The theme of the day, which one might guess given the venue, was transportation and infrastructure funding. So the audience heard a lot about the process for approving capital outlays, whether or not money in the transportation trust fund is being spent properly, and whether or not local governments should be allowed to pay for more of their own projects.
Scott Angelle said the local governments "should be unshackled to raise infrastructure money" which might make sense although it does sound scary. He also said the capital outlay process was "confusing by design" and so now we have our first working title for anyone writing a book about this year's election.
Another good title might be "almost a ponzi scheme" if it didn't sound so trite. Anyway, it's how Jay Dardene described Bobby Jindal's budget process.
Three of the four candidates directly criticized Jindal during the candidates forum. Only Angelle, who worked in the Jindal administration, steered clear of directly attacking the governor.Ponzi scheme might not be the exact grift we're talking about here, though. Which is the one where you just make up money you may or may not have on the fly?
The candidates took Jindal to task for his budgeting tactics -- which were described as "almost a ponzi scheme" at one point -- to letting his national aspirations interfere with the way he was governing the state. No one hammered Jindal harder, however, than Vitter.
"This is going to be my last job -- elected or appointed -- period," said the Senator during the forum.
Vitter often makes this statement to emphasize that he won't be putting any sort of national campaign above the needs of Louisiana, as Jindal has been accused of doing.