Dardenne came in fourth in the gubernatorial primary Oct. 24 then notably crossed party lines to endorse Edwards over Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter in the Nov. 21 runoff race. The move recalled Democrat Bubba Henry’s appointment as commissioner of administration in 1980 after he crossed party lines to endorse Republican David Treen in the governor’s race.Well, congratulations, Jay. Here's that nothing you asked for.
Edwards and Dardenne both say they never discussed a potential appointment until after Edwards was elected.
“I asked for nothing and he offered nothing (at the time of the endorsement). We didn’t have that discussion at all,” Dardenne said.
One reason it seemed like a long shot to me was, in addition to the potential political cost to Dardenne of having been first deputy to "John Bel Obama" the next time he wants to run for something, this is also going to be a major pain-in-the-ass job. The COA is the Governor's point man on the budget. And that's.. not a very pleasant place to be right now.
Edwards faces tricky challenges. He’s raised expectations that he will push new spending initiatives and restore funding for big-budget items slashed by outgoing Gov. Bobby Jindal, such as higher education. But at the same time, he has to pay off a $117 million deficit from last year –– in effect, a stack of unpaid bills left under the mattress –– and a $22 million shortfall in the TOPS scholarship program. He also has to deal with $500 million of red ink engulfing Medicaid.And, yeah, speaking of those revenue forecasts, they're probably going to get even worse and stay that way for some time.
To make matters worse, oil and gas revenue, as well as sales and corporate taxes, are weaker than originally predicted. The Revenue Estimating Conference last month reduced expected state revenue forecasts by $370 million for this fiscal year and $322 million for the next one.
Crude oil's slide continued on Monday morning, as oil futures broke below $39 per barrel. And with oil producers unwilling to publicly make moves to reduce the supply of oil, traders don't appear to see crude rising back above $50 per barrel any time soon.Good luck, Jay. You're gonna need it.