Gov. Edwards’ Commissioner of Administration, Jay Dardenne
Sound Off Louisiana’s most recent feature focused on Senate blowback at the Senate Finance Committee meeting on Friday, May 11, 2018, during which Jay Dardenne, Gov. Edwards’ Commissioner of Adminstration and on whose behalf Dardenne was testifying, stated that the Committee had “failed.” Normally quiet Louisiana Senate President John Alario chose not to hold back, and he faulted the Edwards administration for sending out letters to nursing home residents indicating that their benefits may end and thereby force them to be evicted.
Given Alario’s blowback, Sound Off Louisiana’s founder, Robert Burns, in posing a question at the meeting of the Baton Rouge Press Club of Monday, May 14, 2018, provided Dardenne with an opportunity to “walk back” the sending of those letters. Here’s Dardenne’s response:
Dardenne responds to Burns’ question of “if you could roll back the clock, would you still send those Medicaid nursing home letters?”
Given that Edwards has taken criticism from AARP for attempting to force seniors into nursing homes rather than relying upon less expensive home health care, and now has been blasted by AARP again for his latest tactic (threats of eviction of nursing home residents) to insist on his desired level of revenue-raising measures, he may want to think twice about doubling-down on the “we’d send the letters out again” statement depicted above.
Sound Off Louisiana’s Robert Burns later asked Dardenne about the Edwards administration’s widely-known lobbying efforts to block Rep. Jay Morris’ (R-Monroe) HB-760, which would have provided legislators with the same level of budget transparency as the Governor has. Dardenne’s response to that question was unbelievably baffling. Let’s take a look:
Dardenne responds to question of Edwards’ active lobbying against HB-760.
Giving Dardenne the benefit of the doubt that his response was truthful, it is utterly mind-boggling the lack of communication between Edwards and his top Lieutenant! That’s about all we feel is necessary to say entailing the above stunning response!
There was a near dearth of questions from the mainstream media at the press conference. That was so much the case that Robert Scott, President of the Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council, prior to asking his first question, stated, “I can’t believe the media aren’t asking questions.” Of course, we consider Sound Off Louisiana to most definitely be a part of the “working media;” however, his point was not lost that the “big guys” were noticeably quiet for the abbreviated 38-minute meeting (it ended because there were no more questions to be posed)!
The one exception to the mainstream media refraining from posing questions was the Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB)’s never bashful Beth Courtney, whom long-time subscribers may recall was the subject of a feature we published on her entailing her and the State of Louisiana being sued for her having allegedly strong-armed a disabled underling into retiring “to avoid possible layoffs.” For those curious, that case was settled weeks before it was scheduled to go to trial.
Ms. Courtney lodged a softball question designed to permit Dardenne with the opportunity to slam Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, entailing his estimates of any budget shortfall. Dardenne sure swung at the pitch. Our readers can be the judges on how well he may have connected. Here’s her question and his response:
Dardenne responds to Courtney’s question entailing Cameron Henry’s estimate of the budget shortfall.
We would note that Rep. Henry has not been the lone duck quacking about a projected shortfall some $200+ million less than Gov. Edwards estmates. Here’s a chart provided by Rep. Lance Harris during his BRPC presentation two weeks ago.
As most everyone knows, Gov. Edwards has now called his 6th Special Session. It should be a very, very interesting one!!
CLICK HERE for Commissioner Dardenne’s presentation in its entirety.
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