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Monday, June 28, 2010

Jindal Takes Page Out of Obama's Book on Transparency: Vetoes Opening Oil Spill Documents

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) seems to be taking a page out of the Obama Administration's book with regards to their apparent policies on transparency:

Gov. Bobby Jindal rejected a bill Friday that would have required him to make public and to preserve all his office's documents involving the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In his veto letter, the governor said the legislation would have hurt the state's position in future litigation against BP PLC, the oil giant that leased the rig which exploded April 20 in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and causing the disaster.

"This bill would allow BP and other parties with potential liability to the state to obtain information retained by any state agency responding to this tragic event," Jindal wrote, saying such access could jeopardize the state's position in seeking legal remedy for the spill's damage.

I'm usually a big support of Jindal, but in this case I must disagree with him. I can't see any legal reason why it can't be released, unless there is something in the report that BP doesn't know about in the report. This report is considered the equivalent to an investigation of BP's wrongdoing, and like a DA, they might need to keep certain details away from the offending party, in order to ensure the success of the investigation.

However, I doubt that is the case. Jindal needs to release it. If he does indeed have aspirations to move to the big house over on Pennsylvania Ave in DC, this could haunt him as an example of his lack of transparency. Jindal takes a definite step backwards in the minds of Americans minds, after he has been seen as a real leader in the wake of Obama's lackadaisical response to the spill.

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