Category: Caddo Parish Commission

Caddo Parish Commission and related Caddo Parish entities

Can 2016 be the Year Caddo Parish is Proud of the News?

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we-are-our-own-hope
hope…

by Marion Marks

January should be a hopeful month, yet early Mardi Gras celebrations and the MLK memorial activities seem to temper the new year, particularly with losses of those we have buried long before we felt their time had expired. Our frenetic pace and electronic networks make it difficult to just sit back and absorb life. It is appropriate to take personal stock, without too much commentary, even when it hurts to see others’ mistakes, because we just can’t fix everything all by ourselves.

The boisterous social media and blogging stories about Caddo-Shreveport failing to recognize needs of interstate commerce, I-49 corridor routing and inner-city growth neglects a history of the city that has been stagnant far too many years according to a clear record of demographers and analysts who Read more

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CADDO COMMISSIONER MATTHEW LINN ATTEMPTS TO USE OFFICE TO FILE COMPLAINT OVER SOCIAL MEDIA POST

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015The question for the day: When is a Facebook posting a threat to life and limb? Does a posting under a picture of a person holding a fishing rod saying that “I know him personally and it bothers me that that rod is not shoved down his throat” a threat? The picture was of Caddo Commissioner Matthew Linn.

Linn signed an email to Caddo Sheriff Prator  as “Matthew Linn Caddo Commissioner” complaining about this posting. Linn said the posting “by Kathryn Bloomfield would not be as bothersome if she did not work as an attorney for the Public Defender’s Office/Caddo Parish. In her role as a public defender she is in constant contact with people who may feel they owe her a favor for her representation of them in court…My only concern is that someone she represents may want to do her a favor…”Commissioner Matthew Linn Read more

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NEW CADDO COMMISSIONER MIKE MIDDLETON SETS THE BAR ON COMPENSATION FOR OTHER COMMISSIONERS

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Its one thing for wantabe political candidates to make campaign pledges, and another for them to actually follow upon them once elected. Such is not the case with Mike Middleton, who will be sworn in as the new commissioner for District 8 at high noon on January 11.

Middleton, a retired Caddo deputy sheriff, ran a hard fought race against incumbent John Escude and Lea Desmarteau. He finished first in the primary and won by a good margin in the runoff election against Desmarteau. Middleton campaigned the old fashion hard way– by constantly pressing the flesh, knocking on doors, attending civic gatherings and personally calling voters. And he made campaign pledges that he intends to keep.

Commissioner Mike Middleton-smallMiddleton’s campaign push cards listed his priorities—REDUCE pay by 20%, REPEAL retirement insurance and travel, and RESTORE citizen’s trust. Mike was not happy that Caddo Commissioners are the highest paid part time elected officials in the state of Louisiana and that they have a $15,000 per year unmonitored travel/expense allowance. Middleton was also familiar with the litigation filed by Elliott Stonecipher against the Commission challenging the participation Read more

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The False Cape of Invincibility (Invisibility)

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Embrace the KoolAid
Embrace the Kool-Aid

by Marion Marks

Louisiana citizens have been guilty of drinking far too much Kool-Aid from the Republican Party Boss’s water cooler prior to this fall’s election. Proof of the disastrous effects were the utter melt down of formerly invincible David Vitter during the course of the governor’s election.

No sooner than Vitter announced his run for governor than the pundits named him the odds-on favorite to salvage the state from the wreckage of Jindal’s administration. The issue pundits neglected was the impact of Democrats, other Republican hopefuls and a few serious journalists who believed that Vitter had many skeletons the voters didn’t really Read more

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NEW CADDO COMMISSIONERS CHAVEZ, JACKSON AND MIDDLETON HAVE BIG CLOUT

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Now that the election season is finally over Caddo citizens can take heart, to some extent, that the Caddo Commission has 5 new elected members to join the “hung over 7” who have voted consistently to line their pockets—literally and figuratively, the commissioners have been under fire, and rightly so, for being the highest paid part time public officials in the state of Louisiana, if not the nation. The returning self-serving members have voted themselves several pay raises, an annual unmonitored annual travel expense allowances of $15,000 per year and the expenditure of public funds to defend their participation in a retirement plan deemed illegal by state officials.

The public pressure on this greedy bunch was evident by the number of incumbents challenged (Michael Williams, Matthew Linn, Ken Epperson, Lyndon Mario Chavez - Caddo Commission(web)Johnson, James Smith, and John Escude) and the public pressure that forced 2 to not seek reelection (Lindora Baker and Mike Thibodeaux). One Commissioner was termed out—David Cox. Although all the incumbents were re-elected except for Williams and Escude, the fact that they had to run opposed to reclaim their positions was a new reality that hopefully sent a message to a Read more

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Factors That May Impact Voter Turnout on November 21

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015The general election on Saturday, November 21 will determine the outcome of many statewide races (the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General) and four Caddo races – District Attorney, Caddo Commissioner District 3 and 8 and State Senate District 38. Caddo voter turnout for the October 24 primary was a much lower than expected at 32%.

The $64,000 question for the November 21 election date is, as always, turnout. A low turnout can be blamed on many factors, including the following:

Go VOTE!
Go VOTE!

1. Hunting season will be open for deer and ducks.

2. For consummate shopper, that Saturday will be five (5) days before Thanksgiving Read more

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MORE QUESTIONS– STEWART, LINN, ESCUDE, CAWTHORNE & HATFIELD

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Opinion by John Settle

With the October 24 primary election fast approaching, many key questions should be answered by candidates seeking votes. Some questions are new; others have been ignored by candidates.

The new question for Caddo DA candidate Stewart concerns the funding of over $37,000 by the Louisiana Safety & Justice PAC money paid for TV advertising on KTBS. This PAC is chaired by Lee Jeter of Bossier City; Shreveport attorney Herschel Richards is the treasurer and Sherry Kerr is listed as an officer. These ads run through October 19; whether or not this PAC will purchase more ads for Stewart before the October 24 election is unknown. What IS known is that this is the largest purchase by a local PAC of TV advertising by a local candidate in Shreveport’s history; what other campaign expenses the PAC is underwriting for Stewart is not Read more

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Blogging Truth – Journalism 101

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"Idealistic" Forward
“Idealistic” Forward

by Marion Marks

When Forward-Now.com was established the founders determined several philosophical boundaries, or mission principles that have evolved over the history of the blog. Among these principles was the basic fact that no articles could be published without basis in fact or a belief that any article published must contain some factual information which could be documented or was in the realm of public knowledge factually accurate*.

rewrites 4As the readership expanded, and with pressure for accuracy and validity, it was determined that NO articles would be published that did not credit a specific author, regardless of the credibility of the story. Accountability today is a principle we believe necessary to preserve the integrity of the site as well as those who contribute to Read more

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CANDIDATE BEN ARNOLD OWES OVER $12,000 PLUS BACK CHILD SUPPORT

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015By now Ben Arnold should have learned that once a person qualifies for an elected office that his past life becomes an open book for voters to review. Maybe he did not discover this in his race last fall for the Shreveport Council; he finished a dismal last. Perhaps he learned this lesson when he finished last in his prior race for the Commission in 2004—but forgot it.

Presumably Arnold should know that in addition to “slick” campaign push cards and campaign websites, voters are entitled to “the rest of the story”. So let’s start; for beginners, Arnold has never been a homeowner in Caddo Parish.

Not this "Slick"
Not this “Slick”

Arnold does not like to pay child support. In April of this year his back support for his fifteen year old daughter was ruled to be almost $12,750. Calculated at the ordered amount of $300 per month, it appears that Arnold has not paid support for over 3.5 years.

Arnold has made several trips to Shreveport City Criminal Court. He was arrested Read more

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STATE ETHICS BOARD TAKES IT ON THE CHIN ON CADDO CANDIDATE OBJECTIONS

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015In what can be best described as a slam dunk, three Caddo candidates beat back efforts by the Louisiana Board of Ethics to have them disqualified for the October primary this week.

Caddo Commissioner Jerald Bowman will be able to continue his campaign for reelection to the Commission—much to the dismay of career politician Roy Burrell who has been in elected office and on the public payroll since 1994. Ben Arnold, who had previously run unsuccessfully for the Shreveport City Council, can continue his campaign against Mario Chavez to fill the seat of David Cox on the Caddo Commission. And upstart John McGrew gets to stay on the ballot for Caddo Sheriff against incumbent Steve Prator and Constable Eric Hatfield. Judge Craig Marcotte ruled for Bowman and Judge Ramon Lafitte ruled for Arnold and McGrew.

Govt HOGThe basis for all 3 challenges was the same—that each candidate had filed a false Notice of Candidacy which contains a certification that the candidate did not have any outstanding Board of Ethics fines. All 3 candidates did in fact have outstanding fines- $5000 for Bowman and $2500 for Arnold and McGrew; all 3 paid their fines after qualifying. The Ethics Board relied on statutes Read more

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