Posted: Oct 18, 2010 1:00 PM by AP
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Complaining that Gov. Bobby Jindal spends more time out of state than in Louisiana, LSU's student body president sent a personal plea to Jindal in a New Hampshire newspaper, asking the governor to come home and work on the state's budget problems.
"Gov. Bobby Jindal is spending more time in your state than the one he was elected to represent. I read almost daily about his trips to other states, which makes me believe that he is more interested in running for president than running the state of Louisiana," J Hudson wrote this weekend in his letter to The Keene Sentinel, in New Hampshire.
Jindal was in New Hampshire last week to attend a campaign event and fundraiser for Republican John Stephen's campaign for governor.
The Louisiana governor's been a frequent traveler during the fall campaign season, stumping for GOP candidates and attending Republican fundraisers in Florida, Missouri, California, Minnesota and Georgia. He's also met with GOP governors in Ohio and New York.
On Monday, he was scheduled to be in Wisconsin to campaign and fundraise for Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson.
Jindal's office didn't immediately return a request for comment about Hudson's letter.
Hudson wrote that Jindal should be paying attention to the massive budget cuts facing colleges.
"On behalf of the students whose hopes for a brighter future will soon be crushed, I beg you to return to Louisiana and fix your state's serious problems. You've neglected your constituents long enough," Hudson wrote to Jindal.
Higher education has been hit with $280 million in state budget cuts over the last two years, faces another round of multimillion-dollar midyear cuts this year and is bracing for cuts of $290 million or more from the state in the upcoming budget year that starts July 1.
Class sizes have grown, programs have been cut, faculty have been laid off and student services have decreased. Higher education officials have warned next year's looming budget cuts could devastate campuses and student educational programs.
Jindal has denied he is running for president in 2012 and insists he is only running for re-election next year. But he's traveled the country since he took office in 2008 to fundraise for himself and other Republicans, and he's tapped into an extensive network of GOP fundraising and consulting firms that could help launch future political campaigns on a national stage.
Hudson offered Jindal some political advice: "You'll have a much better chance of becoming president if you save, instead of destroy, Louisiana's universities."