On May 19, Gov. Bobby Jindal's 2009 personal financial disclosure report was posted on the Louisiana Board of Ethics' website (www.ethics.state.la.us) and revealed he had received between $50,000 and $100,000 last year from Regnery, the Washington D.C.-based publisher of his forthcoming book, Real Hope, Real Change: New Conservative Solutions to Rescue America (previously titled On Solid Ground: Returning to America's Core Values). The five-figure sum was an advance on sales, though full terms of the contract weren't made public.
As of May 21 (one month after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded), Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin was telling the Baton Rouge Advocate the book was still on track for a July 12 release, but by May 25 that changed, and the publication date was moved to "later in the year." In an email to the website Politico, Regnery President Marji Ross said, "We understand and support the governor's commitment to focus 150 percent of his attention on the BP oil spill and its impact on Louisiana and the Gulf Coast."
The timing couldn't be worse for Jindal to be promoting his "new conservative solutions," given his increasingly frustrated requests for federal disaster assistance. Sen. Bob Menendez, D.-N.J., tweaked Jindal by saying, "You know, the governor of Louisiana says the federal government should stay out of the states' business."
Jindal's book deal had been in place since April 2009, at which time the governor said, "I'd be writing this book even if I never ran for anything again." Jindal continues to insist he has no designs on the White House, though he might want to remind his publisher of that. Regnery's biography of the governor/author says, "As a rising star in the GOP party, Jindal is considered a strong possible contender for the 2012 presidential election." — Kevin Allman