The three governors were questioned by moderator Robyn Ekings of LPB’s Louisiana: The State We’re In, LPB President /CEO Beth Courtney and longtime Gannett Capitol Reporter John Hill.
The three men agreed on many of the issues at the forum. All three served after the terms of four-term Governor Edwin Edwards and agreed that he was influential whether he was in office or not. Treen and Roemer were both defeated by Edwards when they attempted to get re-elected.
All three governors suffered through the trials and tribulations of state government. Governor Treen was in office when the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty and ordered the first execution in decades. Governor Roemer faced a decision on an execution on the first day he was in office while Governor Foster had only two executions in his two terms.
Governor Foster cited educational accountability as his major accomplishment along with his efforts to clean up the way government is conducted. Governor Treen created the Department of Environmental Quality along with a long list of reforms. Governor Roemer said his most ambitious and controversial project was to create a teacher evaluation system that helped get incompetent teachers out of the classroom. It was not continued after he left office but it was a forerunner of the accountability reforms that occurred during the Foster administration.
The Power of Politics: A Forum of Governors is part of the McLeod Lecture Series at McNeese State University.