John Neely Kennedy’s election as U.S. Senator means Louisiana will hold a special election for treasurer.
Davis, who is married to 19th Judicial District Judge Tim Kelley and uses Davis Kelley on her Facebook page, served as commissioner of administration from January 2008 until August 2010, according to her LinkedIn profile. Those would be what some consider the glory years of the Jindal administration — the years before the full scope of the fiscal calamity his policies would produce became clear.
That profile describes Davis as “Former Chief Financial Advisor and Chief Administrative Officer to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.” She also served as deputy commissioner of administration during the Mike Foster administration and secretary for Culture, Recreation & Tourism under then-Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu.
The Reason Foundation named Davis one of its 2009 “Innovators In Action” for her role in helping create and guide Jindal’s Commission on Streamlining Government. The free market think tank also consulted with Davis on privatizing the Office of Risk Management, one of Jindal’s first privatization efforts.
Davis was a member of the commission that created a grab box of ideas (some subsequently proven to be bad) that were implemented during the Jindal years.
Potential candidate Davis should be questioned about the commission’s greatest gaff: the taking of severance tax audit authority away from the Department of Revenue and handing it to the Department of Natural Resources. Coupled with the ordered shutdown of DOR’s non-payer tax software (which happened a month after Davis left government), the transfer effectively terminated state severance tax audits for three years (2010 through 2013), according to the Louisiana legislative auditor. The state lost millions if not billions in severance tax revenue during that time.
Ironically, a task force headed by Kennedy had recommended concentrating severance tax audit authority at DOR.
Confronted with a choice, the Streamlining Commission deferred to the administration and Davis on the decision in November 2009. A week later, then-DNR Secretary Scott Angelle began negotiating the transfer of power from DOR to his agency with DOR Secretary Cynthia Bridges a week later.