FOSTER CAMPBELL PLEDGES-AND DELIVERS-ON ETHICS REFORM IN POLITICS
Gubernatorial candidate Foster Campbell said Tuesday his pledge to voters to press for ethics reform is backed by a record of support for such initiatives in the Legislature and at the Public Service Commission.
"As I have said throughout this campaign, voters should be told what you've done before you tell them what you will do," Campbell said.
Soon after Campbell joined the PSC in January 2003, the commission was criticized in a legislative audit for numerous instances of commissioners and staff being entertained by utility companies regulated by the PSC.
"Though I was not a commissioner during the audited period, I knew the PSC had to respond to regain the public's confidence."
Campbell asked his fellow commissioners to pass a rule banning all entertainment and gifts from utility representatives. The measure failed, but a rule requiring utilities to report all such expenditures passed.
At the same time Campbell succeeded in passing a rule banning the employment of commissioners and family members by utilities. Upon his initiative and to provide more public scrutiny of the PSC, the commission now holds meetings throughout the state, instead of only in Baton Rouge.
In his campaign for Governor Campbell has pledged to press the Legislature to pass ethics legislation during his first year in office.
Campbell said he supports the movement by the LA Ethics 1 coalition and Blueprint Louisiana to require financial disclosure by legislators and other officials.
"It's past time for Louisiana citizens to know how their elected officials earn their living and to make sure that their decisions are based on the welfare of the state, not on their own financial situation," Campbell said.
Campbell said he would also propose legislation banning gifts to legislators, providing stronger protection to whistleblowers and increasing access to public records.
Campbell, who served for 27 years in the State Senate, also pledged to push the Legislature to ban lobbyists from the floors of the House and Senate.
"Lobbyists serve a purpose, but they shouldn't be breathing down the necks of legislators attempting to do the public's business. Let them take a step back."