Campbell calls out Vitter
Apparently Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter is done with Louisiana. One can hardly blame him, however, after voters defeated him in his run for governor in 2015.
Democrat John Bel Edwards put an end to Vitter’s political career, scoring a landslide 56-44% victory – with the help, of course, of a few Republicans who took Vitter apart during the primary.
And, his rejection by voters came after Vitter has served two terms or 12 years in the Senate. Rather than seek a third Senate term, which political analysts believed was a shoo-in, he decided to run for governor instead.
Hindsight is 20/20, they say, and if Vitter could go back in time, he would likely run for re-election to the Senate where he was gaining seniority and power.
National news outlet POLITICO revealed recently that Vitter is in negotiations with lobbying firms in Washington, D.C. for employment after he finishes his Senate term at the end of this year.
Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell of Elm Grove in Bossier Parish, a Democrat running for Vitter’s seat, was quick to react to the news. “Too many politicians give away their vote to special interests in exchange for jobs,” Campbell said. He added, “I’m going to Washington to end the Congress to K-Street pipeline.” K Street in Washington, D.C. is the prestigious address of the most high-powered lobbying firms, where they rent plush offices.
Campbell also noted, “If it’s legal for a member of the U.S. Senate to be cutting a deal with a lobbying firm before he leaves office, it shouldn’t be. This is clearly an ethics problem.”
Campbell, who many pundits consider an outspoken populist, never minces words as he serves his third term as Public Service Commissioner. He also served 25 years in the Louisiana Senate. “My opponents’ blind support for David Vitter is dangerous. The people of our state want to end the broken Vitter legacy, and I’m going to help them do it.,” Campbell stated.
The U.S. Senate Ethics Code states: “Senators shall not negotiate or make any arrangement for jobs involving lobbying activities until after their successor has been elected. For any other future private employment, Senators must file a signed public statement with the Secretary of the Senate within 3 business days of beginning the negotiations or arrangements for private employment or compensation.
“Senators who file the Disclosure by Member of Employment Negotiations and Recusal form must also recuse themselves whenever there is a conflict of interest (or appearance of one) with respect to the private entity identified on the form and notify the Ethics Committee in writing of such recusals.”
4th District U.S. House race
The Shreveport rumor mill is running hot with news that attorney Marshall Jones is giving some thought to entering the 4th District race.
The word is that Jones would run as a Democrat for the seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Rep. John Fleming, who’s running for the U.S. Senate.
Former City Judge and District Attorney candidate LaLeshia Walker Alford has told the Fax-Net she is also giving serious consideration to running. She is an African-American Democrat, who could steal some black votes away from Jones. At the same time, Republican Elbert Guillory of Opelousas (who is already in the race) is also an African-American and will be trying to woo black voters to vote for him.
Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.