Monday, April 21, 2008

Closer to the Heart

Eric Asher on WIST had Elliot Stonecipher and C.B. Forgotston on his show today and they were discussing an opinion piece in the Advocate by Mark Ballard which pulls the curtain back from the

The new laws require thousands of government officials to publicly disclose their personal finances and limits how much lobbyists can spend on bacchanalian activities for lawmakers. But if they don’t, nothing much will happen.

The change increases the threshold of evidence for the board to determine if an ethics violation has occurred.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a lot of charges that are unprovable” under the tougher new standard, said Richard Sherburne, the former prosecutor who now runs the Board of Ethics.

“Necessarily that change will let some people who have violated the law avoid responsibility,” he said.

So, tighten the laws in a grand public show and pull the rug out from under the enforcement. And don’t look for some brave public servant to stand up for Ethics in the push for “ethics reform” Gov. Jindal has made it clear what happens.

I mentioned it briefly here, but I don’t think this particular detail got enough attention, what with the clash that now rocks the statehouse, and the entire future of the State hanging in the balance on the attempt to repeal the motorcycle helmet law. I would point it out again this as reported in the Advocate:

The former executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission [James E. Champagne] said Monday he was fired because he disagreed with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s push to repeal the state’s mandatory motorcycle helmet law.

Mind you, this is the same person who stood before the Legislature and spoke against then Gov. Foster’s successful attempt to repeal the helmet law and somehow they were able to get along just fine outside of this one issue.

So we have by most everyone’s measure, an effective public servant dumped like so much garbage for not kowtowing to the Governors every edict. But that’s not all:

Jindal dumped on his own advisory panel who dared to tell him something other than what he wanted to hear, by issuing a scathing report of the current Adjutant General of the Louisiana National Guard, Bennett Landreneau, as documented in the Times-Pic.

Whether rebuttal of the points raised by the panel are valid or not, it seems he re-instated Landreneau without having even read the report. In fact, the administration denied having the report. It was only after the panel itself notified the media of its existence did the Jindal administration decide to trash it.

James Gill had an excellent column on the whole fiasco, claiming it must have been former Governor Foster pulling the strings on this one. Well, maybe.

CB Forgotston notes “anti-gambling” in the Foster administration was “a euphemism for the expansion of legalized gambling in Louisiana.” With what we’ve seen so far, I’m wondering what “anti-corruption” will mean in a Jindal administration.

1 comment:

jeffrey said...

No no don't get too carried away. The people wanted Dragonslaying and they are getting just that.

We can't go calling for any new Dragonslayers until the current "corrupt crowd" has had enough time to officially become the "old" one.