When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

29 February 2008

Real change in Louisiana?

The three-ring circus of Louisiana politics has a new ringmaster--Bobby Jindal, the nation's first Indian-American governor--and he's pushed one of the toughest sets of ethics laws in the nation through the state legislature:
"I’ve talked to C.E.O.’s in New York, even the president of the United States," Mr. Jindal said in an interview, and when “you ask them for more investment, more help on the coast and other areas, their first reaction always is: ‘Well, who do you need to know? Who do I have to hire? Is this money going to end up in somebody’s pocket?’ ”

That had to change, the governor said, and he was using his “narrow window” — his honeymoon at the Capitol — to do it.


The new requirements will force all state legislators, as well as most other elected and appointed officials around the state, to disclose all sources of income, real estate holdings and debts over $10,000. (Judges are exempted.) Lawmakers and executive branch officials will no longer be able to get contracts for state-financed or disaster-related work. Lobbyists will also have to disclose their sources of income and will be limited to spending no more than $50 per elected official, per meal; splitting the tab, say among other lobbyists or legislators, will also be prohibited.

Louisiana Governor Pierces Business As Usual (New York Times, 28 February 2008)

Friends of mine who are still active in Republican politics are more excited about Bobby Jindal than any politician I can remember for a long, long time.

They're following Governor Jindal with great interest over at Sepia Mutiny, too:
Incidentally, here at Sepia Mutiny, our stringent anti-corruption rules dictate that bloggers have a free meal cap of exactly $4.60 — just enough for a single Kati Roll…

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