Jindal visits north La., touts ethics plans

Published 8:51 am Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gov.-elect Bobby Jindal on Tuesday began the north Louisiana swing of his ‘‘Thank You Tour’’ two days after winning Saturday’s election.

In Alexandria, he posed for pictures with supporters at Bellino’s Restaurant and made a brief speech calling for unity among Louisiana residents.

He also discussed his plans for ethics reform as he answered questions after the appearance. Following his victory Saturday, Jindal said he would call the Legislature into special session to pass ethics reforms.

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He said Tuesday that he believes legislators indicted for a crime should be forced to step down from committee positions.

‘‘I think to restore the people’s trust in the government we should make it crystal clear that people under indictment, we want out elected leaders to be free of even the perception of corruption,’’ Jindal said.

‘‘I don’t think it’s too high of a standard to say that people who are under indictment shouldn’t be on standing committees, shouldn’t be overseeing the government,’’ he said

In Monroe, Jindal further pushed his ethics platform, promising to polish the state’s image.

‘‘That’s the key to our future — winning trust and changing our reputation,’’ Jindal told hundreds of supporters at the Atrium Hotel.

‘‘And I’m not going to take no for an answer. If people try to stop us, I’m going to call all of them out.’’

Jindal said that he won’t tolerate any vestiges of corruption from legislators or bureaucrats.

‘‘The party’s over,’’ he said. ‘‘They can go loudly or quietly, but they must go.’’

Jindal, who made countless campaign trips to northeastern Louisiana, said he would continue to return to the area as governor.

‘‘I’m going to keep traveling the state,’’ he said. ‘‘Someone told me that they’d never seen a governor in north Louisiana after an election.

‘‘But I think it’s dangerous to sit in Baton Rouge. Things get distorted down there.’’