Sun shines in La. | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sun shines in La.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2008 at 9:08 AM

The Louisiana House (meeting in the house that Huey built at left) has passed a bill opening records in the governor's office. Nominal reform Gov. Bobby Jindal isn't happy, naturally. Ethics are always for others.

I think a Louisiana representative misspeaks in this story when he says Louisiana has the worst access for gubernatorial records in the country. Arkansas has to at least be in a dead heat for last. It has long been custom and practice that the Arkansas governor considers every scrap of paper within the office an exempt "working paper," even those volumnious records that don't meet the legal definition of "working paper" in states where courts have interpreted the term.

Gov. Mike Beebe is far too popular, I'd guess, for any similar transparency measure to succeed in Arkansas. Unless, that is, Beebe decided to lead the charge. He could say it would be in the public interest to clarify the rule and open some of his record to scrutiny. Or at least provide that gubernatorial records belong to the public and should be transferred to a public archive for open inspection after a suitable cooling-off period after a governor's term. Not holding my breath.

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