Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The News From Avondale

Yesterday, Louisiana Governor Jindal and Huntington Ingalls CEO Mike Peters, along with a gaggle of fawning officials and reporters, held a news conference to tell us ... well, they held a news conference to tell us that they wanted to hold a news conference.  Sorry, folks there was nothing new.  That's the truth.

It is also true that all of the folks present had a self-serving reason to stage the show.  Call me cynical, but I'm convinced that's what most news conferences are about nowadays.  Jindal is running for Governor, and, even with only token opposition, he naturally wants every bit of positive splash and dash coverage he can get for free.  Huntington Ingalls is in the process of shuttering what once was the largest private employer in the state, Avondale Shipyard.  And, of course, the press reporters work for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, which has endorsed Jindal for re-election.

What was said by Jindal and Peters at the show conference was as follows:

--Last summer, more than a year ago, when the announcement came to close Avondale, Jindal and other State officials promised 200 million dollars in corporate welfare if the company would keep it open.

--Huntington Ingalls CEO Mike Peters said that the plan to close the yard is still in place.  At this time there are 3,800 shipbuilders still working there, down from 5,000 when the shutdown was announced.

That is all, end of story ... for now.  At least nothing got any worse.  And maybe that is good news, after all.  So, call me inconsistent as well as cynical.  More as time permits, or if anything really happens.

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