‘Gold standard’ depends on perspective

By C.B. Forgotston
January 03, 2014 at 10:32 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

An analysis in Sunday’s Baton Rouge Advocate is headlined: “5 Years later, does Gov. Jindal’s ethics system work?”

The answer to that question depends on one’s perspective. “We have a better process in place,” [Bobby Jindal] said. “The laws are clearer. There’s more transparency. The reforms have added due process. We have a much stronger system in place than before.”

Baton Rouge attorney Gray Sexton long ran the state ethics agency but now represents people accused of violating the code. Once a vocal critic of how the Legislature separated the prosecution and judgment functions, Sexton now says the bifurcated system is fundamentally fair and the law judges are thoughtful.

In other words, when Sexton was prosecuting ethics violators the law was bad. Now that his job is to keep offenders from being convicted of violations of the law, he likes it.

Jindal would have us believe despite fewer public officials being charged and adjudged to be in violation of the ethics law the officials are now more ethical, apparently because of some changes in the law.

You be the judge.

Since it is a matter of perspective, you be the judge of the “gold standard” of ethics. Are our public officials more ethical because of the “gold standard” or are the ethics laws simply more difficult to enforce.

Recycle the ribbon

Stephen Moret, the ethically-challenged head of economic development, is quickly finding that even bribing businesses to come to Louisiana is as problematic as hoping for money for the state budget to materialize.

A few weeks ago a $12 billion plant that Moret and his pal Bobby Jindal announced was coming to the Baton Rouge area was cancelled.  Monday, another business canceled plans to open in New Orleans.

Rather than giving the people of Louisiana more false hope, perhaps the dynamic duo of ribbon cutters should wait until there is more progress on these projects beyond their cashing of the checks furnished by the taxpayers of Louisiana.

Moret and Jindal could save the taxpayers a few bucks by recycling the ribbon from their presents from Santa. They can be used in future ceremonies announcing jobs that MAY come to Louisiana.




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