Category: Louisiana Politics

OVER $68 MILLION OWED TO BENTELER STEEL’S SUBCONTRACTORS

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015What 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.

Bentler Steel TubeIn 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

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Magic Moment Finals Near!

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And the Winner isby Marion Marks

The chemistry in Louisiana “Finals” election Saturday has all new components that have not previously been seen around our here. The targeted – and well-planned – primary marketing in state-wide races allowed for some unexpected results. The finals winners will be those who kept a keen focus on their target voters, allied themselves with enemies of their run-off opponents and understood the concepts of Machiavellian politics. No better script could be written than what some political strategists did with less resources and yet a well-organized base. This year’s contests will be studied for years to come!

too-bored-to-do-nothing-too-lazy-to-do-anythingJeremy Alford calls it “… silly and ridiculous one moment, then downright political and cutting the next.” But the key was always understanding what the comedians call the “magic moment.” Serious citizens were never really comfortable, but we survived each potential “magic moment.”

No witnesses could ever call it boring or quiet, if you understood the totality of the climate in Read more

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Shreveport Doesn’t have a Donald Trump Candidate

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Waiting_for_Godot
Set of Waiting for Godot

by Marion Marks

Observing the Caddo District Attorney race in 2015 is comparable to watching the play Waiting for Godot. I hate to break it to the unread, but Godot never shows up! And this is about how I feel about the runoff election. The end just can’t come quickly enough for the average citizen.

It’s similar to watching the Republican presidential primary this fall, but I have a hard time differentiating between the Saturday Night Live Donald Trump skits, the nightly news and the PAC commercials for Judge Stewart. I almost feel sorry for Dhu Thompson, because being a very real and effective member of the Caddo DA office, he is branded a failure without even looking at his record. It almost is irreverent for his platform or capabilities to turn the office around, because he Read more

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Vote Because it Makes a Difference

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ELECTION DAY-Nov 21by Marion Marks

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 cant 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!Howard Zinn_You Cant be Neutral

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

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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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Vitter Campaign Turning Ugly

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Jim Beam, Lake Charles Americam Press
Jim Beam, Lake Charles Americam Press

By Jim Beam/American Press  [Pointed and informative journalism that deserves a wider audience!]

U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s misleading and malicious political ads targeting state Rep. John Bel Edwards, his Democratic opponent for governor, are reminiscent of another sad chapter in American history. A U.S. senator was involved in that one, too. More on that later.

A Vitter television spot says electing Edwards would be like making President Obama Louisiana’s next governor, which is about as far-fetched as the devious mind can fathom. However, the worst part of the spot is the accusation that Edwards wants to release “5,500 dangerous thugs (and) drug dealers back into our neighborhoods,” which is also a figment of the Vitter campaign’s creative imagination.

Imaginative...
Imaginative…

Pearson Cross, a political science professor at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, told The Times-Picayune the ad appears aimed at stoking fears among white voters that Edwards will unleash dangerous black criminals into safe neighborhoods.

Robert Mann, Manship chair of journalism at LSU, in a story for salon.com, said, “Vitter’s objective is, quite simply, to smear Edwards by reviving and exploiting Louisiana’s fearful, racist past.”

Edwards said, “I have never supported reducing our incarceration rate by releasing criminals from jail, as the smear ad suggests. Rather, my statement about inmates in the speech referenced was about reducing the prison population through long-term solutions without Read more

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Frustrations & Election Lessons

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vote-handsby Marion Marks

Tuesday’s national election day resulted in voters’ unleashed pent up frustrations and defeated candidates and policies that were perceived as oppressive or punitive. However, as all elections are local, what transpires in Louisiana and Caddo Parish on November 21 will be put under a microscope for years to come. National attention that Louisiana and Caddo have received for injustices of the past has brought in millions of dollars of outside money in an attempt to alter history. But no election has been singled out more than the Caddo District Attorney’s race, often falsely labeled the old versus the new justice.

In retrospect, Caddo citizens generally have been immune to messages or else repulsed by droning harangues that appear to be one-sided, negative or just plain over the top with false logic. Scales Unbalanced-Justice-Power-MoneyMany prospective voters tune out or shut down at the mention of this race, sometimes ashamed of the Caddo record. But all too often, knowledgeable voters, out of respect for a candidate they know who deserves real credit for successes, tunes out because all of the mud being slung. Perhaps the ads work for all the wrong reasons.
Read more

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SHOULD INDEPENDENCE BOWL QUALIFY FOR PROPOSED HOTELMOTEL TAX INCREASE?

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Caddo Bossier voters can expect a campaign to crank up soon to pass the proposed hotel-motel occupancy tax increase that will be on the November 21 ballot (along with all the run-off candidates). A similar tax was on the November 2104 ballot; it passed in Caddo Parish by a 52% “yes” vote but failed in Bossier Parish with only a 45% “yes” vote. The margin of defeat in Bossier was only 208 votes.

Quiet-AirplaneThe November proposition is slated to benefit the Ark-La-Tex Regional Air Service Alliance (RASA), the Independence Bowl Foundation and the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission. The proposal is for a 1.5% increase on the current hotel-motel occupancy tax 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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DA CANDIDATE STEWART TOP TRAVEL SPENDER WHILE JUDGE

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015While a judge on Shreveport’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals, James Stewart enjoyed traveling on the taxpayer’s dime—in a big, big way. In fact his travel/education expenses from July 2011 through July 2015 totaled $54,183. The average expenses of the other 8 judges on this court was only $14,719.

Stewart obviously enjoyed his travels while a judge so much so that he spent a week in Los Angeles in July of this year—less than a month before his DA race declaration. He also traveled to such great vacation destinations as Destin, Las Vegas, Miami, St. Louis, San Antonio, and Read more

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