St. Pierre: lobbyist on hold until after presidential election
Although the decision was removed from consideration at Monday night’s council meeting, St. Charles Parish President V. J. St. Pierre still plans to hire a lobbying firm. He just wants to wait until after the presidential election.
St. Pierre believes a John McCain or Barack Obama win could determine the best type of lobbying firm to be chosen to secure funds for parish projects.
“I know some council members were concerned about the first choice of a lobbyist, Mr. Egle,” he said. “So I'm going to shop around for some other firms.”
Former Lafourche Parish President Richard Egle was St. Pierre's choice to lobby for money in Washington, a decision he says he made after a luncheon with Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard.
“I asked the council to table the measure because I will be looking into hiring a different firm,” he said. “I think I should shop around a little more before making a final decision and presenting the plans to the council.”
Egle, who introduced himself at last month's meeting, said he had never lobbied for a government entity before, and while he was friends with Broussard and worked on a project with Jefferson Parish previously, he hadn't ever been employed by the parish directly.
Egle asked for a salary of $100,000 - an amount that some council members felt was too expensive.
Egle also answered questions about a company he lobbied for called Global Environmental Energy Corp (GEEC) that is currently under investigation after it was linked to Congressman William Jefferson.
Egle stated that while he did work to help the company, when he saw things weren't working out he broke ties and ended the contractual relationship with them after one year.
The Louisiana Board of Ethics Provides a list of registered lobbyists within the state.
Egle has worked as a lobbyist for the past 15 years, but solely for the industry sector, not for parish government.
Lobbying firms are one of the fastest growing industries to date because of the increased need for federal funds to secure projects.
St. Pierre originally got the idea to use the lobbyist from Broussard.
“When I asked him how he was able to get funding to do things around his parish, he told me that he used a lobbying firm and he recommended Mr. Egle,” he said.
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