Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Foster Campbell Channels Robin Hood

Louisiana gubernatorial candidate Foster Campbell (D) was easy to follow today, stumping on tax reform in a session with The Times' editorial and community boards. His platform to eliminate state income tax comes with a revenue replacement plan taxing foreigners getting rich off Louisiana oil in a Robin Hood-esque “scheme.”

Campbell contends the 40K miles of oil transmission pipelines statewide are an infrastructure stronghold. He plans to leverage them against oil companies for “fair share” contributions to state issues such as coastal erosion. He argues those pipelines are gold that will keep oil companies here despite new taxes being excised. (Listen to streaming audio.)

Campbell also wants to eliminate severance taxes on state-based oil production replaced by the new flat tax approach to oil processing. A local company would see a 50% reduction in taxes with Campbell's math. By his calculations, a $2B surplus would result.


Campbell blew off Bobby Jindal’s flag waving on ethics reform as ineffective and ironic. He believes allowing lobbyists on the Senate and House floors are a bigger problem than some issues touted. Lobbyists' access to legislators during sessions is “too much influence, too close.” To force priority setting and reduce time on “trivial” local matters, Campbell would limit the number of bills legislators introduce. (Listen to streaming audio of the session.)

Other highlights:

  • Forewarned losses of gaming revenue if Texas gets gaming within 6 years.
  • Voiced unwavering support for “charity” hospital in New Orleans.
  • Said PhD programs at LSU-S are a must.
  • Picked on Entergy’s energy rates, saying they are dampening economic development in eastern parts of the state

As we closed, he expounded a little on Jena news saying it “got out of hand” and would not have developed into a national news event under his watch.

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