Wednesday, November 01, 2006


"Hey, I'm the governor of Louisiana. I can go where I want to go"

The Governor on a previous trade mission to communist Cuba


Say what you want about the motivation for Kathleen Blanco's excursion to Japan, China and Taiwan. It's a little bit of politics, a little bit of leisure and a little bit of -- "Hey, I'm the governor of Louisiana. I can go where I want to go."

It's all of that, for sure. We like our governors to mix business, pleasure and attitude. But it's also about something more important.

While Gov. Blanco is sitting down for tea in Tokyo, Shirakawa, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei, the topic will be business, business and business.

This is a good thing for those of us back home. We need the good governor to be doing all of that, for sure. We were reminded of that -- yet again -- in August when Forbes magazine published its annual "Best States for Business." Virginia placed first (and we'll talk more about that later). At the low end? Mississippi placed 48th, West Virginia, 49th, and Louisiana "ยป 50th.

When Forbes looks at the business of doing business, it's the mundane stuff that counts. Does a state's tax structure encourage investment and expansion? Does the state do its part to ensure superior public education and effective workforce development? Do established businesses have intelligent, resourceful partners in the capitol?

If we come up with the wrong answers to questions like those, that means we need to spend more time, energy and money working on and with businesses here at home.

We wish Gov. Blanco all the success on the road, and we remind her to take care of the home front.

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