Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Foster Campbell released a commercial Tuesdayreaffirming the governor’s support and continuing to mine his call for a 10-year ban on lobbying after a senator leaves office.
“The current system is a joke that doesn’t protect the public interest. It’s wrong when a Democrat does it and it’s wrong when a Republican does it,” said Campbell, one of five elected Public Service Commissioners.
Fellow Democrat, Gov. John Bel Edwards is shown three times in the 1-minute spot. Edwards is backing Cambell’s candidacy.
“I think they should be outright banned from lobbying any branch of the federal or state government without exception. Let them come home and get a job and work like everybody else,” Campbell said in a press release.
Current law allows former senators to get paid by lobbying firms for providing “strategic advice” while waiting out the current two year ban on directly lobbying their former colleagues.
Campbell’s issue, which he released earlier in the campaign and repeats in his commercial, targets Louisiana’s two most recent U.S. Senators. Mary Landrieu took a job with a D.C. lobbying firm in May 2015 after losing a reelection bid the previous fall. And published reports suggest Sen. David Vitter is talking about a job after he steps down in January. Vitter has not responded to inquiries about the rumors.
But a post-elective office lobbying sinecure has long been a career path for Louisiana politicians. John Breaux and J. Bennett Johnston are two long-time senators who eased into retirement through the highly paid field of government lobbying. Over on the U.S. House side, former congressmen Bob Livingston, Billy Tauzin, Richard Baker, Chris John, Rodney Alexander and others have taken jobs representing special interests in their relationships with state and federal governmental agencies.
“Our people go to Washington, they come back and they work for all the firms that they’ve been voting on all their special bills for and they wind up millionaires,” Campbell said in the spot.