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
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
New Caddo District Attorney James Stewart was sworn into office on December 1. Since then the roster of Caddo assistant district attorneys has changed dramatically—and continues to do so. How the transition finally shakes out will probably not be known for a few more weeks—and during the interim Stewart aka The Grim Reaper continues to send shock waves through the district attorney offices and the Caddo criminal courts. Stewart’s ardent criminal defense attorneys wanted some change in the line up of assistant district attorneys (ADAs),- but none expected the wide spread fall out from Santa Stewart that is hitting all the criminal sections.
Dhu Thompson, the outsider who had a good chance of becoming DA before the Soros money flooded into the Stewart camp, resigned immediately after the run off election on November 24. The tumultuous tenure of acting DA Dale Cox ended when Stewart became the District Attorney. Cox resigned with an effective date of December 31; additional retirements include Elizabeth Eisenhart (effective December 17), Ford McWilliams (effective year end) and Lisa Rogers (effective January 17).
Stewart’s first firing was Jason Brown—the son of Second Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jason Brown. Jason had been on the criminal defense bar hit list from the beginning of the campaign and his termination was expected—and cheered by many. Thereafter Read more
The voters have spoken, the vote will be certified, and the new Caddo Parish District Attorney will be James Stewart. The potential to change the perception of the Caddo’s DA office must become a reality for the results of the election to be meaningful. No public relations campaign or twist of a headline can replace realities of justice and responsibility as envisioned and interpreted by the law of the land and our next district attorney.
I am only one witness to the facts every citizen should see, but each of you has the right to an opinion of the actions of past leaders in the DA’s office. Each has a legacy resulting in the state of the office prior to James Stewart taking Read more
What was planned to be a great boom to many construction companies has now turned into a financial nightmare for over 40 subcontractors who claim they are owed over $68 million by Walbridge Aldinger Company –the general contractor for the Benteler Steel/Tube Manufacturing Corporation and its new plant at the Shreveport Bossier Port. This group has filed collectively over 60 liens against Benteler, Walbridge, and the surety bonding companies-Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America.
In June 2013 Benteler broke ground on the first phase of the $975 million steel manufacturing project. The first phase—a hot-rolling seamless steel tube facility—has now been completed; the liens are for unpaid bills dealing with this facility. A second phase of construction is to include a steel mill with an electric arc furnace; it is scheduled for completion in 2020. To train workers Read more
November 21 election results determine the future in Louisiana and Caddo Parish, either way the voters decide. Citizens can and will make a choice by casting a ballot or allowing others to vote for them through their failure to cast a ballot. “You can‘t be neutral on a moving train!” said Howard Zinn, and that’s the way eligible voters must recognize a responsibility to vote, or they give away their power and their rights. It’s really that simple, and no reason for not voting makes any sense – if you are alive!
No other responsibility citizens possess is more powerful in determining a future path for the community than exercising your vote. And Caddo voters can’t see how much that vote is worth, when so many people and so much money is being poured into this election, they must be blind. The concept of the “Fat Cat” was easy to understand, as someone threw piles of Read more
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.”-Lord Acton
When he died in 1902, Lord Acton was considered one of the most learned people of his age, unmatched for the breadth, depth, and humanity of his knowledge. He has become famous to succeeding generations for his observation —learned through many years of study and first-hand experience—that “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Cite: www.acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-3-number-1/lord-emerich-edward-dalberg-acton
Having become discouraged by higher powers and large sums that seemed insurmountable to our ideals and good faith efforts to preserve dignity, freedom and the right to govern as a people of the American nation, I had been out of politics for ten years until summer. My first political campaign to work on was in 1986, a U. S. Senate race between John Breaux and Henson Moore. I was naïve. Now, having practiced in areas of law including finance, insurance, negotiations, criminal prosecution Read more
The 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:
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
To those who have closely followed the campaign of James Stewart for Caddo DA, nothing is a surprise that comes out of his mouth—or what does not come out. Stewart’s entire race has been a series of “I do not know” or “I will not comment”. Although Caddo voters deserve more from someone seeking to become District Attorney, it is unlikely that Stewart will change his pattern from being a tightly-scripted candidate controlled by his white political handlers.
Stewart was trained by former Caddo DA Paul Carmouche who also trained Dale Cox. The death penalty cases that have been subject to national media scrutiny were prosecuted during Carmouche’s tenure as D.A. Stewart may “pretend” that he is the answer to correcting the death penalty brouhaha, but he has not explained his DA background, why he was very hard on black criminal defendants – – or his record as a Caddo District Judge and Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge when he was known to be Read more
This election cycle has proven that Caddo citizens discovered that a little ignorance is the currency of far too many voters, and that those who believe they can sway an election with big dollars still have a lot to learn. Regardless of the inclement weather, registered voters failed to exercise their hard-fought right to vote. The “sovereignty” Monroe refers is a double-edged privilege, granted to all, simply thru citizenship. Yet the “right” is neglected or ignored when we demonstrate a failure to vote. The rights of citizenship only become an acceptable currency when the holder of the right exercises their vote.
The basic belief of the founding fathers, and the expectation of those who cherish those rights, seems to be mostly ignored today as a majority refuse to vote, even when it is in their interest to cast a vote. Suggesting that their right to vote is being taken away, many would scream loudly. So the question now becomes, who will not vote in the November runoff?
The saddest media message I read since the returns came in is Read more