With all the political hoopla in the past few weeks focused on other races, the upcoming election for all 12 members of the Caddo Parish School Board drew scant, if any attention. Not that these elected positions are not important – - quite the contrary. The large number of candidates who qualified for this 12 member board was a pleasant surprise to political observers.
The general public’s dissatisfaction with quality of Caddo public education is clearly reflected by the challenges to incumbent school board members. Only 2 of the current members were unopposed; Lillian Priest and Curtis Hooks did not seek re-election. Thus 10 seats could change hands.
Jasmine Green (District 2), and Ginger Armstrong (District 11) (more…)
Add comment August 29, 2014 7:00 am
by Marion Marks
When a candidate for public office speaks, what they say and how they say it creates either positive energy or the opposite. The environment the next set of elected leaders embodies must be a “Will Do” attitude that demands the completion of tasks currently unresolved of stuck because political gridlock in government plaza has been like a rudderless ship. [Video of Forum]
Observing the candidates at the forum August 26th at Southwood High School should have been rewarding to citizens in terms of what appears to be a “Will Do” approach.Yet proof will only matter when and if the elected mayor builds a coalition with the city council and city workers to make things better for citizens.
Candidates who speak to voters create an aura with their (more…)
Add comment August 27, 2014 1:22 pm
by Marion Marks
Shreveport may still need “Ruby Slippers” to click together as we address the issues a new mayor must face, but we certainly must understand those behind the curtain who believe that are pulling the strings at government plaza. This year’s mayoral race would not be complete without addressing the men and women behind the candidates who seek to convince voters Shreveport still might be “The Emerald City.”
Mayor Cedric Glover, try as he might, failed to make Shreveport the “Next Great City of the South,” as he sold it to taxpayers. But the soon-to-be 69 years-old retired school superintendent, double-dipping state legislator, entrepreneur-school teacher, and others in the poll run by KEEL will (more…)
Add comment August 26, 2014 11:53 am
by Elliott Stonecipher
Now that official candidate qualifying is in the books, Shreveporters are forgiven any “Haven’t we seen this movie before?” reaction. Whatever else may happen, the campaign for Mayor of Shreveport will once again center on top insiders keeping the same ol’ same ol’ political machine greased and humming.
As the campaign begins, the long-needed City Hall blow-up and rebuild seems unlikely.
Major candidates this time around are City Councilman Sam Jenkins, teacher Victoria Provenza, State Representative Patrick Williams, and retired education higher-up Ollie Tyler. Provenza is white and an Independent, and the remaining three are African-American Democrats.
Also in the race are newcomer Anna Marie Arpino, identified by our daily paper as an accountant, always-on-a-ballot-for-something Jim Crowley (no offense meant, Jim), and Melvin Slack, Jr.
Mr. Slack is identified by the paper as an “evangelist.” If that be true, faithful Shreveporters should thank him in advance for praying for our city as this electoral soiree runs its course. ‘Lord knows all help is needed.
No matter that the city is stagnant, if not tipping over into something worse, top insiders, along with their small army of election wizards and flacks, prefer (more…)
Add comment August 25, 2014 9:02 am
by Marion Marks
Do you Believe? The question is, can anyone convince voters to believe in the power of Ruby Slippers? Obviously two candidates are preparing to convince voters to believe that either is capable of miracles for Shreveport to turn around after years of mayoral neglect. One must convince them that being 69 years old and retired because the pressure was too great, really isn’t accurate any more. The other must convince voters that being a government contractor and teacher is suitable training to be mayor.
Regardless, none of the front runners have city council experience, and all will have a steep learning curve in taking office while coordinating with a city council that has found a voice. Whoever is the new mayor will be taking an office that requires great deal of stamina and infinite patience with navigational skills.
Both former superintendent Ollie Tyler and teacher-government contractor Victoria Provenza believe that they are capable of convincing voters that it is possible to pull together a team of managers who can right the city for the next four years. Voters must be convinced these novices will be able to assemble a team in a way never before done in Shreveport. Even Patrick Williams has no real experience in city government, yet he has supporters who have great experience working and contracting with the city.
At the filing deadline no real surprise names were added who we might believe could alter the path of what may be THE pivotal election for the future of Shreveport. Anna Marie Arpino was registered by some backers as a “red herring” distraction just for conversation. Based on the trend of (more…)
Add comment August 22, 2014 4:31 pm
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 (more…)
Add comment August 22, 2014 9:38 am
Its always a pleasant surprise when an unheralded candidate suddenly appears on the local political scene and qualifies for office. Such is the case with the recent announcement by Trina Chu that she will run for the Caddo District Judge; she qualified this week. She will oppose Charles Tutt to fill Judge Scott Crichton’s seat; Crichton qualified for the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Chu is the classic feel good story of an immigrant family coming to America (legally), and through hard work and diligence becoming productive and successful. Her story, in her own words: “I came here at the age of 8, in 1982 after my father and two older brothers escaped Vietnam in 1980. In 1980, my parents planned for the whole family to escape communism and forced military enrollment into the war between Vietnam and Cambodia, also widely known at the time as Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia after the Vietnam War with the U.S. So, in 1980, only my father and 2 brothers were able to escape. My mother, two younger brothers, and I were stuck behind.
We were lucky we didn’t get caught by the government (more…)
Add comment August 21, 2014 12:00 pm
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.
Mike Edmonson, Superintendent of the (more…)
Add comment August 21, 2014 9:57 am
Just because it shines, it’s NOT Stainless!
by Marion Marks
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.
Candidates file this week for November primary, and opposition filings speak volumes of the perception of incumbents. Shreveport City Marshal’s race features several challengers who began campaigning over a year ago.
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!
Political rust can be fatal in a campaign, and lapses in judgement or outright bad decisions by Shreveport City Marshal Charlie Caldwell should have consequences. Caldwell finds four faces new to politics already on the street. [Caldwell’s campaign reports HERE] The known challengers are, Don Otis, Jim Taliaferro, Joey Hester , and Anthony Johnson. Basic duties of the City Marshal are defined by the city and judges in Shreveport City Court.
Stainless steel is “corrosion-resistant” but not immune to corrosion. The term used by the US military – “corrosion- resistant steel” is an accurate description, but the (more…)
Add comment August 18, 2014 6:00 am
… With Our Fingers Crossed
by Elliott Stonecipher
By this time next week, those of us in pursuit of a better Shreveport will know who is running for mayor and city council. Official qualifying for those jobs is Wednesday through Friday, and judging by what many have told me, ours are not great expectations.
Especially for natives and other long-time Shreveporters, the seriousness of our city’s challenges is no longer credibly deniable. We are a city in which those informed and honest are soberly aware that Shreveport has run aground.
Yes, yes, I fully understand that our master insiders – the few who have called our tune more or less forever – are doing very, very well. The part of Shreveport these few so thoroughly and profitably control is humming along nicely. That is baked into our community cake, regardless that the taste is bitter.
For the vast majority of us, the fact that those few (more…)
Add comment August 17, 2014 12:15 pm