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 (more…)
Add comment September 20, 2014 12:09 pm
The City Council races in the November 4 ballot could put 5 new faces on Shreveport’s legislative body; all council races are contested except for District C (Oliver Jenkins) and District D (Mike Corbin). Willie Bradford (District A) and Billy Wayne (District G) clearly stand out as the most qualified in the big field of candidates seeking a seat on the Council.
Bradford is challenging Rose Wilson-McCullough who is seeking reelection. The daughter of a highly respected civic leader, Rose has proven to be a disappointment to her district much like her prior service on the Caddo Commission. McCullough’s biggest accomplishment is dedicating most of street bond revenue money to the repairing of the avenue named after her dad.
District A encompasses the entire Cooper Road area (now known as Martin Luther King Drive area), North Highlands, Cherokee Park, and a portion of Cross Lake. This minority district is one of the poorest areas of the (more…)
Add comment September 18, 2014 3:00 pm
Political commentary peaks the interest on some casual observers, yet it strikes fear in some who are defensive of candidates whose election will determine their paycheck of the influence they have in monies expensed by the system. It still goes back to the saying: “bite that hand that feeds you, and you won’t eat very well.” Citizens, particularly those who vote, must admit that their democratic right to vote is being manipulated by too many whose seat at the table needs to be questioned. Blame and guilt now seem to be the driving force for at least one of the front runners in the mayoral race.
What I observe in the “Double-Dip” controversy of Patrick Williams is just like the Mary Landrieu travel expenditure complaint. If you complain about one candidate, i.e. as the Tea Party is of Mary Landrieu, you can’t turn around and forgive Patrick Williams for seemingly the same submission for reimbursements for the same expense to two separate reimbursement sources – FOR FULL REIMBURSEMENTS.
Paying attention to discussion of the mayoral campaign, voters must certainly recognize that (more…)
Add comment September 16, 2014 10:54 am
State Rep. and mayoral candidate Patrick Williams says it is not his fault that he double-billed his expenses as a state legislator – getting reimbursed by both his campaign account and the taxpayers.
The word has been out for a while about his double-billing in The Times, here in the Fax-Net, and on websites, but KTBS-TV put an exclamation point to the situation with its investigative report on Sunday night.
Michael Wainwright, a former Shreveport attorney who was also a former assistant U.S. attorney, first brought Williams’ double-dipping activities to light. His investigation alleges that in the two years he looked at, Williams double-dipped to the tune of $8,000.
KTBS looked only at 2012 and determined that, for that year, he double-dipped 45 times for $4,021.88. The details can be found at KTBS.com.
Williams blames an assistant for the illegal activities and says (more…)
Add comment September 15, 2014 3:21 pm
Hopefully the Shreveport voters will do what the Louisiana Judiciary Commission has failed to do – – remove Shreveport City Judge Sheva Sims from the Judicial bench. Myles qualified to run against Sims for Shreveport City Court, Division D; Sims is seeking re-elections after serving her first (partial) term on the bench.
Sims was elected as Shreveport City Judge in 2011, winning a close election against Shante’ Wells; she has previously conducted unsuccessful races for the Shreveport City Council.
Sims had a checkered legal career before her election to judgeship. As a practicing attorney, Sims was notorious for being late to court, and many attorneys reported that she was frequently ill-prepared for court cases.
As a sitting Judge, Sims has had her challenges, to say the least. (more…)
Add comment September 11, 2014 3:00 pm
It’s expected for political operatives to be extremely defensive of their candidates and their system. After all, you never bite that hand that feeds you, intentionally. However, now is the time to admit to citizens, and particularly those who chose to exercise their democratic right to vote, that the system has been well manipulated by the puppet masters all along. September 9th Mayoral Forum(View Here) that featured two of the six candidates seemed to be quite well manipulated. Lots of excuses for why only two appeared, and plenty of blame to go around for that.
What I saw was well-rehearsed, since the script was written days in advance. With questions provided several days before the format was tedious and non-responsive as far as “debate style” as one would expect. Well-read by Tyler and acted by Williams, as he stood on cue to deliver lines. I learned nothing new, except that it appears handlers are chomping at the bit to get control of city services and purse strings. And, here’s the rub.
Anyone who pays attention to city government must certainly recognize that there are great gaps in the funds collected to run city services and the actual services provided. This gap I will call the “political shrinkage” or the cost of paying for those who bring you the (more…)
Add comment September 10, 2014 10:26 am
Shreveport good-government activists need to see this New Orleans news of Ray Nagin entering prison as a possible symbol of how to clean up government corruption. Nagin and Cedric Glover may have some common bonds is the manner in which city contracts were negotiated.
The story of the investigation of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who began a 10-year sentence on corruption charges today should be repeated for every politician who “worked the system” to take public resources for private use. The Nagin story of a millionaire cable television executive who won the 2002 mayoral election as a political outsider pledged to reform is a sad commentary of rampant cronyism in New Orleans that relates to City Halls across America.
Good government efforts only bear (more…)
Add comment September 8, 2014 5:09 pm
… an “After Thought”
by Marion Marks
It’s not really an “After Thought” since the forum isn’t until tomorrow. BUT… Since the questions have already be circulated to both invited panelists, Ollie Tyler and Patrick Williams, why not just allow all the candidates to mail in answers? Will the forum be a matter of reading prepared responses? Come on, you have to be kidding! Giving out the questions in advance when there are just two panelists!! Voters need to read the questions and ask what your answers would be!
I think the two could just read prepared remarks and take time to interact with the audience. Only hoping now that the ridicule from here and elsewhere will spark a bit of extemporaneous “debate,” as voters need to see something else to get a feeling for any liveliness from these candidates. Voters need to learn what candidates understand about the real (more…)
Add comment September 8, 2014 3:29 pm
by Elliott Stonecipher
Honestly, I wondered if I could make it all the way through this skirmish without offering my two-cents worth. I figured the matter of U. S. Senator Mary Landrieu’s residency is a serial ruckus, with nothing much new and of value for me to offer.
That changed this morning when I read a Stephanie Grace column in The Advocate. Don’t get me wrong, though. I am a fan of Ms. Grace’s work. Up here in Louisiana’s north country, we get our Advocate online, and I was pleased today to find two of her pieces.
As I read this one, I thought yet again just how different are the perspectives of many newspaper writers and those of us very – too? – well acquainted with political candidates, especially those who succeed, if that’s what it is, and become elected officials.
In truth, I wish I might still see things as Ms. Grace sees them, but too many years in (more…)
Add comment September 7, 2014 5:31 pm
Victoria Provenza has entered the mayor’s race playing the role of the politically naive, poverty stricken candidate that will make it all better to live in Shreveport. Despite her assertion that she was a big time super-fund site manager and a very successful business woman out West, she has returned virtually penniless (as she claims) to save her home town. Pollyanna Provenza does not have a job (she is on leave of absence from her part time substitute teaching job) nor does she own a home, – – and reportedly her cell phone still has a Colorado area code.
Pollyanna is a campaigning as an independent; in Colorado she was a big time Republican – – being elected as a state delegate. Now she claims that “political parties and partisanship is an impediment to progress”. Her website says she is running for mayor to lend her “unique skill set and experience to the community through public service.” Evidently Pollyanna wants to start on top; to date she has not involved herself in any Shreveport community services or programs – – but she is the reigning Krewe of Highland Mardi Gras Queen.
Despite never having run for an elected political office nor served in a public (more…)
Add comment September 4, 2014 3:00 pm