Edison Chouest Offshore is a Louisiana-based company that builds ships used for oil exploration, oil rig construction and servicing, oil spill response and other industrial uses.
Chouest is a major political donor, maxing out his yearly federal contributions by giving mostly to senators and representatives from Louisiana and Alaska.
Chouest has also contributed to key congressional committee members of both parties, including Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, the former chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, which oversees federal ship building contracts.
Edison Chouest Offshore received federal contracts (almost exclusively from the Navy) worth over $100 million in 2012 alone, and 278 contracts worth over $445 million since 2000. (See USASpending.gov)
Chouest's strategically targeted giving strategy in the 2007-2008 election cycle also resulted in a $132,500 contribution to Bobby Jindal's campaign for Governor of Louisiana. Shortly after Jindal was elected, one of the first state contracts for economic development went to Edison Chouest to help build a new shipyard.