Top Jindal aides used 'personal emails' to craft 'media strategy' evading govt. 'disclosure laws'
Top officials in Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's administration used personal email accounts to craft a 'media strategy', sidestepping disclosure laws designed to ensure transparency of information with the US Government.
The method of communication is being seen as an attempt to make it more difficult for the US Government to track under public records laws despite Jindal's pledge to bring more transparency in state functions.
The email exchanges by Jindal's top aides reportedly took place in Louisiana past summer, as the Jindal administration was planning steep reductions in programs for the poor and uninsured because of a drop in federal Medicaid funding.
They used the accounts for strategizing a media plan for imposing hundreds of millions of dollars in healthcare cuts under Medicaid.
Emails reviewed by The Associated Press reveal that non-state government email addresses were used dozens of times by state officials to communicate last summer about a public relations offensive for making 523 million dollars in health care cuts.
According to the agency, it's unclear whether he knew his top staff used private accounts to conduct public business. The practice folds into a national debate over the use of personal email accounts by government officials to discuss official business.
The issue was a prominent one during the administration of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and the practice occurred during former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's term as Massachusetts governor, the agency said.