Jim Miller: NFL Draft

Saturday, 14 March 2015 15:57
Email controversies of Hillary Clinton, Bobby Jindal and her other critics
Written by 

Hillary-Clinton-benghaziby Jim Brown

It’s going to take a lot more than old emails to derail Hillary Clinton’s grasp of the Democratic presidential nomination next year.  Few voters really care how she communicated with her staff while serving as Secretary of State.  Republicans think they are circling the wagons in major attack mode.  But if they look in their own backyard, a number of GOP presidential wannabes, including Louisiana’s fair haired quixotic candidate Bobby Jindal, have the same problem of not following the law when it comes to producing emails. 


Clinton took office in 2009, when state department regulations affirmed that: “It is the Department’s general policy that normal day-to-day operations be conducted on an authorized Automated Information System.”  However, the internal rules list numerous exceptions, and the agency has stated that it had “no prohibition” on the use of private email for work purposes.  The only specific requirement for all employees was that any e-mail sent or received from a personal account had to be kept and maintained so as to be included in the State Department’s personal records.   

A number of Republican presidential candidates have maintained private e-mail accounts to carry on public business.  Former Florida governor Jeb Bush maintained his own server and released numerous emails he felt were required under state law.  But just like Clinton, how he determined what was “public” was left up to him.  Texas governor Rick Perry agrees that his emails on state business should be public, so but he simply wipes them out every thirty days.  So much for maintaining pubic records. 

Minnesota Governor Scott Walker and his staff used private email accounts to carry on public business mingled with political campaigning that led to the conviction of several of his appointees.  And New Jersey governor Chris Christie is presently entangled in a number of lawsuits for ignoring his state’s public records law.

At one time, Louisiana had the strongest public records law in America.  I know a little about this as I was the author of Louisiana’s first public records act along with the state’s first open meetings law back in 1976 when I was in the State Senate.   But little by little, the intent of public transparency has been undermined.  Jindal, according to the Associated Press, uses a private email account to communicate with his staff, just like Clinton. Public records requests are generally ignored by Jindal and his staff, so the Governor will be long gone before his public business decisions through email are revealed.  That is, assuming he and his staff do not “scrub” their email servers. 

I agree with a limited exclusion to the public records requirements for contract negotiations along with decisions on higher and firing of public employees.  But such exceptions should be narrowly interpreted and violations should be strongly enforced.  The test is simply one of content driven analysis in that if an action is done in the pursuit of the public interest, it becomes a public document. Unfortunately, Louisiana has gone from a state the led the nation in openness and transparency in public decisions, to a backward bastion of secrecy and unaccountability. 

Should public officials carry on public business through private e-mail accounts?  Absolutely not.  It is so easy today to set up several email accounts on the same server.  If public activity is being undertaken, then use the public account.  If someone is conducting private business, they can easily switch over to a private account.  But a public official, who uses a sequestered email account that only he or she has access to, is violating both the spirit and the letter of the law in most states including Louisiana, 

The public’s right to know is a basic premise for any democracy.  Communications that lead to public decisions by public officials need to be scrutinized.  That applies to Hillary Clinton who is presently on the email hot seat, as well as Bobby Jindal and all the other presidential aspirants.  It’s the right thing to do, the public deserves such openness, and it’s the law.


“A government by secrecy benefits no one. It breeds distrust, dampens the fervor of its citizens and mocks their loyalty.”

Louisiana Senator Russell Long


Peace and Justice


Jim Brown


Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.  You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.

Jim Brown

Jim Brown is a Louisiana legislator, Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner.  

Website: JimBrownla.com
Login to post comments
Powered By JFBConnect
  • Cat Fights on the Hot Cement Confederate New Orleans statues
  • Ex-Saints, Bears, Bills, NFL Exec, Jim W. Miller discusses NFL Draft tomorrow
  • Trump's new plan; Curtains on tax returns release; 40% say Trump-Russia; Probing Obama admin
  • Watch Louisiana Governor Edwards talk about CAT Tax failure

catRarely, have I seen few issues that have generated as much raw heat, tension, and passion than the confederate monuments controversy. 

Just as existed during the real civil war, where brothers battled brothers, social media is the battleground, particularly Facebook, pitting friend against friend.

On one side of the tense divide, there are those who are protecting the New Orleans civil war era monuments.  Burnt in effigy, forever, is the symbol of Mayor Mitch Landrieu for up-ending what the monument protectors consider to be the loving civil society of New Orleans.

Lately, events have turned somewhat militaristic.

Some protectors of the confederate monuments have been staying vigilant, in person and online, even surveilling during the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the next Mayor Landrieu attack. On Sunday morning, with protections of snipers, masked workers and a dumbstruck audience, the worst of all of the monuments was cut and carried., the Liberty Monument. 

Read More

miller nfl live2 5It’s D-Day or Draft Day tomorrow in the NFL.

More specifically, Thursday represents the first day of the NFL draft 2017.

Read More


trump curtainsThe major President Trump news of the day focuses upon taxes, not only the tax cuts he is proposing but his own taxes, which he obviously, refuses to unveil.


Read More

edwards play money 1

At a press conference today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the CAT Tax did not pass the House Ways and Means Committee.  The Governor, in addressing the media said that "the fate of that bill was decided long before we unveiled it".

Read More


Sen. Appel talks budget, economy


Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1