After months of consideration, research, and deliberation, the editorial board of CenLamar (there are three of us now) proudly endorse Foster Campbell for Governor of Louisiana. Although we all respect the integrity and impassioned grassroots work of John Georges and Walter Boasso, Mr. Campbell is the only person in this race who is willing to tackle the biggest issue facing the future of our State: the relationship between big oil and the erosion of our coastline and the destruction of our environment. To some, this may seem to be an academic point, but our state’s affair with big oil is as rewarding as it is destructive.

Louisiana sits atop a gold mine of oil and gas infrastructure, yet for decades, we have been unable to properly capitalize on our riches. We have watched as our industry and resources have been funneled out of state and, frequently, out of the country. We have allowed our coastlines to be conquered by oil and gas companies that direct the bulk of their incomes (and therefore, the bulk of their tax revenues) to shill companies housed in jurisdictions that can afford to provide better tax incentives. As these companies conquer our coastline, they also destroy our environment and our natural barriers against hurricanes and heavy storms. For some odd reason, in Louisiana, it is considered “bold” to speak out on this issue, yet when you unravel this issue, you find evidence of a compelling solution.

Foster Campbell understands the implications of a proactive reform on this issue, and more importantly, he understands how to compromise. Although there is little doubt that oil and gas companies have exploited and continue to exploit our coastline, thereby damaging our natural line of defense and facilitating coastal erosion, Foster Campbell recognizes the industry’s important role in our shared future. Campbell’s solution may not be new, but that doesn’t mean it’s not innovative. He proposes instituting a fee or tax for all foreign oil that is processed in the State of Louisiana. Such a tax would raise, by conservative estimates, over $5 billion a year in additional revenue.

As a result of this additional revenue, Campbell’s plan calls for the elimination of both the state personal income tax and the state corporate income tax and allocating the remaining few billion dollars toward education, coastal restoration, infrastructure, and health care. The solution is practical and simple, yet no other gubernatorial candidate has been willing to address it.

Campbell enjoys broad support. As a former school teacher turned veteran policy maker, Campbell has picked up the endorsements of the two largest teachers unions, and as the only candidate with a plan that addresses Louisiana’s uneven relationship with the oil and gas industry, Campbell has also found an unusual ally in former Republican Governor Dave Treen.

Foster Campbell also has sensible and thorough plans for education, health care, and economic development. Although some may paint him as a single issue candidate, Campbell recognizes that there are numerous impediments to our collective success, and if we are to move forward, we must address the most pressing issues first.

Louisiana is a poor state rich with resources. Foster Campbell envisions Louisiana as a rich state rich with resources, a state that finally uses its location and its infrastructure as leverage, a state that refuses to be bankrupted by corporatists intent on pillaging its resources. Foster Campbell believes in the future of Louisiana, and on October 20, we will cast our votes for him.

7 thoughts

  1. A thoughtful and well reasoned post. Well done, y’all. I’ve come to the same conclusions myself. And he’s the only hardcore Democrat in the race and if I’m going down I want to go down with one of my own.

  2. Lamar isn’t your buddy Foster the one who thought he was so smart and important that he could drive on I-49 before it opened and crashed and was seriously injured. Also since you are so concerned about Bobby’s net worth why do not you do some fair and balanced research on Mr. Campbell’s net worth and how he earned it since he is supposed to be “independently wealthy.” I can’t wait for Iran, Saudi, and Hugo Chavez to start paying my State income tax. What a deal!! Also since Mr. Campbell is endorsed by the United Teachers of New Orleans, that reknown stellar group of academia, I’m sure he must be a real smart guy.

  3. Larry, is that really all you have? Making fun of a man’s serious injuries? Really?

    Campbell may be wealthy as well, but he has spent a significant amount of time in the private sector. And no one has denied that Campbell is wealthy, whereas some conservatives have denied that Jindal is a multi-millionaire. The point in sharing this information was to correct the record.

    That said, I suppose you don’t have a problem with Venezuela, Iran, and Saudi Arabia taking full advantage of our infrastructure or damaging our coastline; you just seem to have a problem with those countries being taxed. That’s interesting.

    Oh, and it’s great you wanted to take your time to insult New Orleans teachers. Seriously, are you just trying to hurl whatever insults you can? Or are you thinking about this beforehand?

  4. Lamar,

    I was not intending on insulting the orleans parish teachers. Just stating the fact that students in that district fail to exceed the state average in all subjects and the state average is nothing to write home about. Why would I support a candidate endorsed by this organization. If one were thinking properly this endorsement would make one question one’s support for the candidate. Ask anyone living in new orleans if public schools are an option and the answer is no. LIberal democrats and teachers unions do not want to give parents choices to get their children out of failing public schools.

  5. Larry,

    Thanks for clarifying your response. I believe one of the reasons Campbell has picked up the endorsements of teachers and teachers unions is because he once was a public school teacher.

    Concerning New Orleans, President Bush and Secretary Spellings both believe in divesting from public schools and pouring money into charter schools, which are regulated by separate administrative boards. Incidentally, three of New Orleans’s charter schools were recently determined to be failing.

    Teachers unions support funding our schools in order to ensure that they do not continue failing.

  6. Charter schools are not truly private sector schools. That having been said, Bush and Spellings are correct. in their underlying rationale.

    When public schools must compete with private ones for the almightly dollar, then a good product as opposed to the, “status quo.” will become important. Public schools are part of a huge monopoly that barely adequately serves only a portion of the population, while the entire population is taxed to fund them. Under the present system in the US, significant segments of the population will never be served adequately, unless forced to do so by competition.

    Low socio-economic people and those with no power and infuence have no recourse but to have their children trapped in weak and/or failing schools. Special education is to a great extent a joke (implemented poorly if at all); and it’s funds are too often misused or misappropriated, while school administrative leaders complain out of the other side of their mouths that, “It is those special education children who are bankrupting us.”

    Huge amounts of money that should be plowed into actual direct services to people’s children are wasted on highly paid outside consultants to come in tell people what they are suppopsed to know how to do anyway, on travel (a real biggie) and other unessentials for administrators.

    Teacher unions are a farce and pretty generally a waste of money. They seldom can protect good and ethical teachers who stand up for integrity in education from retribution by self-serving administrators; while total imcompetents with political protection inside the system are allowed to, in some cases, outright abuse people’s children. Teachers and lower level administrators with both integrity and a backbone, get a, “transfer,” the favorite method of squashing any valid dissention. Matter of fact, there is mass carnage right under the noses of the local public, and a morale crisis of epic proportions; but the local newspaper (apparently staffed with the clueless) calls it, “disciplined leadership.”

    I have witnessed the politics, graft, corruption, and plain incompetence of too many in public education for too many years; and after nearly killing myself in efforts to improve it, have also come to the conclusin that choice is the answer. It will be the only way for true accountabilty to emerge.

    One of the best innovations that I have seen in recent years was that of having closed circuit televsion in the classroom and parents having access via the internet to randomly view what is happening in that classroom at any time during the day.

    Now there is accountability!! An objective record of what actually goes on in schools and classrooms would revolutionize and vastly improve schools. Educators might actually have to be truly accountable as opposed to giving lip service to accountability. Imagine that?

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