In a letter emailed to his constituents Friday morning, District 2 Public Service Commissioner Jimmy Field, who would have faced fellow Republican Ed Roy of Lafayette in the primary Nov. 6, said he will retire after 16 years at the end of 2012. “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,” Field writes.
Contacted last month by The Independent after Roy announced his campaign, Field’s office said he would definitely seek re-election.
The recently redrawn District 2 covers the parishes of Lafayette, St. Mary, St. Martin, Terrebonne, Lafourche, East Feliciana, West Feliciana and Point Coupee as well as parts of Iberia, East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville and Livingston parishes. Field, a Baton Rouge attorney, has served as a commissioner since December 1996.
An independent regulatory agency, the PSC manages public utilities and motor carriers in the state. It has five elected members chosen in single-member districts for staggered six-year terms.
Roy is founder and president of Global Data Fusion, an investigative and screening firm, and is the current president of the Louisiana Private Investigators Association. A meteorologist who worked as a TV and radio weatherman for two decades, Roy also served as a criminal intelligence detective for the Lafayette Parish sheriff’s office for 16 years, and is a certified fraud investigator. He was a member of the Lafayette Parish Council from 1992 to 1996.
Below is Field’s letter.
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.
JUNE 19 Former Saint Steve Gleason, who is paralyzed by ALS, released a statement Tuesday in response to the Atlanta radio station's skit making fun of him and the disease, this Picayune post reports. What did he say? He said he'd accepted the apology of the DJs who did it, notes that at least the incident has got people talking about ALS, and asks anyone who is burning to take action about it to do so -- by helping him fight ALS.
JUNE 19 Blogger Ian McGibboney takes a look at the Gleason incident in this post. He makes a good argument about the difference between having free speech and being free from consequences for your speech (which none of us is). He also admits that many of us got upset before we listened to the skit -- but lets us know that the reality is far worse than we can imagine. It was the incredibly bad judgment, even more than the actual speech, that probably got those DJs fired, he opines.
JUNE 19 Washington Post blogger Aaron Blake writes about Sen. Guillory's switch to the GOP in this post. He writes what most political watchers in Louisiana know: Guillory was a Republican before he decided to run for the senate seat in a mostly-D St. Landry district, and has switched back now that he plans to run for Lt. Gov. in a mostly-R state. But how come Blake missed Guillory's appearance on a TLC pageant show? Now that is a video we'd like to see. (Again).
JUNE 19 Here's another Washington Post blog post about a Louisiana politician, and it's just plain scathing. Ezra Klein says Jindal's Politico post was "insulting" to the intelligence of voters, and adds that Jindal is personifying the "stupid" he's railed against, by being an "elite" who convinces GOP activists of "things that aren't true." Me-ow.
JUNE 19 Here's Gov. Jindal's post in Politico, in which he asks the GOP to get over losing to Obama (again) and stop "the bedwetting." (Uh, what?) He gives his Republican buddies what is probably a nerd's idea of a coach's motivational talk, which starts with a list of accomplishments that they can't seem to exploit and ending with an absurd description of liberals that sounds like a character treatment for a Fox "News" movie scripted by Gordon Liddy. Sure, he's preaching to the choir, but even the choir's not this gullible.
JUNE 19 Lamar Parmentel read Gov. Jindal's post on Politico, but thinks it was so dumb it probably was published in the wrong paper. This post by Lamar on the Daily Kingfish opines that possibly Jindal's post was destined for the Onion -- because the governor couldn't possibly be serious here. If you listen closely, you can hear the staff of the Kingfish giggling.
JUNE 19 Blogger Robert Mann posts from Turkey, a country he has visited several times in the past few years. Mann gives an interesting overview of the current political and societal climate of the country, which -- if you're living under a rock and don't know -- is experiencing protests and turmoil these days. Mann promises to post as much as he can during his trip, which should be fascinating reading.
JUNE 19 Blogger CB Forgotston says the legislature is keeping the vicious cycle going with its funding of new buildings for the community college/technical college system. Universities across the state need maintenance and improvement on existing buildings, and the solution is to build new buildings at other schools? By the time the bonds are paid off, those buildings will be falling down, too, CB says.
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.