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|Foster Campbell speaker at Vidalia Chamber|
Public Service Commissioner Foster L. Campbell, Jr. told the Vidalia Chamber of Commerce Tuesday at noon that six years ago when he was running for his current office there was hardly anything on the Vidalia Riverfront.
"Six years from now when I am back running again there will be even more over here," Campbell said. "Bossier City was a little town until the put Louisiana Downs in and look what is happening now. Monroe doesn't have anything like this. This is as nice as anything we know of in Northeast Louisiana."
Campbell held a public meeting later Tuesday at Vidalia City Hall.
"I'm proud of what we have been able to do in North Louisiana," Campbell said. "We've brought telephones to places that never had it such as Blackhawk in Concordia Parish and now we are trying to get high-speed internet to everybody."
Campbell also wants to see utility rates lowered in Northeast Louisiana.
"Vidalia has reasonable rates," Campbell said. "But places like Monroe are having a hard time attracting businesses because of their utilities. A business that had to pay $1 million for electricity in Shreveport would pay $1,300,000. We have to get Entergy under control. They are keeping people from coming here and we have people who drastically need jobs."
Campbell is a Democratic member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, and a former 26-year member of the Louisiana State Senate. He was an unsuccessful candidate for governor in the October 20, 2007, primary. He polled 161,425 votes (12 percent) and won two parishes: Red River and Bienville, both near Shreveport. He lost his home parish of Bossier (20 percent) to the successful candidate, Republican U.S. Representative Bobby Jindal (60 percent).
In 2002, Campbell was elected to the Public Service Commission (District 5), the statewide regulatory agency in charge of public utilities and the oil industry. He unseated popular incumbent Donald Lynn "Don" Owen (born 1930), a former news anchorman for KSLA-TV in Shreveport.
Had he been elected governor, Campbell would have joined Huey Pierce Long, Jr., James Houston "Jimmie" Davis, John Julian McKeithen, and Kathleen Babineaux Blanco as the fifth public service commissioner to have become governor.
Campbell said he is looking at using wind as source of energy.
"They use windmills in west Texas that we could put on platforms off the coast," he said. "I am sick of being held up by OPEC. We're looking at more nuclear plants. If we do we can build one in St. Francisville because the people are familiar with it."
Campbell has also sponsored new laws such as any customer or applicant that has been determined to be a victim of family violence shall be exempt from the utilities initial credit and/or deposit requirements as established in that utility's tariff.
Also, when weather conditions are below 32 degrees, those people who cannot afford to pay their utility bills cannot have them cut off for two days.
"As far as a populist, I wear that proudly as a badge of honor," Campbell said. "And I think every politician in the state of Louisiana ought to be a populist, representing people. That's not a sinful thing to do."
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