From Caddo Parish Commission

Caddo Parish Commission and related Caddo Parish entities

Factors That May Impact Voter Turnout on November 21


John Settle-Opinion-May 2015The general election on Saturday, November 21 will determine the outcome of many statewide races (the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General) and four Caddo races – District Attorney, Caddo Commissioner District 3 and 8 and State Senate District 38. Caddo voter turnout for the October 24 primary was a much lower than expected at 32%.

The $64,000 question for the November 21 election date is, as always, turnout. A low turnout can be blamed on many factors, including the following:


1. Hunting season will be open for deer and ducks.

2. For consummate shopper, that Saturday will be five (5) days before Thanksgiving Read more


Opinion by John Settle

With the October 24 primary election fast approaching, many key questions should be answered by candidates seeking votes. Some questions are new; others have been ignored by candidates.

The new question for Caddo DA candidate Stewart concerns the funding of over $37,000 by the Louisiana Safety & Justice PAC money paid for TV advertising on KTBS. This PAC is chaired by Lee Jeter of Bossier City; Shreveport attorney Herschel Richards is the treasurer and Sherry Kerr is listed as an officer. These ads run through October 19; whether or not this PAC will purchase more ads for Stewart before the October 24 election is unknown. What IS known is that this is the largest purchase by a local PAC of TV advertising by a local candidate in Shreveport’s history; what other campaign expenses the PAC is underwriting for Stewart is not Read more

Blogging Truth – Journalism 101

"Idealistic" Forward
“Idealistic” Forward

by Marion Marks

When was established the founders determined several philosophical boundaries, or mission principles that have evolved over the history of the blog. Among these principles was the basic fact that no articles could be published without basis in fact or a belief that any article published must contain some factual information which could be documented or was in the realm of public knowledge factually accurate*.

rewrites 4As the readership expanded, and with pressure for accuracy and validity, it was determined that NO articles would be published that did not credit a specific author, regardless of the credibility of the story. Accountability today is a principle we believe necessary to preserve the integrity of the site as well as those who contribute to Read more


John Settle-Opinion-May 2015By 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.

Not this "Slick"
Not this “Slick”

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 Read more


John Settle-Opinion-May 2015In what can be best described as a slam dunk, three Caddo candidates beat back efforts by the Louisiana Board of Ethics to have them disqualified for the October primary this week.

Caddo Commissioner Jerald Bowman will be able to continue his campaign for reelection to the Commission—much to the dismay of career politician Roy Burrell who has been in elected office and on the public payroll since 1994. Ben Arnold, who had previously run unsuccessfully for the Shreveport City Council, can continue his campaign against Mario Chavez to fill the seat of David Cox on the Caddo Commission. And upstart John McGrew gets to stay on the ballot for Caddo Sheriff against incumbent Steve Prator and Constable Eric Hatfield. Judge Craig Marcotte ruled for Bowman and Judge Ramon Lafitte ruled for Arnold and McGrew.

Govt HOGThe basis for all 3 challenges was the same—that each candidate had filed a false Notice of Candidacy which contains a certification that the candidate did not have any outstanding Board of Ethics fines. All 3 candidates did in fact have outstanding fines- $5000 for Bowman and $2500 for Arnold and McGrew; all 3 paid their fines after qualifying. The Ethics Board relied on statutes Read more

The Man in the Arena Deserves Recognition – And Accountability

Caddo Sheriff, Commission & DA in Focus

by Marion Marks


It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt, Paris, 1910 [whole speech]

Ethis? Moral? DUH!
Ethics? Moral? DUH!

What we find today is that too many political candidates are characterized by their over-powering ego, power seekers and greed-driven supporters who fail the test of a moral compass. No person who actively engages in the daily Read more

Caddo Commission Races: Questions for Voters to Ask and for Candidates to Answer

John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Thankfully, the Caddo Commission should see several new faces after the fall elections this year. For sure there will be 3 – Mike Thibodeaux read the handwriting on the wall and decided to not seek a third term; Lindora Baker did not want to pay her outstanding ethics fine and bolted for a full time job; and David Cox was term limited. Of the remaining 9 seats at this table, 7 of the incumbents face opposition and it is likely that many of these will be defeated. Sooo… there is hope that substantial reform can take place on the Caddo Commission starting next year.

checklistFor those voters who really want to check out the candidates, the following list of questions (if asked and answered) should provide real insight into who should be seated at the Commission table. Actually there are 2 lists—one to be asked of all the candidates, and a second list to be asked of the incumbents. These are not totally exhaustive and they are not intended to limit inquiries by voters—but they should serve as a good start to separate the pretty faces from the candidates with merit.

So, starting with all the candidates, the following are suggested:

1. How long have you lived in the district?
2. Have you been convicted of any crimes and if so, what crime, what court and what year?
3. What is your employment history for the last 10 years?
4. Do you own real estate in the district and if so, what are the addresses and how long have
Read more