Several legislators said privately that Edwards needs to make an example of at least one prominent opponent.Candidates for wracking in Bridges' article include both House Speaker Taylor Barras and, of course, our friend Neil.
One veteran legislator remembered how Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Speaker Joe Salter punished state Rep. Troy Hebert in 2004 by sacking him as a committee chairman after he voted against a key tax measure sought by Blanco.
“It’s like what you have to do sometimes with a mule that won’t go into the barn,” the legislator said. “You have to whack him in the head to get his attention.”
The governor also could whack an $11 million request in state construction money from another high-profile nemesis, state Rep. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans, who chairs the House tax committee that killed several of the governor’s revenue-raising measures. The $11 million would go for an Audubon Zoo exhibit to be held in 2020.Although in both cases, this may be precisely what each of them wants. Particularly so for Abramson who has made it a point this year to demonstrate his independence from the governor and will certainly argue that his constituents are being unfairly punished.
But then none of this may happen. During his late night press conference the governor snapped at reporters (including Bridges) as they asked questions about the political fallout from the session. "How is that helpful?" Edwards snarled at one such question.
So it remains to be seen whether Edwards has the temperament for exacting punishment when legislators behave badly. session ended Stephanie Grace compared the governor's face to that of an ineffectual "disappointed dad." If he plans to continue giving the reactionary children in the house free rein, we'll probably see more of that in the future,