Letter: Governor’s attention grab ironic

It appears as though Gov. Bobby Jindal is seeking national attention once again. While this is nothing new for our self-serving governor, this recent LSU grad finds it ironic in how he is seeking this attention.

Jindal and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad participated in a “friendly” wager involving the two governors’ flagship universities, which faced off in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day. If LSU defeated Iowa, Branstad would donate 100 pounds of Iowa pork to a food bank in each state. If Iowa defeated LSU, Jindal would donate 100 pounds of Louisiana seafood to a food bank in each state. We all know how the game ended.

This is not the first time Jindal has used LSU athletics to gain national attention. In 2011, Jindal made a similar bet involving food with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, although these bets did not involve food being sent to food banks. Jindal also was engaged in a bet with Texas Gov. Rick Perry involving this year’s football game between LSU and Perry’s alma mater, Texas A&M.

There is nothing wrong with elected officials supporting colleges and universities in the state he or she represents when these institutions are supported by the elected official. This does not seem to be the case with Jindal and LSU.

According to the American Association of Colleges and Universities, Louisiana cut state funding for higher education by 17.6 percent for the 2014 fiscal year. The 2014 fiscal year began July 1.

Louisiana was one of only seven states to cut state funding for higher education. In fact, Louisiana cut more funding for higher education than any other state. West Virginia, which only cut funding for higher education by 8.9 percent, was second to Louisiana.

The numbers are more alarming when looking at cuts to higher education since Jindal took office in 2008. Jindal has cut funding to higher education in each of his six years as governor. When comparing the amount of money Louisiana spent on higher education for the 2007-08 fiscal year to Jindal’s proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year, the difference equals $1.12 billion.

When looking at the facts, one might say that Jindal does not care about LSU. This is simply not true. Jindal does care about the university, but only when it provides him with a platform to advance his national political aspirations.

Jamie Carson

recent LSU graduate

Baton Rouge