Dear Ollie Tyler …


close-reading-videoby Elliott Stonecipher

As you read this piece, you will first find the need to read the one in our local newspaper from and by mayoral candidate Ollie Tyler, here.  In many ways, she has very specifically picked the wrong target for her anger.  I hope to explain that here.  Along the way I will report much more of consequence and importance to all of us in Shreveport.

By way of Ms. Tyler’s carefully controlled use of our local newspaper, Ms. Tyler tells the reporter what she wants us to know.  It is notable that the newspaper wrote and published this piece without ever reaching out to me, though they often otherwise do. 

Tough Questions need armor!
Tough Questions need armor!

Ms. Tyler, too, blames me for “pushing the story.”  I have done no such thing.  I have, however, lobbied our local news media to examine all the candidates for mayor.  The truth is obvious in articles I have written, all in the public record.

The reporter notes that police reports and other related information is yet to be gathered.  We must hope all facts yet unreported close this chapter for Ms. Tyler, one she opened by running for elective office.

If a person chooses to seek any mayoralty, they must answer questions they would not care to.  Or, they should not run.  Ms. Tyler intends to stomp out any suggestion of opposition … before she is even elected.

My beliefs on this subject are at the core of my community service.  Ms. Tyler gets no pass, any more than she issues them, we have learned.

Ms. Tyler, along with any others who care about any of this, should know four things.

Ask Tough Questions and
Ask tough questions!

First, many Shreveporters are very well aware of the circumstances of my years “coming up” in Shreveport, as it used to be put.  While my childhood was, ultimately, a measure and demonstration of God’s grace, it was also dangerous.  We grew up in what we now call domestic violence, of the unremitting kind.  A stack of Shreveport Police Department reports detail the surface of those events.

The end of those too many years did not occur until my father’s death, but their end is, as all of us in such circumstances learn, merely the beginning of a life-long pursuit of healing.  Ms. Tyler and I share that knowledge, it certainly seems. 

No one knows better than I what she seems to have survived.  But for the grace of God, I could easily have acted as she seems to have done.  Thus, here is what I wrote last week:

Stone wall?
Stone wall?

“I, and most others of us I choose to believe, sincerely hope for the sake of Ms. Tyler, Ms. Provenza and their families that the events said to be at issue in these matters never occurred.  But, if they did, I also hope both candidates will recognize that their stonewalling is a loud and bold disservice to Shreveport and its people. …

… Let no one mistake my belief about the proper context of my concerns:  none of this is my business, or the business of any other person, if Ms. Tyler is not seeking public office She IS, however seeking an office, the top one in our city, and has chosen to stonewall her way into the mayor’s office, as has Ms. Provenza.” 

Cheapens caseSecond, for Ms. Tyler to group me with anyone else in this writing or thinking or believing cheapens her and her case, and this entire electoral process.  That allegation is 100% false, and insulting, frankly.  I do not support the candidate she so dishonestly suggests, a local state representative, or any other.  I need no help in this work – from anyone.  Too, it is all pro bono, and in the public interest.

Missing pieceThird, this campaign season began, for me, when I received a phone call from a trusted source who wanted to communicate a “heads-up” warning that Ms. Tyler had pronounced to various people her “hatred” for me and a prominent local executive.  I was floored.  I have never met Ms. Tyler, much less spoken to her, much less given her cause to hate me.

Such is yet another clue about how she would govern.

Fourth, it was a person within Ms. Tyler’s camp who brought me into this sorry affair.  That person called me to find out if I was going to bring up the subject of this event in Ms. Tyler’s life in my writing and/or public speaking.  What that person did not realize is that their comments directly confirmed to me that the event actually had occurred.  I did not know that before the phone call.  I also urged the person to convince Ms. Tyler to self-report all details.  The caller then expressed his anger toward me.

Now, Ms. Tyler does the self-reporting I suggested, and blames me.  Each reader must conclude why, and why now.

In fact, there are many other allegations about Ms. Tyler which are very disturbing, to put it mildly.  One, in particular, should be the focus of our news media’s attention until it is confirmed or refuted.  It matters.

To close, here is my message to Ms. Tyler:

In the open
In the open

“You and your handlers – notably the same as the handlers of our current mayor – must understand the commitment some of us have to government which is not corrupt, along with our lifetime commitment to our city, my hometown.

I trust and hope you will learn that your hatred of me is thoroughly misplaced.  Your political kinship with many politicians who have greatly damaged Shreveport is at the heart of our disagreement.  I do not believe in the type of government too many of today’s politicians do.  It is based completely in self-service, not public service. 

I regret you have hereby elected to serve the purposes of your handlers and sponsors. Such is bad news for me, yes, but also very bad news for our city.”

Elliott Stonecipher    

Elliott Stonecipher’s reports and commentaries are written strictly in the public interest, with no compensation of any kind solicited or accepted.  Appropriate credit to Mr. Stonecipher in the sharing – unedited only, please – of his work is appreciated.

NOTE FROM FORWARD-NOW.COM: We have not taken, nor will we endorse a candidate in the mayor’s race. We have tried to encourage fair investigation of evidence that will tell voters important information that impacts the election. We DO RESERVE THE RIGHT to chose which stories will be published. We leave it to readers to evaluate the value of the information made available. Only when you do not vote will we be critical of your decisions, and too many eligible voters do not exercise their right to vote and then complain about the results of the election.