By John Binder
When it comes to public corruption, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is not playing.
In a meeting with experts yesterday, Vitter talked about the state’s problem with public corruption, telling the Advocate that the issue takes a lot of work to change the nature of political scandal.
“It is still a challenge in Louisiana,” Vitter said of revamping the state’s ethics laws and rooting out corruption. “We need to have a zero-tolerance policy.”
Vitter seems to already be proposing campaign finance reform laws in the state, telling reports after the meeting that politicians should not be able to use campaign money to buy sporting event tickets.
Other public corruption issues Vitter is looking to tackle include term limits, transparency within state government, protections for whistle-blowers and government contract reform.
Here are some of the experts who spoke with Vitter on the issue:
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III
The Public Affairs Research Council Robert Scott
Louisiana Attorney General Criminal Division Director Kurt Wall
Political Pundit and Attorney C.B. Forgotston
State Inspector General Stephen B. Street, Jr.
Forgotson said he had never been to a meeting as good as the one that Vitter held, saying he was expecting a lecture, but instead it was all about input on how to remedy cronyism.
Though Vitter is seen as the front-runner in the state’s gubernatorial race, he is facing challenges from Republicans Lt. Gov Jay Dardenne, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and Democrat Rep. John Bel Edwards (D-Amite).
Vitter has already held a number of meetings with experts on different issues in the state.
The last meeting was held in New Orleans to discuss the city’s issue of violent crime and the State Police’s role in fixing that problem. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was absent.
Finally! A Louisiana Politician Actually Concerned About Public Corruption