It’s not often we, as voters, get a chance to directly choose what taxes we pay. We elect good people to go to Washington, Baton Rouge, and Benton to represent us and our VALUES. I am very proud of my state representatives who voted against the recent tax increases passed in Baton Rouge. The Group of No. I’m sure they were pressured to vote for the tax increases. Most elected folks are caring people who want to make the world better. The conflict occurs when folks disagree on the HOW to make things better and who defines BETTER. And BETTER for who? As a citizen, you have the opportunity to choose.
Starting tomorrow, Saturday 26 March, for early voting, and on Saturday 9 April you have a chance to vote on ONE tax renewal. Vote yes and your property taxes stay the same. No increase. Vote no and you have a chance to Right Size Government. The renewal is renew 2.5 mils to support Read more
A constant question that is asked by those using air transportation into and out of the Shreveport Regional Airport is that of the airline fares—why are they higher than deemed “customary”? This question is never answered in terms that seem “logical”, especially when the gates utilized most frequently are the one the furthest from the terminal, i.e. the least convenience, and the flight options are somewhat limited. Read more
In 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.
The 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 statutesRead more
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 Read more
Let me start by saying I am proud to have had the honor of knowing Marty Stroud as a friend and working with him as a colleague for many years. His recent letter to the Shreveport Times[linked] regarding his actions as one of the prosecutors who obtained the conviction and death sentence of an innocent Glen Ford brings great credit to Louisiana’s legal profession, precisely because it sheds light onto all of the things that are wrong with the American criminal justice system in general, and with the Louisiana justice system in particular.
First, and most importantly Marty’s letter shows that miscarriages of justice don’t come about because there’s one or two bad apples in the barrel. It’s not the apples that are bad. It’s the barrel that’s bad!It’s the broken system!Let me make that clear. Wrongful convictions come about because the System is broken. Our broken criminal justice system not only creates the opportunity for good people to do bad things, it incentivizesbad behavior. It produces what Psychologist Philip Zimbardo termed in his book by the same name “The Lucifer Effect.” Good people do evil things not because they are predisposed toward unethical, illegal or immoral behavior, but because of the corrupting influence of situational and institutional forces acting upon them.
The bill of particulars against the Louisiana criminal justice system is far too long to summarize in these few paragraph, but we can list a few, starting with the way we fund criminal justice in this State. Louisiana has a profit-driven criminal justice system funded almost entirely off the backs of the people brought into the system Read more
The fog of the holidays will soon be lifting. Caddo residents need to gear up for the new year and try not to think about all of the failures and resources we’ve wasted over the past eight years that a failed mayor and school board allowed our system to linger in disrepair. As fun and pretty as the holiday decorations have been, it’s almost lovely to try to get your house back to something you can call a “ normal state” (whatever normal really means.)
I enjoy allowing the holiday to settle into something past, behind me, and try to blaze forward into what I want to believe promises to be a healthier, wiser year! (As a popular and over used children’s chorus sings, “Let It Go, Let It Go!”)
This is a summary of my research on Swag Nation USA, as it is named here. With interest in non-government organizations receiving funds from the RiverFront Fund, which is parish collected funds from the gambling boats here on the riverfront, I discovered that Swag Nation which has as its spokes person here before the Parish Commission, Commissioner Michael Williams. The commission, as stated in the contract, wanted an etiquette program for juveniles that wore swagging paints. [KTAL Story] [KTBS Story]
The NGO’s are funded from the RiverFront Fund except for Swag. Swag has become a budget item like all other operational expenses paid for by the taxpayers of Caddo and not the gamblers at the River Boats.
Swag Nation has a contract with the Parish to provide such a service. Each juvenile with a recommendation from the Juvenile Court Swag gets $350 from the taxpayers for a six weeks course in how to keep up their paints. The parish pays for material and supplies and transportation for this six weeks of training.