Wednesday, 15 June 2011 18:01

Jindal's Flips On Louisiana Taxes, Cigarettes, Transparency Is Flopping

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In the 
ever-expanding world of Jindal hypocrisy and fradulance, we present two of his latest and greatest.

First, on transparency: We've been over this subject before. Jindal is a fraud of the higest order when it comes to government transparency and ethics. This past week, Jindal's new Healthcarewhiz-kid Bruce Greenstein took it on the chin during his confirmation hearing over the award of the "most lucrative state contract" to Greenstein's former employer. Which employer?


Prior to Microsoft, Greenstein was Vice President of CNSI, a Washington, DC based systems integrator, where he focused on state health care systems, claims payment and vital records systems. 

And what about this contract?

Under pressure from a state Senate panel, Louisiana's health chief disclosed Wednesday that a firm for which he once worked had been recommended to get the most lucrative contract in state government.

The same panel subpoenaed documents related to state Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein's dealing with the firm - CNSI - and others seeking the contract.

Now it's getting ugly.

The same week, Jindal-critic Senator Robert Adley (R-Benton) was guiding his transparency bill through the senate in what has become an annual effort to shine light into Jindal's purposefully secretive Governor's office.

Sen. Robert Adley says he is trying to make the governor's office what Gov. Bobby Jindal promised that it would be — transparent.

Although transparency was a hallmark of Jindal's campaign four years ago, it's not been his practice, says Adley, R-Benton. But SB57, which is to be debated Monday on the Senate floor, would help it along.

Adley's bill would largely press the over-used "deliberative process" excuse into early retirement. Currently, Jindal's office has the ability to explain secrecy by attributing events and information to the "deliberative process," meaning that information on decision-making would not be public record. 

What was "gold-standard" Jindal's response to Adley's bill? 

Jindal said Friday that he opposes Adley's bill and will urge senators to defeat it."We opposed it last year and will oppose it again this year," Jindal said. "It would open additional records."

"Of course it will," Adley said. "No records are open now."

Jindal successfully killed the bill on Monday.

Flip. Flop.

Next, we have the over-reported Jindal veto of the 4-cent cigarette tax renewal. What was less-reported was that Jindal once supported the idea of raising the cigarette tax even higher:

But in a 1997 article for the Louisiana State Medical Society's journal, Jindal wrote: "Society must recover those costs which could have been avoided had the individual not chosen the risky behavior only to prevent others from having to bear the costs."

Jindal offered higher sales taxes on cigarettes or premiums as a way to recover those costs.

At the time, Jindal wrote the article, he was secretary of the state Department of Health and Hospitals.Jindal declined comment Monday on his writing. His spokesman, Kyle Plotkin,disagreed that the article called for higher taxes.

Plotkin's job gets harder and harder by the day. Explaining away this one is going to be tough to do.

 "It certainly appears he's changed his view. I would hate to say he didn't recall writing the article," Rep. Harold Ritchie said.

Flip. Flop. 

by Lamar Palmentel of The

by Ron Chapman

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