Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 27, 2010

JINDAL SHIELDS INFO ON SPILL RESPONSE.... We've been talking the past few days about Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who has decided to send only a fraction of the available National Guard troops to the coast to aid in the response to the BP oil spill. Jindal has given two different explanations, both of which falter under scrutiny.

Complicating matters, Jindal is keeping public access to his spill-response records to a minimum. (thanks to carolerae for the heads-up)

Gov. Bobby Jindal has vetoed a bill that would have required his office and agencies to grant public access to state records related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. [...]

Jindal for years has lobbied to preserve broad exemptions for the governor's office in Louisiana's public records law. The House bill would have cracked open a category of records related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the state's response.

"I'm saddened by his action, but not surprised," said Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, who amended Smith's public records bill to include the provision about the oil spill documents. "His excuse is he is afraid that BP would find out something Louisiana did, and I always thought justice was about the truth and facts."

In explaining the rationale for the veto, Jindal said Louisiana will likely be in litigation with BP and others, and access to public records "could impact the state's legal position."

I'm not really in a position to know whether that's true or not -- I'm not an attorney -- but if materials would be turned over to BP anyway through the discovery process, I wonder if Jindal might be more worried about what the public learns, not opposing counsel.

Either way, the result is the same -- the public wants access to spill-related records, state lawmakers want transparency when it comes to spill-related records, and Jindal prefers secrecy. In the larger context, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

On a related note, Jed Lewison has a good item, summarizing some of the revelations in yesterday's New York Times piece:

The basic story: Louisiana's spill response plan was inadequate, largely because the state failed to fully develop a plan. As a result, instead of following a methodical, well-prepared plan, Bobby Jindal winged it, pursuing grandiose (and politically sexy) schemes that most state and local officials as well as experts consider counterproductive, such as Jindal's proposed barrier islands.

Jindal and Republicans have worked aggressively of late to make it seem as if the Louisiana governor's office has been a model of competence and efficiency, all the while taking shots at the Obama administration. The media has largely bought into the narrative, but as more information comes to light, there's ample reason for skepticism.

Steve Benen 8:50 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (14)

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The media has largely bought into the narrative, but as more information comes to light, there's ample reason for skepticism.

The lords of the right and their myrmidons whose actions mimic the Power Rangers with the same accompanying sense of logic , and feel of real live paper-mâché . I predict they will continue their sense of other discriminations and deux ex machina plot hole magic , until ...
Well , you get the picture

Posted by: FRP on June 27, 2010 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Transparency would help knowledgeable folks attempt to mitigate this environmental crises. Why doesn't anyone (politicians/media) tell the plain/straight truth anymore? Maybe I'm just getting old. I'm sure feeling old/impotent!

Posted by: Candy Pope on June 27, 2010 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

There's no doubt Jindal and other Gulf state governors have to answer for not doing the one thing they do have clear control over, deploying their National Guard units. However, before the whining begins on this, the Administration's official weblog, perhaps this article in Rolling Stone (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/111965) on the Gulf spill will put things in proper perspective. Here's a preview:

"Like the attacks by Al Qaeda, the disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings - yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency's culture of corruption. He permitted it to rubber-stamp dangerous drilling operations by BP - a firm with the worst safety record of any oil company - with virtually no environmental safeguards, using industry-friendly regulations drafted during the Bush years. He calibrated his response to the Gulf spill based on flawed and misleading estimates from BP - and then deployed his top aides to lowball the flow rate at a laughable 5,000 barrels a day, long after the best science made clear this catastrophe would eclipse the Exxon Valdez.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on June 27, 2010 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

Bobby Jindal is an idiot.

Posted by: Winkandanod on June 27, 2010 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Sean, you have a good point - and that is, Obama was inadequate because he was too like a Republican. So when criticism of Obama gets around, we need to at least make sure people get that point. Why his people trusted BP I don't know, but that's what happens when you staff with neolib Republiclowns light.

BTW, the "share this" link to this post won't let me share this post about Jindal, it wants to share the Panetta post instead. They should be post-for-post specific.

Posted by: neil b on June 27, 2010 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

That Rolling Stone article shows remarkably good hindsight. The trick of course is to point out these shortcomings before an incident.

Posted by: Maineiac on June 27, 2010 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Bobby Jindal is not an idiot. He isn't doing more becuase he wants to paint this as Obama's failure. Remember, from the first week he was blaming the federal government for not responding quickly enough. He wants to be president. The only way he can be president is if Obama is so damaged by the time 2012 rolls around, he's got a shot. and if he can couple Obama's incompetency with showing that his management of the crisis was stellar (even liberal-leaning media have been lauding his management of this crisis -- I think one magazine -- TNR? -- even said his leadership on this might even have saved the obscurity he brought about by his lame response to Obama's first state of the union). He found an opportunity right in his backyard and he ran with it from day one.

Posted by: Maria on June 27, 2010 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

These republican Governors are all playing the same game on the gulf and those border states with immigration. Whine for the National Guard to save their asses so Obama approves troop deployment and then not even use a fraction of the troops approved. They then blame Obama for not helping and the liberal media cries that Obama is not helping meanwhile they want more tax cuts so their children and grandchildren can pay for the services that they demand. Its Win-Win-Win for them and no one in the Liberal media will tell the ignorant any thing else. The D.O.D estimates it costs 400 dollars to put one gallon of fuel in a military vehicle and your grandchildren will pay for that plus interest.

Destroying America for the sake of partisan political gain.

Posted by: Fed Up and Tired on June 27, 2010 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Jindal is obviously obfuscating because he has something to hide. And I have to hand it to him from a Machiavellian viewpoint: litigation will push discovery out for years, meaning the truth will not be known until well after he cares. It is an obvious stalling tactic because discovery will definitely find the smoking guns, since obfuscating discovery is much harder to do then obfuscating a legislative body (see the document dumps Bush's WH made commonplace).

Posted by: Flaffer on June 27, 2010 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Reading the DKos article about Jinddal asking for the moon and of all the things Jindal had neglected regarding oil spills makes me think I was right all along, Jindal's response and blame on the federal government was from sheer panic, he knew he had no disaster response plan and that is probably why he is refusing to let his record become public.

Posted by: Joan S on June 27, 2010 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently someone bought Jindal the "How to Get Elected Preznit by Being a Hero" playbook.

It was written by Rudy "Nine-eleven" Giuliani.

We've seen how well it worked for Rudy.

The Jindal aide who bought it didn't tell the Governor that he got it for 99 cents on the Buck-A-Book remainder table.

Posted by: efgoldman on June 27, 2010 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Give a look at ADN.com (Alaska Daily News) today. First up is a very enlightening article regarding an investigation in BP blowout preventers and how BP and state worked hand in hand on the investigation...... BLOWOUT PREVENTERS: Rig workers had reported cheating.

BP helped state investigate itself

Timeframe is 2005.

Posted by: avahome on June 27, 2010 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

You mean Plyush? I had his number in posts days ago. Check them out.

Posted by: Ned Pepper on June 27, 2010 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Are u people kidding? God I hope so, because Bobby 'the idiot' Jindal is a dope. He has got to be the dumbest govenor in U.S. history. I hope it is a Jindal - Palin in 2012. Just to keep Republicans out of office for another 4 years. Oh yeah, by the way, I blame Obama for the oil spill.

Posted by: Jim on July 19, 2010 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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