The Associated Press reported Monday that aides to Gov. Bobby Jindal have used personal email accounts to discuss “media strategy” surrounding Medicaid cuts in Louisiana, linking Jindal to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin:
Jindal, now in his second term, has become a leading voice among Republican governors and is considered a potential presidential candidate. His administration’s emails fold 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.
Palin’s use of private email accounts as governor prompted a lawsuit in which the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that officials using private email accounts for public business need to keep documents “appropriate for preservation” under the state’s records management act. In response, her successor has instructed employees to use state email for conducting state business.
What the AP neglects to mention in its approximately 1,200-word article is that the Obama White House has faced public scrutiny this year for the same practice.
When he was President Barack Obama’s deputy chief of staff, as Politico reported earlier this year, Jim Messina used his personal email account to communicate with a pharmaceutical lobbyist during the Affordable Care Act debate in 2010, promising to “roll” then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.).
The Free Beacon reported in September that an Obama Energy official and Steve Spinner, then a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, communicated via personal accounts about the president’s energy agenda, as well.
Even within the constraints of work accounts, the administration has been secretive. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson reportedly uses a number of aliases within the government email system, including “Richard Windsor.”
Palin left office nearly three years ago.