Pooyie! 06.24.2009

Just when you think Gov. Bobby Jindal is on the ropes, he floats like a butterfly. Jindal further solidified deity status in north Louisiana (on the heels of the chicken plant deal) when he announced last week that V-Vehicle Company has chosen Monroe as the site for its assembly plant. The San Diego-based start-up will manufacture environmentally friendly compact cars in the former Ouachita Parish facility of Guide Corp. VVC is being bankrolled in part by tycoon-turned-green giant T. Boone Pickens and an investment group that saw enough in pre-IPO Google to pump some cash in the search engine. The state is ponying up about $67 million in incentives. The deal, according to the state Department of Economic Development, will employ more than 1,400 rednecks.

Just when you think Jindal is off the dope, he stings like a bee. The state arts community is again reeling from an upper cut in the form of a threatened veto that would clamp the financial tap for Decentralized Arts Funding, effectively shutting off 85 percent of the state funding to DAF, which helps underwrite such trivial pursuits as festivals and fairs, symphony orchestras, programming for children in public libraries and rec centers and the like. Early in the session lawmakers used amendments to restore the cuts in Jindal’s executive budget. The veto would put arts/culture funding back in line with Jindal’s budget, and back in line with a wrinkled old conservative talking point: Art is for sissies!

The boxing metaphor is down for the count, and so apparently is the couillon committee that vowed and then un-vowed to raise $60 million to convince Jindal to seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. The Jindal for President Draft Council was incorporated last month, headed by former Legislative Auditor Dan Kyle, and included an uncle of Jindal’s on the committee. In announcing its push to draft the first-term gov for a White House bid, the group admitted 60 mill is chump change in presidential politics; it was just a little seed money. Now the group says it doesn’t want to distract Jindal from doing his job as governor. Hey Couillon committee, don’t you know our governor has no plans to run for president? He’s too busy making out-of-state fundraising junkets and giving speeches in primary states and ... o, wait.