BRIEFING BOOK- NOLA.com
'Sorry, Guv ...'
Gov. Bobby Jindal's bragging about the state's new ethics laws drew a friendly rebuke last week from the Center for Public Integrity. .... After Jindal recently repeated the claim on national television, the organization responded on its Web site in a statement under the headline: "Governor Bobby Jindal Spins the Center's Work." It stated: "The center has never said that Louisiana ethics law is 'on top of the list.' It's good -- don't get us wrong -- but, sorry, Guv, we can't give you the top ranking. . . . We just hope you can settle for being one of the best, just not necessarily the very, very best."
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Talking to Greta Van Susteren, of Fox News, last week, Gov. Bobby Jindal said his administration had "cut spending in our state by 12 percent. We cut the number of government jobs by 1,000. We've actually cut taxes six times. . . . We did the largest income tax cut in our state's history." The governor did not tell the national viewers that the fiscal 2008-09 budget he signed earlier this year is smaller than the previous year's budget only because the state is receiving less federal money for hurricane recovery. Discounting federal money, Jindal actually approved state general fund spending -- money generated by state taxes, fees and royalties -- that is $1 billion, or about 12 percent, higher than in former Gov. Kathleen Blanco's last budget. The 1,000 jobs were posts that Blanco's last budget had authorized but that had not been filled. The "largest income tax cut" Jindal referenced was the Legislature's repeal of the Stelly Tax Plan remnants. Jindal's administration initially opposed the repeal plan, which was pushed by state Sen. B.L. "Buddy" Shaw, R-Shreveport, before supporting it.