The most recent announcement of the BP settlement may give some Louisiana politicians hope that the cash cow will be around for additional “free” projects to enrich their inner circle of power. However, citizens must now step up to demand tighter reins on the purse strings and the manner in which this settlement is used. Louisiana has a horrid track record for failing to take advantage of windfalls that could repair damages and improve the quality of life for citizens and businesses damaged.
In twenty-two hours, by way of a torrent of blog posts, print articles, emails, radio show guest slots, phone calls, texts and tweets, the damage control seems done, at least for now. The erroneous reporting yesterday afternoon of my luncheon speech to the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge has been retracted, and a new article published in its place by the original source, the Baton Rouge Business Report.
Selecting public officials isn’t the only choice voters will face Nov. 4. There are also 14 proposed amendments to the Louisiana Constitution to be voted on. The following is a summary of my opinions and the exact language that will appear on election ballots that day. Read more
It’s seldom that i disagree publicly with members of the fourth estate. Besides preferring to focus our energy on reporting on the myriad ways state government falls short of its number one priority of protecting the interests of the state and its citizens, we generally have a deep professional respect for our peers in the media.
I worked for 30-plus years in various capacities—sports reporter, news reporter, copy editor, investigative reporter and managing editor—for several newspapers all over the state, including Monroe, Shreveport, Donaldsonville, Baton Rouge and four separate stints at the Ruston Daily Leader where I began almost 50 years ago. I kept returning at a higher position mostly because of my Read more
A&M jokes at OGB open enrollment ‘War Games’ while cash strapped state can’t pay Bridge City Juvenile Center utility bills but somehow finds $18 million for private hospital
Remember the angst over the temporary shutdown of the Louisiana Department of Education’s (LDOE) web page a little over a week ago because the Division of Administration (D)A) had neglected to pay the $280 bill for the domain subscription?
It was a “technical glitch,” we were assured by DOA Director of Communications Meghan Parrish. “This was not purposeful,” she said, and not part of the ongoing Common Core catfight between those two behemoths of machoism, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Superintendent of Education—“Dude, you are my recharger”—John White.
Well, we were prepared to give the administration the benefit of the doubt that it was simply an oversight and not, as White claimed, because of the state’s refusal to make payments. We are, after all, reasonable and we understand that sometimes things slip through the cracks—even as Jindal was careful to take the necessary steps to strip LDOE and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from employing legal counsel to sue the governor.
Never mind that the governor has now moved forward with his own lawsuit against the federal government over Common Core. Apparently, while he doesn’t want to be a defendant over Common Core, he has no problem being a plaintiff and thereby further enriching his own legal counsel Jimmy Faircloth with at least $300,000 more of your taxpayer dollars in addition to more than a $1 million he has already been paid in other lost causes as, in the words of Bob Mann on last Friday’s Jim Engster Show, “the most successful loser” in Louisiana legal circles. http://wrkf.org/post/friday-bob-mann-carley-mccord (move your curser to the 19:40 minute of the show for the quote.)
Some liberals have celebrated the recent indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry on charges of abuse of power. I’m not among them. His opponents couldn’t beat Perry at the polls, and they seem eager to derail his nascent presidential campaign, so they’ve applauded his indictment on flimsy charges that any impartial juror with an ounce of common sense should reject as laughable. I’m no Perry fan, but this looks like a destructive attempt to criminalize politics.
Long story short: Perry vetoed the budget for the state public corruption unit headed by the Austin-area district attorney after she was jailed for drunk driving. Perry made no secret that he was trying to force the DA to resign. In response, a Texas prosecutor charged Perry with two felony counts.
Targeting a public corruption unit’s budget to overthrow a wayward district attorney is clearly hardball politics. Perry may well have gone too far. Perhaps he deserves to be impeached (although even that is doubtful). What I do know is Read more
Since Bobby Jindal has been governor, the number of State Troopers available to patrol the highways has been declining. As the numbers dwindled, morale among the working Troopers has also deteriorated.
The excuse we’ve heard for the failure of the State Police to hold recruit academies is the lack of money. Perhaps if the Leges and Jindal had chosen police protection over Non-Governmental Organizations (“NGOs”) there would be money.
There is an obscure group of individuals hired by the Department of Public Safety/State Police for which there is, apparently, plenty of funding.
Stainless steel is not generally considered to be an exotic metal. Yet, it’s exotic in the same way we think of ethical public officials. The majority of public officials are ethical, and they work for the public good. Yet, Louisiana was still tenth in the most convicted officials in this report in the Washington Post. Locally we find incumbents who violated our trust and must be voted out of office.
The term “stainless steel” like “ethical politician” is responsible for notable myths. Contrary to myth, stainless steel does rust. And, ethical people, insert “politicians”, can and do make ethical errors of judgement – they RUST!
Tom Aswell has an uncanny ability to quickly connect the dots when it comes to corruption in Louisiana. Tom has excellent sources because state employees and ordinary citizens trust him.
In the latest case, Tom unearths corruption involving the paid media and the Edmonson Amendment.
Since Buddy Roemer legalized gambling in Louisiana, it has been my experience that the State Police gambling (they call it “gaming”) regulators are the most corrupt individuals in the entire Department of Public Safety. That’s not just my opinion, but the opinion of other Troopers as well as patrons of the casinos.
Aswell exposes how State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson’s tentacles are deep into the paid media. Read it here.
Edmonson’s power coupled with that of Bobby Jindal is Read more