In a letter published in the LSU student newspaper on Tuesday, political strategist James Carville said that refusals by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and a group of state legislators to raise taxes were akin to "two over-sexed teenagers dry humping in a backseat of car parked behind a levee wondering how far they can go while maintaining their purity or virginity."
Carville, a Louisiana native and professor at Tulane University, slammed Jindal and the group of over two dozen state legislators for cutting the state's higher education budget by $211 million while refusing to raise taxes when the state faced a $1.6 billion budget shortfall. Jindal and the legislators have all signed a pledge by Americans for Tax Reform not to raise taxes.
The former operative for President Bill Clinton said in the letter that Jindal -- who is considering a White House bid in 2016 -- and the legislators were obsessed with preserving their "tax virginity."
"The Governor and Legislature constantly refer to how can they maintain their purity, or as it is sometimes referred to, their 'tax virginity.' You have to be kidding me," he wrote. "This reminds me of two over-sexed teenagers dry humping in a backseat of car parked behind a levee wondering how far they can go while maintaining their purity or virginity.
"We are literally at the mercy of buffoons and comedians."
In a statement, Shannon Bates Dirmann, a Jindal spokesperson, said that Americans for Tax Reform was just one of many tax groups that the governor consulted with on tax policy.
"The Governor takes his pledge to the people of Louisiana not to raise taxes seriously. He has worked hard to lower the state's tax code and fight off efforts to increase taxes in Louisiana. Lowering taxes on businesses and families has helped our private sector grow, and we have no interest in going backwards by increasing the burden on our taxpayers," Dirmann said. "Raising taxes is a very bad idea. We consult with Americans for Tax Reform on different ideas just as we consult with many other groups interested in tax policy.”
Some Republican state legislators have also called out Jindal for refusing to raise taxes. State Rep. Jay Morris sent an e-mail to supporters recently saying that legislators were told by the Louisiana Department of Revenue that Jindal would veto any proposal that wasn't approved by Americans for Tax Reform, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
"I'm no psychologist or psychiatrist but in my opinion what is going on as we approach session is insane. The insanity has its roots in the Governor's pledge to the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the taxpayer advocacy group based in Washington, DC headed by its founder, Grover Norquist," Morris wrote in the e-mail.
Carville also called out Norquist, writing that he was "the human equivalent of pond scum."
This post has been updated to include a comment from Jindal's office.