People call him "Dr. Lou," partly because his last name is difficult to say and spell. Dr. Lou Campomenosi, 78, long-time head of the Common Sense Campaign, has announced his resignation from the group. He and wife Jeanette are moving home to Louisiana to live close to family.
Dr. Lou joined Common Sense when it started in 2009, largely to oppose the federal health care program known as ObamaCare. The group started as a Tea Party – Taxed Enough Already. It expanded scope to a conservative and constitutionalist citizen action group supporting pro-life and opposing wasteful government spending and corruption.
The Baldwin-Mobile-based group became a statewide factor as it sponsored the annual "Welcome Back Rally," when taxpayers descend on Montgomery yearly to start the legislative session. The rally features conservative speakers outside the Alabama State House around the opening day of regular legislative sessions.
The group also organizes an annual tax day rally around the IRS filing date of April 15.
Under Dr. Lou's leadership, the Common Sense Campaign has taken the following actions:
Helped defeat ALDOT's proposed toll on the I-10 Bayway in 2019. Common Sense's large citizen rally at Five Rivers Center on the Mobile Bay causeway highlighted citizen opposition to the toll.
Helped defeat statewide Amendment One in 2020. It would have taken away the right to vote on members of the State School Board and made them all appointed by the governor.
Successfully pressured the city of Mobile to abolish new taxpayer-funded positions of liaisons for LGTQ rights.
Successfully backed action by the State School Board that banned Critical Race Theory in Alabama public schools.
Fell short in efforts to pass school choice legislation.
Fell short in efforts to repeal the Common Core standards in Alabama schools.
Fell short on opposition to the 2019 gasoline tax increase of ten cents a gallon.
Dr. Lou was a career U.S. Marine, serving in the Gulf War. Since his 1992 retirement, he has been a political science instructor at Tulane, Southern Mississippi, the University of North Alabama in Florence and Springhill College in Mobile.
He and his wife moved to Alabama after losing their home in Bay St. Louis, Miss., to Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Lou has for years had a weekly talk show on WABF radio in Fairhope named "Conservative Watchdog." He has been a frequent guest on talk shows across Alabama.
In his letter of resignation to the Common Sense board, Dr. Lou said:
After much thought and talking to our family, Jeannette and I agreed to move back to Louisiana to be closer to our youngest son, Tim, and Jeannette's sister and brothers who live in New Orleans. In our 55 years of marriage, we have never lived in one place as long as we have in Daphne and Fairhope (14 years!), so this was not an easy decision to make, especially as it pertains to the Common Sense Campaign.
I do want all of you to know what an honor it has been to be part of CSC and to have worked with such dedicated individuals as all of you are. I also want to thank each of you for working with me at every turn—it has been not only an honor, but a real pleasure to work with each of you over the years—your advice and willingness to step up when necessary is indicative of a healthy organization that puts mission first not personal agendas! I have no doubt that our newly restructured organizational model that emphasizes our Chapters will be successful as CSC continues to meet the challenges that have inspired us to do what we have done over the years. New challenges will be met by CSC because they must be addressed: "IF NOT US, WHO? That is a heavy burden, but one we have been willing to bear and will continue to do so because that is who we are as Board members and that is WHAT CSC IS!
So, although we are in the process of leaving, I will continue to work to ensure a smooth transition to whomever is our next president. Again, I want to thank each of our Board members, past and present for the support, friendship, and dedication that made what I had to do so much easier!
A successor to Dr. Lou will be selected by the Common Sense board. They are looking at Mobile businessman Pete Riehm, a co-founder of Common Sense and their long-time emcee for rallies.
Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor.
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