by Marion Marks
One major gripe I have with the Shreveport Times is that they expect all issues to have two sides and a second party to defend against all complaints. Some issues have no second acceptable side as there really are universally acceptable truths.
Edwin Abbott’s Flatland uses zero, one, two, three and four dimensional examples that mathematicians and teachers at many levels have used for years to bring to life important lessons. This factually based book has always been a source for educators.
After World War II the evils of the Nazi regime were apparent to the world, yet today we find groups who challenge our sensibilities to question truths of the Holocaust. Issues of this nature have no acceptable “second” side to discuss, as our culture can never again allow such evil behavior.
Yet, media editors such as the Shreveport Times expect all issues they cover in politics to always allow “both sides” for equal coverage. The absurdity of this expectation can
only be compared to allowing Adolf Hitler to have a forum to explain his logic. Similar arguments are made for political manipulators who work the system and justify theft or destructive practices.
In Flatland the point exists in no dimension as it has neither length nor width. Lines exist in only one dimension (either length or width, but not both) and rectangles in two dimensions. But in our society intentional criminal behavior by public officials exist in some dimensions that demand no rationale or explanation for acceptability can be allowed. We believe there are some one-dimensional behaviors that cannot be explained as “Good” or “Acceptable” by any measure. Society must clamp down on these unacceptable behaviors and demand greater accountability of elected officials.
Throughout American history we find the term “scallywag” used to speak of representative traitors or a southerner who was unfaithful to the Confederate cause. This term has been used in racial branding and divisive politics to ferret out those who were “unfaithful” to a racist policy. No crueler form of racial politics is practiced today if race, regionalism or divisive rhetoric is used to hide lies or criminal activities for what is really a race-based campaign. Facts and truth must exist on their own merit as lies must be called for what they are.
Divisive false accusations are the base for Mayor Glover’s attempt to cover personal failures and inaccurate court filings by his legal team in attacking the Shreveport Dog Park Alliance. And the public relations campaign of sandwich town hall meetings after losing in the courtroom, followed by personal attacks on the parties in the litigation will not hide the truths in his case or in the Glover political den in government plaza that seems determined to not commit to the responsibilities of his office.
There is no all-right or all-wrong side to the fractious issue of a dog park, but the preponderance of evidence suggests the mayor has lost all legal actions because his case is basically wrong and the mayor is only using city money, legal maneuvers and public relations to cover for his errors. The city council seems inept at reining in the mayor from his appetite to hire outside attorneys, and the legal system continues to give him latitude in lashing out at his adversaries. But the resolution of the Shreveport Dog Park Alliance and their attorney, Dan Keele, are dragging the mayor back to court yet again and demanding that justice not be denied.
Today the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal DENIED the mayor’s writ to his “mandamus appeal,” and the “stay the proceedings”has been converted into a “suspensive appeal.” In essence the appeals court determined that Judge Leon Emanuel correctly determined that Glover had violated the law by refusing to sign to accept money given by the Red River Waterway Commission to the city to build the dog park, and he could be held in contempt of court for refusing the judge’s order. Glover’s attorneys have already filed additional appeals for more time to stall.
August 28th seems to be the mayor’s next milestone on the calendar when his attorneys are expected to explain why Glover should not have to explain any of his failures to comply with ALL court rulings and why he should even be required to answer for anything. After all, “the mayor is the only elected official in this case who represents all the people of Shreveport.” The question here is simply, “Does that preclude him from being accountable to the laws of the city and the state?”
And what could Judge Emanuel rule? He could give Glover the option of signing or going to jail for contempt of the law. So Sheriff Prator will have a new subject to raise money for non-profits. And, the Shreveport Dog Park Alliance would not be out of order in raising additional money to commemorate their victory. However, victory may only be measured when the off-leash laws of a fenced dog park can actually be celebrated in the city limits of Shreveport.
Any elected official who believes they are above the law places themselves in the category of “Tyrant.” Our form of government is based on a balance of the branches of government, and at this point in the mayor’s tenure he may be on the downhill glide toward retirement. But, he is still to be held accountable to law, and courts with access by private citizens must demand he be held accountable to the last day.
We can only hope that the balance of power and the public will get some measure of justice and even though we expect Glover’s continued outbursts, the mayor will continue to be pestered by dog park activists and those who feel we have not been treated legally as we should. Wasteful practices, imprudent or willful neglect of duty by any public official should not be allowed. Requiring compliance with the law from elected officials is an appropriate display of civic responsibility.