by Elliott Stonecipher
cronyism and systemic corruption
cronyism and systemic corruption

As I read this morning’s Shreveport Times editorial (see here) about last week’s 3132 Coalition presentation to NLCOG, I was struck anew by details of how the evil twins of decaying government – cronyism and systemic corruption – work, right under our noses.  The point appears more than once in the editorial, but I’ll note this example:

Adding citizens may be difficult for a panel that is called a “council of governments,” says NLCOG attorney Jerry Jones. But he plans more research regarding the agency’s legal origins and makeup as the designated transportation gatekeeper for federal and state highway projects.

Straight from Shreveport’s corner of insiders-for-insiders-at-all-costs, these attitudes are a laser-accurate example of how we, the serially stolen-from taxpayers, never get enough information ahead of time to prevent our next mugging.  (In truth, as with the 3132 extension, we too often are worse than merely mugged, and then require a Lazarus-like, back-from-the-dead recovery.)  As we taxpayers are aggressively kept completely outside the process, we are often patted on our dumbo little heads with genial assurances that we’ll be provided for.

(For the record, the key slot for just-plain-folks on NLCOG would be the group’s Metropolitan Planning Organization, MPO is the acronym, as we are told is the case with some other of America’s 384 such planning groups.  General information about Councils of Government and MPOs is here.)

‘Folks, let’s be clear about this:  the insiders in and around NLCOG threw in with a crew of special and powerful interests who don’t want the 3132 Extension where it was long intended to go, and where the lowly taxpayers put up their money to locate it.  This particular bunch of them continue working overtime to kill the highway.  As we wait for them to do the right thing and let just plain folks around here win one for a change, we invite more abuse of process, law and power.

I have a better idea.  How ’bout this for a plan:

(1) NLCOG and its handlers give the people, via the Coalition, the public documents – our documents – which we have legally requested, including the ones which were conveniently “lost” (by both sender and receiver) along the way;

(2) let’s see who did what to the citizenry, and how and when they did it;

(3) let’s see how the taxpayers react to those details and facts; and,

(4) let’s decide if NLCOG is doing the peoples’ business or the business of powerful special interests.

When the smoke clears, the lesson left should be that no matter how much money such insiders have, and no matter how many “public servants” their money influences (I’m being polite), this government is still ours … not theirs.

The Government Watchdog

Besides, patting some of us grown-ups on our dumbo little heads is, well, downright irritating.

For any reader who may not know, this and all other such analysis and commentary I forward to you has been done strictly in the public interest.  No compensation of any kind has been solicited, offered or accepted for this work. 

Elliott Stonecipher

Evets Management Services, Inc.
6658 Youree Drive
Suite 180, #367
Shreveport, LA  71105
Phone:  318-424-1695