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.
- Jindal and Vitter: the stunt men of Louisiana politics (bobmannblog.com)
- Accept Illegal Money? For Jindal, Only Poor Should Pay (dailykingfish.com)
- Bobby Jindal’s poverty of compassion (bobmannblog.com)