St. Charles Herald-Guide

The anatomy of a deal

By C.B. Forgotston - May 31, 2012

Rep. Joel Robideaux is a political opportunist who until he decided to run for Speaker of the House was not a member of any political party. He knew that Bobby Jindal would not support anyone for Speaker unless they were a Republican. So, strictly for political expediency, Robideaux became a Republican.

This lege session, Robideaux briefly flirted with being a fiscal conservative then went back to political expediency as his raison d’etre.

One might assume that Robideaux changed his philosophy or because a majority of the constituents asked him to change. That wasn’t the case.

When asked about his switcheroo Robideaux said [it was] a favor to House Speaker Chuck Kleckley…. He said Kleckley asked him to vote in favor of the one-time money vehicle to allow budget discussions to continue…. I was definitely never threatened…. Baton Rouge Advocate, May 27, 2012.

Robideaux did not change his vote because his philosophy changed or because his constituents asked. He did it because another politician asked. That is known as political "back-scratching"

Robideaux said he was not threatened. What he means is that when he backed out of running against Kleckley for Speaker, they made a deal.

Part of the deal was that Kleckley would appoint Robideaux as chairman of the House Ways and Means committee. The other part of the deal was that when Kleckley needed Robideaux on a tough vote, Robideaux would vote with Kleckley regardless of the whether the vote was in the best interest of Robideaux’s constituents.

There you have it folks, the anatomy of a deal. It’s the "Louisiana Way."