Gov. Bobby Jindal may not get deeply involved in legislative squabbles when lawmakers are in session, but he appears ready to dive headlong into legislative elections this fall. The governor last week sent a mass email under the Republican Party of Louisiana banner asking voters to "elect more conservative reformers to the State House and State Senate" who will work with the Republican governor.
Jindal says in the email that he has asked the state GOP to establish a "Victory Fund" to help elect conservative lawmakers. Curiously, Jindal's email doesn't say the fund will only support Republicans — although it's doubtful the state GOP would establish a $2 million campaign fund (that's the fundraising goal Jindal cites in the email) that would support non-Republican candidates. According to Jindal's email, which requests donations ranging from $25 to $500, the fund already has raised $700,000 toward its goal.
Another curiosity about the Victory Fund: In races featuring more than one Republican candidate, it may potentially compete with another legislative campaign fund connected to U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-Metairie, known as the Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority (LCRM). Jindal and Vitter have had strained political relations at times, although Vitter recently gave a ringing endorsement of Jindal's re-election campaign.
One key difference between the GOP Victory Fund and Vitter's LCRM is the legal advantage accorded the Victory Fund. As a party-related entity, it can coordinate its activities and expenditures with those of candidates, whereas the LCRM, as an independent political action committee, cannot. Jindal noted this distinction in his email, although he did not mention LCRM by name. — Clancy DuBos