Charles Emile Bruneau, Jr., known as Peppi Bruneau (born November 12, 1942), is an attorney from New Orleans, Louisiana, who represented District 94 (Orleans Parish) in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1976 until his retirement in April 2007.
Bruneau graduated from Brother Martin High School, then known as St. Aloysius High School, in New Orleans. He received his law degree from Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans. In 1991, he was named as a distinguished fellow of the Government Leadership of the University of New Orleans. He is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Louisiana Air National Guard.
Bruneau is a member of the New Orleans Bar Association, Lakeview Civic Improvement Association, and is active in promoting the New Orleans Audubon Zoo, Aquarium of the Americas, and City Park. He is Roman Catholic. He is married to the former Brenda Vines, and the couple has two grown sons.
Representative Bruneau wrote landmark sunshine laws to open government meetings and records to the public. He sponsored the controversial law that legalized video poker in the state. He procured passage of another law that clarifies the right of a victim to shoot a carjacker. However, he fought efforts to halt excessive alcohol consumption. He mastered the art of redistricting as a House parliamentarian. Rarely was he seriously challenged in his own Lakeview district. He also pushed without success for both vouchers for families of private school pupils and for merit selection of state court judges.
Bruneau left the legislature with nine months remaining in his eighth term, having even accelerated his original departure date by two weeks. A special election was therefore held to choose his successor. His son, Jeb E. Bruneau, ran unsuccessfully for the seat, having lost a March 31, 2007, runoff to fellow Republican Nicholas Lorusso, a New Orleans attorney. Also in the race in the spring was Democratic activist Deborah Langhoff.
Thereafter, Bruneau's other son, Adrian Lee Bruneau (born ca. 1972), failed in the regular nonpartisan blanket primary, or jungle primary, held on October 20, 2007, to select a full-term successor to the term-limited Bruneau. Lorusso again prevailed, having defeated Adrian Bruneau and, again, the Democrat Deborah Langhoff. In addition to Lakeview, the 94th District includes Mid-City, City Park, and the Lake areas of Orleans Parish. It was redistricted in 2011 for the 2012 legislative session.
Bruneau, known for his flamboyance, wit, humor, and theatrics in the House, was originally elected as an Independent in the first ever nonpartisan primary held in the fall of 1975. He switched to Republican affiliation in 1984 and was thereafter elected as a Republican in 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, and 2003.
During Hurricane Katrina, Bruneau lost his home, law offices, and certain business interests. He sent dozens of updates and newsletters to constituents advising them of their options after Katrina.
Bruneau is a former Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House. In 1984, he was chairman of the House Republican delegation. The conservative Alliance for Good Government named him "Legislator of the Year" in 1978, 1980, 1981, and 1986. The Louisiana Conservative Union cited him for service as well in 1981. The National Republican Legislators Association named him "National Legislator of the Year" in 1986. In 1992, he received the Monte M. Lemann Award from Louisiana Civil Service. In 1995, he was honored by the interest group Victims and Citizens against Crime.
Bruneau attributed his early resignation to the desire that his successor serve prior to the implementation of term limits with the 2008 legislative session. Though Bruneau had originally supported term limits for legislators, he changed his mind on the matter as his time of departure neared. As early as 2005, Bruneau had expressed opposition to term limits, even having quipped the Richard M. Nixon line: "You won't have Peppi to kick around any more."
Bruneau, meanwhile holds the District 94 seat on the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee.
In February 2015, Bruneau, along with Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, were among the new inductees into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.