To the People I am Honored to Represent:
In 1996, you afforded me the privilege to represent you as one of five members of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. As is my practice in life, I sought God’s direction and believe I have faithfully discharged my duties as a member of the Commission for just over 15 years. At the end of this current term (Dec. 31, 2012), I will have served you for 16 years.
Because there are several critical decisions facing the Commission in the months and years ahead, many people have encouraged me to seek re-election for what would be my final term, and until now, I have proceeded on that path. However, the time required to continue to serve as a leader on the Commission, to run an effective campaign, to be a loving husband to Laura, my wife of 51 years, to be a father to four grown children and grandfather to 15 grandchildren, as well as continue my part-time law practice, has forced me to re-evaluate my plans.
Accordingly, I have concluded that I will not seek re-election for another term. This has been an extremely difficult decision because I believe that the people would have re-elected me based on my record as a dedicated commissioner, who has fairly balanced the interests of the consumers and the utilities. Among my achievements, I am especially proud that Louisiana’s residential electric rates are currently among the lowest in the nation and that, during my tenure, Louisiana’s electric consumers have received more than $2 billion in savings in the form of refunds, rate reductions, and the innovative use of securitization. I am equally proud of the Commission’s implementation of local telephone service rules, which have led to innovation and fierce competition, as well as the Commission’s introduction of the successful Do-Not-Call Program.
I especially want to thank my excellent Consumer Affairs Staff, headed by Peggy Lantrip, and including Annette Romero, Jane Rhodes, and Sharon Dungan for their courteous and efficient handling of more than 27,000 consumer issues during my tenure. I also want to offer a special note of thanks to my Chief of Staff, David Kantrow, for his able and insightful assistance on the very complex policy issues that come before the Commission, as well as my Assistant Chief of Staff Cynthia Thompson, who has headed up my Lafayette office for many years.
Finally, I thank Laura for supporting me throughout my career and agreeing to join with me as we offer our talents in giving back to a state and the people we truly love. I trust, in some small way, that God has been glorified by my service as a Commissioner and I long to continue in His service for the time I have remaining.
Stepping down is never easy, but I have always admired those who have left at the top of their game. By making the decision at this time, it will give others who wish to serve ample time to campaign for the position. My campaign will refund contributions made during this election cycle.
Thank you and may God continue to bless Louisiana and America.
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Louisiana fell one spot in an annual national ranking of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.
A federal judge has decided he doesn't need to hear more arguments in the case of a gay couple who want a Louisiana marriage license.
Saints again bring playoff aspirations into 2014 campaign.
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Michael Sam focuses on making the team; Christians flee Mosul; Kerry at work in Middle East and more national and international news for Wednesdays, July 23, 2014.
Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards sued Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday over his actions against the multi-state standards, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
An arrest was announced this morning in connection with last week’s bomb scare at UL Lafayette.
Attorneys, judges and others interviewed by LaPolitics expect 15 to 20 district judge races this year.
"I feel like I'm under siege," an attorney said recently over drinks at Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. "We all do. Every time I turn around somebody wants a check. District attorney races. The judges. They're killing us."
As a requirement for running for Congress in the 6th District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has filed his financial disclosure statement with the U.S. House showing his income in 2013 totaling $242,787.
Unlike those swindled by Bernie Madoff, the victims of Texas businessman Robert Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme won’t be getting any relief from the Securities Investor Protection Corp.’s emergency fund after a recent appellate court ruling.
The legal challenge is part of a continuing struggle over Common Core, which has become controversial since the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the standards in 2010.
The lone Democrat to announce he's running for governor, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, criticized Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's budgeting tactics as "running the state like a big Ponzi scheme."
State police have arrested a 42-year-old Kaplan man in the July 7 hit and run fatality crash that killed a bicyclist on Louisiana Highway 92 near Milton.
Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy has picked up support for his U.S. Senate campaign from a former GOP competitor.
Lisa Hargis Smith lived a mysterious life as seen with her death earlier this month and its impact on the community of those who knew her, whether as a star student in Lafayette High’s class of ‘69, or later as a woman struggling with homelessness and mental illness.
Attorney Valerie Gotch Garrett will announce on Tuesday that she plans to run for the Division E seat of the 15th Judicial District Court.
Back in 2012, three Baton Rouge attorneys came to the aid of several disgruntled police officers with a high-profile lawsuit against the Lafayette Police chief and a number of higher-ups in city-parish government, but in a federal courtroom Thursday, their claims of conspiracy coupled with a lack of evidence backfired and the case was dismissed.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration intends to rework how it pays the private managed care networks that provide health services to two-thirds of Louisiana's Medicaid patients.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is raising health insurance rates and cutting benefits for state employees and retirees, to keep their insurance program solvent.
Local, state and federal law enforcement officials spent much of Thursday reviewing their reaction to this week’s bomb threat, which led to the closure and evacuation of UL Lafayette and Girard Park, and a massive search Wednesday for two alleged explosive devices.
"We're not in a better place from the policy perspective than we were two weeks ago," says Education Superintendent John White, commenting on Thursday's face-to-face meeting with Gov. Bobby Jindal to discuss their dispute over Common Core.
Gov. Bobby Jindal appears to remain unmoved by offers of a compromise on procuring testing materials tied to the Common Core based on a terse statement his office released following a meeting Thursday with Superintendent John White.