Henry Burns cast a disappointing vote yesterday in support of blocking transparency in the governor’s office. Overall, I have been happy with Burns' representation of our district. It appears, however, that he is slipping into the same old politics that just seem impossible to change in Louisiana.
Louisiana currently ranks as the worst state in the union for transparency in the governor's office. Rep. Wayne Waddell of Shreveport introduced a bill that would have given true transparency. The Governor's people promptly killed that one and introduced an alternate bill, that actually will make the situation worse. For one thing, it will give exemptions to state agencies that heretofore did not have them.
From Charlie Buras at The Old River Road:
House Speaker Jim Tucker, R-Terrytown, said the proposed law would continue exceptions from the public records law that are in existence today that have not served the public well.
Tucker proposed making all Governor’s Office records public then giving the governor the same limited “privilege” legislators enjoy for secrecy.
Basically, Tucker's amendment would have kept those records related to the "deliberative process" off-limits, but removed the blanket exemption on intra-office communications and the governor's security and schedule (only records related to details of security that could compromise safety would remain off-limits). But making the governor's office as transparent as other elected officials was apparently too much for Jindal as he had the amendment killed 47-50.
Get a complete listing of those representatives who lacked the political courage to disobey Jindal's orders and stand up for real reform.
MORE: How soon before Jindal works into his stump speech something to the effective of: "this year I pushed legislation that lifted the blanket public records exemption for the governor's office, opening up gubernatorial records for public scrutiny for the first time in 69 years; this is the type of real reform that we need to move Louisiana forward, and the type of reform that makes government more transparent and accountable to the citizens of this great state"??
I’m betting not too long.