by Marion Marks
The December 6th election was a milestone for Louisiana and Caddo/Shreveport that will require evaluation for quite a while. Mary Landrieu’s defeat will be calculated by factions in many ways, but her shadow and the repercussions throughout the state will probably be re-measured for years.
Along with the election of new faces and the return of old ones, I expect the Landrieu defeat to reverberate through the system in all three branches of government, particularly with law enforcement and the prosecutorial system around the state. Political forces work on more than two levels, and the written and unwritten codes of enforcement and prosecutions seem to rely of backing and backbone at higher levels. Some protections supposedly afforded by the presence of Mary Landrieu will evaporate and rules and expectations will be reworked over time.
The Shreveport landscape will change, regardless of the relationship between mayor-to-go Glover and mayor-elect Tyler. The cozy relationship Glover may believe he has should be tested early on. I hope Mayor Tyler uses her office and those who supported her to to do more than grasp into the halls of city government for the purse strings. The grasp for control indicates who really has muscle.
The governmental system and media will be tested early on as some open investigations continue. Too much smoke emanates from some government offices for most people not to believe there’s fire underneath. The question remains as to whose jurisdiction and which court alleged crimes will fall. My bet is that there will be criminal charges developed in both state court as well as federal court for some offenders. Money used for private gain that is not reported means crimes related to income tax evasion exist.
A successful community generally “buries the hatchet” after contested elections, but in some cases the hatchet can only be buried after a cleansing is more than just the voters determine a winner. Issues must be fully vetted, and too many rocks have yet to be turned.
In a successful community media partners understand that Synthesis of facts along with conclusions must be drawn. It’s similar to pulling together lengthy investigations from varied sources that result in constructive changes for all sectors of the community. A synthesized story, based on solid facts, constructed from multiple building blocks has strength because each source assists others from varying perspectives. It’s ideas and perspective as much as factual data that allows the community to improve and address needs of community members.
Yes, elections have consequences, but often the story takes longer to unfold than just the day the votes are counted.