Recent ads have aired on TV telling people to support Bobby Jindal’s special economic session and touting Jindal’s ethics session as a success. They selectively quote some articles in the media saying that Jindal’s bills got passed but ignored the others that happened to be critical of his double standards.
The ads have the look, and smell, of a Bobby Jindal propaganda machine and it has caused me (and others) to need to dig deeper.
Looking at the “about us” page on the “Believe in Louisiana” website, they are a non-profit Corporation:
Believe in Louisiana is a nonprofit organization incorporated in the state of Louisiana, and registered as a 527 political organization under the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions and expenditures will be publicly disclosed. Believe in Louisiana knows that complete transparency is very important to us, just as it should be in government.
If you look at the entry for “Believe in Louisiana” in the Louisiana Corporation Database, you will see that the Director of it is Rolfe McCollister. Rolfe was the chair of Jindal’s transition team and was also Bobby Jindal’s treasurer for his recent campaign for Governor. He is also the publisher of the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, a newspaper that has a conservative slant and has been shown to produce several peices of Jindal apologia.
In an article on the Believe in Louisiana 527 group, Jindal is said to have named Julio Melara (President of the Baton Rouge Business Report) to a political appointment after the creation of the group (a little quid pro quo perhaps?). It also says that Jindal is very happy that the group exists (I’m sure he is).
So, it seems to me that Believe in Louisiana is clearly the propaganda wing of the Jindal administration. Much like Pravda of the old Soviet Union, it will likely be used push the agenda of the Jindal administration and to prop up the public opinion of Jindal by only sharing the twisted truths that Jindal will have you believe. It will probably be supported by the same people who supported the LCRM. They claim that they will be “transparent”, even though 527’s do not have the same disclosure requirements as a PAC. I will believe their claims of transparency when I see them.
And I am sure that people will rush to attack those who question the motives of “Believe in Louisiana”. But just as opposing aspects of the “Patriot Act” does not imply a lack of patriotism, questioning the motives behind “Believe in Louisiana” does not imply that one does not believe in Louisiana either.