We May As Well Get Started Too

I guess that if Bobby Jindal is going to start positioning himself to run in 2012, we had better start collecting articles about him that might cause him problems down the line when the media finally gets around to taking a look at him, less they disappear down the memory hole – things like this article flagged by AU from the Baton Rouge Advocate about his use of police helicopters and taxpayer money to make campaign stops attend church services around the state:

From the time of taking office in January until Hurricane Gustav hit on Sept. 1, Gov. Bobby Jindal has spent nearly $180,000 in taxpayer money to travel in State Police helicopters.

Since his January inauguration, Jindal has used the helicopters 12 times to go to northern Louisiana to attend church services.

Jindal, a Catholic, combines the church attendance with a visit with local officials. But the governor does not broadcast that he is praying outside his home parish.

On March 30, Jindal traveled to Winnfield for Sunday morning services at First Baptist Church followed by lunch with local officials at a shooting range. State Sen. Gerald Long and two Jindal staffers flew with the governor from Baton Rouge.

According to the Baptist Message Online, Jindal opened his speech at the church with a story from the campaign trail before talking about his journey in accepting Christ as his savior.

“It’s very nonpolitical,” said the Rev. Jerold McBride, who was the church’s interim pastor at the time. “In fact, he said, ‘I do not want you to run billboards … about this.’ ”

Asked about the visits to churches, Jindal would only say that he is “honored to worship with people across the state.”

Jindal already is raising money for his next campaign. He visited churches when he ran for governor a year ago.

But Jindal said his recent attendance at church services should not be considered a campaign stop.

“Even before I was a candidate for office, I’ve enjoyed worshipping in other churches,” he said.