With a national fundraising network unmatched by any previous Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal's campaign contributions exceeded $3.4 million during his first year in office — and he's on course to post another record-setting figure for 2010. During the past 15 months, Jindal has attended fundraisers hosted in more than a dozen states. This week he is in Washington, D.C., for four fundraisers.
In the coming weeks, Gambit and contributing writer Jeremy Alford will analyze the governor's finances, both coming in and going out of his campaign. Here's a preview of what you can expect:
• This week: Since taking office in January 2008, Jindal has appointed at least 200 campaign contributors to various state boards and commissions. In all, those donors helped Jindal pack away more than $750,000 during 2007 and 2008. Gambit reviewed thousands of appointments and donations to show that the longstanding practice of governors favoring donors with appointments continues under Jindal.
• April 7: Hundreds of people and companies that want to do business with the state have donated money to the governor and a slew of other public officials. Does it give them any traction? We'll explore the contributions that paid big dividends, along with a few that fell flat.
• April 21: Jindal's campaign spent $724,000 during the governor's first year in office, more than many statewide officials raised. Gambit will look at each expense and present the findings in a narrative that weaves themes of economic development and modern political warfare.
• May 5: With the Legislature roughly one week into its regular session, we'll cap off the series with an assessment of Louisiana's campaign finance laws and how they apply to Jindal's administration and policy agenda — not to mention his future aspirations. We'll also investigate the pitfalls of the state law that permits Louisiana's governor to file only annual campaign finance reports.