Retired state employees and teachers groups want to know where the four major governor candidates stand on issues important to retirees, such as pension and health care benefits.
But two of the candidates declined overtures — Republicans U.S. Sen. David Vitter and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle.
About two months ago, the governor candidates were invited to “closed-door” meetings with the boards of the Retired State Employees Association and the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association, RSEA legislative director Frank Jobert said.
Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Democrat John Bel Edwards agreed, meeting separately with the boards in 30-minute interview sessions Oct. 5.
But Vitter and Angelle cited scheduling conflicts, Jobert said.
The boards then gave Angelle and Vitter the option of sending written answers to questions, Jobert said. “Neither of the two candidates availed themselves of this opportunity!” Jobert wrote to RSEA members.
“Unfortunately, Scott Angelle and David Vitter did not think enough of retired and active state employees and teachers to even give us the respect or courtesy of a written reply to the interrogatories.”
Jobert’s message accompanied a synopsis of the associations’ questions as well as answers provided by Dardenne and Edwards. It’s all posted on the RSEA website and on its Facebook page.
“The RSEA is providing this information for your consideration in deciding who to vote for on October 24, 2015,” he said.
There are about 130,000 retired state employees, teachers, school employees and state troopers.
Questions ranged from such hot-button topics as support for a cost-of-living adjustment in pension checks in July , pension reform plans, commitment to the state Office of Group Benefits health insurance, and any plans to repeal the state income tax exemption for state and federal retirees.