Viewpoint: May 6, 2009

Governor Jindal has been telling the rest of the country that it's no longer business as usual in Louisiana. The governor made ethics reform a priority during his first months in office. At the opening of last year's special legislative session, Jindal called transparency one of the most important things for the future of our state. We agree. Now, it's time to make good on that promise.

The governor touts transparency, but stops short when it comes to his office. At the beginning of the current session, Governor Jindal's staff helped kill legislation that proponents say would have made the governor's office more transparent. The governor's executive counsel claimed that proposal would have held the governor to a higher level of scrutiny than state legislators. Is that a bad thing? Or should Governor Jindal's office lead by example?

On a positive note, the governor's executive counsel said the administration would consider supporting other, less broad proposals aimed at transparency. If Governor Jindal still believes that transparency is so important for our state's future, he should take action. Instead of waiting for lawmakers to come up with something less objectionable, the governor should propose changes that will open his office to more public scrutiny, with a level of transparency that at least equals the new standards he helped create for the legislature.