Should office of Lt. Gov. stay or go?

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Once upon a time if someone had suggested abolishing the office of Lt. Governor in Louisiana they would have been laughed out of the state.

“You cain’t do that,” would have been the cry.  Why not? “Because you cain’t, that’s why.”

To be truthful, a lot of us have grown used to having our Louie’s around. During times when we have a particularly bad governor in office, it is good to know that there is a lieutenant governor in the wings, ready to take over at the opportune moment.

But times have changed and Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is a pretty good governor, says we don’t need the office of Lt. Governor because it costs too much. About a million dollars a year, Jindal says.

If the governor is right, maybe we ought to clear out the Lt. Governor’s office and use it for something else. A million taxpayer bucks per year is good money if it doesn’t end up wasted and in the wrong pockets after the office in question is abolished.

In a Weekly Citizen poll last week, which is not scientific, readers by a 62 percent to 38 percent margin said they  believe the office should be abolished. Other informal polls around the state also show strong favor for getting rid of the office.

According to the governor, all the current duties of the Lt. Governor can be reassigned to other departments.

What the governor thinks hasn’t deterred Sec. of State Jay Dardenne from announcing he will run for the interim position when current Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu takes office as Mayor of New Orleans in May.

One would think that Dardenne thinks the Lt. Governor’s office will be around for a while, long enough to move him up the political ladder from where he currently sits.

Under Jindal’s proposal, the Sec. of State, which Dardenne now is, would succeed to the governor’s seat when the Lt. Governor’s office is abolished.

Maybe Dardenne thinks he has a better chance of being governor if he is Lt. Governor than Sec. of State, should something happen to Jindal.

Landrieu has come out against abolishing the office he now holds. And other politicos are beginning to come out  against getting rid of the office.

“You cain’t do that,” is now becoming the cry of politicos.

However, it may be too late for our elected officials to save one of their cushy seats. It appears the cat is out of the bag and the neccesity of the office is no longer a reason to have a Lt. Governor.

In the coming weeks, we predict a strong public alignment with Jindal to abolish the office.

There are good reasons to keep the office and and compelling reasons to get rid of it.

But, if the taxpayers want to downsize government and save money, there’s really only one way to go.