October 19th, 2010
08:27 AM ET
12 years ago

LSU student body president takes Gov. Jindal to task for travels

(CNN) - A letter written by a Louisiana State University student leader and published Monday in a New Hampshire newspaper is taking Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to task for his out-of-state travels.

The letter in New Hampshire's Keene Sentinel tells readers: "Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is spending more time in your state than the one he was elected to represent. I read almost daily about his trips to other states, which makes me believe that he is more interested in running for president than running the state of Louisiana."

J Hudson, the letter's author, is a 21-year-old political science and communications major as well as LSU's student body president. The reason he wrote the letter, he said, is because he tried through traditional means of arranging a meeting to discuss education cuts with Jindal - but to no avail.

"We tried to set up meetings with Governor Jindal. We got an e-mail sent back to us from his executive assistant, telling us that his schedule was very tight," Hudson said. "But a few days after that, I started reading he was in Florida, New Hampshire, New York, Wisconsin. No wonder he has no time, he's all over the United States and not in Louisiana."

Jindal was in New Hampshire on October 14 and in several other states recently to attend political fundraising events.

Kyle Plotkin, Jindal's press secretary said in a statement Monday: "The Governor has spent over 90 percent of the days since taking office in Louisiana, traveling to every parish multiple times. It's good for Louisiana
for the Governor to share with business and other leaders across the country our success in outperforming the national economy."

In the letter, Hudson said he wanted to ask the governor "why he's imposing devastating budget cuts that will result in the firing of one-third of the university's faculty and reduce enrollment by 8,000."

LSU, the victim of numerous budget cuts in recent years, is bracing for as much as a $62 million reduction in the future due to the state's financial crisis.

Hudson said it's that crisis facing his school that has him trying to track down the governor.

"Governor Jindal, Louisiana higher education is about to be devastated. It will take a generation for our universities to recover. On behalf of the students whose hopes for a brighter future will soon be crushed, I beg you to return to Louisiana and fix your state's serious problems. You've neglected your constituents long enough," Hudson said in the letter.

Plotkin said the governor's chief of staff and policy director have already met with Hudson to discuss education funding.

"It's great he and other students are getting involved in the political process and we hope they continue to be part of the conversation. We have an open dialogue with the higher education community about the state's budget challenges and we're working to mitigate reductions to classrooms," Plotkin said.

"The reality though is that higher education officials are not delivering the value our students deserve. That's why we've encouraged higher education administrative officials to prioritize reductions so that they come mainly from administrative overhead, not teaching and research."

Hudson said he believed legislators should change state policy to better protect higher education and perhaps find other areas to make budget cuts in.

Despite taking the meeting request to the public stage, Hudson said the governor's been doing a good job and he bears no ill will towards him.

"I'm very satisfied with his role. He can really speak for the people and protect the interests of the citizens of our state, with our natural disasters and the Gulf oil spill," he said. "All I'm asking is just for a meeting, a
30-minute meeting on how to protect the flagship institution of our state."

Hudson said he would consider voting for Jindal if he should run for president, if he spends more time at home. "We need him in this state. Look, I'm not saying he wouldn't be a great presidential candidate if he ever went into something like that, but take care of your home first, and then you can move on to whatever presidential aspirations you have."

Filed under: Bobby Jindal
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Bender

    I wish he would run for POTUS and Christy as VP or the other way around.We could get rid of unions and bring Pelosi,Reid and Obummer up on charges of treason.

    October 19, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  2. The Truth

    Why aren't students getting on Pelosi or the Obamas for the amount of tax payer money they're spending on travel?!

    October 19, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  3. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Congratulations, Louisiana, you are now discovering the migratory disease that hits all politicians starting two years before the presidential cycle. They have this uncanny desire to spend most of their time in either Iowa or New Hampshire instead of the State that elected them, or in DC where they should be attending meetings and voting on bills. We had to deal with this when Lieberman thought he had a shot on 04 and bought a residence in New Hampshire (giving that state effectively three senators) and when Dodd thought he had a shot in 08 and became the third Iowa senator. We used to joke that if Dodd couldn't outpoll Moe (i.e. Margin of Error – which he never did) he should come back home. Unfortunately, he did!

    October 19, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  4. joe in VA

    Gosh, i had to pay for my own education, perhaps this young man should consider not having the state subsidize his education and paying for it himself. Then he'd be more aware of what he's really getting for the $ it costs to educate him. That might be a great "teachable" moment...

    October 19, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  5. Seattle Sue

    Jindal, Just another Republican wantabe.

    October 19, 2010 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. D. Bunker

    Sounds like Jindal is taking a page from Pawlenty and Palin handbook of "How not to govern while running for higher office".

    October 19, 2010 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  7. Yeoman Johnson

    Jindal-Palin or Palin-Jindal 2012. You heard it here first.

    October 19, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess that students in NJ should be doing the same thing since Christie is getting ready to run in 2012 or be a VP in 2012. This is something that he denies though. I have a hard time seeing what what he is doing for NJ like the student from LA wonders what Jindal is doing.

    October 19, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  9. Como

    This is news? It is the campaign silly season. Each party's luminaries are travelling extensively. Get a life.

    October 19, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  10. Marie MD

    hudson made sensuntil the last paragraph of the story. If you even contemplated voting for this man then you are no better than him and he is at the bottom of that pile of rethugs for 2012!!! What a joke.

    October 19, 2010 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  11. Rosslaw

    Jindal not only displays strong Republican values by offering to economically burn down the flag ship university of his state, LSU, which is or could be a major economic engine for Louisiana's economy, but also by using $2 billion in stimulus funds to balance the state's budget while at the same time lambasting Obama's stimulus initiatives, a stomach churning hypocrisy in which he is joined by Mississippi's Haley Barbour (We're No. 50!), Va.'s governor ($2.5 billion in stimulus funds) and for that matter every Republican politician who shows up for the ribbon cutting of a stimulus funded project they bitterly opposed.

    October 19, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  12. a health economist

    I feel your pain, kid. Here in MN our Governor is frequently in other states. Personally I feel that tax payer money being used for Pawlent's travels would be better spent in our state. But what do I know? I'm just one of his constituents that can't wait for him to be out of office.

    October 19, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  13. sonny chapman

    I'm from La. & Hudson hit the nail.. Bobby Jindal is willing to sacrifice the unemployed in La.(turned down that stimulus $), rail service from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, drastically cut LSU funding, after we've risen dramatically from Govs. Foster & Blanco's adequate funding, all to impress the National Republican hierarchy. For a self-proclaimed Christian convert, he sure doesn't mind making the poor, the hungry, the naked suffer in order to advance his glutenous political ambition.

    October 19, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Steve (the real one)

    I wonder if J Hudson expects the President to stay put in DC as well! A poli sci student and yet don't realize all politicians travel to attend fund raisers and other functions. As far as budget cuts, where is all that money the football team generates going?

    October 19, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Bill from GA

    This is where the new-age repugs are taking us: less taxes for less government. Trouble is, less government doesn't do as much of what we need from government.

    My state of Georgia is now like that. While we have money to widen a road to a high-end retreat on Lake Oconee, or build fish ponds, and horse barns for show horses, we are cutting education, and traffic is awful around Atlanta. Our new repug governor wanna-be plans to cut taxes more. He says it will bring in jobs.

    October 19, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. Marc

    The question that needs to be asked is when any sitting politician begins travelling to other states in order to develop name recognigtion for upcoming national runs, who is footing the bill for this. Most politicans, as in Jindals case, cite the need to travel in order to push for business in their state. Has anyone ever tracked this? I doubt that Iowa or New Hampshire have huge trade deals with other states. And even if true, couldn't they webinar or telecommute. This is a ruse for poltical stumping and I suspect the taxpayers are footing the bill since none of these people are officially int the race yet and drawing on campaign funds. Not one teacher, fireman or policeman should be laid off as long as a Governor is spending money to travel for political purposes.

    October 19, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Rush Goebbels

    Even Jerry Mahoney wouldnt hire this puppet.ExxonMobil really blundered when they hired this clod.

    October 19, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. Citizen of Littlesville

    Maybe J Hudson could write a second letter addressed to the President. taking him to task as to his "cross country" travels stumping for fellow DEMOcrats at the expense of "Main Street"

    October 19, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Sniffit

    Sweet. Do Timmy "Brains as soft as Polenta" next!

    October 19, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Why is he forcing the people of Louisiana to live under Hindu law?

    October 19, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |