Former mayor Bobby Simpson had a formidable challenger in the people of Baton Rouge who were unhappy with traffic and sewer problems plaguing our parish. Joining them was a nonpartisan political action group, Baton Rouge Next, that led the charge calling for a change in Red Stick Leadership claiming “OUR LEADERSHIP ISN’T WORKING.” The major issue became our traffic woes. Imagine that?
Fast forward to today. You are on your way to work, to the doctor or to run errands. While sitting in the most horrendous traffic jams in the history of East Baton Rouge Parish you remember the video that said it all. In case you’ve forgotten it, here it is:
William Daniel, 2004 candidate for Mayor of EBR Parish, borrowed the traffic footage for his campaign and made the same claims. Daniel said “a fortune has been spent studying the loop, but you’ll wait years before construction even starts. As mayor I will use toll roads, build loops, and get our traffic moving now.” Daniel lost his bid for Mayor.
Instead, the man touted as the most liberal member of the legislature, Kip Holden, was elected mayor. Holden promised to solve the traffic woes, sewer problems, and other pressing issues. LABI (Louisiana Business & Industry) warned voters by giving Holden the lowest score of any legislator due to the fact that Holden voted AGAINST business. (ex. Holden voted AGAINST giving manufacturers tax exemptions.)
Mayor-President Kip Holden has a long history while in the legislature of voting against issues residents and business owners of the Red Stick needed to improve our quality of life. Just a few include making it easier for injured workers to sue their employers, voting against locking the ban on same-sex marriage, pushing to block the execution of mentally deficient murderers and attempting to soften the school system’s accountability program.
Here we are 4 years later. Holden is running for re-election. Some call him an immovable force. In a previous blog I joked about his political consultants wanting voters to have frontal lobotomies so they will just pull the lever for Holden and not even consider other mayoral candidates. The truth is this is no joking matter. Due to the overwhelming response to that blog, I have made a decision to take a factual look at the candidates until election day. That includes a tough hard look at Holden and his actions while in office. After all, when running against conservative Simpson, Holden said he did not understand Simpson not wanting the people to scrutinize his record. Well, let’s follow Kip’s lead.
On the issue of traffic, it would not take a traffic engineer to determine there have been NO improvements in traffic woes. A simple trip yesterday for a downtown meeting and an afternoon drive in 5:00 p.m. traffic netted me an extra two hours sitting still in traffic. That’s a gas burner! Regarding traffic:
We did not get the improved public transportation that Kip Holden promised.
We did not get the commuter light rail system Kip Holden promised.
We did not get much further down the road on the Baton Rouge Loop, but Holden did spend $2,000,000 of your taxpayer dollars to study the loop and hold community meetings.
We did not get the police officers during rush hour at major intersections directing the flow of traffic Kip Holden promised.
What we did get is more of the same.
More of the same promises from a seasoned politician who talks a good game and who can sway the crowds like a well-groomed motivational speaker promising to take our troubles away if we follow him. Do we want to continue to follow a tax and spend liberal who wants to dip into our pocketbooks once again with $989,000,000,000 in new taxes? I repeat, $989 million new taxes! EBRP residents want more than talk. Voters do not want or need more taxes! The voters want action. Simple action within the current budget.
If you want to continue the daily traffic woes you are currently experiencing, re-elect Holden. You will just get more of the same including downtown hotels, downtown parking lots, tourist attractions, lots of motivational speeches, fairs and festival appearances, ‘one Baton Rouge’, expensive 24-7 body guards and drivers all at your expense. Remember Catfish Town?
If you are tired of the same old same old, then look at the options and let’s see if Dan Kyle, Ron Johnson or Wayne Carter might be able to do more than talk a good game to the voters of EBR Parish.
Until next time,
Red Stick Republican