Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bobby Jindal's Flim Flam Medicine Show

1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.
2. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

One that tells lies.

In last year's inaugural address, Gov. Bobby Jindal vowed to rally Louisianians to build a state "where our leaders and our people set the highest standards and hold every member of our government accountable."
At the urging of the governor's staff, House and Senate committees last week killed mirror-image bills by Rep. Wayne Waddell and Sen. Robert Adley that would have eliminated the broad exception for the governor's office in the state's open records law.
The identical measures, House Bill 169 and Senate Bill 278, still would have shielded documents related to ongoing economic development negotiations that are held by the governor, his chief of staff and his legal counsel. That addressed worries about the state's ability to negotiate with private companies. The bills would not have affected exceptions in other laws, such as protections for records involving the governor's safety and security.
Unfortunately, Gov. Jindal and his staff are not only blocking reform -- they are backing a rival measure that would further restrict access to records held by the governor's office and other agencies.
Senate Bill 278 by Sen. Jody Amedee extends those exceptions to records held outside the governor's office, meaning other agencies could shield documents by arguing they were "used, held, or prepared on behalf of the governor," according to the Public Affairs Research Council.
Robert Adley served sixteen years in the House and one term in the senate as a Democrat. Just after last fall’s election he switched to the Republican Party because he shared the philosophy of the new governor. At the time, Adley said "I have worked with a number of reform governors and spent years trying to get reform in Louisiana. We've gotten close; we've never gotten there. I really believe this administration has that chance and I want to participate in that."
Adley is singing a different tune now. The Advocate reports that after the defeat of his bill he said "It's so blatantly bad," said state Sen. Robert Adley, a Benton Republican who offered legislation that would remove a governor's exclusion from state public-records laws. His bill was opposed by Jindal - and defeated. "He's making horrible arguments and the Legislature, because of all the lobbying he's doing, is swallowing the whole thing," Adley said. "Transparency is gone. Checks and balances are gone. I'm beginning to believe I'm sitting in a communist state.”
It’s good to see Adley on the right side of this issue. It hasn’t always been so. Last year, he opposed a bill that sought disclosure from those municipal officials that he depends on for his livelihood. He also was unable to find his conservative values when he voted for the exorbitant pay raise last year which Jindal ultimately vetoed, after promising the legislature that he would not.
Read editorial comments in The Times-Picayune and The Times.

Several references at LaNewsLink.

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