Foster Campbell


Who is this dude?

I’m writing this for a audience of people who, like me, feel passionate about balancing the Senate but squeamish about giving money to a Democrat that, let’s be honest, you’ve never heard of before the election. I learned at a young age from Eddie Murphy’s high-concept comedy The Distinguished Gentleman that politics is more complicated than red team — blue team. So I took an hour of my post-election neurosis and researched up on Foster Campbell — the Democrat in Louisiana opposing John Kennedy (not the dead one, though that’d parallel my Distinguished Gentleman reference nicely) in a run-off race on Dec 10th. He’s behind in the polls but if this month has taught me anything it’s FUCK POLLS.

My sources are his campaign’s website, Wikipedia and then about 5 or 6 articles written before Nov 9th about his career in various political roles. I picked these articles at random from page 1,2,7,9 and 11 of a Google search, trying for a sample of sources and opinions. But I’m just showing you a few things that resonated or that I’d want to know before making a contribution. I listed the articles below to help you make your own analysis.


  1. He’s into extremely tangible bills, like fighting predatory pay loans, stopping phone companies from overcharging jail calls, and sponsoring a bill waiving utility connection fees for victims of domestic violence relocating from abusers. (He worked in utilities and it shows in his practicality)
  2. He helped establish a $1 Billion Educational Excellence Fund to fund public schools through a huge Big Tobacco settlement. (Matt Damon’s gonna play him in the movie version.*)
  3. He’s really proud of being ‘in nobody’s pocket’ in Washington. It seems genuine and I find it quaintly rogue. His core pillars are raising the minimum wage, funding schools, ensuring equal pay for women, and getting corporate money out of Washington. (If Trump is serious about booting lobbyists Foster Campbell is a good teammate…)
  4. He said in a debate “I am pro-life and I am pro-guns, that’s pure and simple.” On guns, he doesn’t want to pass more laws but believes in better enforcement. The “Right to Life” (a Pro-life organization) gives him an 82% as a Politician on their issues (his opponent has a 100%) but despite his Pro-life views has made statements like: “I have two daughters. I don’t want the government coming into my living room making decisions about them.” …So there’s all that.
  5. He wants Oil Companies held responsible for Costal Erosion saying “Not one soul would let someone come through your yard and rip it up without asking the person who did it to pay for it…When you tear up our coast you have to be responsible.”
  6. He has fought passionately for Disabled Rights, maybe because he lost sight in one eye and “faces challenges and opportunities based on my own disabilities.” or maybe he’s just that cool.
  7. He was running in the Primary against Caroline Fayard and took some campaign swipes at her, but then, she did too. Most of the antagonism was who was working in the people’s best interest and who was secretly working for THE MAN.
  8. My favorite thing about Foster Campbell are his mental health initiatives. He worked in the Louisiana Senate to get ‘wasteful spending’ put towards mental health programs. He’s a huge advocate and fights for mental health (including for Veterans). Why’d this stand out? I think it’s because frankly, he looks like a ‘good ole’ boy’ politician; his folksy axioms only enhance that vibe. But his campaign is ‘interested in eradicating the stigma of mental healthcare, improving Louisiana’s mental healthcare worker-to-citizen ratio, and increasing both inpatient and outpatient options for optimal access to mental health services.’ As straightforward as fighting loansharks is, mental health issues are politically obscure without tangible quantitative payback. Yet mental health is an intersection of issues in a healthy functioning society — from poverty to crime to education to Veteran’s affairs. This Century we face new personal challenges of global technological age with no emotional roadmaps. We’re seeing cracks in our individual ability to communicate or handle our fears about the unknowns of the world and it’s causing cracks in our evolving society. Meanwhile, many of our concepts of dealing with mental health remain stuck in the 19th century. I have zero idea if Foster Campbell would agree with my pseudo-philosophical assessment but his attention to mental health in his State suggests to me a comprehensive thinker of larger social problems and not just a politician who wants to keep the lights on.

May you use this as a jumping off point for your own internet rabbit hole. Meanwhile, I’m going to donate in good conscious to Foster Campbell and then re-watch The Distinguished Gentleman.

*The Matt Damon movie is a joke, not real. Yet.

Foster Campbell’s Website

Foster Campbell Interview with Rachel Maddow

The Distinguished Gentleman on IMDB

Articles I read: