Jindal a no-show at debate

Louisiana Politics
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 10:54pm

On the LSU campus, those hoping to be the next governor of Louisiana sat side-by-side, to address their potential voters.

"Tonight is the major debate of the campaign," said Jim Enger, moderator of the debate.

Of the ten candidates, seven showed up for Wednesday night's debate. The biggest name absent was current Governor Bobby Jindal, who was expected not to show, but a special chair was brought out in case he changed his mind. His absence upset members of the Louisiana Educators Association, who sponsored the debate.

"We believe the governor is not showing leadership," said L.A.E. Executive Director Michael Walker Jones. "He's been in office for more than three years, and yet when he has some results, it's the fault of the teacher, the parents, but he's not taking responsibility for the 44 percent of the schools that are failing."

A coalition of education advocates has worked on the debate for weeks. The plan was to focus it around education..

"We believe we have the right ideas about public education," said L.A.E. President Joyce Haynes. "And we have to air them and let the voters know who to vote for the educational governor."

Ironically the debate was held just days after the state found out Louisiana has the highest drop-out rate in the nation and almost half of the state's schools are considered failing. L.A.E. didn't hide their disdain for the Jindal administration.

"So many things have gone wrong with the administration," Haynes said, "we believe that change is necessary for the state."

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