The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La., on Boondoggles leave big bill:

Sept. 10

The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La., on Boondoggles leave big bill:

The sorry financial mess left by former Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Bob Odom is a cautionary tale of government overreach into the marketplace and poor oversight by those charged with the public trust.

A recent Advocate story documents Odom’s misadventures and their continuing impact on the state budget.

Among the boondoggles of Odom’s administration, which ended in 2008. ...

Odom built the Lacassine plant with help from department employees who, in many cases, had no construction experience — an expedient that threatened their safety and compromised standards. State Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish, R- Jennings, said the plant never functioned properly because it wasn’t built by a licensed contractor.

Odom’s business plan for these projects couldn’t have passed muster as a strictly commercial venture, but he used lots of public resources to prop up grandiose schemes that eventually died under the sheer weight of their impracticality. This kind of state-directed manufacturing recalls the planned economies behind the old Iron Curtain, where enterprises grew from political expedience, not financial reality.

The lesson here: When a politician promises jobs and prosperity courtesy of the public till, be skeptical. Be very skeptical.


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Phone: 337-828-3706
Fax: 337-828-2874

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Phone: 985-384-8370
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