Are you a major corporation that wants to do business with the state of Louisiana? The bad news is you can only donate $5,000 directly to Gov. Bobby Jindal. The good news is, you can give an unlimited amount of money to his wife's charity, the Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana's Children.
The New York Times reported last night that corporations including Marathon Oil, AT&T, Northrup Grumman, Dow Chemical, Alon USA and various state contractors have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the foundation. All of those companies have business with the state. All of them received permits or evaded fines or won contracts.
Everyone involved in this pay-to-play-ish venture claims nothing untoward is going on. The major corporations simply love children. And if, following an oil company's donation, "state environmental officials [ease] requirements for the company to check for spills of oil, ammonia or other contaminants in waterways," well, that's just a coincidence.
Supriya Jindal's foundation reportedly does good work, handing out free "high-tech whiteboards" to low-income schools across the state. Which means you could look at these donations as an alternative system to actually taxing major corporations and spending that money on schools in impoverished areas. Just politely ask multinational corporations for (tax-deductible?) "voluntary" donations to a foundation that provides necessary services and then grant them permits to pollute more!
This is a wonderful new way of organizing government. Maybe someday Republicans will have the opportunity to enact this system nationwide!