APRIL 17, 2009
Taxpayers in Louisiana are getting stuck with a hefty tab for a security detail to travel around the country with their governor as he raises campaign funds for a potential run at a national office.
Seen a rising star in the Republican Party, Governor Bobby Jindal is raising his national profile and the cash that goes with it. The popular and dynamic politician has traveled to more than a dozen states—including Iowa, California, Arizona and North Carolina—to raise money and a national news organization reports that Bayou State residents have paid tens of thousands of dollars for troopers to protect him.
Since taking office in 2008, Jindal’s fundraising and political travel has cost his constituents more than $150,000 in security. At least $52,000 has gone to state trooper salaries and nearly $100,000 to cover troopers’ airfare, meals, car rentals and hotels. At least 17 out-of-state trips weren’t tied to state business, according to the news report, and the state paid nearly $4,000 to protect Jindal’s wife on an out-of-state campaign trip.
This week alone, the governor went on fundraising trips to New York and Boston. Last year he traveled to southern California to appear on a nationally televised late-night television show. So far none of the money has been reimbursed by Jindal or his campaign, which at the very least seems unethical.
As in most states, Louisiana law requires police protection for the governor and his family but most of Jindal’s national travels are clearly not related to his official duties but rather promoting his political career.
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