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Story Archives: Self interests versus people's interests
|Self interests versus people's interests|
House Speaker Jim Tucker of Terrytown reminded us of some advice a seasoned observer of politics once passed along: Don't talk publicly about what's said in a private conversation.
That thought came to mind in light of a published report that said Tucker threatened an official with Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration over the administration's objection to a proposed pay raise for state lawmakers.
According to The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, Tucker said he told Jindal Chief of Staff Timmy Teepell that the "wheels would come off the train" if Jindal vetoed a bill that delivered a pay raise for state lawmakers. In other words, Tucker told Teepell the administration could expect no support in the Legislature for any legislative proposal the administration advocated in the future if Jindal carried out his constitutional right to veto a bill approved by the Legislature.
Teepell considered his conversation with Tucker to be a private affair. Apparently, Tucker felt he needed to share the conversation with The Times-Picayune.
Therein lies the problem with Tucker.
He was wrong to betray the trust of a man who would be considered his political ally, and he was wrong to blabber to the media about a conversation in which at least one participant in the conversation felt it was private, or off the record.
What does that tell us about Tucker?
Obviously, the Speaker of the House of Representatives was willing to dismiss the state's best interests in lieu of his own best interests, meaning he was willing to attempt to derail any and all reform-minded measures the Jindal administration advocated in lieu of a pay raise for himself and his colleagues in the Legislature.
At the very least, Tucker needs to learn some manners.
He also would do well to listen to some of the older hands in the Legislature who know a private conversation is a private conversation and that's where it remains. In private.