Thursday, 14 June 2012 08:30

Pinsonat: Jindal, VP campaign and those curious contributions

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pinsonat2With the Louisiana legislative session now over, there is much local attention upon politics and the business of politics.  Louisiana is in a profoundly different situation than it has been ever before.  It's governor, Bobby Jindal, is being discussed as a serious candidate for Vice President on Mitt Romney's ticket  or if not, a future presidential run.  Given those circumstances, Bayoubuzz turned to political analyst and pollster, Bernie Pinsonat for another installment of "Bernie Burns".

Now that the session is over, there is much speculation that Jindal could be the VP choice.  What do you think?  Does he have a good chance?  What are his upsides and downsides?

I have watched these choices being made by lots of presidential candidates and most of these are closely held secrets made by inner circle only. Lots of news stories almost daily purporting to know who is in and who is out – this will continue up to convention or when choice is announced.

 The biggest and most important issue for Mitt Romney is this: the state of Florida! No carry Florida - no chance to win presidency. It is virtually impossible for a republican to become president and not win Florida. Romney can win every state from Virginia to Texas and if Florida is not in his vote totals – Romney loses. If Mitt Romney can win Florida without Senator Marco Rubio as his VP choice – then Governor Jindal and a few others have a shot at being picked. Mitt Romney has a couple of months on this decision.  Lots of issues in the next sixty days could cause Romney to change directions - like bad polling numbers, or some unexpected event that shapes a much different race than we have today. The race is dead even today – what will polling numbers be in late August? Little things like a major outbreak of war or European countries defaulting huge loans could shifts Romney’s approach as to his choice for V P. But none of this matters if Mitt Romney does not carry Florida – ask George W. Bush twice and of course Al Gore.  Upside andcountries defaulting huge loans could shifts Romney’s approach as to his choice for V P. But none o downside for Governor Jindal -Governor Bobby Jindal is getting lots of attention as a possible V P choice for Mitt Romney – if he is not asked – none of this will hurt his chances in 2016. If Romney does lose – Jindal’s supporters will certainly point out if only Jindal would have been Romney’s running mate – as Jindal begins to plan his presidential campaign early next year. 


Recently, there have been reports that the Jindal campaign had collected about 90,000 dollars in campaign money from illegal contributions when he ran for Governor in 2007.  Timmy Teepell said his campaign did not know that the money was contributed in an illegal way but he would not give the money back or relinquish it.  While, the campaign might not have had any active knowledge, doesn’t his refusal to return the money fly in the face of ethics reform?

Well to me it looks to me like Timmy has decided that they followed the law and giving the money back is not going to happen. I was involved in campaigns where thousands of dollars flowed in every day. If the amount of the check did not exceed the limit and it was from an individual in a federal election – we reported the contribution and it was deposited. If the check was a legal contribution and the individual was not some shady character we did not want his or her name attached to our campaign, we kept it. Timmy’s is not returning these checks because no campaign, ethical or legal authority is demanding these checks be returned. I abide by and follow campaign laws in any campaign I manage – my opponent will kill my candidate if I do not. I do not think voters equate campaign laws and ethics rules in same arena. We serve serious jail time for breaking campaign laws – such as soliciting illegal contributions – or spending campaign funds improperly. Who spends ten years behind bars for an ethics violation? Campaigns can be nasty, mean spirited with character assassination top priority throughout from day one – yet all perfectly legal. There are no ethics laws governing campaign contributions.

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