Lee Domingue: The Right Choice Monday, Mar 30 2009 

Update:  It took the clock to countdown to less than 72 hours of the election for The Advocate to FINALLY do ONE article that gave the candidates of Senate District 16 an opportunity to speak on a legislative issue.  The question to the candidates was in regard to whether or not welfare and food stamp recipients should be drug tested.  Both candidates felt the legislation had merit, but had caveats. Unfortunately, there are virtually NO voters in this particular district that are on welfare.  Even so, The Advocate MISSED THE MARK by not discussing REAL issues for District 16.  Why?  

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When I chose to write about the Senate District 16 race, it was because of a gut feeling.  As the campaign took flight, I saw the obvious injustices being done against one of the candidates.  This strengthened my resolve to continue to research and report the facts.

Lee Domingue is, obviously, a man who is committed to his family, his faith, his career, his community and our state.   This is something no one can argue against.

Domingue has put his money where his mouth is and stepped up to the plate to support the belief that Louisiana, and all that we hold dear, is worth fighting for right now

Yes, Domingue gave contributions to Jindal in his run for governor.  Of course, the pundits fail to mention that Jindal received more individual contributions than any previous gubernatorial candidate in the history of Louisiana.   Jindal has also been targeted, for his endorsement of Domingue.

Domingue also contributed to “Believe in Louisiana“, an organization formed to break from our past and bring ethics reform to our state, one step at a time.  It’s a process.  We didn’t get here overnight, and it will take time for change to come to fruition.  The organization is chaired by Rolfe McCollister, Jr., publisher of the Business Report, who has taken scathing attacks for supporting Domingue.  Four men in our state donated $100,000 each to BIL:  Boysie Bollinger, Joe Canizaro, Edward Diefenthal, and Lee Domingue.  They joined other business leaders from across the state who gave in excess of $10,000, and retirees and housewives that gave $100 each. 

Lee Domingue is the founder of Cyrus International, an organization that reaches out to those oppressed by human trafficking, the hungry, and orphans.  He and his family attend Healing Place Church, and he also authored a book, Pearls of the King,  laying his past open for inspection, for all to read. 

When an heiress and her attorney felt scorned in a decade-old business deal, and rumors abounded, Domingue put the documentation on his campaign website and spoke openly to the media to clarify the details.  Nothing was hidden by him.  Nevertheless, apparent bitterness on the part of the other parties have taken over their lives to the point that they felt it necessary to work in cooperation with Marsha Shuler, a reporter at The Advocate, to make this front page news.

Meanwhile, nothing negative has been revealed about the other candidate, Dan Claitor, by The Advocate.  

Neither has the newspaper addressed important issues, as they have in every other campaign they have covered in our community and state. 

Did you know that in the archives of The Advocate, Marsha Shuler has written only 27 articles with the words “ethics reform” in over 13 years?  (Dating back to Governor Buddy Roemer’s administration)

But in 4 months, Shular has written 18 articles about the District 16 Senate race, with 15 targeting Domingue.  These are the statistics I stand on when I write about Lee Domingue.

For all of us, it begs the question.  What are they really saying to us? 

What’s really wrong with Lee Domingue?  His faith in God?  His commitment to his family?  His membership at Healing Place Church?  His contributions to support the Governor?  His contributions to ‘Believe in Louisiana’?  His business that employs Louisiana workers?  His willingness to author a book on his past and the effect faith has had on his life?  His openness in discussing a decade-old business deal that the other party is unhappy with?  His transparency?  His honesty?

Gee, aren’t these the very things we have begged for in a candidate?  Have I not read and heard since Edwards went to prison how badly we need reform and candidates that will lay their public and private lives, and business dealings open to the public? 

How much better does it get, folks?

There are times, like these, in life that you just know that you know, regardless of media spin or political operatives, that a man is the right man for the job.  I see no real criticism that has a foot to stand on here. 

What I do see is a man that has given us hope, that with the right kind of impetus, we too can live the American Dream, stand on our faith, be transparent to each other, and believe in and work toward a better day in Louisiana.

When you go to the polls on Saturday, make the right choice, and pull the lever for a man who has given us the full transparency we have longed for in politics.  That man is Lee Domingue.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

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Claitor Refuses to Debate Domingue Friday, Mar 27 2009 

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Dan Claitor, candidate for District 16’s senate seat, refuses to debate his opponent, Lee Domingue according to WAFB TV.  In fact, Claitor has refused all invitations to discuss the issues of Senate District 16 in any public forum. 

First, Claitor agreed to appear at the Jeffersonian community meeting – a harmless group of individuals who hold open forums for all candidates in their district.  His consultant says they declined when they realized he agreed to debate his opponent, Lee Domingue.  Unfortunately, this makes no sense as everyone in the political world already knows that the Jeffersonians’ invitation to two candidates have always been forum-debate oriented.

Claitor also refused to debate at the League of Women Voter’s forum, a group that has hosted debates for statewide and parish office seekers for years.  The League is known for presenting a clearly defined debate with guest moderators from the media in an unbiased forum for candidates to freely speak on the issues of constituents.

This speaks volumes about Claitor. 

For those who are unfamiliar with Claitor’s political consultant, Roy Fletcher, it seems his specialty is ‘hiding his political clients’ and dictating to them where they are allowed to appear, what they are allowed to say, or not say, with an agreement of full control of all political spin for his candidates.  This allows him to work behind the scenes, to use various pawns to spin the campaign against his opponent. 

This equates to Dan Claitor being a pawn of a political consultant.  Apparently Claitor has chosen this day whom he will serve.

Why would a candidate refuse to debate his opponent?

Why would a candidate allow his political consultant to control him by not allowing him to be present at public discussions of the issues?

Does Claitor believe the voters are not interested in his stand on specific issues important to District 16? 

Is the mandate of a political consultant more important than allowing the voters two unbiased forums where they can hear directly from the candidate?

I have made it clear in previous posts that I believe that Dan Claitor has been party to a woven web of deceit by allowing others to do his dirty work and spin this campaign against his opponent.  

A candidate’s silence is an important as his speech.  If a candidate is unwilling to speak in a forum while running for office, what will he do once elected? 

Hiding is not a good strategy for Claitor.  It sends a clear message to the voters of Senate District 16.  I hope you are paying attention.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Dan Claitor: Dr. Phil, please help me! Tuesday, Mar 24 2009 

Update:  The Advocate has finally revealed statistics on Dan Claitor’s legal work including the fact that he does practice as a personal injury attorney and has handled 66 criminal court cases.  They fail to mention the full array of clients he has represented, including murderers.  Nevertheless, they do finally acknowledge, in effect, that he is a trial attorney. 

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Today’s Dr. Phil show focuses on internal negative dialogue that prevents us from facing the real truth about ourselves.  Grab some popcorn, sit back, relax and learn!

Dr. Phil:  Today, my guest is Dan Claitor, candidate for senate District 16.  I received a call from some of Dan’s friends and family members who are concerned about the confusion he has created and today we hope to get to the bottom of it so Dan can focus on the truth.  When we face the truth, we eliminate the confusion in our minds and the minds of others.  Welcome, Dan!

Dan Claitor:  Hello, Dr. Phil.  (rolls his eyes)

Dr. Phil:  Dan, there is no doubt about it – you have been sending some mixed messages, and people are concerned.  First you said you were an assistant district attorney, then a prosecuting attorney, then a business attorney, and now you claim you are a maritime attorney.  You ran for district attorney and a few months later you decided you wanted to be a senator.  Isn’t this correct?

Dan Claitor:  No response

Dr. Phil:  Dan, I can’t help you if you don’t cooperate.  Aren’t these facts true?

Dan Claitor:  Yes

Dr. Phil:  Dan, today I have invited a few of your former law partners to help us sort this out.  Everyone, please welcome personal injury and trial attorneys, Greg Murphy and Chandler Loupe. 

Audience:  (applauds)

Dr. Phil:  Now, Greg and Chandler have agreed to help Dan figure out who he really is today.  In order to accomplish this, we need to take a short walk down memory lane.  Let’s start with Chandler.  Chandler, would you please explain to us your relationship with Dan.

Chandler Loupe:  I am a personal injury attorney, and Dan was my former law partner, along with Greg.  I now have my own firm and specialize in wrongful death, chemical exposure and other typical trial attorney cases.  Right Greg?

Greg Murphy:  That’s right Chandler.  Dr. Phil, I am also a personal injury attorney and one of my specialties are maritime accidents.  We were all three partners, but now I have a new partner and firm.  Perhaps this is why Dan lists maritime law?

Dan Claitor:  I am not a trial attorney.

Dr. Phil:  Dan, it’s important that you face the truth today.  Denial is not just a river in Egypt, and you can’t move forward if you don’t face the past. 

Dan Claitor:  Can’t you help me out by just talking about Lee Domingue, my opponent.  That seems to keep the focus off of me!

Dr. Phil:  (ignoring that comment)  Now, Dan, according to The Advocate and Times Picayune, you represented numerous cases of a personal injury nature.  These cases include suits you filed, on behalf of your clients, against various law enforcement agencies.  What about the cocaine distribution case where you filed a $750,000 law suit and took the case all the way to the Supreme Court about an illegally obtained search warrant.  Do you remember representing that client? 

Dan Claitor:  Vaguely.

Dr. Phil:  Dan, what about the case where you sued a city in Louisiana claiming that your client deserved more money because the man who assaulted your client was their employee at the time of the incident? 

Dan Claitor:  Vaguely

Dr. Phil:   Dan, do you have any recollection of being a law partner with these two personal injury attorneys?  Do YOU have any memory of being a trial attorney?

Dan Claitor:  Vaguely

Chandler Loupe:  C’mon Dan!

Greg Murphy:  Dan, please!

Dan Claitor:  Yes I remember, but I am running for the high office of Senate in one of the most conservative districts in the state and that part of my life is something I prefer to not face.

Dr. Phil:  Dan, this is why there is so much confusion surrounding your desire to be in politics.  Voters expect politicians to make mistakes, but they are looking for candidates that know who they are and are willing to reveal their background.  Confusion circling your identity is not positive, and today we want to simply help you to face the facts.  The truth will set you free, Dan!

Dan Claitor:  I would rather talk about the other candidate.  I learned, as a prosecutor, to attack others on the witness stand.  I prefer to watch them squirm. 

Dr. Phil:  Dan, we have one more special guest today that might shed some light on your state of denial.  Please welcome East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney, Hillar Moore.

Hillar Moore:  (walks out in baseball jersey and cap while holding a bat)

Dr. Phil:  (laughing)  Hillar, welcome!  Tell the audience why a DA would dress in baseball attire. 

Hillar Moore:  Dr. Phil, thank you for inviting me today.  This is my way of letting Dan know that his attacks against me in the campaign for district attorney didn’t work.  He is very passive-aggressive, and tried to discredit me to the public by making my community service as a baseball coach a reason to not elect me.  It didn’t work, I’m the new DA!

Dan Claitor:  Hillar, let’s not talk about my past, okay?

Dr. Phil:  Dan, that’s why we are here today.  I want to give you some homework!  I want you to write these words, “I was a trial attorney”.  I need you to write them down 5,000 times, and hopefully the truth will sink in your head. 

Dan Claitor:  I can’t do that.

Dr. Phil:  Dan, okay, let’s try this:  just take these contrasting comments you have made over the past year or so, and study them every day for one week, please!  (hands Dan a list that pops up on the large screen)  Dan, this list will help you face your confusion.  For instance, you said you would be ‘tough on crime’ in the last political race you ran, but you represented the likes of drug dealers and drunk drivers.  All I want you to do is to see the confusion in your own mind, and therefore, in the mind of the voters of district 16.

Dan Claitor:  (grabs his cellphone and texts Marsha Shuler at The Advocate)

Dr. Phil:  I’m not sure we made much progress today, but I want my listeners to know that in order for you to serve the people effectively, that you must first serve the truth.  Facing who you are is a good start.  If we can face who we are, we can better express to others who we really are behind our mask.  Go to my website and read more about finding your authentic self and how not to be at odds with your public persona.  Take my authenticity litmus test and become a better you.  I want to thank Dan for at least showing up today and hope he will agree to face his past so he can have a clearer future.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Can You Handle The Truth? Tuesday, Mar 24 2009 

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In the movie, A Few Good Men, we become intimate with the phrase “Code Red”, identified as an unofficial political strategy.  It’s an order given ‘behind the scenes’ that demands a secret that no one is to utter in public. 

Colonel Jessup, played by Jack Nicholson, is confronted in court by a novice who pushes him to the brink until he finally admits he gave the unofficial order when he screams out his confession in the courtroom.  It’s a breaktaking moment

Segue to the Senate District 16 race.  Two good men formerly served in this senate seat, Secretary of State Jay Dardenne, and Congressman Bill Cassidy.  Both men were hit hard, and understand what it is like to have a “Code Red” ordered against them.

Dardenne fought a hard race against former chairman of the Louisiana GOP, Mike Francis, and Cassidy battled a horrific campaign against former representative William Daniel.  The gloves came off, and a network of political operatives labored to discredit these two good men.  Dardenne and Cassidy fought back, stood strong for what they believe, and were victorious in the end. 

History may be repeating itself in District 16 for Lee Domingue.  Willing, and even unknowing political operatives, have joined the forces of ‘Colonel Jessup’ to pull off another “Code Red“.  They have even won over a not-so-astute reporter at The Advocate as one of their pawns.

This time the net has been cast further showing The Advocate’s fear of their rival publication, the BR Business Report, and its publisher, as well as the Governor, and Domingue’s campaign staff and finance chair.

“Code Red” calls for silence among peers.  Coffee shops and calls burning up the cellular towers are the only witnesses to the plan of action.  The order is subtle, but the attack is very public. 

When the order is given, they have the false belief that the order will not be figured out easily.  Ego does strange things to men who erroneously believe they are in control.  They grossly underestimate the electorate by assuming they are ignorant. 

For far too long, the voters have become disillusioned with “Code Red” tactics in Louisiana politics.  That is why Bobby Jindal became our governor.  The days of secret meetings and plots to take down candidates died with the conviction of former Governor Edwin Edwards.

Who are the Colonel Jessup’s that ordered this “Code Red”on Domingue?  Think about that for a moment. 

I spoke with a political consultant that told me, “we lead the sheep to the voting booth and tell them what to do – and they follow our orders”.  The misconception of control does strange things to men. 

Interesting theory he had, but that dog won’t hunt anymore.  We live in the information age.  Voters are more savvy than at any time in the history of the United States.  They no longer just listen to the negative spin, evidenced by our last gubernatorial election.  The voters want someone who gives hope, because it is the anchor of our soul. 

If the conspirators of Domingue’s “Code Red” were paraded as witnesses for the prosecution, I can only imagine the veil of secrecy that would inhabit the jury box.  That is, until someone was pushed beyond their brink, like Colonel Jessup in A Few Good Men, when he shouted out . . .

“You *&^%$#@ right, I gave the (Code Red) order!”

Can you handle the truth?  I believe you can.  Don’t let a “Code Red” order sway your vote.  Do you really want a trial lawyer – a personal injury attorney to lead District 16? 

Or, do you want someone that sees a brighter future for Louisiana, and speaks to us about hope, promise, and better days ahead – someone who understands what it is like to be knocked down and still stand up for what they believe.

We should all take note when a “Code Red” is ordered, whether it be against Dardenne, Cassidy, or Domingue.  As the Bible states, “Choose this day whom you will serve.”

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Domingue: A Jerusalem Peacemaker Sunday, Mar 22 2009 

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Lee Domingue, candidate for Senate District 16, understands the importance of being a Jerusalem peacemaker.  Domingue serves on the board of directors for the Road to Jerusalem organization, a movement that plays a key role in promoting positive relationships between Gentiles and Jews.  Beth Shalom is an intricate component of Senate District 16.

The Road to Jerusalem is an organization formed by Coach ‘Mac’ Bill McCartney.  Formed as a shoot-off of Promise Keepers, a 5 million man-strong organization of believers dedicated to standing up for their faith and families, they promote unity between Jews and Gentiles. 

Coach Mac, before founding these organizations, brought the University of Colorado football team to the National Championship in 1990, and served alongside his good friend Les Miles. 

Lee Domingue is close to both of these men and also formed the Red Stick support group for Coach Les Miles.

Anyone who understands the commitment and passion to mobilize the body of Christ to partner with the Jewish believer for the salvation of Israel is on the right track. 

The Road to Jerusalem was birthed thanks to Rabbi Robert Solomon of Atlanta, when he confronted leaders at a pastor’s conference attended by 40,000 religious leaders in 1996 with the resounding phrase, “you forgot about us”.

Dr. Raleigh Washington, president and CEO, is planning a tremendous Road to Jerusalem event this summer in Boulder with 3 major focuses including healing the gender divide, focusing on the divide between the oppressed/poor and wealthy, and bringing together Jews and Gentiles. 

Strengthening the relationship between the United States and Israel is critical, and in order for this to happen, like everything, it begins in our own backyard.  We need to all aspire to making the peace of Jerusalem an important aspect of American Society.  Doing so, will make standing up against the injustices of terrorism and incitement against Israel, a reality.

Realizing that Lee Domingue is a key player in the group of men and women who are Jerusalem peacemakers is important.  We need to seek out future leaders that are forward thinking – morally and spiritually.  Understanding the importance of bringing Jews and Gentiles together by pro-Israel candidates are key to the leadership of our community.

Kudos to Domingue for being committed to the peace of Israel and for taking an active role in the leadership of this worthwhile effort.  He is following in the footsteps of the former Senators, Jay Dardenne and Bill Cassidy, from District 16.  Let’s follow their examples.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Pilgrim’s Progress in the Red Stick Thursday, Mar 19 2009 

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Yesterday was a sad day for journalism in the Red Stick.  We talk about media spin, but what I was looking at on the front page of the newspaper literally took my breath away.  Questions were racing through my mind so fast that my head started to spin. 

I looked around Starbucks and spotted a few heavy hitters and started wondering who had crossed them.  Would they be willing to go public to garner front page news about a ‘he said-she said’ scenario almost a decade ago? 

I doubt it.  Most community leaders would not be interested in using a news publication to bring down someone they agreed to a settlement with eight years ago.  

So, what is really behind this front page breaking news?  After all, the candidate, Lee Domingue, openly addressed it on his website

What is the real message to the readers?  What questions are we to ask?  Is a “substantial amount of money”, defined as $140,000 in the news article, really ‘substantial’ to a $600 million inheritance? 

Why this story now? 

Unfortunately, this ‘news’ story was about as biased as the seam on my pants.  It’s the ongoing saga of a group of individuals who are willing to bet on a trial attorney, Dan Claitor, to represent Senate District 16 vs a Christian businessman, Lee Domingue.  Maybe the word Christian is the rub?  What is really going on here?

Front page news is like grabbing the golden ring for a reporter. 

What really happened?  Did the pressman call and say, “hey, we have some prime space and need someone to come up with a real zinger”?  Did the red sea of the back page part the heavens of the front page open for this reporter? 

The only congratulations that can be given to this reporter, Marsha Shuler, is proving that the local newspaper is now a vehicle for the powerful to send a message to us.

Some might say, “here’s a quarter, call someone who cares”.  We should care, though.  There is a lot more to this story than meets the eye.  Besides, tomorrow the story might be about one of us.  The Advocate isn’t a blog, it’s a newspaper delivered to 100,000 citizens in the Red Stick!  I think I hear Charles Manship rolling over in his grave.

It’s a message to ‘outsiders’ that the Red Stick is still like a ‘small town’. 

I’ve heard that for years, and now I believe them.  It’s part of the reason that we lose our best and brightest.  It’s the narrow kind of thinking that sends a message that we are willing to do whatever it takes to ‘win’ – not counting the cost.  Small minds carrying around big sticks threatening anyone who dares to become a member of the ‘insiders’ who ‘run this town‘.  It’s business as usual in the Red Stick.

It explains so much – not about the man they set out to discredit and ‘shame’ publicly for daring to fail until he can live the American dream.  After all, we know these powerful men and women have never failed, right?  (If you believe that, I have some land to sell you!) 

We won’t be reading stories about their child that may be on drugs, or the employee who gave their all and was let go because they had a bad day.  We won’t be reading about all the ‘less fortunate people’ they took advantage of, will we? 

Of course not. 

In the archives of The Advocate, there is not one story to be found on the front page of the newspaper that has ‘exposed’ a disagreement similar to this one:  A satisfied business transaction that most likely involves a much deeper story that remains to be told.

This is why it took my breath away.  Domingue’s desire to serve the people has become a real comparison to the classic by Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress – except this time, the story is in the Red Stick. 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Statistic:  Out of 18 news stories written by this reporter on the Senate District 16 race, 15 articles were written targeting Lee Domingue.  NO articles were written targeting Claitor.  This begs the question as to what the connection is between the reporter and candidate, Dan Claitor or his  political operatives?

What Makes Dan Claitor Tick? Tuesday, Mar 17 2009 

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A couple days ago, I wrote a story on what makes Lee Domingue tick.  Today is Dan Claitor’s turn.  Neither candidate received a majority in the primary and will face each other in the Senate District 16 run-off.  Only 749 votes separated the two front runners.

Dan Claitor made his first run for public office in the Red Stick last year for district attorney against Hillar Moore, and announced his decision to run for senate right after Moore was sworn in as DA.

Claitor grew up in the Red Stick working in his formative years at his family’s book store, Claitors.  A graduate in finance, he decided to not pursue a career in that field and chose law.  For nearly 3 years he was an assistant prosecutor in Orleans Parish, leaving to open a private practice in 1990 as a trial lawyer.

A search for Claitor’s name in regard to community involvement did not produce any results to speak of.  Past senators of this district were active in community and/or their church. 

Claitor told The Advocate he spends time in his legal practice and handling the Claitor family assets including real estate and publishing holdings.

Claitor’s campaign finance reports indicate majority contributions from himself, the Claitor family and their holdings and trial attorneys.  Just Follow the money.

One of Claitor’s contributors on his 2/5/09 report includes FAIR, a PAC chaired by Alton Ashy according to the Louisiana Ethics website.  Ashy, a big time lobbyist for the gambling industry, criticized Governor Blanco for calling his donations “dirty gambling money” in an attempt to proclaim the gaming industry is a legitimate business.  Ashy normally works on behalf of Democrats and is closely aligned with the Democratic Party.

According to The Old River Road bloggers, Claitor perfected his art of mud slinging by hiring the same firmthat created the mailer last year exposing Mayor Kip Holden’s alleged affair.  This is evidenced in one of Claitor’s finance reports

Claitor has a passive aggressive approach of attack.  In forums and to the media, he makes ‘suggestions‘ such as when he attacked the Governor regarding his endorsement of Domingue saying it needed to ‘be investigated by the press’

During his run against Hillar Moore, he responded ‘I earned my endorsements’ ‘suggesting‘ his opponent received his otherwise. 

A pattern has developed; we are creatures of habit.  It is befitting for a trial attorney to suggest reasonable doubt.  These patterns reveal Claitor’s mindset, and such actions are far from subtle to the voters.

Claitor told The Advocate “although some folks might consider being a lawyer a bad thing, I think it’s a good thing down at the legislature”.  Claitor defines himself as an attorney, always omitting the fact that he is a trial lawyer.  On google he is listed as a personal injury attorney.

Laurinda Calongne, also went back on her word that she would not endorse, originally saying, “the people of the district have the good sense to evaluate the candidates”.   Days later she chose to endorse Claitor.  Claitor attacked her in the primary for being a lobbyist and for her faith.    Ironically, in an interesting twist, Claitor now embraces Calongne’s endorsement.  Politics make for strange bedfellows.

Claitor opposed rezoning for Acadian Village fearing visitors would park at his property across the street.  Response from council member, Micky Skyring, was that he ‘doubted anyone would walk across busy Acadian Thruway’.   The zoning was approved.

In all fairness, and based on information released about his opponents, it is important to mention that Claitor has had several lawsuits filed against him as well. 

Public records show a $3,000,000 default loan that was allegedly in default according to Chase Bank for the Claitor family including R. G. Claitor’s Realty which lists Dan Claitor as a partner according to the Secretary of State.  The suit was dropped when an agreement was reached to refinance the loan and interest was paid, according to The Advocate. 

Other public records indicate both Claitor and his partners had suits filed against them.  Disposition of the cases are not listed.  Though these plaintiffs may not be from prominent Red Stick families, I am sure they felt their litigation was just as important. 

Candidates are famous for attacking opponent’s records without realizing their own records are open for inspection.  Perhaps Claitor’s strategy is to make his opponent’s records the only transparent ones? 

Only one case is listed in the Times Picayune regarding a case Claitor prosecuted.  A 19 year old perpetrator shot a man twice in the chest and once in the back.  The murderer received only 42 years in prison.  I would have hoped he received life imprisonment without possibility of parole.

I guess what makes Claitor tick is more difficult for me to figure out.  He has served as a trial lawyer and an assistant prosecutor which sends somewhat of a mixed message.  Maybe his passive-aggressive nature is a key to what makes him tick? 

Based on the conservatives that have held the District 16 Senate seat in the past, it begs the question:  Do you really want a trail lawyer to serve as your next senator?

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

What Makes Lee Domingue Tick? Saturday, Mar 14 2009 

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When someone runs for office, I always wonder what makes them tick.  Lee Domingue is running for the Senate seat in District 16 of the Red Stick.  Why are the political pundits and his opposition, Dan Claitor, so frightened of him? 

Research shows that Lee Domingue was chosen as 2008 Business Person of the Year for developing a billion dollar business, App One, out of the basement of a rent house. 

This honor puts Domingue in the league of past winners such as Lee Michael Berg, Mike Wampold, Bob Davidge, Kevin Reilly, Jr., Gary Mockler, Charlie Valluzzo, Tom Sawyer and a barrage of Red Stick community leaders.  The list is like a who’s who of successful individuals, so I took note and thought Domingue must be a guy worth betting on.

Cyrus International was mentioned in the article announcing Domingue as a man who felt a ‘true calling’.  A look at this organization that Lee Domingue and his wife created indicates they have a three prong mission:  Cyrus’s TraffickingHOPE campaign combats human trafficking by providing safe houses, medical care, legal support, rehabilitation and vocational training to victims,  Cyrus’s OrphanHOPE campaign provides relief to orphans by supplying water, food, shelter, clothing and medical aid around the world, and Cyrus’s DreamHOPE campaign works with inner city groups to develop Dream Centers to educate and train youth and give them opportunities to succeed in life.

This equates to Domingue sharing his wealth to effect other’s lives in a positive way which impressed me.  There were other things about Domingue that caught my attention including his faith and self-proclaimed changes in his personal life.  Faith can change everything. 

Both Domingue and Calongne were mocked about their faith in a commentary stating “they appear to be off to a fine christian start”In this same blog, Domingue was specifically targeted as unfit for the office of Senate because his lifestyle changed due to his new found faith in God.  Evidently, the goal was to attack his past and discredit any change.  That was a mistake by the Claitor camp.

It is amazing to me that you can attack someone for a positive change in their life.  It would be like attacking an alcoholic that made a positive change by choosing to no longer drink.  What the? 

All blogging aside, I believe candidate’s lives and records are open for inspection.  However, I do not believe that any candidate’s faith or attendance at ANY church is open for attack.  In fact, here’s a little secret:  Attacking anyone’s faith is ignorant and always backfires.  As they say, Karma is a …..

Let’s be clear, politics is not for the faint of heart.  It is, however, for those strong individuals who hold family and their faith in high regard.  The history of our country has been built upon “In God We Trust”.  Let’s not attack the very foundation on which we stand.  On my About Red Stick Republican page, I list my favorite quote from author Malcolm Gladwell: 

“What must underlie successful epidemics, in the end, is a bedrock of belief that change is possible, that people can radically transform their behavior or beliefs in the face of the right kind of impetus”. 

This is what apparently happened to Lee Domingue.  It begs the question of what legacy we leave behind.

I hope to one day have a conversation with Lee Domingue and tell him that I support the positive things he is doing to make our community and the world a better place.  When time permits, I hope to read his book, Pearls of the King

After looking into Domingue’s past failures, current successes and the mission of Cyrus International, I believe what makes him tick is something District 16 voters need:  A champion that is willing to be transparent, openly share their past, prove that success is possible in spite of past failures and be a living example that we can positively change our world if we are just willing to answer the call.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Senate District 16’s David & Goliath Friday, Mar 13 2009 

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The District 16 Senate race reminds me of the biblical story of David & Goliath.

Claitor, I mean Goliath, was a tall Philistine, and quite the bully.  Every day Goliath would send out the word through his minions attacking and mocking the Israelites while daring them to fight – a somewhat passive-aggressive approach.

Domingue, I mean David, was of small stature, and was a servant to his brothers laboring and sharing with others freely.  David had a brave heart and refused to wear armor in his fight against Goliath.  Instead, armed with simplicity – a simple slingshot and 5 smooth stones he took on the bully.  

David won his battle.  We love David because he was the underdog, and we identify with him because he no one likes a bully. 

Claitor proved himself a bully in the last political race he ran against District Attorney Hillar Moore.  His passive-aggressive stabs at Moore were to no avail.  Insinuations about Moore’s contributions, endorsements and community work with our children lost the race for Claitor.

I do not personally know Domingue or Claitor, but have researched their campaign messages and personal stories. 

Claitor graduated from law school in 1987, became an assistant district attorney in Orleans Parish, and opened a private practice in 1990.  He is a trial lawyer, and told The Advocate that he spends most of his time representing his family’s holdings.  This is his second run for political office in less than one year.

Domingue is an entrepreneur.  He formerly owned an upscale car dealership that folded, and now serves as CEO of Wolters Kluwer/App One –  a business he started in the basement of a rent house that is now extremely  successful.  Domingue is also an author of Pearls of the King, a book that outlines his past personal failures and his faith in God which he says has dramatically transformed his life.  He is also the founder of Cyrus International, a not-for-profit, organization that fights against human trafficking.  This is his first run for political office.

Yesterday the District 16 Senate race took an interesting twist in this ‘battle’ when Laurinda Calongne, the losing candidate in the primary, endorsed Claitor.  This brought on an entirely new definition of political spin:

  • When Calongne ran for Congress, the political pundits attacked her for being a lobbyist and a liberal.  In this same expose’, Calongne’s contributions to democrats such as Blanco, Landrieu and Melancon caused her to be labeled a ‘friend of the Democrats’.  Claims were made that Calongne had spent far too much time in Washington and was ‘out of touch with people in the district’.
  • Just 7 weeks ago, as a candidate in Senate District 16, Calongne was attacked for her ‘missteps’ in the campaign.  She was also mocked, along with Domingue, for attending Healing Place Church and ‘appearing to be off to a fine christian start’.

Calongne must be practicing the old adage of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer? 

Claitor would have beat Calongne into the ground further if he had not felt that Domingue was his strongest competition.   Even given these attacks against Calongne – Claitor and his fellow conspirators now embrace the endorsement of Calongne. 

Is this a logical decision?  No, it is simply politics in its truest form.  The strategy is clear.  Discredit and attack your opponents . . . that is, until they endorse you

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Claitor: As Predicted Wednesday, Mar 11 2009 

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Just as predicted, less than 48 hours from the primary, candidate Dan Claitor continued his attacks against fellow candidate, Lee Domingue.  This time it was targeting Domingue’s campaign staff. 

Claitor is now providing MORE erroneous information.  Is this befitting a man who wanted to be EBR Parish District Attorney just a few months ago?  Or the man who now wants to be a Louisiana Senator?

As WBRZ says, first the facts:

  • I wrote a blog about Governor Jindal asking why everyone was so surprised that he became bored so soon.  After all, Jindal has not stayed in one position more than two years.  This is the truth.  
  • Domingue’s people must have read my blog here entitled:  Dan Claitor:  The Character Assassin, and forwarded that blog via email to supporters.  Email on the internet goes around the world in 60 seconds and before the end of the day I received a copy.  Funny,  since I am not on any campaign mailing lists.
  • In turn, Claitor’s political operatives wrote a story claiming that Domingue’s people were forwarding my blog about Jindal.
  • Wrong again, Claitor!  Seems a trial attorney would get his facts straight?

Normally, I do not respond to opinions about my blog; however, I do believe it is in order to clarify a few facts since I was inadvertently targeted.  (which I find humorous and fascinating):

  • I am an independent blogger. 
  • I do not accept any campaign funds for blogging. 
  • Based on these facts, I am free to speak my mind based on the facts as I see them. 
  • Result:  That makes some people very nervous. 

To candidates like Claitor, perhaps independent blogging is a new concept? 

Politics is a full contact sport. 

The reason many registered voters do not go to the polls is because of candidates and political operatives that provide false information.  Voters often feel they are fighting a losing battle against the truth and lose hope for finding good candidates to elect.   Most voters do not have the inclination or time to research.  This leaves them open to political spin.  It frustrates them to the point that on election day they think, why bother?  I digress.

If Claitor keeps this up, he will lose one way or another.  Attacking Hillar Moore in the District Attorney’s race didn’t work, so now he is attacking another candidate in hopes of winning a different election – Senate District 16.

Furthermore, I had hoped Claitor would hit the run-off talking about his qualifications.  I truly hoped he would prove me wrong so we could have a healthy debate.  So much for wishful thinking. 

What is Claitor afraid of? 

Is this the type of behavior we can expect if he were elected?  Whatever his reasons are, I think he has proven himself unworthy of your vote.

Besides, I have not heard Lee Domingue attack Claitor yet.  If he does, then so be it – Claitor threw the first punches.  Or should I say the first dozen?

When a candidate runs for office, his life is open for inspection.  Claitor has made no bones about his opponent’s past.  What about Claitor’s past?  What is Domingue waiting for? 

Never mind that Dan Claitor, trial attorney, represented a drunken driver that hit a police officer in the Red Stick.  That’s right – a drunken driver whose blood alcohol level was .206.  (.08 = drunk while driving and if injuring someone should bring a 1st degree vehicular negligent injuring)  

According to The Advocate, Claitor said, “He’s a nice kid that made a mistake”.  How about  a huge mistake?  

The police officer was slammed into a utility pole, spent 14 days in intensive care, suffered a closed wound head injury, temporary blindness, memory loss and damage to his senses.  I guess this puts a new meaning on lowering the bar for trial attorneys?

BR police officers cannot legally campaign for candidates, but they can pull the lever.  If I were Domingue, I would contact every law enforcement officer in this parish and ask for their vote.  Somehow I feel it would be a home run for him.

Moral:  Candidates who live in glass houses and throw stones at their opponents might open their self up for more severe scrutiny.  Enough said.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

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