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Please begin with an informative title:

SphericalXS' rec-lister about our dear governor's pique at MoveOn daring to place a factual sentence on a billboard in a public place highlights a terrible irony about legislators and executives who call themselves "conservative": they cost their citizens a lot of money.

Mr. Jindal threatens to sue the organization because he claims its sign will discourage tourists from visiting our state, once they find out he is needlessly denying poor people health coverage. But the governor is, of course, too busy with his quixotic quest for another office he will never occupy to prepare, file and prosecute the suit himself.

That task will fall to our attorney general, Buddy Caldwell.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

It's doubtful Mr. Caldwell's office will have sufficient spare time to follow up on Mr. Jindal's tantrum, however, and will likely have to job out the suit to outside counsel.

At taxpayer expense.

This was the case with the governor's insistence on defending our state's ban on same-sex marriage, already ruled moot by the Supreme Court's DOMA decision. Mr. Caldwell's office, rather than using in-house staff to prepare the state's defense of the law, has hired Kyle Duncan, most recently of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, to steer the defense.

Caldwell's office said Duncan will retain the title of "Special Attorney General." But details of the contract with Duncan, including payment, were not immediately available.

Emphasis added by diarist

This is nothing new to our state. Through the years, our legislators have passed numerous laws restricting or outright outlawing abortion, which have been subsequently struck down by federal judges, after expensive defenses by our attorney general or his outside hires.

This practice is widespread in "conservative" states. Last year, the Washington Post reported on just a few instances of expensive defense of abortion restrictions.

Just last week, Idaho was ordered to cover the $376,000 in legal fees a woman there spent on suing the state after she was charged for an illegal abortion, according to the Associated Press. Combined with its past defense of abortion limits, the state has shelled out more than $1 million since 2000.

And it’s far from alone. South Dakota’s attorney general predicted in 2011 that a law passed that year would cost anywhere from $1.75 million to $4 million to defend. And last summer, the Argus Leader reported that the state had, to that point, spent $378,000 in defense of a separate 2005 abortion law.

Kansas has spent $769,000 defending abortion limits from January 2011 to June of this year, according to the Associated Press. The state’s attorney general predicted an additional $500,000 cost over the next two years.

And in North Dakota, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (R) was given a $400,000 fund to draw from to defend that state’s abortion restrictions.

For people who rail so much and loudly about "government waste and abuse," the "conservatives" seem quite comfortable spending their citizens' taxes on legal defense of laws and measures they know, in advance, will be shot down in court.

It makes one wonder just what it is they believe they are "conserving."

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