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Bobby Jindal Under Scrutiny Over Corporate Donations to Wife's Foundation

3 years ago
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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal isn't on anyone's short list of prospective Republican presidential candidates, but the young Southern governor could make an attractive running mate for one of the hopefuls. But first he may have to answer some questions about a charitable foundation set up by his wife, Supriya.

The Supriya Jindal Foundation, founded in 2008, has spent about $1 million, much of it for high-tech interactive whiteboards for file sharing at public schools, many in low income neighborhoods. The foundation, which has won praise for its efforts, has been funded in part by large contributions from oil companies, a major communications firm and at least one defense contractor, all of which do business with the state, according to a review by the New York Times and a Washington nonprofit watchdog group.

AT&T and Marathon Oil, each pledging $250,000, and Northrop Grumman, in for $10,000, were cited by the newspaper as foundation benefactors that successfully navigated regulatory issues before the state of Louisiana.

Elected officials with ties to charitable foundations can reap favorable publicity from the good works performed by the charities, while donors in turn try to curry favor in Washington or state capitals. Jindal, whose national profile rose during the BP oil spill last year, has made strengthening Louisiana's ethics rules a focal point of his administration.

A Jindal aide said the governor has not intervened personally to assist any of the foundation's contributors and he dismissed as ridiculous any notion of political motivations related to the charity. "It is a completely nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization created by the first lady, who, as an engineer and the mother of three children, has a passion for helping our young people learn science and math," said the governor's press secretary, Kyle Plotkin. "Anything other than this reality has plainly been dreamed up by partisan hacks living in a fantasy land."

Critics say it just doesn't smell right. "It may be a good cause, but it creates the appearance he is being bribed," Anne Rolfes of the environmental group Louisiana Bucket Brigade told the Times. "And if you are truly committed to ethical behavior, you just need to stay away from it all together." Contributors giving to Gov. Jindal's political organization are limited to $5,000 per election, or $10,000 for certain political action committees.

Melanie Sloan, director Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, said, "Donations that come into charities like this are almost always from folks who want something from a politician. It is a troubling phenomenon." Sloan's nonprofit did a significant amount of the research on the Jindal foundation that was used in the Times story.

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9 Comments

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jjhrams

Time to go Bobby!

March 07 2011 at 3:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rann948

Melanie Sloan, director Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, said, "Donations that come into charities like this are almost always from folks who want something from a politician. It is a troubling phenomenon." Sloan's nonprofit did a significant amount of the research on the Jindal foundation that was used in the Times story.

Melanie dear, how about posting a list of YOUR organization's donors so we can know if you are legitimate or just another left-wing hack.

March 03 2011 at 8:53 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Michael

The headline makes it sound like a corrupt slush fund. Then upon reading the article details, one learns that it is all for the children.

March 03 2011 at 8:32 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
robynmarigny

Jindal is never in Louisiana, so he's pretty clueless about our problems.
He's a tool of the corporate masters, especially the oil companies, determined to drag us kicking and screaming to new lows of education and self- sufficiency.

While selling our heritage for a mess of oil soaked pottage.

March 03 2011 at 1:56 PM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to robynmarigny's comment
joe

You liked it better when Blanco was governor and Nagin was mayor and people drowned in Katrina along with the hundreds of buses that could have been used to evacuate them?????

March 03 2011 at 4:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ajcook111

These corporate donations to Governor Jindal's wife's foundation need to be thoroughly investigated. Have these corporations been given any special favors by the state of Louisiana?

March 03 2011 at 1:52 PM Report abuse +16 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ajcook111's comment
joe

All governors give special favors to corporations because it can create jobs and tax collections. Such ideas are beyond the grasp of the socialist mentality.

March 03 2011 at 6:00 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
regybear

Conservatives like Scalia and Thomas on the Supreme Court, Jindal a governor in Louisiana, Boehner and Mitchell, Congressmen in Ohio and Kentucky, all believe that the rules do not apply to them. They accept money and allow their family to accept money from "interested parties" to favor legislation desired by the right. This has been going on since day 1. It doesn't mean that being conservative means being immoral. It doesn't. It does mean that those in charge of making decisions regarding our lives on a daily basis have a higher calling, that of being honest. Otherwise,there is no way to avoid calling them hypocrites, criminals, and amoral. Yes, there are Demo's doing the same thing. I can't help thinking about why Senator Dodd left the Senate after changing a financial reform bill in favor of Wall Street cheats in the financial industry. It is the same disease. They need to go now. We are the doctors. Give them a booster shot of moral punishment and point them to the door.

March 03 2011 at 1:06 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply
joe

The official name of the foundation is The Supriya Jindal Foundation For Lousianas Children. Anything for "children is supposed to be an honorable endeavor these days . Union teachers love to refer to the "children" Budget cut opponents say it will harm the "children" But when Mrs Jindal does something for the "children" it needs scrutiny. DIsgusting !

March 03 2011 at 12:57 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply

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