Louisiana’s biggest corporate players, many with long agendas before the state government, are restricted in making campaign contributions to governor Bobby Jindal. But they can give whatever they like to the foundation set up by his wife months after he took office.
AT&T, which needed Jindal, a Republican, to sign off on legislation allowing the company to sell cable television services without having to negotiate with individual parishes, has pledged at least $250,000 to the Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children.
Marathon Oil, which last year won approval from the Jindal administration to increase the amount of oil it can refine at its Louisiana plant, also committed to a $250,000 donation.
The foundation has collected nearly $1 million in previously unreported pledges from major oil companies, insurers and other corporations, according to a review by The New York Times.
Jindal has made tightening Louisiana’s ethics rules a centerpiece of his administration and has promised to crack down on the influence of special interests. But Anne Rolfes, founding director of an environmental group called the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, said the donations to Mrs Jindal’s charity compromise the governor’s pledge.