Kudos to John Maginnis and Jeremy Alford for breaking the story below. The selection of Stephen Waguespack to be the president of LABI has long been rumored.
Bobby Jindal could NEVER beat LABI, so he found a way to take it over.
As a supporter of LABI since it was established in 1975, a 32-year member and a former lobbyist for LABI, it breaks my heart to see Jindal take control of LABI.
I'll get over my broken heart, but the Louisiana business community and individuals will suffer from losing such a strong voice at the Louisiana Legislature.
With all due respect to all the other business organizations in this state, LABI is sui generis. I'm very proud to have been a very small part of LABI's successes and failures.
I don't know Stephen Waguespack. I have tried to contact him numerous time, but he refuses all my communication. However, I do know that the ONLY people he will answer to are Bobby Jindal and Timmy Teepell, not the LABI Board and certainly not the individual members.
I will catch hell from lots of people, some will even be friends, for expressing my view on this matter. Have at me!
Follow C.B. on Twitter at @CBForgot
August 20, 2013
By John Maginnis & Jeremy Alford
Stephen Waguespack Up for LABI President
Former top Jindal aide is pick of selection committee
Stephen Waguespack, former chief of staff to Gov. Bobby Jindal, is in line to be the next president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, one of the state's most powerful lobbying groups. He is the selection committee’s recommendation to the LABI board of directors, which meets Sept. 6 to choose a successor to Dan Juneau, who is retiring.
Jindal allies are said to have pressed hard for Waguespack’s selection. That has caused grumbling among some LABI members who fear it moves the organization, known for its independence, closer to Jindal’s orbit. Members doubt those reservations are enough for the board to reject Waguespack, but there is the possibility the process could be restarted.
What’s settled, though, is that former House Speaker Jim Tucker is out of the running. The board also interviewed Dave Kemmerly, the director of the Kentucky Medical Society and one-time aide to former Gov. Buddy Roemer.
Waguespack did not return a phone call for comment. He also failed to inform his employer, Jones Walker, of which he is of counsel, that he interviewed for the position, according to sources.
In the last session, LABI was considered more influential with legislators than was Jindal. The group finished off the governor’s tax swap proposal before the session began, when it opposed the plan that would have shifted the tax burden to business.