CADDO COMMISSION PRESIDENT LINN STARTS OFF WITH POWER GRAB FOR NLCOG SEAT

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015In less than 2 weeks as the new president of the Caddo Commission, Matthew Linn has caused quite a stir—as well as a wave of embarrassment for the Commission—by his actions, both as a Commissioner and as the president of the Commission. The first was an attempt to use his office as a Commissioner to unduly influence (and apparently successfully so) to have Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator have an investigator chase down the writer of a Facebook post that Linn did not like. Now Linn, and perhaps the Commission as well as the Sheriff, face a possible civil rights suit by a local attorney claiming that the email and subsequent actions of a Sheriff’s deputy violated her rights to free speech, unlawfully threatened her employment by a public agency and racially slandered her clientele.

Commissioner Matthew LinnLinn’s latest antic is to replace Parish Administrator Dr. Woody Wilson on the NLCOG (North Louisiana Council of Governments)—who is serving as chairman this year. Linn first sent a letter to Read more

NEW CADDO COMMISSIONERS SET THE TONE FOR NEW LEADERSHIP IN FIRST COMMISSION MEETINGS

John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Its always exciting to have new faces in public offices, and even more so when newcomers immediately jump in and tackle the “bull by the horns”, so to speak. And that is exactly what happened at the first work session, and then the first meeting, of the newly sworn in 2016-2120 Caddo Commission.

The presence of 4 newbies—John Atkins, Mario Chavez, Steven Jackson and Mike Middleton—on the Commission made the difference between night in day on this 12 member body in the first 2 meetings. During the initial work session on January 19 Steven Jackson offered 3 ordinances to be put on the agenda for the January 21 agenda. The first was to delete the Commissioners from participation in the highly contested and now being litigated retirement plan (CPERS). The second was to stop automatic pay raises for Commissioners for cost of living adjustments (COLA), and the third was to reduce the annual unmonitored expense allowance for Commissioners from $15,000 per year to $8,000.session-cutting-back-like-citizens 

Out going president Johnson tried to de-rail the CPERS and COLA ordinances by making substitute Read more

Can 2016 be the Year Caddo Parish is Proud of the News?

we-are-our-own-hope
hope…

by Marion Marks

January should be a hopeful month, yet early Mardi Gras celebrations and the MLK memorial activities seem to temper the new year, particularly with losses of those we have buried long before we felt their time had expired. Our frenetic pace and electronic networks make it difficult to just sit back and absorb life. It is appropriate to take personal stock, without too much commentary, even when it hurts to see others’ mistakes, because we just can’t fix everything all by ourselves.

The boisterous social media and blogging stories about Caddo-Shreveport failing to recognize needs of interstate commerce, I-49 corridor routing and inner-city growth neglects a history of the city that has been stagnant far too many years according to a clear record of demographers and analysts who Read more

CADDO COMMISSIONER MATTHEW LINN ATTEMPTS TO USE OFFICE TO FILE COMPLAINT OVER SOCIAL MEDIA POST

John Settle-Opinion-May 2015The question for the day: When is a Facebook posting a threat to life and limb? Does a posting under a picture of a person holding a fishing rod saying that “I know him personally and it bothers me that that rod is not shoved down his throat” a threat? The picture was of Caddo Commissioner Matthew Linn.

Linn signed an email to Caddo Sheriff Prator  as “Matthew Linn Caddo Commissioner” complaining about this posting. Linn said the posting “by Kathryn Bloomfield would not be as bothersome if she did not work as an attorney for the Public Defender’s Office/Caddo Parish. In her role as a public defender she is in constant contact with people who may feel they owe her a favor for her representation of them in court…My only concern is that someone she represents may want to do her a favor…”Commissioner Matthew Linn Read more

Political Anger Takes No Prisoners

Doyouhaveanangerproblem copyby Marion Marks

It’s not really about right or left, Democrat or Republican, voters vote their pocketbooks. The quote that originated from Alexis de Tocqueville, “A democracy can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury,” becomes a rally for political handlers who warn candidates of the power of purse strings politics. Bill Clinton and his speechwriters had to be constantly be reminded by James Carville’s sheet on the wall, “It’s the economy, Stupid!” Focusing on economic issues continues in 2016 as it always has because so many people are still hurting, angry and need a boogie man in government to blame. “They are getting more than I am!”

Trumplings and the Sandernistas* are not angry because the government did not “properly stuff their Christmas stocking. They have many good, and quite a few far from good, reasons to be very angry. They are the people who lost their homes, a good part of their life savings, and jobs during the recent Great Recession. Those who got new jobs are paid much less and receive fewer benefits. And for each one who Read more

WILLIE BRADFORD WELL POSITIONED TO PROVIDE PROGRESSIVE LEADERSHIP TO SHREVEPORT CITY COUNCIL

John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Last month the Shreveport City Council elected Willie Bradford to be its Chairman for 2016; this vote could very well be the most definitive action that this council will take in its 4 year term, which began in December 2015. James Flurry, Bradford’s closest ally on the Council, was elected Vice Chairman; Bradford and Flurry assumed their positions at this week’s Council meetings.

Who will meet challenge?
Who will meet the challenge?

Four members of the current Council are first timers—Bradford. Flurry, Jerald Bowman and Lynch; all but Flurry are black. The incumbents– Everson, Oliver Jenkins, and Mike Corbin– are white and they are term-limited. This group will undoubtedly be the last majority white Council for the City in the foreseeable future.

Lynch was probably the best known of the “newbies”, having previously served on the Read more

BOSSIER/WEBSTER JUDGE JEFF COX SETS SIGHTS ON SECOND CIRCUIT SEAT

John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Bossier Webster Judge Jeff Cox has always been a pace setter when he was in private practice and after he donned a black robe, so its no surprise that he has been openly campaigning for a seat on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals since last fall; the election is November 8 of this year. What is somewhat of a surprise is that Cox is not running for an open seat; he is challenging Judge Jay Caraway who was first elected to the Second Circuit in 1996. (Caraway was unopposed for re-election in 2006.)

Bossier Webster Judge Jeff Cox
Bossier Webster Judge Jeff Cox

Actually there is a local precedent that Cox is attempting to duplicate,—that being former Caddo Judge Scott Crichton who launched an aggressive campaign last year for the Louisiana Supreme Court seat held by then Justice Jeff Victory. Ultimately Victory decided to retire and not seek re-election; most observers believe Crichton would have been successful in a contested election. Crichton’s Supreme Court push in 2015, which actually started in 2014, certainly provides a road map for Cox. Read more