The race for Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish is officially on for 2008. Four candidates have announced their intention to run including:
Current Mayor-President Kip Holden kicked off his re-election bid a couple months ago. He is often referred to as an absentee landlord since the reigns of city-parish government were turned over to Walter Monsour by Holden. Monsour’s nickname is the ‘shadow mayor’. Holden’s record shows he is a tax-and-spend liberal democrat proven by his actions while in office. Just a few include:
Holden raised sewer fees
Holden raised garbage and recycling fees
Holden raised the fees for bus riders of the transit system
Holden spent $130,000 to fund the International Heritage Festival, Fest for All, and Blues Fest
Holden raised taxes for his Green Light Project (which has not solved our traffic woes)
Holden spent more $$ for studies for proposed projects than in the history of EBRP
Holden paid the Chamber of Commerce $1 million to create economic development projects (a job they are supposed to do without additional funding from voters) Note: This resulted in the Chamber endorsing Holden for his re-election bid.
- Holden increased the spending budget for 2008 by 9.5% (never mind that they project another income increase in 2008 of $22-$25 million due to increased sales taxes or the fact that EBRP had a $41 million surplus from 2006)
- Holden has steadily increased the city-parish spending/budget as follows:
- $592 million in 2006
- $621 million in 2007
- $672 million in 2008
Metro-Council member and business owner, republican Wayne ‘Spider’ Carter, announced his plans for candidacy including addressing a growing crime rate and no new taxes. Carter has been an outspoken opponent of Holden. Carter says he brings his business savvy and experience as a metro-council member to the table as a viable candidate. Holden can expect Carter to continue to express his disapproval of Holden’s inadequacies.
Former EBR Parish School Board Member and defense attorney, democrat Ron Johnson, shocked everyone when he signed up this week as a candidate for mayor. Nevertheless, Johnson has been quoted in the past as also saying that Holden is a tax-and-spend liberal. Johnson is brother to Judge Ron Johnson. No agenda has been announced to date by Johnson, but rumors are abounding that this could be Cleo Field’s candidate. Time will tell.
Former BREC Board Member and former Legislative Auditor, republican Dan Kyle, announced his candidacy for mayor this week. Kyle had previously hinted as to a run while criticizing the tax-and-spend democratic agenda Holden has shown for the past 3 1/2 years. Kyle is known for his calm demeanor, but bull-dog approach to excessive spending and political agendas. He could be a force to be reckoned with in this race.
I highly encourage voters to take a strong look at all of the candidates as this race unfolds. I believe it is time for new leadership. Holden does have charisma, but it takes less spending, no new taxes, and decreases in our crime and traffic woes to impress the voters. We are not interested in a mayor who is a good motivational speaker. We are interested in a mayor that will truly become the voice of the people by spending more time about the people’s business by reducing the cost of state government and improving its effectiveness for the people.
Until next time,
Red Stick Republican