Louisiana Public Service Commission
Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC) is an independent regulatory agency which manages public utilities and motor carriers in Louisiana. The commission has five elected members chosen in single-member districts for staggered six-year terms. Thus the commissioners have large constituencies (bigger, e.g., than congressional districts), long terms (6 years), and close involvement with issues of intense consumer interest (such as electricity bills); consequently membership on PSC has been known to serve as a springboard to even higher public office, as in the cases of Huey Long, Jimmie Davis, and John McKeithen—PSC members who became governors of Louisiana.
The PSC is frequently in the news in Louisiana, largely because of its regulatory authority over publicly owned utilities which offer electric, water, waste water, natural gas, and telecommunication services. It also regulates the Louisiana electric cooperatives. It regulates intrastate transportation, including passenger carrier services, waste haulers, household goods carriers, non-consensual towing, and intrastate pipelines. These issues are inseparable from often strongly held opinions by consumers and the regulated industries. One of PSC's most-popular actions was its implementation, on January 1, 2002, of the "Do Not Call" program, which prohibits telemarketers from telephoning people who request that they not receive such calls. The power of LPSC was reduced by the Supreme Court in favor of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for determining electric generation costs in Entergy Louisiana, Inc. v. Louisiana Public Service Commission.
Ever since its founding as the Railroad Commission of Louisiana in the state constitution of 1898, the PSC has been politically powerful and involved, its districts being larger than congressional districts and the issues it has regulated (such as electricity bills) being immediately felt by voters. Thus, not surprisingly, four PSC members have been elected governor of Louisiana: Huey Pierce Long, Jr., in 1928; James Houston "Jimmie" Davis in 1944; John Julian McKeithen in 1964 and 1968; and Kathleen Babineaux Blanco in 2003.
Other Louisiana political heavyweights who have served on the PSC include Wade O. Martin, Sr., patriarch of another Louisiana political family, and John S. Hunt, III, (1928–2001) of Monroe, a nephew of Huey Long and Earl Kemp Long, who served on the commission from 1964 to 1972 when he was defeated by Ed Kennon. Hunt's mother was Lucille Long Hunt. Ernest Clements of Oberlin in Allen Parish was a protégé of the Longs.
Current makeup 
Early in 2009 the PSC consisted of commissioners Foster L. Campbell, Jr., Jimmy Field, and Eric Skrmetta and a vacancy resulting from the resignation of Dale Sittig. Former U.S. Representative Clyde C. Holloway was effectively elected to replace Sittig when the other candidate in the special election runoff, state Senator Joe McPherson of Woodworth, conceded on April 13.
Campbell, a Democrat from Bossier City, has served on the PSC since 2002, when he unseated his fellow Democrat Donald Lynn "Don" Owen of Shreveport, a former newsman for KSLA-TV. Campbell failed in his own gubernatorial bid in 2007. Owen had been elected to the PSC in 1984, when then-incumbent Francis Edward "Ed" Kennon, Jr., declined to seek a third term. Kennon is descended from a famous Louisiana political family: his uncle Robert F. Kennon was governor from 1952 to 1956. Ed Kennon, a Shreveport developer, also ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in the 1971 Democratic primary.
Dale Sittig of Eunice served on the PSC from 1995 to 2008, when he resigned to accept a position with the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port. A special election on April 4, 2009, to choose a successor, resulted in a runoff between Republican Clyde C. Holloway and Democrat Joe McPherson. Former Democratic State Representative Gil Pinac of Crowley, the seat of Acadia Parish, ran as a Republican candidate for the position but was eliminated in the primary and immediately endorsed Holloway. On April 13, 2009, McPherson conceded to Holloway, making Holloway effectively the commissioner-elect. Holloway ran for lieutenant governor in 2003 on a gubernatorial ticket headed by then Commissioner Jay Blossman, who withdrew from the race. Holloway remained a candidate for lieutenant governor but was crushed in the primary election.
In replacing Democrat Sittig, Holloway's addition to the PSC (even including the forerunner Louisiana Railroad Commission) developed the body's first-ever Republican majority. Commissioners Jimmy Field and Eric Skrmetta are, like Holloway, Republican. Simultaneously, the PSC became the first statewide electoral group in Louisiana to develop a Republican majority since the Reconstruction era.
- Alexandria Daily Town Talk, November 30, 2008: 9ahttp://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20081130/NEIGHBORHOODS05/811300325
- Louisiana Public Service Commission's DO NOT CALL Program Rules.
- The Railroad Commission of Louisiana was established in Louisiana's state constitution of 1898. The name of the Railroad Commission was changed to the Public Service Commission in the state constitution of 1921 and continued in the current state constitution adopted in 1974.
- Another commissioner, Jay Blossman, abandoned the 2003 governor's race when opinion polls showed that he was making little headway. Blossman did not seek reelection in 2008. John G. Schwegmann, a New Orleans-area grocery store magnate who was defeated in the 1971 Democratic gubernatorial primary, was thereafter elected to the PSC in the second half of the 1970s.
- "Senator drops out of runoff for PSC", New Orleans Times-Picayune, April 14, 2009, Saint Tammany Edition, p. A2.
- A majority of the U.S. House delegation from Louisiana has been Republican since the 1990s, but that is at the federal level. Both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature continued to have a Democratic majority although the margin generally attenuated from the 1970s onward.