Louisiana's public records law gives the governor a sweeping exemption that can keep many issues secret, but the administration of Gov. Bobby Jindal appears to be breaking new ground on ways to keep items hidden from citizens.
Administration officials have pushed a wider records exemption — extending their claims across multiple agencies to conceal documents. A Jindal lawyer encouraged LSU officials to shield records about budget decisions. And top members of the governor's staff have turned to private email accounts in some instances, making their communication more difficult to track or to even know whether it exists.
The efforts seem a stark contrast from the governor's campaign platform for improving transparency in a government stereotyped as a home for shady deals and corrupt politicians.
For more background information, please see an old post: Top Jindal aides use personal email to strategize, and this editorial from NOLA.com: Jindal administration should be open with the public.