by Marion Marks
As reported by KTBS, campaign finance ethics complaints were filed and delivered against mayoral candidates Ollie Tyler (copy of draft complaint) and Patrick Williams (copy of draft complaint) on Thursday at state ethics board in Baton Rouge. The detailed complaints, with supporting data, were complete and covered material that I believe was scrutinized by at least five attorneys who are familiar with the related election laws.
One local political consultant, familiar with the changing laws and interpretations, indicated this was the worst blatant violation he had seen in over thirty years. Another well-known expert on elections was clearly taken by the casual disdain shown for established law that is the first item in a candidate packet at filing for the November election.
Response by candidates cited and opponents has been quiet, other than to note that those whose campaigns have been clean and compliant with the are being called out by the alleged violator’s social-media trolls for their failure to raise as much money.
Watchdog groups have noted in social media that the belief in eventual convictions for the violations was reason alone for the filing. And, personally, I feel that failure to file and cry foul is acceptance of violations as “Louisiana business as usual.”
The landscape and horizon of the last weeks of the mayoral election appear like the sunrise today over Shreveport. The pinks and hazes are picturesque, yet the inspection of the particulates in the air reveal very real pollution that we need to closely monitor and stifle outbreaks of emitters where possible.
Hope is for those who try to see what is possible, not focusing on every crack in the sidewalk, we are fortunate to have a walkway at all some times. Hail to those who cry against the wind!