Gov. Bobby Jindal’s “ethics reform”: more lead balloon than gold standard

February 19, 2009

From Gambit Weekly:

It was his first special session, dedicated solely to ethics reform, which was Jindal’s top campaign promise. Within days, the governor got most of what he wanted, and he wouldn’t let us or Jay Leno or Fox News forget about it.

Then, three months ago, Jindal began concentrating on other priorities, like not running for president. Perhaps coincidentally, that was also when the Center for Public Integrity told Jindal to stop telling journalists that Louisiana had moved to the “top of the list” of the group’s annual rankings of ethics laws.

These day, Jindal’s “gold standard” looks more like a lead balloon. Just consider the shape we’re in:

• The new process for adjudicating ethics cases (along with the higher standard of proof required to prevail against public officials) has gutted the Ethics Board, and its new role is just now beginning to take shape.

• Lobbyists begin filing expenditure reports this week, but the Ethics Board has no personnel in place to verify the reports’ accuracy.

• Jindal ordered his cabinet officials last year to file annual disclosure forms by this January, then gave them four more months by issuing a superseding executive order.

Read the whole column here.

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