Our Views: The advocate for businesses

One of the most distinguished figures at the State Capitol for many years, Dan Juneau retired after 25 years as president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. He had been chief lobbyist for the organization before that, brought on board by legendary LABI founder Ed Steimel.

They were a remarkable team, and Juneau’s retirement truly has been recognized as a changing of the generational guard.

LABI chose Stephen Waguespack, former top aide to Gov. Bobby Jindal, as Juneau’s successor. He has big shoes to fill: Juneau was a respected operator in the capitol, and he maintained a sometimes prickly independence from political agendas of governors and lawmakers of both parties.

Waguespack has spent much of his life working for two strong-willed and highly ideological Republicans, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, of Texas, and Jindal, who particularly tolerates little dissent from the party line.

At LABI, the job will be very different, working for a diverse business community with sometimes conflicting interests; we wish Waguespack good luck in putting his own stamp on the job.

But we shall miss Juneau, who in the midst of legislative warfare had a gift of wry wit, flashing a Shakespeare quote from memory, making a laugh out of a tense moment.

We wish him well in retirement.