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The three great issues of our time in the Capital Region are these: 1) protecting our turf in the global economy by using any government means necessary to score jaw-dropping wins in the retail and hotel sectors; 2) whether the luring of big-box behemoth Costco secures Baton Rouge a much-coveted seat at the exclusive table of world-class cities (out of our way, Venice!); and 3) the future of City Park— more specifically, its par-32 golf course.
What if every high school football coach in the state of Louisiana were required to run the same I-style offense? What if a state board dictated specific plays, including blocking schemes, that each team would be expected to execute? What if employing the 4-3 defense were ordered by a legislative mandate, also spelling out allowable blitzes and stunts as well as how often each could be used during a game? What if every head coach were given a manual dictating in step-by-step detail how he and his staff are to conduct practice and train players?
CATS and its remarkably maladroit management team have wasted little time in making the case for why it's stupid to give unfettered tax-proposing authority to a government entity in which exactly zero folks running the agency ever—repeat, ever—have to stand before voters on election day and ask to keep their jobs.
The voice on the other end of the iPhone was unmistakably excited. “This is an absolute home run day,” exclaimed the business executive and entrepreneur who owns the voice that, on this call, was putting his words together a tad faster and a quarter-octave higher than usual. “First, for my company, and then for Baton Rouge.”
Around the same time that Gov. Bobby Jindal was wowing our nation’s capital with his incredibly funny one-liners at the annual Gridiron Club dinner, his commissioner of administration, Kristy Nichols, was tossing out some one-liners of her own here at home.
Management by crisis is the new model of governing in America.
John Price, the assistant chief administrative officer to Mayor Kip Holden, says the use of traffic light cameras to spot red light violations in East Baton Rouge Parish—and issue tickets to those drivers who break the law—is the “most successful program the city has.”
Stephen Moret, the state's head of economic development, isn't saying anything new when he talks about the need for Louisiana to diversify its economy. “Diversification” has been this state's economic buzzword since the mid-1980s when the collapse of the oil and gas industry, with an assist from the savings and loan crisis, hammered our state economy for some five long years.
One litmus test for being a bona fide Republican in recent years has been the willingness to bow down before Grover Norquist and swear allegiance to the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which essentially says local, state and federal governments in this country have a spending problem and that there's exactly zero good reasons for increasing any existing tax and even fewer reasons for approving a new tax. It's a pledge that 95% of all Republicans in Congress were willing to take, as well as dozens of GOP governors, including our very own Bobby Jindal.
Now that the LSU football team has ended 2012 in the same manner in which it began 2012—with an inept offense propelling the Tigers to a stinging bowl defeat—we can officially turn our attention to the events that will make headlines in 2013.