John White just doesn’t get it. A few months ago he went ballistic over information leaked to LouisianaVoice and sources inside the Department of Education (DOE) told us he launched an in-house investigation, including employee emails, in an effort to learn the source of the leaks.
We responded to that report by sending an email to White informing him that none of his employees were as careless with emails as he (remember the “Dude, you are my recharge” email he sent to Pete Gorman, senior vice president of News Corporation’s education division Amplify when Gorman asked White to dinner?).
We informed White that the information we received had been downloaded on a flash drive and passed along to us. We even offered to supply White with a blank flash drive in case he had any information he would like to provide. He never responded to our offer.
Then there was that mysterious email accidentally copied to us from DOE legal counsel Joan Hunt to Troy Hebert, director of the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) as a result of one of our many requests for public records that DOE loves to ignore until they’re hauled into court and hit with fines, court costs and attorney fees. The message to Hebert, who apparently has wormed his way into Gov. Jindal’s inner circle, said, “Troy, we need to reply and say that.”
That’s it. Nothing else. And when we tried to obtain a copy of that email, we were informed that it was subject to attorney-client privilege despite the fact that Hebert, as head of ATC, is not affiliated with DOE, is not an attorney, and certainly is not a client of Hunt.
But now, a new twist has surfaced that may be (or maybe not) related to that exchange between Hunt and Hebert.
Were they laying the groundwork to set up a couple of internet bloggers who have been an ongoing nuisance to White and DOE? If current reports are accurate, it could well be.
Word out of DOE is that administrative types (we have their names but we are not prepared to release them at this time) are leaning hard on DOE employees in the Information Technology (IT) section, even to reviewing all their emails and harassing them in attempts to learn who is leaking information to Jason France of the Crazy Crawfish blog and to Tom Aswell of LouisianaVoice.
Also part of the alleged game plan is to plant tantalizing—but bogus—stories in an effort to get our sources to leak the information to us and to get us to publish them so that we can be discredited publicly and revealed as hacks—and so the leakers can be nailed to the wall.
Silly rabbits, you can’t even devise a plan to plug leaks without the plan itself being leaked. You couldn’t plant petunias without growing a crop of ragweed. I’ve known mayonnaise farmers in Missoula, Montana, who were better at planting things.
As we said earlier, we know the identities of three of the administrative types at the center of this little high school stunt but we’ll keep them confidential for now with the option of releasing them down the road.
Finally, we would be remiss if we did not remind White that our sources are not stupid, nor are they careless. Anything they reveal to us will never be through a state computer—unlike the state employee (Department of Public Safety) who used his state email account to log a commit on our blog today (Tuesday)—at the bottom of our June 28 IT consolidation story—asking us if racism was at the root of our criticism of Jindal. (First of all, we’re anything but racist. Secondly, Lord knows we don’t need racism as grounds for offering legitimate criticism of this administration.)
Finally, Mr. White, we have already been investigated by the best (in Gov. Jindal’s eyes, apparently, and of course, in his own mind). Mr. Hebert ordered an investigation of us some months ago and that came up empty.
Seems we’re actually pretty boring but you’d never know it by the amateur sting operation being concocted by DFA (Detectives for America, the investigative arm of TFA— Teach for America).
Wonder if we should submit a public records request for interoffice emails dealing with planting fake news stories with a couple of pesky blogs?
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