Can public agencies legally hire lobbyists?

C.B. Forgotston
March 16, 2012 at 10:23 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

According to a story in the Times-Picayune, the Port of South Louisiana is hiring two lobbyists for its staff. See story here.

These positions "will be required to devote their efforts to directing every aspect of projects assigned, working closely with federal and state legislators, local officials and special interest groups in order to influence legislation beneficial to accomplishing the objectives of port projects.

The law: These new positions appear to violate the state law.

LA R.S. 34 :2471(A) states that the Port of South Louisiana is a "political subdivision of the state."

LA R.S. 43:31(D) provides in part: No branch, department, agency, official, employee, or other entity of state government shall expend funds of, administered by, or under the control of any branch, department, agency, employee, official, or other entity of state government Ö to lobby for or against any proposition or matter having the effect of law being considered by the legislature or any local governing authority.

Apparently the Civil Service Commission did not address the legality of the positions.

First Amendment battered in La.

The last few days have not been good ones for the First Amendment freedom of expression in Louisiana.

Yesterday, Bobby Jindal fired a state employee for expressing her views on a matter before a lege committee. See here.

The Dead Pelican reports that LSU System President John Lombardi issued a "gag order" all LSU system administrators to not complain about the budget cuts made to LSU by Jindal. See report here.

State employees targeted

It seems that Jindal and his minion Lombardi have effectively disenfranchised a class of people in Louisiana from exercising their rights as granted under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Obviously, Jindal and Lombardi cannot suspend the operation of the U.S. Constitution for certain state employees, but they have in effect done just that.

Anyone who dares to defy the orders of Jindal and Lombardi facing the likelihood of losing their state jobs.

This sounds more like the old Soviet Union than America.

Where do they stand?

The other public officials in Louisiana have remained unusually quiet on this matter. Obviously, the affected state employees cannot say anything.

Tell the governor where you stand on this matter via: Telephone @ 866-366-1121 (Toll Free) or Fax: (225) 342-7099 or email here.

Additionally, ask your leges where they stand on this matter.

Today it is the state employees, tomorrow it may be you and me.

View other articles written C.B. Forgotston

featured merchant

Landry's Outboard Motors & Repairs Service
Landry's Outboard Motors & Repairs Service Over 25 Years of Quality Sales, Service and Repairs on YAMAHA, MERCURY, EVINRUDE and JOHNSON Motors.

Rockin' River fest kicks off Friday with great music and food
Rockin' River fest kicks off Friday with great music and food
This weekend's inaugural St. Charles Rockin' River Music Fest offers event goers a strong lineup of musical talent and a wealth of food and fun.

Become A Herald-Guide Insider

Get breaking news, sports and lifestyles straight to your inbox