Potential Caddo DA Candidates Should NOT Wait for Judge Stewart’s Decision

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015It has been over a month since the untimely death of former Caddo District Attorney Charles R. Scott and the guessing games on who will run for this coveted spot that is second only in political power (if not equal) to the parish sheriff continues. The only real certainty is that Dale Cox—the unelected but sworn in Caddo DA– plans on running for the spot; he has quickly changed the power structure in the DA’s office to reflect his hard line policies.

Former Caddo assistant district attorney Jason Waltman says he definitely will NOT run. Sitting Caddo district judges have taken their names off any candidate list and some believe that (more…)

Add comment May 22, 2015 6:00 am

UPDATE: “No I Haven’t Lost My Mind!”

Elliott_Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

In twenty-two hours, by way of a torrent of blog posts, print articles, emails, radio show guest slots, phone calls, texts and tweets, the damage control seems done, at least for now.  The erroneous reporting yesterday afternoon of my luncheon speech to the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge has been retracted, and a new article published in its place by the original source, the Baton Rouge Business Report.

Pigeon-Poop-on-people

kerfuffle…

For any who missed the kerfuffle and are interested, here is a link to my response to the original BRBR article, and here is the replacement article written and published (more…)

Add comment May 21, 2015 3:35 pm

Stonecipher: “No, I haven’t lost my mind …”

Elliott_Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

It takes a good four hours to drive back from Baton Rouge to Shreveport, or to drive down there in the first place.  Before I even made it back this afternoon, even some of my friends were calling or emailing their disapproval for published reports that I was “in favor” of raising state taxes, and was leading a “purple coalition” to elect so-called “moderate Republicans.”

I'm not crazy...

I’m not crazy…

None of that is true, to put it mildly.  No, I have not lost my mind.  I do not believe Louisiana should raise taxes.  I did not say – anywhere – that Louisiana should raise taxes.  Period.  No one who has spent five minutes listening to me for the last many years, or reading what I have written for those years believes I want to see any government raise our taxes.

The ruckus started when a person I’ve never heard of purposely misstated points I made in a speaking engagement today at the Rotary of Baton Rouge.  It is a great place to speak, and I’ve been (more…)

Add comment May 20, 2015 8:07 pm

CPSB “Special Selection” Deadline Danger!

by Marion Marks

Quicksand sign-Board MembersSadly, a recently elected school board member, Kacee Hargrave Kirschvink, who had good experience in handling difficult matters has resigned. However, the CPSB is using strings and poor judgement in an attempt to fill the seat in haste and without necessary time for many potential good candidates to consider running for the open seat. The deadline of seven (7) days to file for the open seat selection is unnecessarily short, even when the board has twenty (20) days to fill the temporary seat as suggested.

It appears the haste will force citizens to make a knee-jerk decision because the timeline is dictated by forces the CPSB can claim as exigent conditions. Sadly for District Eleven, the vacancy leaves a hole in the board’s ability to ram through (more…)

Add comment May 20, 2015 3:38 pm

Shreveport Ad Hoc Judge Prudhomme’s First Week of Rulings Questionable

John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Caddo Assistant District Attorney Geya Williams Prudhomme was recently appointed by Supreme Court Justice Scott J. Crichton to fill the 30 day vacancy at Shreveport City Court resulting from the suspension of Judge Sheva Sims; this appointment is one of the many responsibilities of Justice Crichton for his judicial district. Prudhomme assumed her responsibilities on Monday May 4 and held court that day along with 2 other days that week.

Justice Crichton advised that “this appointment was based on qualifications, in consideration of race and gender, and with the understanding that Ms. Prudhomme would be separated form her employment with the Caddo District Attorney’s Office.” Crichton further stated on Monday May 11 that “to my knowledge Ms. Prudhomme and her former office are in compliance with all legal and ethical obligations.” Justice Crichton’s responsibility ended with the appointment; he has no jurisdiction over the (more…)

Add comment May 15, 2015 6:30 am

An Unveiling at Caddo Commission Meeting

resident-evil-revelationsby Elliott Stonecipher

As many readers are aware, I have been continuously researching our Caddo Parish Commission since 2013, focusing particularly on its financial management and the bountiful compensation with which members reward themselves.  As a result of the increasing public awareness of these facts, Caddo voters and taxpayers have strongly pushed back against both the Commission’s fiscal abuses and now infamous self-dealing. 

First, on October 19, 2013, voters rejected both the Commission attempt to extend their “limit” of consecutive terms in office from three to five (related article here), and the renewal of a 1.75-mill property tax for capital projects (related article here).  The property tax was then defeated by only 59 votes.

Next, when the Commission brought the 1.75-mill property tax renewal back for a re-vote on (more…)

May 12, 2015 2:25 pm

The Battle to Bring 3132 Extension Back to Life

3132 loop-de-loop

3132: The “REAL” Loop!

by Elliott Stonecipher

Public meetings about the Hwy. 3132 Extension were held yesterday, one at lunchtime in Southwest Shreveport, and one at dinnertime at LSU-S.  An informal survey of those who attended confirms that confusion was yet again the order of the day. 

Such is the lifeblood, we participants have certainly been taught, of the arcane, stealthy and anything-but-transparent world of highway “planning” in our neck of the woods.

(Go to this article’s footnote * for directions to additional facts and history.)

Elliott_StonecipherThese gatherings were the work of our Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG), with an assist from and by the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LA DOTD). 

Building a Louisiana highway is one of the most awfully political, inscrutable and insanely expensive – in all ways – processes known to man, woman or child.  Attending one of these “public meetings” is a taste of the mayhem.  First escorted into a darkened-room for a video presentation (more…)

May 8, 2015 11:40 am

Bossier’s Mike Johnson Marriage & Conscience Act

Revised with correct phone number and seals of party to call...

“Enter at your own risk!”

A Self-Serving Sideshow Louisiana Does NOT Need

In the free state of Bossier political leaders are often elected in back rooms—not at the polls as envisioned by the framers of the U.S. Constitution. Such was the case with Mike Johnson’s race to fill the unexpired term of State Representative Jeff Thompson in February of this year. Thompson resigned this post to take one as Bossier-Webster district judge, and Johnson ran unopposed for the seat.

Opinion by John SettleHow Johnson wrangled his way to the top of the Bossier selection pole is a mystery to most political observers. Johnson had not been a long term resident of his district and to many in the legal profession he is a virtual unknown. And the same is probably true to most of his constituents in District 8, which encompasses most of North Bossier Parish.

Johnson’s experience as “real world” attorney has been very limited—most of his professional labors have been for state and national religious organizations that are ultraconservative, like to the right of Attila the Hun. His campaign website boasts that his (more…)

May 8, 2015 6:00 am

Predicting the CPSB Mentality in Loss

by Marion Marks

i_votedBelieving there are abundant factual reasons to believe that Elliott Stonecipher was accurate in his assessment of the CPSB Bond election results, “… the boss-people’s secrecy that killed the plan. We have a mature population here, and we have seen every political trick in the book from local elected and other officials.”

I still believe that Superintendent Goree had raised the morale and the stakes for many of the failing schools he was saddled with, but the path he and the board must navigate are littered with bodies and remnants of mines from those whose agenda is marked by personal territories and profits for (more…)

May 4, 2015 11:25 am

The CPSB Victory Party That Wasn’t

Elliott_Stonecipherby Elliott Stonecipher

When the Caddo Parish School Board’s error-plagued tax plan failed at the polls yesterday, it was a much bigger deal than most will conclude.  The outcome beat the conventional wisdom and broad expectation well established in our electoral behavior:  “These things always pass.”

“These things” are the poison which has brought Caddo to its economic and population-stagnation knees.

Vote Smart“These things” is code for gatherings of powerful for-profit interests whenever they decide business is slow enough here to need a public bond issue … run through some local governmental body.  “Hey, guys, let’s get those school board people to slap together a list of new schools and stuff in one of those bond deals and get (more…)

May 3, 2015 11:52 am

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