In an apparently coordinated effort, the New York Times and the leftist Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have produced, respectively, a story and a report that concludes Louisiana first lady Supriya Jindal’s charity (1) donates technology to Louisiana schools, (2) gets donations to do this from corporations that may or may not have business in the state and may or may not also have donated to husband Gov. Bobby Jindal’s campaigns, and (3) there’s no improper relationship among all of this. Meanwhile, dog bites man.
Self-important people from the worlds of interest groups and ethics matters dully were polled, with conclusions that, as donors also may have business with the state at some point since the charity’s founding or given Gov. Jindal a campaign donation, this appeared “troubling,” and that “it’s a good cause” but “it creates the appearance he’s being bribed.” Mind you, there’s no proof of any tradeoff, and about the worst infraction anybody can detect is that Gov. Jindal has the audacity to appear in a picture with his wife on a web page devoted to begging for donations. That’s really putting the squeeze on these poor corporations.
Fevered minds, no doubt inflamed by both the Times’ and CREW’s loathing of Gov. Jindal for his policy preferences (the only valid complaint about ethics that CREW can make about Jindal is a single reporting violation), wish there could be more to this. Yes, I’m sure we can all picture Gov. Jindal, that aggressive, bold backroom brawler who has pushed around legislators like a bowling ball on pins in matters such as tax cuts, spending cuts, and pay raises for themselves, menacingly putting the bite on these helpless corporations to cough it up for his wife. Yeah, and you’ll believe that former Gov. Edwin Edwards is as pure as the driven snow, too.
Of course, several pertinent pieces of information that provide context also get conveniently left out in this mini-Watergate saga. For one, the reason why these paragons of public integrity could find out if any donors had business with state government was because of, well … that fiend Bobby Jindal, who made the state put all that information online. And it’s very common for corporations to donate money because their bylaws have these “social responsibility” requirements that make them have to give away a certain portion of their revenues to charities, so why not in their own backyards where they have business? And if this all was so nefarious, being as the state gives out billions of dollars a year in state contracts (few that Jindal ever himself reviews personally), why aren’t those with similar, bigger, and far bigger amounts ponying up as well in response to Gov. Jindal’s virtual bite?
Finally, facts at least should be made clear. The article implies that Alexandra “Allee” Bautsch (victim of a brutal hate crime apparently perpetrated by leftist anarcho-thugs) is an employee of Louisiana presently while in fact she is working as outside of government as a consultant to Gov. Jindal’s campaign (treasurer) while serving as the treasurer of Supriya Jindal’s charity – as a volunteer. If that’s unethical, I guess since I’m a state employee I need to give my wife’s charity for which I volunteer as treasurer the heave-ho.
Naturally, according to these partisan avatars of what’s moral, to allow the Supriya Jindal Foundation, which apparently is so hyper-concerned about its image as an implied adjunct to Gov. Jindal’s political career that, at the time of this publishing, its website (its funding subject to criticism by CREW) allowed a title error on its home page (“Buy Liposafe, No Presciption …”) it seems little more than the Jindal’s divorcing would satisfy them to allow this arrangement to continue. And the language continues to be debased as the left tries to convince us that what it sees as ideological crimes really are ethical missteps in its quest to win through rhetoric where it cannot triumph through ideas.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 08:45