Legalized bribery: That’s Louisiana’s campaign finance system

Bobby Jindal - Caricature

Bobby Jindal – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

By Robert Mann

What do you imagine would happen if I approached my dean with this idea for raising more money for LSU’s mass communication program? Students and their family members who contribute to the school will get high-priority scheduling during my office hours. Children of parents who endow a scholarship will get jobs as student workers.

How about we reward the big donors’ children with better grades and more time to submit papers? And children of the most-generous donors could enroll in smaller classes, giving them individualized instruction and, therefore, a chance for a better grade.

Alas, my dean is an honest man. He would toss me out of his office – and he should. However, before he did, he might ask, “Where did you get such a stupid and unethical idea?” My answer would be, “From Louisiana government, of course.”

As the investigation by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune and WVUE Fox 8 News suggests, campaign cash is the lubricant of Louisiana politics. Those who give the most get the most – in lucrative government contracts and economic development investments, access to top officials and appointments to powerful boards and commissions.

Jindal, who entered office in 2008 vowing to conduct himself with the probity of a monk, is no different from a long line of top Louisiana officials who rewarded campaign contributors with jobs and contracts.

He said that his election heralded “a new era” and suggested he was something new in Louisiana politics – a politician above reproach. As it turns out, all that’s new is the collection of cronies who got appointments and contracts after contributing to his campaign account.

Continue reading this post at NOLA.com

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4 Responses to Legalized bribery: That’s Louisiana’s campaign finance system

  1. Stephen Winham says:

    I don’t think people are outraged about political patronage simply because they expect it and accept it. In expressions of opinion about this and other matters of ethics, EWE was honest and realistic. He was also wildly popular. Most people don’t seem to even be able to work up outrage over the utter hypocrisy that has dominated Jindal administration policy – and that is the real issue. Couple the clear correlation between campaign contributions and appointments with a method of governing that has government employees of all stripes afraid to dissent and you have not just a continuation of a common practice, but a return to the strategies of a much earlier era – and not a better one.

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  2. Senator says:

    Gee, I wonder why Bob Mann continues his politcal crusade and uses nothing but images of Republicans or stories using the RNC? Hey Bob, where were you when Obama purchased Louisiana via May Landrieu during the Obamacare debacle? It’s blantant reasons like that that I have no confidence in the so called “Media” and liberal mouthpieces like you, Bob. Why aren’t you covering that “cover up” Bob?

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    • Greg Foreman says:

      Senator, I, Greg Foreman, can’t and want speak for Dr. Mann. I can only speak for myself and my perspective on the comparisons you’ve “floated” concerning Landrieu’s sellout for Obamacare ie, the ACA. I was not a big fan of the “arrangement” made between Obama and Landrieu for her support of the ACA. However, when one looks at this specific situation, this situation independent of other Landrieu decisions, I feel Mary Landrieu was “spot on” in accepting the monies for the state. Landrieu had the best interest of the state at heart in accepting the funds. It is a shame one can’t draw a similar comparisons between any/all of the decisions Jindal has made for the state. Landrieu accepted the funds, some $600 millions dollars or so, if my memory serves me right, for the health and welfare of the citizens of Louisiana. A more appropriate question worth asking and answering is “where did the $600 million dollars go?” If my memory serves me half correct(sometimes I suffer for “old hymers”), this “buy out” money was appropriated for Louisiana in 2010, a time when Jindal was formulating the protocol for the ultimate decimation of Louisiana’s Charity Hospital System and his “defecation” on the systems patients and professional participants.
      So, Senator, I would recommend-as a general rule of thumb-one should never ask a question unless one knows the answer.

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  3. Milford Fryer says:

    I think it was Earl Long who once said, “Reform ain’t nothin’ but turning the fat hogs out and letting the lean hogs in.” And another appropriate comment, which I do not know who uttered, states that “Just because you do not take an interest in politics does not mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”

    Bobby Jindal seemed like the perfect candidate for a struggling state: An extraordiary mind and a strong commitment to Christian principles. He has been a reminder to us afficionados of morality plays that our belief that he would use his super powers for good were just as ridiculous as believing that Superman is a real character who fights for truth, justice and the American way. We always knew Superman was fictional; we had to learn the hard way that Bobby was, too.

    Welcome to the hog trough.

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