know I don’t speak for me alone on this), I just don’t give a damn! After eight years of fraud, waste, and governmental abuse of the Jindal administration, people’s tolerance (admittedly, including my own) for such antics has become beyond razor thin to now be totally nonexistent!! We don’t want to hear, “We’ll solve the big-picture problems down the road.” That may seem unfair to Edwards, but it is what it is. We’re sick and tired of reading post after post after post of fat-cats being appointed to high level positions to arbitrarily jack up their last three years salaries to artificially inflate the retirement system UAL (and Dardenne didn’t even deny that happened with him or even challenge the extent of it: http://www.soundoffla.com/?p=269). To the contrary, on the first video above, he flat out said he was the “absolute best” candidate for the job, so both his salary and his increase to the UAL (which combined total nearly $400,000/year) are worth it. We’re sick and tired of reading about cronyism on full display for highly-connected political folk like John Alario (again, compliments of Tom Aswell): http://www.lspripoff.com/act14.htm.

    As for the date of Kennedy’s publications referenced, should we discount reference to the Louisiana or U. S. Constitution due to their ages? By attacking ONLY its age and not the content Kennedy referenced, you pose no legitimate counter-argument to his argument! As for Kennedy not providing specific numbers, I don’t know how much more specificity one can ask for than the $14.5 billion he said was let out as new consulting contracts last year alone applicable for the next several years: http://www.soundoffla.com/?p=286. He also itemized specifics of what some of those consulting contacts were for, and they need to be ELIMINATED (i.e. rescinded) assuming one figures LSU and higher Ed are more important priorities (as I would assume you would).

    In conclusion, I notice JBE never uttered the word “exigency” in his address last night. Why? Because he knows people have looked the word up, and they KNOW it is NOT the equivalent of “academic bankruptcy” that he’s referenced it as in the past. Why didn’t JBE or many other political leaders scream and yell when Southern had to declare exigency 4-5 years ago? That’s another reason JBE softened that rhetoric down. If it was good enough for Southern, why is LSU so special that it can’t do the same? The reality is that declaring exigency (which merely “something that is necessary in a particular situation”) is the ONLY way to circumvent tenure and other obstacles (i.e. “something that is necessary in the circumstances) that cause these universities to operate VERY, VERY, VERY inefficiently and let degree programs which do NOT produce marketable skills in the workplace to remain intact. Many of those programs, such as Interior Design, need to be 100% eliminated. Instead, whatever cuts are made are more likely to be across-the-board, which means colleges that are performing admirably in producing graduates who excel in the workplace (e.g. the College of Business Administration and the College of Engineering) will suffer in order to subsidize disciplines which have no business even being offered at the higher-ed level.

    I appreciate the opportunity to express my sentiments on this post (which hopefully will survive any editing review) and, again, I appreciate the fact you and Tom were so willing to be as blunt as you were entailing JBE’s Edmonson reappointment and other inexcusable salary boosts (and retirement system impacts theeof) which JBE has engaged in during the brief tenure as Louisiana Governor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robert, One thing I should have pointed out is that most of the recommendations in these reports for various budget and managerial reforms have been accepted and made by previous administrations. These reports contain all the low-hanging fruit and it’s been picked. That’s another reason Kennedy’s lazy recycling of this stuff is so disappointing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I can appreciate that if it’s accurate. Does that mean that Kennedy is making an inaccurate statement when he says that “21% of all state employee managers supervise only one employee?” If so, THAT is the sort of thing for which he should be attacked, and I would very much like to know (as I think many other folk would) if statements like that are inaccurate.

        He says the average number of employees supervised is four and that it should be increased to eight. Are those statements inaccurate? Like I say, I think EVERYONE will have tremendous respect for anyone who can demonstrate that the numbers Kennedy provides are not factual. He always challenges anyone to “check my numbers (or see the documents) if you think they’re not accurate.”

        I can’t fault Kennedy for not “reinventing the wheel” and instead relying on reforms and recommendations suggested by others, but it’s a whole other matter if the numbers he cites as CURRENT numbers are inaccurate. I’ll have GREAT respect for anyone who demonstrates that because it would go straight to Kennedy’s credibility.

        From everything I have observed of Treasurer Kennedy, he is very professional (refusing to condemn House Clerk Butch Speer when Speer basically called him an idiot: http://www.soundoffla.com/?p=21 — I offered him camera time for a rebuttal but he respectfully declined just saying, “That’s not Butch Speer. I don’t know what got into him.”). Therefore, I don’t think he would risk his reputation in citing incorrect figures (and certainly not intentionally), but if he has, I’d very much like to know of that fact.

        Thanks again for allowing the above post, Bob.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Has anyone gone on the hunt for that emergency patient with acne? Reminds me of the Cadillac welfare mom nobody could find.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hang out in an ER for a few hours and come back with the answer. That’s one thing he was right about. The abuse of the ER as a free clinic is a huge huge problem. That’s not a shot at poor people it’s a shot at people who abuse a system intended for serious emergency medical cases.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, here’s the problem….there is a long standing federal law called “EMTALA.” When people present to the ER, they CANNOT be refused treatment. Sometimes, seemingly small problems are actually symptoms of serious problems. Any doctor or nurse who refuses to evaluate and treat a patient who presents to the ER faces serious fines, lawsuits, and possibly the loss of his or her license to practice. The hospital can also be fined and sued.

        Of course, there are much more cost effective ways of avoiding ER visits….but many physicians use lobbyists to fight against these solutions. If someone “shows up” at a doctor’s office or urgent care center, they CAN (and usually DO) refuse evaluation and/or care….telling the person to go to the ER (because the ER cannot legally refuse treatment).

        So, for now, people who don’t have regular access to primary care physicians (like those who “fell through the holes” of the ACA and Jindal’s refusal of Medicaid expansion….most doctors and urgent care centers demand cash payment “up front” before they will see a patient) often cannot see a medical professional unless they present to an ER.

        If Kennedy was able to enact what he proposes, these patients would still present to the ER….they would still have to be evaluated and treated; and the patients will be billed for the visit. Most of them do not have the thousands of dollars that are typical of ER visits. So the hospital does not get paid.

        If Medicaid refused to pay for “non-emergent” ER visits, many hospitals would go bankrupt and be forced to shut their doors. Under Jindal’s administration, his refusal for Medicaid expansion already caused crises among several hospitals….and Louisiana taxpayers had to shell out millions of dollars to keep these hospitals open.

        Here’s the real zinger….the Medicaid expansion, under the ACA, would have been ENTIRELY paid for during the first 3 years, via tax dollars that Louisiana citizens already pay through their federal income taxes. Jindal’s refusal of the expansion COST Louisiana tax payers millions (perhaps billions), and further deteriorated our already crumbling healthcare system.

        These statements by Kennedy are absurd, and demonstrate that he is not knowledgeable about healthcare.


      2. Kristi….You’re the first to challenge something Kennedy said is false. I’m going to ask that you watch the 2:15 – 2:30 mark of this video, https://youtu.be/0ASeL6XM7YU. Kennedy fllatly says what you have alleged entailing Federal law “is a myth.”

        If you are right and Kennedy is wrong, how is the hospital he references in Houston (Hermann Memorial) turning people away via a Patient Navigator System by deploying a prar-professional at the front door of the ER? Is he naccurate about that?

        Now, I don’t doubt for one moment the statement you make in your 5th paragraph that hospitals would go bankrupt were it not for Medicaid ER abuses. I think that is the VERY reason they were willing to pony up $2.1 million to get people signed up for Medicaid before the state can legally pay for such signups!!!. They are SALIVATING at the added ER abuses that will transpire because, as Rep. Boustany stated at Monday’s BRPC meeting (which the MSM never reported on but I’ll get up his video later today), ER rooms all over the state are going to be “flooded” (his word, not mine) from Gov. Edwards’ act of expanding Medicaid WITHOUT any mechanism to increase provider reimbursement rates!

        Thanks for at least challenging something Kennedy has said as being false. Now let’s get to the bottom of who is right and who is wrong. Specifically, is Hermann Hospital in Houston violating Federal law?

        Liked by 1 person

    2. That acne comment did it for me also. I wouldn’t call that “professional.” Mr. Nice guy lost his cool. Oh and when someone with authority claims fraud I expect HIM to do something more than complain about it. I liked Kennedy until he decided to become a congressional candidate.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To “lose one’s cool,” one would need a one-time heated statement. Kennedy has referenced the acne treatment over and over again, and I can supply multiple videos of him doing so. If he is inaccurate (he’s not), get someone from DHH to agree to appear on camera and state: “We have never treated a Medicaid patient for acne in an emergency room.” Apparently, some folk feel like Kennedy is dishonest and shoots from the hip. He may play things low-key, but the man has an incredibly sharp mind, so I would suggest he is lulling such folk into a false sense of complacency while secretly hoping someone will challenge his statements and research the matter.

        Next week, I will be posting a video of Rep. Charles Boustany, who spoke before the BRPC on Monday. He not only reiterates Kennedy’s statements on ER abuses, but he provides compelling evidence into problems we’re going to face from JBE’s first official act as governor (expanding Medicaid WITHOUT a firm means to increase provider reimbursement rates). Judging by the comments here, I assume he too will be written off as not knowing anything notwithstanding his extensive first-hand exposure in the medical field as a cardiovascular specialist.


    3. To watch Kennedy’s reference to Hermann Hospital in Houston, begin watching the video at the 1:45 mark (rather than 2:15) and, as indicated above, continue watching through the 2:30 mark. Here’s the link again: https://youtu.be/0ASeL6XM7YU.

      So, is anyone on here (or anywhere else) willing to go one-on-one with Kennedy in front of a camera to iron this issue out? If so, I’ll be DELIGHTED to videotape it!!!!


  8. Robert Burns is doing an excellent job of reinforcing my main point – If Kennedy is wrong, prove him so. JBE ignoring him does nothing except lead a justifiably cynical populace to believe Kennedy is right. People don’t want opinions, anymore. They want, and desperately need, facts. They have been lied to too many times for too many years. If Kennedy’s “facts” are not “facts”, how about giving us something concrete to contradict them or, at the very least, show you care about them. Hey, I’m all about trying to get us on the right track here, no matter who is right and trying to be fair about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m confused. If Kennedy is such a straight shooter, why doesn’t he provide his list of 400 ideas, with documentation, rather than leave it to others to prove him wrong? After all, he’s the treasurer of the state, and one would expect him to conduct himself in a more professional manner.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He DID, June. He appeared yesterday at noon with three huge binders! In my editing of his presentation, http://www.soundoffla.com/?p=286, I cut out from the video the segment of him referencing the binders and sitting them on chairs behind his podium. I had no idea people would take such glaring pop shots at him. If people want me to air that segment of the video, I can easily get it uploaded and provide the link, but I’ll be honest, I’m stunned at the attacks to which he’s being subjected without a single person even alleging that anything he’s said is false. Anyway, if you want to blame someone for no video coverage of Kennedy supplying three binders of documented cost saving proposals, blame me! He had the material there with him, and he welcomed any of us to view it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. June, at this point I don’t see ignoring John Kennedy out of hand because of his political or any other motivation as an option for JBE – nor does it do the people of the state a service. People are listening to Kennedy and he is giving them talking points they can understand and use. JBE needs to do the same.

        Except for differing revenue projections based on the best econometric models available and done by actual economists and the best projections possible of expenditure needs, I don’t want to hear anybody’s opinions about the budget.

        We are not dealing with philosophy. We are dealing with numbers. I am simply asking for somebody to tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I realize that may be an unrealistic expectation, but if we are to accept additional taxes, we need something concrete to hang our hats on.

        I was a John Bell Edwards supporter and all I want him to do is defend himself and what he wants to do with facts


      3. Since Kennedy undermined the ideas in the speech of a newly elected governor of a state facing a dire financial crisis, perhaps he might consider supplying the public with summaries and links to the full documents for those want to dig deep to validate the truth of his statements.

        The anecdotal stories are meaningless and mean-spirited, as they so often reference poor people, the least among us, who, of course, we know are mostly deadbeats and not worthy of help and attention. So to nail down whether Kennedy’s acne story is true or not, DHH should be ordered to comb the files over a period of years to prove whether or not anyone, anywhere in the state ever went to the ER for acne? Really?

        I’ll make a prediction which I hope will be proved wrong: As his political campaign continues, Kennedy, as we once knew him, will become nearly unrecognizable.


  9. I still do believe that they can cut some jobs or consolidate them…get rid of too many “managers”…reduce their own pay increases and not threaten the education system…that is the last thing that should be cut!


  10. I am disappointed in Mr. Kennedy’s approach to the current budget crisis. I previously believed that he genuinely had an interest in solving the State’s fiscal problems. Looks like he is trying to get a head start on the Senate race. He just lost my vote.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Really does Kennedy think he could be elected to the US senate? I certainly hope not. I just wish you would run for that senate seat left open by Vitter.


  12. Bobby Jindal was elected governor with hopes (from me and several people I know) for reasonable government of the state. We now find to the disappointment and embarrassment of many who voted for him, that he has ruthlessly sacrificed the most vulnerable citizens and the future of most citizens to a) advance himSELF, and b) make it difficult for anyone to recover from what he set up. Search and read reports right after the election noting literally eleventh-hour raises and his personal appointments across state agencies that the present administration CAN’T undo.
    Now it seems Treasurer Edwards, who was always, in my admittedly unsophisticated opinion, a voice of sensible policy, is making speeches that only cast the new governor in a bad light while he has his eyes on the US Senate?! Based on this article, his speech can be summed up simply: “I’ve gotten what I need from this little state, now I’m gonna screw you all as much as I have to in order to impress people who don’t give a nutria’s nut sack about this state to make it to the big time.” When are the people of this state -ESPECIALLY the squabbling children in the Huey Long Daycare Center- going to realize that we are ALL going to improve or degrade ALL our lives to some extent based on what this legislature, governor , and judiciary do Right Now? When is anyone going to care? When are people of either, any, or no party affiliation going to place that loyalty second (or lower) to doing the right thing?

    I’m sorry… there are many good, hard working men and women in elected and appointed positions who daily take it on the chin to do the right thing for the people of this state, and God bless them for doing so. My ire is directed at the handful of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    To hell with any politician – Jindal, Kennedy, Smith, Jones, Doe or whomever – who puts their advancement over the well being of Medicaid recipients, soccer families with 3 kids a dog and a minivan, college students trying to make their best start and regretfully looking elsewhere, and small business owners trying to take care of their families while building up their own communities. Those political game-players are sacrificing all of us for their own desires.
    Please go to whatever church, temple, mosque or quiet place you choose and pray they will have a change of heart, then hold every elected and appointed person accountable for their actions. The people of this state are too smart and too good to be treated this way. Don’t stand for it, Louisiana!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dwayne, I’m certain you mean Treasurer Kennedy. Otherwise, I agree with what you say in your comment.


  13. I’m somewhat reluctant to post this because, as most people are aware, I am a STRONG David Vitter supporter, and I have supreme confidence in the material that Treasurer Kennedy cites as being factual and well-founded. Stephen Winham is spot-on accurate in that, if the responses to this article are the best Kennedy detractors have to offer, all it’s going to do is reinforce among Kennedy’s fans, myself included, that he is right (hence my reluctance to point that out because I’d really like more comments such as those posted here to keep coming).

    I guess now is as good of a time as any to share this with anyone who may not already know it. I used to frequently contribute both articles and comments on Tom’s website, and I still respect him as a very talented investigative reporter. He’s proven that beyond any level that anyone could conceivably challenge.

    Anyway, in June of last year, Tom had a guest writer (Earthmother) who wrote an article which was very well-written and with which I concurred on about 95% of the content. The one big exception was her contention that we MUST accept tax increases. In my response, I stated that I recognize when someone in a room is smarter than me, and I defer to such a person in such instances, and I therefore deferred to such a person, John Kennedy, to argue the case against tax increases, and I supplied a link to what was then just a YouTube video which I’d filmed and uploaded. I guess maybe Tom may not like demonstrations of humility (me admitting Kennedy is smarter than me though I did receive the University Medal from LSU for a 4.00 GPA, so I mean my deferral to him as a strong compliment) because he chose to edit out my Kennedy link from my comment.

    I can think of no stronger fear of someone being right than to remove that person’s ability to even convey his message as was done entailing Kennedy’s video link out in that instance. It was THAT SINGLE ACT which prompted me to form my own blog (with extreme encouragement from C. B., who said the video-based nature of it would provide interesting contrasts, and he’s been right as he so often was).

    During the heat of the campaign last year (i. e. three days before the election), I referenced the whole episode in a video post. It’s at the 11:25 mark of the video on this post if anyone wants to see it: http://www.soundoffla.com/?p=216. As anyone can tell, deleting my link to Kennedy’s video REALLY Teed me off! That’s my point of this post. If all the Kennedy detractors can do is #1) ignore him (as JBE is finding impossible now), #2) pretend he doesn’t exist by editing out a video of his anti-tax sentiments, or # 3) take pop shots at him without making substantive counter-arguments, you’re solidifying the foundation that he is dead-on right! Stephen, kudos to you for readily recognizing that fact. Thanks again, Bob, for the opportunity to express these sentiments.


    1. Robert Burns, should Kennedy have been allowed to convey his blatantly partisan, Republican, no-new-taxes message following the governor’s speech? I don’t think so. His speech was entirely unprofessional and cunningly political rather than impartial as it should have been with the situation in Louisiana so grave. Kennedy took the easy way out because he won’t be voting on the fix to lift the state out of the mire. He’s a man I once respected, but, alas, no more. Why he was allowed what amounted to free TV time to campaign for the Senate is a mystery to me. Has Kennedy signed the Grover Norquist pledge yet?.

      Also, it is ludicrous to expect that citizens will have access to or the time to read entire binders. Why not have summaries and links to the documents that support his “400 ideas” that can be read online in this age of the internet?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Perhaps Tom viewed your post and link as promoting your own blog on his blog. Ya know…the way Saddow would do in comments on nola.com. A lot of his comments got deleted for that very reason. Well and because he was totally clueless on so many things.

      But instead of getting angry and pouting, did you ask Tom about the deleted link?


      1. Fred, read my damn post! I told you that, at the time,it was a mere You Tube link and I HAD NO BLOG!!! The link was to a You Tube video!! I also said it was his act of doing so that caused me to form my own blog.

        You damn right I asked Tom about the deleted link, and he never denied deleting it! He said, and I quote, “Commenting is a privilege, not a right!” It’s his blog and he can do as he wishes in that regard (though I maintain it demonstrates a fear Kennedy is right), just like I am free to go form my own blog as I did!


      2. Fred, I want to also add that, despite what transpired, Tom called me on July 10, 2015 and asked me to write the chapter in his Jindal book on Bruce Greenstein because I’ve followed that matter to a “T,” attending every CNSI or Greenstein court proceeding and even have a five-part series on Caldwell’s office and its botching of the whole CNSI matter on my blog pertaining to CNSI/Greenstein.

        Tom indicated it needed to be 5,000 words, and he needed it in five days. Because I respect hi. As an investigative reporter, I did it (and ai got it to him on the desired tight deadline), and he sent me a complimentary email upon receiving the feature.

        Since a link takes up almost no space and people are free to click on it or not (and Tom removed my wording about Kennedy being smarter than me and I was therefore going to defer to him to argue against tax increases and I provided the link to a You Tube video), I question even more so why Tom did not want Kennedy’s statements being disseminated. Is it because he fears Kennedy is right, or is it because, like most of his readers, he has a built-in predisposition that taxes are too low and “must” be raised. Either way, I feel it was wrong to delete the link and, yes, I moved on after the episode, and reading these comments makes me DAMN glad I did!


      3. Robert: Look at the time stamp of my reply. You see it’s at 4:41 am? I was tired and going through one of my episodes of insomnia. I misread what you wrote.


      4. No problem, Fred. Sorry I got so heated in my response.


  14. http://theadvocate.com/news/legislature/14856910-171/stephanie-grace-edwards-not-trying-to-scare-people-sure-looks-like-it

    Wherein Stephanie Grace makes a better argument for John Bel Edwards’ case than he did.


    1. Thanks for the link, Stephen. Grace is a Louisiana treasure.


  15. Poor Bob, still crying for Marxism. First comes the Marxist phony scare tactics, then personal attacks on anyone who won’t buy into the govt-controls-all philosophy. Boo hoo.


  16. This is how little they think of us. Insulting, Insulting, Insulting Robert Mann…… John Kennedy was elected to five (5) terms as the State Treasurer and all you can say is that he a fool who wants to starve the poor. Hell, let’s just say that Kennedy wants to eat the livers out of …See More
    Blueprint Louisiana
    Louisiana’s transportation funding model, which relies almost exclusively on a 20 cents per gallon tax on gasoline and diesel and has not been updated since 1990, does not provide enough recurring money to meet our current transportation needs, much less build the new capacity we need to handle toda…
    Blueprint Louisiana
    Louisiana’s transportation funding model, which relies almost exclusively on a 20 cents per gallon tax on gasoline and diesel and has not been updated since 1990, does not provide enough recurring money to meet our current transportation needs, much less build the new capacity we need to handle toda…


  17. Read it. 1.) Size of Louisiana state government, 20% larger than the Southern Average. 2.) We have 2X the numbers of Universities needed. 3.) Our basic method of funding our state government is broken. 4.) The way we deliver services to our citizens is broken. 5.) We continually fail at delivering services to our citizens, allowing the use of emergency rooms as clinics, allowing the use of ambulances as taxi cabs. 6.) Our state retirement system needs an overhaul. 7.) We should allow choice in schools so parents can make a CHOICE if their children are in a failing school. $8,400 a year to educate each child. If I was a poor mother in a crappy neighborhood with a crappy school, I sure would like to take that $8,400 and send my kids to a good little parochial school. 8.) State consultants, change the way we award construction projects to design build. Come on Robert Mann, you insult us by patently dismissing all of Kennedy’s ideas. How about a little respect and say 30% of them are good. This is the best he has. Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic Robert Mann, you are in the circle and once again, your focus is not the people of the state of Louisiana. Marilyn Smith I am sick of all of these people sitting in Baton Rouge.


  18. I was very disappointed in Kennedy’s response to Governor Edward’s presentation Thursday night for the following reasons:
    First, as Treasurer of Louisiana he should “be” aware that Jindal’s
    governorship resulted in $1-1.50 billion dollars in yearly lost revenue to Louisiana due to tax credits and exemptions accorded corporations all in the name of business expansion, ie, LED. In addition, a June, 2015 legislative auditor report highlighted the fact that of “the 79 tax incentive reports agencies…required to submit to the Legislature by March 1, 2014, 70 (89 percent) reports were either not submitted or did not comply with all of the reporting requirements.” ‘These 70 tax incentives claimed in fiscal year 2013 for which agencies provided no information to the Legislature or did not comply with reporting requirements totaled approximately $1.1 billion.” ‘The revenue loss reported in the 2014-15 for the tax incentives with no report was approximately $1.3 billion”. Essentially Pupera’s report highlighted the fact that no one in the Dept. of Administration is “guarding the hen house”.
    REF: LOUISIANA AUDITOR: STATE AGENCIES FAILING TO MEET TAX-INCENTIVE REPORTING REQUIREMENTS, Marsha Schuler, article from June 1, 2015. In fact, the 2014-15 Louisiana Tax exemption report presents corporate income tax and franchise tax exemptions costing Louisiana closer to $2.00 BL$’s.
    Unfortunately, Kennedy apparently insist on placing the blame on “medicaid mamas”, overpaid consultants and exorbitant expenditures”. When Louisiana’s fiscal reality demonstrates that corporate income and franchise tax collections decreased from $995 MM$, 2008, to $384 MM$, 2013, a net decrease of $611 MM$ or 61.47% decrease in revenue collections. I know this is a “stupid” question but I’ll ask it anyway: Did your individual income taxes decrease 61.47% since Jindal took office. I think not.
    Furthermore, Kennedy, as Treasurer, is aware-or at least “should be aware”-of the fact that Louisiana statutes provide over 500 sales and property tax exemptions costing the state approximately $7.60 BL$ in “lost” revenue. Yeah folks, that “billion” with a capital “B”. REF: 2014-15 Louisiana Tax Exemption Report, Pg 5.
    So when John Kennedy brings his “dog and pony show” to prime time TV, let’s listen and hear what he says in the “genera” for which it truly is-comic relief.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good points, but JBE and Dardenne should be making them, not you or me or anybody else. How many people read this blog? I don’t know. How many people read the newspaper and watch TV? A lot more.


      1. Stephen, perhaps, Edwards and Dardenne will respond. Give them a chance. If they do not, then we should contact them and press for a response.


      2. Agreed, Stephen, and as you pointed out somewhere (or at least someone told me you did at least), you complmented me for video clips letting Dardenne and Kennedy pose their arguments in succession (though not in the same room nor on the same dates). Anybody can see them do so here: http://www.soundoffla.com/?p=269. Given that Mann’s post has 3,000 Facebook shares and that he writes for NOLA.com and is a wiedly-known figure, I wouldn’t dismiss out-of-hand the distribution of this blog entry though.

        BTW, Dardenne didn’t challenge my calculated $615,000 estimated impact on LASERS’ retirement system from his appointment. I know you are a numbers man, so here’s a link for my computatons: http://www.jbefraud.com/Dardenne_Computations.pdf. The only thing I had to guess on was his years of state service, but if I was off, it will affect both PV computations (i.e. his cost without the CoA appointment and his cost with the CoA appointement). If you feel I may be slightly off on the computation (one person has said I’m too low, but I like to be conservative so, if I am, so be it), I’ll be happy to modify the page and give a more precise number. To me, it sends a HORRENDOUSLY BAD message that Gov. Edwards is willing to permit this sort of drain on LASERS while simultaneously Dardenne dilivers a message of how much pain these guys are about to dole out to those not so fortuante as to serve on Gov. Edwards cabinet, but that’s just my opinon.


    2. Mr. Foreman:

      I think the following video will clearly demonstrate that, not only did Kennedy know of what you reference, his sentimeents on the matter are pretty clear (as are his sentiments on yet another retirement board with excess extravagent expenses): https://youtu.be/SZbT3ry8DE4.

      Here’s the problem: The MSM simply doesn’t report items like this wherein Kennedy makes his statements. Why? I have no idea! Perhaps they are pre-disposed to be opposed to his message. Heck, in the preceding video, only WAFB’s Kiran Chawla was even around to quiz Kennedy on the subject you reference (all else had bolted for the doors to meet deadlines). Further, even Kiran’s inquiries failed to make the evening news! I can tell you with 100% certainty that I have attended BRPC meetings wherein Kennedy spoke and NOT ONE WORD of what he said was reported by our local paper nor seen on the news. Heck, I’ve seen them give at least SOME attention to some of the most trivial-related matters that little-known speakers speak on at the BRPC, but to ignore the ENTIRETY of what Kennedy says? What the hell was the point of even inviting him to address the BRPC if that was to be the subsequent coverage?

      Just because you don’t read it or don’t see it on TV doesn’t mead Kennedy didn’t address issues head on!! That’s why it was PARTICULARLY frustrating for me for Tom to delete the link (it mirrowed what the MSM does in pretending he doesn’t exist if he’s not saying something they want to hear). Mr. Foreman, boaden your inventory of blogs you visit (incluidng mine if you’d like….will be happy to add you to the distribution list).

      And, BTW, Fred, I do not make ONE DIME off my blog! There is NO advertising (and NEVER will be), and I DO NOT ask for donations (and NEVER will), so I have no incentive to grab readers/viewers from anotehr blog. I just like to provide a MUCH, MUCH more in-depth and deep coverage of issues (see the 5-part series on Caldwell) than folk can EVER hope to obtain from the MSM!


      1. Before I get accused of uplodading Kennedy’s video only today about the LAO report Mr. Foreman references, there has been a DIRECT LINK from my very first post which had all of Kennedy’s discussion in totality: https://youtu.be/yoNn44v2zXo.

        Kennedy begins his commentary on the LAO report at the 53:45 mark. Now, granted, that was my first post, and I was completely unprepared to have a distribution list (because I had no intentions of forming a blog), but EVEN TODAY, that video has only been viewed 18 times. Nevertheless, the material IS out there, and Kiran Charwla did try and get it on the air (and I think they did air the police system abuses by its ED).

        When local television newscasts devote 10-12 minutes to the weather (which such info is readily available from TONS of other sources on demand — I ALWAYS fast-forward right through the weather), there is little choice but to leave important newsworthy developments off the air, but don’t blame that on John Kennedy and state that he’s not aware of a situation just because you don’t see him addressing it on your TV screen or in newsprint. He did, they just didn’t cover it (for whatever reason).


  19. I want to thank EVERYONE who made comments on this article, especially the familar names of overlap from Tom’s distribution list.

    You’ve answered a MAJOR question I’ve had for months, and that is WHY Tom opted to remove my link to Kennedy’s video. I now know it’s obvious that he knew Kennedy’s comments would infuriate his audience (many of whom previously couldn’t sign his praises loudly enough). I can accept that; however, I’ll also add that I never made a secret of my personal email address (hell, I put it flashing on the screen of videos for people to let me know if I can help with an investigation of a governmental agency), and I was disheartned at the personal attacks from readers from Tom’s list that I received. One person even openly inquried, “How can you be a traitor like this after all the hard work you did with Edmonson?”

    At any rate, I now know the smartest thing I did was branching out and forming my own blog, and Tom did me a favor by tacitly letting me know just how angry his readers would be at Kennedy’s June 1, 2015 BRPC meeting.

    June, I know there’s no convincing you otherwise, but Kennedy does NOT merely attack the “poor.” If you take the time to watch from the 2:20 – 2:33 mark of the video of my very first blog post (which came about as a result of Tom stripping my link from my comments on Earthmother’s post indicating higer taxes are a MUST), you’ll readily see that: http://www.soundoffla.com/?p=8. I know it’s not going to change your opinion, but at least the 13-second segment (which he has uttered over and over and over again) is there for you to view if you want to avail yourself of that opportunity.

    Stephen, thank you for your voice of reason even though I anticipate your popularity (which I doubt you are overly concerned with) may take a hit juding from these comments. I too fall into the “Joe Friday, just the facts, ma’am” category. It’s my firm belief that Kennedy has presented facts, and I do NOT believe he would risk his highly-regarded and highly-cherised reputation to make something up like he describes in the 6:54 mark forward on the following video: http://www.soundoffla.com/?p=8.

    Anyone who watches from the 6:54 mark on entailing the preceding video link and still wants to state that the ER is not being abused in a staggering fashion is living in a fantasy world!

    Bob, thanks for making this post. It’s been a REAL eye-opener for me, and it reinforces my reluctant decision to form my own blog eight months ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robert, perhaps you missed my words about Kennedy, “He’s a man I once respected…”


      1. I gave the wrong link above. The episode Kennedy references is from the 3:50 – 4:45 mark of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ASeL6XM7YU#action=share.

        No, June, I did not miss your words. I just do not feel you have provided justification for your lost respect. I demonstrated to you that Kennedy attacks un-deserving special treatment to politically-connected folk like Edmonson even harder than he hammers abuses he alleges transpire on the part of “people at the bottom.” Hell, I examined invoices of the LSP Retirement Board as part of a FOIA I made, and I saw where Denise Ackers (it’s attorney) billed the board for consultation they had with her to discuss potentially suing Kennedy over his demands to be provided with a copy of the Florida law firm’s findings on the Edmonson amendment. If THAT doesn’t demonstrate his resolve to get to the bottom of abuses “at the top,” I don’t know what does.

        The bottom line is that many people’s opinion of Kennedy on Tom’s list nosedived when he endorsed David Vitter (as did their opinion of me when I went so public with my STRONG support of Vitter). That’s fine, but cutting him off from even being permitted to pose his arguments (and thereby denying me that same right even if it’s just to concur) is, in my opinion, wrong.


      2. “The bottom line is that many people’s opinion of Kennedy on Tom’s list nosedived when he endorsed David Vitter (as did their opinion of me when I went so public with my STRONG support of Vitter).”

        Robert, that is indeed a possibility. Sorry, but I’m not clicking any more links or watching any more videos. Call me unfair, but you ask too much. Bob has been quite patient with you, considering this is not your blog.


      3. I agree that Bob has been patient, and I have tried to be respectful and express appreciation for that fact because it is his blog.

        I find it ironic, June, that you fault Kennedy for not supplying specificity and more detail, yet when I provide it (and provide the EXACT segments to go to), I’m “asking too much.” Gee, have you ever considered how much work it is to go do these videos, get them uploaded, and disseminated? If you can’t click and watch from the comfort of your bed, sofa, PC, or whatever, what I call that is lazy!

        The reality is that I have countered the arguments (including that Kennedy didn’t know about the LAO report) with irrefutable evidence to the contrary. You couldn’t handle it, the same way I think Kennedy’s 6/1/15 video countered Earthmother’s arguments that we “must” have tax increases. Tom clearly felt that would shoot down Earthmother’s contention (I can’t help the coincidence that happened within days of one another), so he edited it out. When the documentation and video evidence you DEMAND is provided and your argument gets countered (I didn’t say proven wrong), you pick up your marbles and go home. If we’ve reached the point others aren’t allowed to debate issues of public concern (or those sentiments are edited out as Kennedy’s was), then what’s left of our democracy? It makes a mockery of our tributes to Memorial Day and Veterans Day where we pay respect to those who fight to help ensure we have that freedom.

        Mr. Mann, to be honest, I was dubious of whether you would permit this exercise of expression on my part because I know you disagree with me and John Kennedy philosophically, and I respect that. The fact that you have permitted such latitude notwithstanding your personal convictions is greatly appreciated, and I hope I have been respectful in presenting my views and video links.


  20. Mr. Kennedy perpetrated another fraud on the people of La. at his swearing-in ceremony in January. He pretended to be sworn in by a teacher. She was the 2015 Teacher of the Year. But she had no authority to administer an oath. She just pretended to administer the oath of office and Mr. Kennedy pretended he was being sworn in. His communications director, Michelle Milhollon told me he did this because “There is no more important job than that of a teacher.” I agree, but administering oaths is not part of a teacher’s job.. That job belongs to a person who has the legal authority to administer an oath. John Kennedy, the man we trust with our money, knew the teacher didn’t have the authority to administer an oath and he was actually sworn in ahead of the ceremony (Secretary of State Tom Schedler administered his real oath of office before Kennedy stepped out on the platform and pretended the teacher was swearing him in). Kennedy misrepresented his oath and involved an innocent teacher so he could bask in her limelight. He could have boosted his image and hers by having her hold his bible while Mr. Schedler administered his oath. But instead, he used her to pretend to administer his oath. How can we trust a man with taxpayer money if he misrepresents his own constitutional oath of office before the people of the state? Mr. Kennedy should be ashamed. But I don’t think he knows any shame. So, I’ll be ashamed for him.


  21. Look, the reason I think it’s FLAT WRONG to delete Kennedy’s video link is that, while he presented budget FACTS with numbers, if you read the commentary IMMEDIATELY below mine on Earthmother’s article on the matter, http://louisianavoice.com/2015/06/04/louisianavoice-reader-pens-open-letter-to-all-144-members-of-louisiana-legislature-asks-each-what-are-you-going-to-do/, some guy (or lady) going by “R P” lambasts me and starts rattling off figures that are TOTALLY erronoeous!!

    He (or she) indicates the budget was reduced by $7 billion under Jindal, when all anyone has to do is begin watching Kennedy’s video (I know, too much to ask of you, June, and maybe that’s why Tom deleted it, that people simply wouldn’t watch it) at the 1:58 mark to hear EXACTLY what the budget numbers are: https://youtu.be/yoNn44v2zXo.

    He clearly explains the budget GREW from $16.5 billion to $25 billion (excluding hurricane money for which Louisiana was a mere conduit).

    To me, it is INEXCUSABLE to arbitrarily exclude my video link (which took a heck of a lot of work, time, and energy) and then permit a subsequent comment to go through by R. P. (whoever that is) IN ITS ENTIRETY with NO editing whatsoever which cites budget figures that are GROSSLY inaccurate. I’m sorry, but I don’t consider that responsible journalism, and, yes, I resented it VERY much!

    It doesn’t take away from Tom’s outstanding talents as an investigative reporter, but I can only assume he deleted my link and let a subsequent commenter (R. P.) get away with citing wildly inaccurate budget numbers because he simply didn’t like Kennedy’s message or felt that his readers wouldn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. http://house.louisiana.gov/housefiscal/0112_16_OS_FiscalBriefing2.pdf

    Here may be found the best non-partisan, unbiased analysis of our current situation and potential solutions you will find anywhere. ANYBODY investing the time necessary to go through it will find it IMPOSSIBLE to claim ignorance of where our money comes from and where it goes. DO NOT allow your elected officials to claim they do not have the information necessary to make informed decisions. Do not allow yourself to remain uninformed. READ THIS. It is long, but easy to understand and, even if you have problems with some of it because of terminology, you will gain a lot you may not know by investing the time to read it.


  23. Thank you, Robert Burns, for all the information. I did not hear Mr. Kennedy’s statement, but will make a point to follow up via your information. I gave up after Governor Edwards’ address. I know we are in fiscal crisis. I suspect everyone else knows that. But the hyperbole rendered anything he said pointless. That Louisiana might “have to” give up LSU football was where I stopped listening. This state would give up public-school education first. And besides, as we have learned, LSU’s athletic program is so flush, it lent $5million to the academic wing of the university. I don’t know if Kennedy’s figures on supervisors is correct, but I suspect it’s close. Having worked in the “academic wing” of a state university, I watched people run out of titles for do-nothing positions. Listening to the Governor, I thought, “Oh hell, it’s business as usual in Louisiana.”


    1. You’re quite welcome, Jechoisir! Also, entailing your comments about titles in the academic wing of a state university, the following articles may be of interest to you:




      Both of the above articles butress the fact that I believe the only alternative for universities in Louisiana is to declare exigency and circumvent tenure and obstacles that interfere with, impede, and block restructurings that are badly needed. There’s simply no way we can keep “feeding money to the beasts.”

      Look at the faculty v. administrators average salaries for Ole Miss (derived from first article above, and this is 2010 figures!):

      University of Mississippi: administrators–$138,870; faculty–$76,847.

      Now you know if Ole Miss has numbers like that, how much worse is LSU? Just asking!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Kennedy has been talking about consulting contracts for many years, but he has failed to produce any examples of where we can find substantial savings. Simply put, he needs to put up or shut up. Kennedy certainly doesn’t deserve a promotion to a job as US Senator.


  25. Here is a column I wrote for LouisianaVoice:


    As I point out to one of the commenting on it, I had no vested interests beyond those of any other citizen of this state in doing the research and writing this column. It is simply an effort to present the best analysis I am in a position to make of the budget.

    I would like to hope at least some people who believe we can easily cut our way out of this will at least consider the numbers (not opinions, numbers) I present.

    John Q. Public, who Stephen Waguespack addresses in his column at LABI today, has been lied to and bombarded with so many conflicting arguments, has no choice but to take the one most palatable. Unfortunately, it is not the best one.


  26. During the campaign, John Bel Edwards made it clear he had a plan to solve a $ 400 million budget shortfall without raising taxes. He is still indicating that if the problem was a mere $ 400 million shortfall he could fix it without raising taxes. So my question is…why doesn’t he fix $ 400 million of the current $ 900 million problem with his original plan? Were he to do that and then come to the people for a short term temporary tax, I think folks would be a bit more receptive.


    1. I didn’t know there was any such thing as a temporary tax.


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