Now that Bobby Jindal has confronted reality and “suspended” (as opposed to terminated; the two terms are not the same) his moribund presidential campaign, several questions linger about his future and that of his hangers-on, not that anyone in Louisiana—or Iowa—really cares anymore.
There are also questions about how he will dispose of the approximately $261,000 remaining in his mostly depleted campaign fund. http://www.fec.gov/fecviewer/CandidateCommitteeDetail.do
Contributions had slowed to a mere trickle in the last quarter of his campaign which, combined with his inability to climb above 1 percent in the polls, prompted him to finally admit what everyone has known for some time now: “This is not my time.” Hell, even his kids knew that when he staged that creepy announcement to them that he put up on this campaign web page back in June and then immediately took down after national ridicule of the awkwardness of the entire video.
Campaign manager Timmy Teepell apparently remains flummoxed as to why his boy was banished to the standup comedy/concert equivalent of warmup act in the Republican debates. Well, Timmy, it shouldn’t have been a secret to anyone with a clue. Bobby simply had nothing to bring to the table.
So, what does Timmy do now? Given his disastrous handling of a disastrous campaign for a disastrous candidate, it would seem his options in future political endeavors are seriously limited.
As for Bobby, he probably won’t miss a beat. In fact, the rhetoric is not likely to be altered one iota as he eases back into his role as head of America Next, his nonprofit think tank.
He started America Next as a vehicle for all those self-righteous op-eds to support his ultra-right wing exclusionary philosophy that he attempts to pass off as policy papers on issues ranging from immigration to health care to lowering taxes for the rich and for corporations.
Which brings us to the question of what he will do with that $261,000 hanging around in his campaign bank account.
Time was a retiring office holder or losing candidate for office could simply convert leftover campaign funds to his personal bank account provided he reported the money as income and paid income taxes on the money.
No more. But other than that one prohibition, the rules are pretty loose as to what a politician can do with surplus funds.
He can hold on the money in case he ever decides to seek office again or he can contribute to his party or other candidates.
Or he can “donate” the extra campaign cash to his own nonprofit organization. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/22/ex-politicians-keeping-100-million-in-private-slush-funds.html
Like America Next. http://believeagain.gop/
Or leadership political action committees (PACs) http://classroom.synonym.com/left-over-campaign-funds-after-elections-17435.html
Like Believe Again. http://believeagain.gop/
Both the brainchildren of Bobby Jindal, America Next and Believe Again basically serve the same purpose—to promote the aspirations and agenda of Bobby Jindal.
And, like Dave Vitter’s Fund for Louisiana’s Future (FLF) and Vitter’s campaign committee, the two share a key player. With Vitter, it is Courtney Guastella Callihan who serves as his campaign finance director and as head of FLF.
With Jindal, it’s Jill Neunaber who ran the day-to-day operations of America Next and Believe Again.
“When I say super PAC, how many people think of a nameless, faceless, shady organization that bombards your television with commercials?” Neunaber asked, adding that Believe Again was a “different kind of super PAC.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/inching-up-in-iowa-bobby-jindal-leaves-no-room-on-his-right/2015/10/17/0aea955e-745c-11e5-8d93-0af317ed58c9_story.html
But aren’t nonprofits like America Next supposed to leave the politics to PACs like Believe Again?
Well, yes and no. So, how does one draw the line distinguishing the two?
Nonprofits like America Next which generally support a single candidate have proliferated since the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. They perform a variety of functions from helping develop polity to underwriting the costs of advertising.
They differ from candidates’ own campaign committees or super PACs in one major aspect: They are not required to publicly disclose their donors.
Even so, the Center for Public Integrity learned that the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) last year contributed $50,000 to America Next. http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/11/17/18867/drug-lobby-gave-50000-pro-jindal-nonprofit
So, while Jindal the presidential aspirant has faded into oblivion, Jindal the opportunist is alive and well, poised to write even more op-eds that promote the tax, health, education, and economic policies that made his eight years as governor such an unqualified success and which established him as a presidential candidate to be reckoned with and an inspiration to Republicans everywhere.
The obvious next step for him, according to longtime political observer Stephen Winham, is to move for a hostile takeover of The 700 Club from fellow failed Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson. There may be more than a grain of truth in Winham’s prognostication. After all, he has already gotten his foot in the door with multiple appearances on Robertson’s Christian Broadcast Network (CBN) http://www.cbn.com/tv/1386878899001?mobile=false#
We heard a rumor that on one of his appearances, he admonished Robertson’s audience to “stop being the stupid Christians,” but we were unable to locate that link. Nor were we able to find the link to a video taken of Jindal and his family from an overhanging tree limb as he told his children of his plans to succeed Robertson.