Louisiana is better than its reputation, and the rebuilding process after Katrina and Rita is a chance for us to show it.

I propose that Gov. Blanco issue an Executive Order, or the Legislature pass a law, that prohibits any state or local elected or appointed official, members of his immediate family (as defined in the Ethics Code), or any company in which the public official owns 5 percent or more from receiving a contract paid for with FEMA or other federal money, even if the contract is bid.

This may seem unfair to some, but it is necessary in order to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Unfortunately, perception is sometimes reality, and now is the time to prove that Louisiana is fiscally responsible.

The entire rebuilding process should be transparent to taxpayers. Louisiana is going to be held to the highest standard when it comes to this process ' and we should be.

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