Just hours after the Governor asked legislators of both parties to work together to solve the state’s budget crisis, the Lt. Governor and a state representative were trading barbs on Twitter.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser appeared at the governor’s speech opening the special session, which was held at UL, to add his encouragement to elected officials that they work together, regardless of party.
Most of Nungesser’s three and a half minutes of remarks discussed tourism and its impact on the economy, but he did say it should never rank above education, health care and infrastructure in funding decisions.
"I too am encouraged about the future of Louisiana and hopeful that we can come together to put Louisiana first, and work together for the greater good of Louisiana. The people of Louisiana deserve that," Nungesser said. "I’m here today to pray that we can come together and fix the budget, not as Democrats and Republicans, but as Louisianians."
Nungesser didn’t talk about the governor’s proposal at all, but you can see exactly what Nungesser said for yourself here. His remarks begin at about 11:55.
A few minutes later, State Rep. Blake Miguez, R-Erath, tweeted about Nungesser’s remarks.
Did @BillyNungesser just endorsed the Governor tax and spend policies on the hardworking tax payers of Louisiana? What a disappointment to the Republican Party of Louisiana! @lagop #lalege https://t.co/QbDpouOnPZ
— Blake Miguez (@BlakeMiguezLA) May 22, 2018
Nungesser responded, calling Miguez a liar.
No, Billy Nungesser wants the state to come together and fix the problem. Blake is twisting words and doesn’t have anything to offer for himself. Blake Miguez is a liar and the people of Louisiana know better. https://t.co/1bt7K40SMw
— Lt. Governor of Louisiana (@LouisianaLtGov) May 22, 2018
When contacted about the situation, Miguez said that Nungesser’s appearance at the event constituted support of the governor’s proposals.
"He’s part of the problem that we have in state government right now. He lacks the courage to fight for the people. I was just the messenger, and he decided to lash back in an unprofessional and irresponsible way," Miguez said. "He didn’t like what I say, so he resorted to name calling. I’m very disappointed in him, and the Republican delegation is disappointed that he stood with the governor’s plan."
Miguez said Nungesser’s appearance at the event was support of "a tax and spend agenda."