February 20th, 2009
10:59 PM ET

On the Radar: Politics over people?

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer

Gov. Bobby Jindal of Lousiana on Friday became the first governor to officially refuse part of the federal stimulus money, saying he would reject a portion of expanded unemployment benefits that would eventually require his state to raise taxes on businesses.

At least five other Republican governors are saying they also may spurn portions of the federal payout.

That's raising objections from lawmakers, mayors and other critics who say the governors are putting political ideology before the interest of their constituents who need help.

Jindal is widely considered a strong contender in the Republican Party's 2012 presidential sweepstakes. A rising political star, he's been tapped to give the GOP response to President Obama's address to Congress Tuesday.

Do you think this is all political posturing? Or is Jindal actually looking out for his constituents' long-term interests?

Candy Crowley digs deeper on Monday.

Have a great weekend and see you Monday at 10 p.m. eastern

Filed under: 360° Radar • Cate Vojdik
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Michael C. McHugh

    Even though the Republicans have all but unanimously opposed the stimulus and everything else Obama is trying to do, I haven't yet heard of any of them rejecting the federal money totally. One one of them finally declares they won't take a penny of it, then I'll believe they're really serious about their free market ideology. So far, though, all I've heard is that the Republicans don't want to do much to help the unemployed, which I attribute to the usual Republican contempt for the lower orders–unless they need their votes on election day, of course.

    February 23, 2009 at 8:05 am |
  2. Emma

    AndersonCooper360 should look at the increase in percentage and in numbers of people and families(especially children) who are now relying on food stamps (or community) help in Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alaska, and all other states of which the Republican Gov. is refusing any part of the stimulus funds. Indicate how many are in that situation due to lay-offs also

    February 23, 2009 at 6:29 am |
  3. Larry

    While Govenor Jindal continues to cry foul that republicans were not engaged oppropriately in the initial stimulus discussions, he is acting like a spoiled brat by refusing stimulus money for his crippled state all in the name of partisanship. What an idiot! There are other ways to demonstrate his disagreement with the way in which money will be spent in the stimulus package without pouring salt into the wounds of the poor people in his state who have been devistated by hurricanes and now further economic disaster. He could start by using the moeny to rebuild his state's local economy. Be part of the solution not the problem! He is yet another republican "presidential candidate" with tunnel vision. They just don't get it!

    Incidentally, is it pure consequence that Govenor Jindal and Sarah Palin were on Meet The Press and Fox respectively today apparently trying to bolster their public perceptions? Jindal is trying to convince the nation that fundamental conservatism will win the nation over and Palin is trying to convince the nation that family really is an important priority for her. It is interesting how this nation is facing an economy that has been devistated by 8 years of financial irresponsibility on the republican watch and yet they appear to be campaigning already for the 2012 election instead of working to clean up the mess they made at the expense of this nation's working class. Republican rhetoric is produced by incompentent conservative puppets whose messages are the same, who are out of touch with the common "man's" reality, and whose sole interest is to build elitist wealth in this country.

    February 23, 2009 at 3:31 am |
  4. Lynn Norton

    I have an idea how to distribute the next TARP payment. I think if the government takes those funds, divide it by the Americans who are 18 year old or order, that have paid taxes and distribute what is left to those people. Obama said in the past that he wants relief from the bottom up, not the top down. I strongly feel the people will spend this money to help pay mortgages, debts and they will funnel the money into our economy This will help relieve the welfare system and unemployment insurance as the people go back to work.

    February 22, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  5. Bill Skeat -- Athens, WV

    If I was an unemployed worker in a state where the Rep. Gov turned down stimulus money to extend my unemploymwent benefits, I would certainly not vote for him again but then I am not a Republican, who, when at election time salivates over all the likes of Sara Palin, Rush etc.

    But perphaps the state legislature, in those states with Republican anti-stimulus Gov's will take the money, over their Gov's objection, for the unemployment payment extension.

    Regardless of what happens, I would remember their decision at election time and vote accordingly.

    February 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  6. Als

    I hope the levies don't break again under his watch Rep-Gov. Jindal.!!!!

    February 22, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  7. Melissa

    Jindal just totally screwed my husband and I. We live in New Orleans and he's been out of work for over three months. We have about 3 months left. And I don't think he's going to be able to find a job. We're totally screwed.

    I thought Jindal was doing a good job. He's succeeded in changing my mind.

    I don't know what we're going to do.

    February 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  8. Lanora Berry

    I do not understand how some of the leaders of governments can continue to protest the stimulus plan of President Obama. Apparently, they do not understand that there are faces behind the suffering economy. i especially hope they stop to look at the faces of the children who are suffering now because their parents do not have jobs which equates into no money for healthcare benefits or because their parents are losing their homes. Let's come to a place where we understand that when we recklessly allow our economy to spiral down as it has down for the past eight years, drastic means will be necessary to cause it to spiral upward. We will need to help each other in order to cause this economy to thrive again. Please, let's all be committed to helping the American economy live again. Let's bring dignity back to America.

    February 22, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  9. LaKeisha from Ohio

    Do they honestly think we are all stupid and we can't read in between the lines..........How about this Governors, we use the money and plug the holes, let it settle for two years then let's work on the deficit for the last two years of the President's first term. How about that ???

    Where were these Governors when the previous President turned a surplus into the largest deficit ever? Cnn do me a favor, reach back into your archives and show the talking points of these Governors back from 2000 – 2008 when Bush was taking us down the drain and compare it to their talking points today.

    I think that the people in the states where the Governors are refusing parts of the stimulus should call their Governors to demand their jobs!!!

    February 22, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  10. Art

    These are not public servants. They serve only themselfs! Remember to vote next time!!!! Thanks for reading, Art

    February 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  11. lampe

    Look if a State, doesn't need it, or doesn't want it then I say "Give it to another State, or just put it back where it came from.'

    February 22, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  12. Mac (From Raleigh, Nc)

    I was listening to the arrogance of some these republican Governors. They are willing to allow their constituents to suffer for their own political stupidity and stubbornness. All of the Governors that are foolishly rejecting the stimulus funds should take a page from California's and Michigan's Governors. They are putting aside their party allegiance and doing the work of the people for the people and not for the security of what "hood you rep". We want the gangs to put their silly differences aside and make the streets safe and secure, but we cannot get the people who shape their states and this country to put their difference aside and do what is right for the people who elected them.

    Thank you,


    February 22, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  13. jennie Wisconsin

    Does this governor know what it is like to be laid off or lose a job? Where is the reality instead of worrying about political self ? Help your people out & after jobs are created things are moving give it back. Don't hurt the everyday worker because of a false economy created by greed & selfishness. These governors who refuse money I hope their tax payers say take a big cut in pay to see what it is like, no expense account, no benefits start feeling the reality of those you choose not to help! W e must help our American citizens it should be priority!!!!!

    February 22, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  14. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    Well now this should be rahter interesting to watch. I am in favor of more Government regulation and control of the economy at present but I'm willing to open mindedly see what happens in Louisiana with out any stimulous money. This could be a test case to prove or disprove the neo-con economic theories.

    Louisiana has typically been a rather poor state that has been hit with many problems but on the flip side they do benefit from Oil revenues in the Gulf. As a neo-liberal I'll be watching this one with an open mind to see if there is anything to the neo-con Dogma in Practice. I'll also be watching to see if the Oil Companies try to make it look like not accepting stimulus money is working by pumping an inordinate amount of Oil Money into the state just to try to prove the stimulous a failure.

    February 22, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  15. Ty

    GOP with amusing game plan,he should answer to the electorate who voted him into office,just because he has a secure job till 2012 doesnt mean he should deny d others a share in the stimulus.And for the records obama is spending 2terms@ the white house.Arent gop tired after 8years of fighting.God forbid if mccain had won,do you think he would be proactive and diplomatic as obama.America should wake up,because its the level of support giving to this president that will determine whether america will continue to be relevant in the scheme of things on the world stage.

    February 21, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  16. Noel Anthony Haughey

    The United States Government needs to legalize drugs because the War on Drugs isn't working and so many good people are getting killed over it. Legalizing drugs with regulations would definitely end so much violence and the Government gained financial resources would benefit America...

    People are going to do drugs whether legal or illegal. Government has to control it or Nations will collapse...

    February 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  17. Noel Anthony Haughey

    But thats the Republican way is too supress the people and give them nothing because the Republican agenda is to cause CHAOS! The Republicans have been stealing the last 8 years and there the one's who created this deficit....There just trying to make sure the money stays in their pockets and no else so they have total control, power, leverage and manipulation over the people...This would cause civil war....

    February 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  18. William of Iowa

    Upon what foundation does Governor Jindal place the assertion that taxes will be raised on business interests? He assumes that the level of unemployed workers will remain at higher than normal levels even after our economy recovers. Louisana benefits from federal funds, private donations and capital raised by charitable organizations for the rebuilding processes due to the horrors of the recent hurricanes. This effort will eventually end, local and transient workers will find sustained industry and opportunity weakened by virtue of those business interests who chose not to return after the reconstruction. He believes that his state can support those who will swell the ranks of unemployed?

    February 21, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  19. Isabell, Indiana

    I appreciate Tammy’s comment which sheds a positive light on the governor’s decision. As I read the other comments, one thing that predominates is how quickly people unmercifully leap to negative judgments without sufficient knowledge. Before I form an opinion about Jindal’s decision, I would like to have more information on the relationship between expanding unemployment benefits and raising taxes on businesses. I hope Candy Crowley covers this in her report on Monday.

    While I am writing this, I am watching CNN and an ad just ran for AC360. Most ads for AC360 are exceptionally well done, but each time I hear you say, “The best political team on television,” I instantaneously question the validity of your statement. It is like hearing an intelligent person constantly say they are a genius, or a woman continually brag she is beautiful, or Anderson Cooper telling us he is both intelligent and attractive. When something is true you simply don’t need to keep telling us it is true. When you do, it seems that you are striving to convince us of something that you are unsure of yourself.

    Isabell, Indiana

    February 21, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  20. Katy

    Why American is still surprise about GOP's action? GOP is a community of wealthy & rich people, the kind of people that never have to worry about $, foreclosure, unemployment. They born with silver spoon in the mouth, and they raise to power because of $$ and the power pass down to them from their wealthy ancestors & parents. Therefore, they want to retain their power and control people, but let normal people get uneducated and be poor. Only uneducated and poor can be manipulated and controled.

    I don't understand why people don't vote GOP out, but keep voting for the same members from one term to another.

    I don't understand why people allow most of Congress & Senators serving for 20 – 30 years in the government. This country is not democracy as people think; but the country ruled by the idiot filty rich group of people. President serves two terms, why there is no limit term for congress & senator?

    Again, why American keep voting for incompetent congress & senators and then complain about them????

    February 21, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  21. mb

    Tammy –
    “Let’s take, for instance, Louisiana,” the South Carolina Democrat told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. “Gov. [Bobby] Jindal has been in my office a number of times. He has called me a number of times asking for billions of dollars in assistance to stand communities back up as a result of hurricane Katrina and Rita.”

    “Yet he says there is something wrong with this money for the stimulus that comes from the same pot, that he sees nothing wrong when he’s trying to stand back up after Katrina,” he said.

    Looks like he would take money and there is a slight "real estate" issue from Katrina. The problem is, typical of the Reps, they want to spend the money alright, but they just don't want to pay for it. Bush had a surplus, but look at the unpaid bill he left behind. It's all in the interest of big business, but forget about the people who are footing the bill.

    February 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  22. Pat

    Jindal is 1000 smarter economically than Obama and Team. He is responsible for an Actual Budget. Kudo's to him and any Gov. who realizes you can print fake money but the repercussions are lasting and will only end in rampant Inflation. Well after 2012, when Obama is sitting with a Pension for the rest of his life. Americans will be sitting with a Bill they cannot afford to pay..
    Go Bobby.....
    Go Away Obama..
    Obama has some serious issues with those who disagree with him. Too bad we don;t do some serious psychiatric evaluations of those who Hold Public Office.. He may not have made it thru....... Liberalism is a form of mental retardation....

    February 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  23. Maria

    I sense that Gov. Jindal is playing political game for the interest of his party and businessmen. A wise politician should acknowledge corruption is the main cause of the economic mess and many businessmen are involved in this headache. All politicians should think about the economic crisis aftermath, even the economy is not in depression, clinical depression, a devastating public health problem, is expected to raise among men and women, regardless of age. The social consequences of clinical depression are well-know, but always devastating and serious. A wise politician should visualize and consider the entire spectra wavelength, instead of favoring and focusing on single spot light.

    February 21, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  24. Aftab Anwar

    If he has a plan to have unemployment benefit extended like in other state with out accepting federal aid, I would commend his action. This can trigger a positive competition between the states for better management of the state resources.
    In case, he is refusing this aid for his political gains at the expense of unemployed/laid of workers than it is bad.
    In case his actions may delay or hinder the economic recovery in his state or in US, it should be enforced by the Fed.


    February 21, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  25. Rose from NY

    Those representatives who voted "NO" to the stimulus package, are being criticized for taking the money. Gov. Jindal voted "no" and is standing by his convictions....and he is being criticized....for NOT taking the money?

    Look at it this way....if he declines the money, it's more for the rest of you. Shouldn't you be praising him?

    February 21, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  26. mb

    That's exactly what's going on. The Republicans know if President Obama succeeds, they won't have a snowball's chance in 2012. If they participate/show any support and he fails, then they have to accept responsibility in part. If they accept any of the money, then it can come back to haunt them on the campaign trails. If they sit there, disagree with everything, do nothing, and President Obama fails, THEN they might have a chance of taking back the White House.

    In the meantime, as they go around looking for campaign contributions, drumming up support, and knowing they don't have to worry about their job on Monday, millions of people who do need the money won't get it as a result of their political ambitions. They sure better hope they get the nod because if they don't, their constituents sure aren't going to forget it.

    February 21, 2009 at 7:31 am |
  27. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Considering the amount of business Gov. Jindal is bringing into the state, it's because he's looking out for long-term interests. Also, we do not have that many unemployed compared to the rest of the nation. We do not have the real estate issues of the rest of the nation (because local banks will not give a mortgage to those who can't afford to pay). While our state is in a budget crunch (and a lot of what is being removed needed to be removed long ago from the budget), the Governor has always said he would not take money with federal strings attached and he would carefully review what taking the money would mean for the state long-term. If it wasn't best for all, it wasn't happening.

    God forbid someone tell the feds that they don't always have the right answers for a state and do what is best for those interests instead. What I find so amusing is that you are already making this a campaign issue because apparently Jindal is a real threat to the Obama god you all worked so hard at CNN to get into office.

    February 21, 2009 at 7:11 am |
  28. Charles "Rick" Krebs

    Where do our faithful leaders invest their fortunes??? Are they broke yet???
    The only reason, and I mean only reason, the powers in our federal government, Senators and House Reps., and others want to bail out Wall Street, Banks and auto industries is these wealthy politicians and their backers have a lot of money invested in these entities. Far more money then we individuals in lower or middle income..
    Just remember... They have millions to loose. They're not concerned about anything but "loss containment", their losses, not yours and mine. $10, $20, $50 or even $100 thousand is chump change to them. Ask Madoff... Sanford... Clinton… Bush… McCain and the list goes on…. Dahhh!!! Where do our wealthy politicians and their contributors invest their large chunks of money? How are they getting by???
    Wall Street and bank shares and others! Right!
    It should be easy for you media people to follow the money... Hell,
    check their loss/gain columns. Watch to see how they recover their losses. That is, if they pay taxes.
    Bailout – stimulus??? In some form or another, generally speaking... they're all crooks!
    Rick K. Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.

    February 21, 2009 at 4:05 am |
  29. Larry Walls

    weatherizing has always been there. why is it now your concerned. it must be nice to make really good money and tell us___poor people how to live

    February 21, 2009 at 2:26 am |
  30. Larry Walls

    I'm sorrry. (for what) I have been unemployed since sept. I was living happily with a wife and four kids. Why is it my fault that people want to get rich and screw thy (other person, friend, who ever.) Yes this is the land of the free, but you have to understand..... home of the free I have worked and made money for a company what about me

    February 21, 2009 at 2:23 am |
  31. Zyworski

    All for big business and zilch for the people, nothing new here.

    February 21, 2009 at 2:07 am |
  32. nadine

    What so sad is the true victims of this political game Jindal and the other 5 Governors are playing are their own contituents. Hey Bobby remember Katrina and this summers hurricanes. Did New Orleans recover from all of that and no one reported it on tv cause last I heard the people of Louisiana are still suffering and could use at least some financial help. Good luck with that GOP run, i'm sure the people who showed up at the Mccain/Palin rallies will welcome you with open arms (and racial slurs like the women who called Obama a Arab and the idiots who brought stuffed monkeys with Obama's name around it's neck).

    February 21, 2009 at 1:35 am |
  33. J.V.Hodgson

    Post script where did Bi-partisanship go? get on with making the best of it in the interests of the nation as a whole not Party Dogma!!
    it is just this kind of political hackery thats destroying The Americam dream!!

    February 21, 2009 at 1:18 am |
  34. J.V.Hodgson

    Is it political posturing? Of course!!
    I have a question on American democracy.
    Since when did the American democratic system give a governor power to override a Law passed by the House and Senate and signed into Law by the President?
    Also since when (same reason as above) can a governor alone choose which slice of the cake he will take on behalf of all constituents in his state.
    As far as I am concerned its an impeachable offense.

    February 21, 2009 at 1:15 am |
  35. hefzi molina

    i think it is important for the political leaders to appreciate the place they have been given by their constituents in this society. I think is unafir of their part to refuse reality and not confronting with leadership promoting an inspiring image. that way the results would be both beneficial for the gov.(rules followed) and for the pol.leader (attracting and gaining constituent votes) . Anderson Cooper. God bless you

    February 20, 2009 at 11:59 pm |
  36. John Coonen

    Posturing? No.
    Do you think the way the question was put is "political posturing" by asking such a leading question? Or is Cooper actually looking out for his constituents' long-term interests? Dig into your Journalism 101 class and have a little more respect for your audience.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:54 pm |
  37. David, Indiana

    There is some indication that the R. party pays a lot of lip service to caring and love but doesn't have anyythings like that in their heart. Communication is so easy to do, nothing easier than to talk to someone esp someone who has reached out to you repeatedly. I keep myself together well but these dissappoints, shouldn't be, and I am heartbroken

    February 20, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  38. Wayne D. PA

    If a Gov. turn down money to help our stste he need to get fired on the spot and join the rest of us that is jobless. God bless America.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  39. Robert

    Coop come on do you think the government didn't know this was on the horizon why do you think they changed the bankruptcy laws Bushes ad min new this was coming.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:16 pm |