If a corporation needs to get on Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's good side, there's a limit to how much it can donate to his campaign in order to do so. But there's no limit to how much it can donate to his wife's nonprofit. The Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana's Children has received nearly $1 million in previously unreported pledges from numerous companies with high stakes in Louisiana, including $250,000 from AT&T, $250,000 from Marathon Oil, $100,000 from Dow Chemical, and $250,000 from an Israeli oil company—all of which needed favors from the governor.
And Jindal hasn't completely distanced himself from his wife's foundation: He appears in a photo on a corporate solicitation page, his chief fundraiser is the charity's treasurer, and a state employee from his office is listed as the contact for the books. And this isn't just happening in Louisiana, the New York Times reports; more than a dozen members of Congress are involved in similar situations. Jindal's case is particularly troublesome since he has made a point of tightening his state's ethics rules. “The motives might be good,” says the director of an ethics watchdog group. “But the donations that come in to charities like this are almost always from folks who want something from a politician."