By now Ben Arnold should have learned that once a person qualifies for an elected office that his past life becomes an open book for voters to review. Maybe he did not discover this in his race last fall for the Shreveport Council; he finished a dismal last. Perhaps he learned this lesson when he finished last in his prior race for the Commission in 2004—but forgot it.
Presumably Arnold should know that in addition to “slick” campaign push cards and campaign websites, voters are entitled to “the rest of the story”. So let’s start; for beginners, Arnold has never been a homeowner in Caddo Parish.
Arnold does not like to pay child support. In April of this year his back support for his fifteen year old daughter was ruled to be almost $12,750. Calculated at the ordered amount of $300 per month, it appears that Arnold has not paid support for over 3.5 years.
Arnold has made several trips to Shreveport City Criminal Court. He was arrested on a domestic violence charge in October of 2004 and he was found guilty of simple battery. (He has had 3 other arrests for simple battery dismissed since 1994.) Arnold has also plead guilty to 3 speeding charges along with an expired license plate and no proof of insurance charges.
Arnold’s push card touts that he is a business owner although there is no record of any business or listing in his materials. Arnold reportedly is endorsed by the Biomed leadership along with Lea Desmarteau. The Caddo Commission has funded approximately $1 million to Biomed in the last two years and there is an additional $278,000 appropriated for Biomed to be expended. Evidently Arnold has sided with Biomed in the ongoing dispute as to who should manage the LSU Shreveport Hospital and the medical school.
Arnold’s campaign is being managed by the Wooley brothers. Bryan served one term on the Shreveport City Council and was soundly defeated in his race for mayor by Cedric Glover in 2010. During that race Bryan flagrantly disregarded the Shreveport sign ordinance and posted many signs that exceeded the maximum size in residential districts. After agreeing to a consent order to comply, he split many of the signs into two pieces which was an obvious mockery of the ordinance.
Ryan Wooley was at one time a jet setter in Shreveport selling medical supplies and instruments. He is also aligned with Biomed; his wife serves as general counsel. The IRS has filed a lien against Ryan and his wife this year for $236,906. Reported Ryan’s name appears on a well-circulated customer list of an internet service.
Reportedly Arnold is now working as a consultant for the Wooley brothers. What Arnold’s expertise may be that it is needed by his campaign managers is unknown – – maybe just to allow him to claim that he has a job. Arnold’s income is subject to a wage assignment by the back child support order; hopefully the Wooley’s are sending part of his paycheck to pay this outstanding amount.
To date Arnold’s campaign has not gained any traction. And once voters learn more about this political “wannabe” who appears to be a Wooley puppet, it is very doubtful Arnold will get any momentum in this campaign. Arnold should resolve his personal financial issues before trying to manage Parish funds.