Mayor Kip Holden: The Two Faces of Crime Thursday, Feb 21 2013 

Dr_Jekyll_and_Mr_Hyde_by_Kaym

When I hear Mayor Kip Holden speak on the issue of crime in the Red Stick, I am always unsure what position he will be taking.  Will I be hearing from Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?

For those with any form of recall whatsoever, you will clearly remember how Mayor Kip Holden has spent the last 12 months defending the incredible job that the Baton Rouge Police Department has done, led by Police Chief Dwayne White, on working tirelessly to make Baton Rouge a safer city and parish.

All of his opponents in the last mayoral election suffered at the hands of Mr. Hyde/Mayor Kip Holden as they were almost shamed into making crime an issue in the campaign.  Holden was very clear that we were on the right track, and that anyone who even hinted that crime was an issue was simply using it for their own political gain in the election.

Now that the dust has settled from the election of Holden’s third term in office, suddenly our Police Chief Dwayne White has failed.  Publicly shaming him and even going so far as to blame him for the uptick in crime is the order of the day.

The flip-flopping of the political machine called Kip Holden is so incredible and mystifying, that it reminds me of the power that Jim Jones held over his followers that led to 909 followers drinking Kool-Aid laced with cyanide poisoning.  It was, I believe, the largest mass suicide in history.

Fortunately, the Kool-Aid that Holden has his followers drinking isn’t laced with physical poison — it is, however, a poison that is extremely powerful, as it controls the mind of his followers causing their vision to be skewed like a sailor on the open seas in a thick fog.  It can be just as dangerous and far-reaching as Jones’ Kool-Aid mixture.

Police Chief Dwayne White was in the process of being led to the Town Square for public flogging when he appeared to reach around and grab the cat’o’nine’tails and turn it on his accusers.  I am still studying his remarkable comments and video where he firmly answered each and every charge made against him in a press-ridden public forum.

Fascinating to say the least.

White is surely a man of conviction.  It is no secret to anyone that is acquainted with those in law enforcement, that this line of work is not for the weak of heart.

Men and women who choose to wake up every morning and strap a gun to their hips are a different breed.  They stand on the front lines every day, and take on the criminal element to fight the good fight against evil.  It takes a disciplined mindset to stay fit, remain passionate, and to make a cognizant decision that you are willing to serve and protect knowing your life is on the line every day.  The 21 years of service and grooming that brought White to the position he held as Police Chief were long, arduous and surely challenging.

You don’t garner the rank of Major overnight.  To have overseen the SWAT Team, served his initial years in the BRPD on the streets, and then to move on to LSP to move up in the ranks was no easy task.

The job that Police Chief Dwayne White has done in his tenure was applauded by Mayor Kip Holden (prior to the election last fall) as well as the East Baton Rouge Metro Council, community leaders, and in particular African American pastors and leaders in the Red Stick.

How did we suddenly wake up one morning with the acknowledgement of a ‘crime uptick’ and rumors that White would be fired shortly after the re-election of Holden to his third term?

Why was crime discussions during the mayoral campaign, according to Mayor Kip Holden, a fallacy dreamed up by the likes of those who were seeking the office of Mayor-President ‘only for political gain’?

When did everything suddenly turn around?

How did we go from being ‘on the right track to addressing crime increases’ to the complete failure of the Police Chief in his duties?

These are the questions one must ask Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (also known as Mayor-President Kip Holden)?

White was on the right track according to residents in the 70805 zip code.  For the first time since I left that zip code, I have watched closely and listened carefully to those residing in 70805 as well as those in authority and leadership applaud the efforts and strides that have taken place in this drug-ridden, violent crime area of our city.

BRAVE and other programs were making huge steps forward…there were no steps being taken backward.

Suddenly, the Kool-Aid has appeared.

Please, please, please, I implore you to not drink the concoction being developed in the political laboratory of Mayor Kip Holden and his cronies. Think.  Think back over the past months on the progress that has been made.  Put aside Union thinking, political persuasiveness, and really face the facts that we were taking baby steps and big steps toward a safer city and parish.

For the first time in years, all of our law enforcement agencies were coming together for the greater good in a way I do not recall.  Territorial adversity was not the order of the day.  We were forming coalitions, think-tanks, committees, crime initiatives that pulled all of our law enforcement personnel together to make our city safer.

Don’t be fooled.  You can’t say one thing for 21 months, and then suddenly turn on someone and try to convince everyone that everything you said was no longer true.

We knew, as a community, that we had a serious crime problem.  It is no secret.  The only individual that I am aware of that refused to acknowledge that fact was the political candidate who was seeking a third term as Mayor.  Now, that he has convinced you to re-elect him, he suddenly is saying ‘that is not the way it really was’.

The firing of Police Chief Dwayne White was personal.  The facts are coming out.  White was indeed being micromanaged by the Union, by Mayor Kip Holden via his CAO William Daniel, and he was slowly being led to the slaughterhouse.

We must seek the truth, and no longer accept the lies and misleading of candidates who are more interested in re-election, power and control and support those individuals that were making positive changes in one of the most critical areas of our family’s lives — public safety.

For now, I will continue to stand by former Police Chief Dwayne White and applaud him for his efforts and the strides he made during his tenure as the top in command of the BRPD.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Police Chief Dwayne White proves the Truth will Set you Free…or get you Fired! Wednesday, Feb 20 2013 

Can speaking the truth get you fired?  Just ask Donald Trump, or Mayor Kip Holden for that matter, and you will hear a resounding yes!  That is what happened to Police Chief Dwayne White due to his inability to comply with a request for secretiveness, micromanagement and discrimination in the Baton Rouge Police Department — as allegedly ordered by Mayor Kip Holden and his Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel.

Truth is supposed to set you free.  In the Chief of Police’s case, it set him free from his job — he was fired!

Anyone who does not see the obvious controversy between Mayor Kip Holden and ANYONE who questions his authority or that refuses to ‘crouch down’ to his political bullying needs to see a psychiatrist to discuss their diagnosis — the ticket will say “denial personality disorder”.   Denial is not just a river in Egypt!

Mayor Kip Holden has been a long time antagonist of anyone who disagrees with him.  Dare to question Kip, and you will find yourself hung out to dry, publicly shamed, sued, or just simply fired!  Holden is a politician in the rarest form in that he has the keen ability to manage by intimidation, threaten behind closed doors, and still survive by re-election by the people.  As one of his Campaign Advisers once said “voters are like sheep; you simply lead them into the slaughter (voting booth) and tell them what lever to pull — it’s like magic because they do exactly what you tell them to do!”  And that my friends, Holden’s entourage is extremely successful at accomplishing.  How does it feel to be a sheep led to slaughter?

Should you ever dare to disagree with Holden, you are basically signing your resignation.  It appears, from the facts presented thus far, that is exactly what happened to Police Chief Dwayne White.

Do not misunderstand.  We are living in a right to work state that allows employers to fire you for any reason they choose.  On the other hand, it can get more complicated.  Unions — not something I am personally a fan of due to childhood incidents when the Teamsters were much more powerful than they are today — change the entire complexion of what an employer can and cannot do.

The Union of Police, currently represented by Chris Stewart, has proved that fact over and over with EVERY Chief of Police our city has ever enjoyed.  They have blocked, opposed, undermined and literally stopped any decisions they felt were against the stand the Union should have taken.  In reading the cases presented in The Advocate archives, it seems many times those decisions were sometimes on shaky ground.  That is my opinion; everyone has one.  No police chief escaped the wrath of the Union.

The absolute, most disturbing fact of the firing of Chief of Police Dwayne White are the lies that were told by the Mayor’s Office.  You cannot tout to others, at least not in this day and age of high-tech communication, that you plan to fire someone and then claim you had no intention to do so.

It was the fall of last year when I was having dinner with a friend who turned to me and said “Kip Holden plans to fire Dwayne White as soon as the election is over.”  Then, they asked “do you know why?”  I said no, tell me.  She said he had gone against the Mayor on numerous occasions and refused to comply with his political requests and basically signed his death warrant with the BRPD.  I said “time will tell if that is fact” — it proved to be factual.

Holden was smart enough to not reveal to his supporters and well wishers during a campaign that he had full intention of firing the Police Chief.  This would not have gone over well with individuals who were large contributors and supporters of the Mayor.  Politics.  Politics in its rarest form.  Holden has the art of war down to a science.

I can’t help but wonder how community leader and business owner Lane Grigsby feels now?  Did you really think you would ever control or influence Kip Holden for the long haul?

What about all of the community leaders who should be coming forth and speaking out during this controversial time?

Don’t look for any of them to come forward.

Once you put your money on a candidate, shortly after they win an election is not the time to disagree with them.  It makes you look bad as their supporter — after all, you are the one who told us all he was the right man, correct?  Isn’t your image more important than speaking the truth?  Defending the truth?

To add insult to injury, hundreds of other individuals seemed to have full knowledge of the impending firing of Police Chief Dwayne White prior to him knowing his own fate.  Once White learned, or heard the rumors, he contacted Jill Craft and asked to retain her to work out an amicable departure for all concerned.

Uh oh.  That was a huge mistake on White’s part.  Holden does not like for his office to get a call from an attorney.  No, no, no!

When Craft contacted the Mayor’s office, she was told that was a falsehood and no intention to fire the Police Chief was in the works.  Of course, according to White, just minutes after Craft’s call, White received a call from the Mayor’s office informing him that this was a mistake.

Furthermore, reporters contacted the Mayor’s Office and were given that same line — there is no intention to fire Chief White!  Articles were printed, quotes were made…..time went by….White was fired anyway.

Lines were drawn in the sand.  It was too late to turn back now.  Holden was elected.  Did it matter who he upsets?  Nah!  He won the election!  He is home free!  He is term limited and this is his last hurrah!  He can do as he pleases!

Let’s call in the troops, tell them what we need to do!  We can do as we want!  It doesn’t really matter!  All the contributions to the campaign are paid, the voters have spoken, and we can now do as we wish!  “Go and set forth a plan, William Daniel, and be my hatchet man and fire that SOB who dared to question me and in fact called an attorney.”  We’ll show him, won’t we?  I am the all-powerful OZ!  

Again, to beat a dead horse:  the voters got it wrong again.  Three terms (something Holden specifically said during McHugh’s tenure that he would NEVER serve as a 3 term mayor) and the voters were, once again, “Kipnotized” as his opponent said in the last election.

Clever, but they underestimated Holden and his cronies’ ability to win elections.  A lot of politics, money and power were behind Holden, and they would be damned if they would allow anyone to take away their power.  The plan was to win, and indeed they did — a third term in office — full of tyranny and decisions that no one in the Red Stick could override — even the Police Chief.

So, here we are.

The Union of Police has 30 days to answer Police Chief Dwayne White.  We, of course, already know what their decision will be at the end of that 30 days.

Surely, you do not underestimate the power of the Union, do you?  This is simply a formality.

The only real concern here should be on behalf of Holden and his cronies.  After all, a lot of damage can happen in 30 days.

Look what happened in one day….one press conference…one opportunity for a man to save his reputation and speak the truth.  All those papers in that binder that Police Chief Dwayne White presented.  The look on Mayor Kip Holden’s face when he realized he had finally met his match in the Police Chief.  It was a priceless to watch the dumbfounded look on Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel’s face as the Police Chief outlined item by item his defense of all the charges they laid upon him in their attempt to discredit him.  Attorney Murphy Foster came across angry, frustrated, flustered at best when he floundered around demanding White answer additional questions.

There were no additional questions to answer at that time.

Mayor Kip Holden had his day when he publicly released a letter (with Chief White’s home address I might add) to the public charging him with what appeared to be reasons why he was fired.

This day was the opportunity for White to publicly answer each of those charges.  His statements were thorough.  He accomplished what he came for — to answer the charges, to set the record straight, and to save a lifelong reputation in his commitment to serving the people of our parish and state as a law enforcement officer.  He was credible, succinct, and took no prisoners.  I remain impressed.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Election Cover-ups – U.S., & EBRP Sunday, Nov 18 2012 

United States:

This week we witnessed the fall of another governmental leader — General Petraeus, who sadly chose to mar his image as an American hero.

Ironically, as serious as the choice that Petraeus made to commit adultery and its consequences are, it begs the question as to what was really going on in the form of a cover-up to not release the information publicly until post-election.  Of course, Petraeus’ mistress had access to his emails, which is a key question in the sharing of classified information that will now be investigated.

To add insult to injury, the apparent cover-up of what really happened in Benghazi, and the investigation that was delayed post-election is a sad commentary for America.

Anyone taking an honest look at this situation will realize that all the events surrounding Petraeus was a definitive cover-up during the Presidential Election.

East Baton Rouge Parish

Post-election, it seems fairly clear to me that the individuals who were previously criticized for attempting to “divide us” and “focus on crime” in the Red Stick’s recent Mayoral Election were accurate.

Post-election, the head of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber president, Adam Knapp, in today’s newspaper explains the ‘challenge’ of selling EBRP to companies considering us as a destination to do business due to the CRIME RATE!  What?  Huh?

Where was Adam Knapp during the Mayoral Election with these facts?

Good job to Kip Holden and his political operatives for getting the likes of Knapp, McCollister, FuturePac, the Baton Rouge Police Union, Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White, Pat Felder, Walter Monsour, John Noland, Rev. Raymond Jetson, et al.  to jump on Holden’s bandwagon endorsing him, crying racism, and refusing to address the crime increase in our parish during the election.  I am so disappointed in these community leaders for misleading us.

The inability of Kip Holden and his entourage to properly address the fact that crime is up in EBRP was a blatant cover-up to ensure his re-election and ignore the facts.

Post-election, the topic of increased crime is now up for discussion?

Let’s be clear on this article where Knapp is quoted about firms questioning the crime rate, seeing billboards and discussions about the crime rate.

The election was held November 6th, and the billboards went up less than 30 days ago.  Anyone who believes that we have had a surge of companies visiting in the past 30 days might be interested in some land I have for sale.  Ha!

As a researcher, I work on facts, and am not a conspiracy theorist.  At the same time, some would say this was a conspiracy properly planned by Kip Holden and his political operatives to ignore the facts, or should I say hide the facts from the public until post-election.

Unfortunately, all of the ‘so-called’ conspiracy theorists have been proven accurate in that nationally, and locally, information that should have been properly discussed in an honest and forthright manner was withheld from the voters until after the election.

To all those who endorsed Holden, you made your bed, now you will have to sleep in it — sharing Holden’s bed seems to be a commonality in EBRP!

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Farrakhan Treated ‘Presidential’ by EBRP Thursday, Oct 25 2012 

Let me begin by stating clearly to everyone, including Mayor Kip Holden and his entourage, that this topic has nothing to do with race, unless you subscribe to, or support the preachings of the proclaimed leader of Islam, Louis Farrakhan.

If you want to understand the recent controversy between Mayor Kip Holden and Mayoral Candidate Mike Walker, you need to do a little fact checking.

  1. Farrakhan’s Security Detail:  Louis Farrakhan travels with his own private security detail.  Anyone, including myself, who has personally heard Farrakhan speak through the years — or has witnessed any video clips of him speaking for that matter, would plainly see that he travels with a full entourage of security. ( In fact, in about 2010, you may recall incidents between Farrakhan’s security detail and the Secret Service detail on the White House lawn.)  He never travels without them. 
  2.  Who is Louis Farrakhan?  The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Louis Farrakhan as the head of the Nation of Islam, with a fundamentally anti-white theology, an anti-semite that blames Jews for plantation slavery and for dominating and controlling the U. S. Government, and calls the state of Israel wicked
  3. What does this have to do with the EBRP Mayor’s Race?  It seems that Farrakhan was ‘shepherded’ from the New Orleans Airport to Southern University with law enforcement from the Baton Rouge Police Department and Louisiana State Police.  This fact upset Mayoral Candidate Mike Walker, who in turn created a commercial saying that Mayor Kip Holden needed to spend money fighting crime in EBRP vs. sending officers to provide security for Farrakhan.
  4. What was the reaction of Kip Holden?  He called a political press conference to charge Mike Walker with sowing seeds of racism.

HOLD THAT THOUGHT.  Back up a minute.  Let’s think about this a second!  Stop Kip’s Tipsy Taxi!   Did I hear that correctly? 

Mayor Kip Holden finally found a way to play the race card, in his usual fashion, which is to counterattack those attacking him.  That’s a desperate political strategy there Kipster! 

Unfortunately, that dog won’t hunt.  The only racist in the triangle is Louis Farrakhan. 

Now, ask me how I know?  Simply put, his own words out of his own mouth through decades of preaching racism.  Many years ago, I even sat in an audience at Southern to hear him speak.  Curious as a young person to hear what this self-proclaimed leader had to say.  It was disappointing and frightening.

Now, back at the ranch, the head of our BR Police Department, Chief White, proclaimed that this ‘shepherding’ (i.e. escorting Farrakhan) to and from the airport was similar to arrangements to protect presidential candidates such as Romney, Gingrich and Clinton in the past.

Whoa!  Stop the presses!  When did Louis Farrakhan rank among the same ranks as presidential candidates? 

C’mon folks; let’s stop the madness!  This was definitely a waste of taxpayer money.  This time Mayoral Candidate Mike Walker definitely got it right.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Kip Holden and Louis Farrakhan Tuesday, Oct 16 2012 

I received this by email today and thought it worthy of passing on….read it and weep!

Kip Holden and Louis Farrakhan

 

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan recently spoke at Southern University and was provided a taxpayer funded BRPD escort from New Orleans to Baton Rouge and back. Additionally, members of the BRPD S.W.A.T team were pulled off the streets and stationed at Southern to provide security for Farrakhan.

Here’s a YouTube video of Farrakhan thanking Kip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO8oqc4MBak

Just who is Louis Farrakhan? Here’s some background information from the Southern Poverty Law Center: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/profiles/louis-farrakhan

Does anyone remember the Black Panther’s visit to Baton Rouge in 1970’s when camera man Bob Johnson was brutally attacked, and Baton Rouge residents lived in fear going to downtown Baton Rouge for years, causing many economic and social problems with negative impact to our hometown? This event was sponsored by the Southern University Student Government Association and the Nation of Islam Students.

Why were our tax dollars and BRPD personnel used to escort a man who preaches hate? And why, when we already face a critical shortage of police officers, were police pulled off the streets to provide security for this man? Would we have done the same for other speakers who preach violence and racial hatred on tax-supported college campuses? Would we extend the same courtesty to Christian, Jewish or ideologies? Are we promoting acceptance of Sharia Laws and radiacal Islamic conversions at Southern, and other universities?

Here are 5 things you can do right now to let Kip Holden know this is NOT okay!

1. Email or call Kip Holden’s office. His number is (225) 389-3100 and his email address is mayor@brgov.com.

2. Email the Metro Council. You can email all members using this address: metrocouncil@brgov.com

3. Write a Letter to the Editor. The Advocate: www.theadvocate.com/help/letters

Central Speaks: Email letter to: info@centralspeaks.com

The Zachary Plainsman: Email to: stacy.gill@zacharytoday.com

Central City News/Capitol City News: Email to: centralcitynews@hotmail.com

4. Share the YouTube video on Facebook and let others know about Kip’s use of your tax dollars to chauffer Farrakhan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO8oqc4MBak

5. Cut, paste and forward this email to 10 friends and encourage them to do the same.

Let’s vote carefully and wisely in this upcoming election!

Billy

EBR Republican Connection

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Influence Peddling in EBRP? Sunday, Jul 29 2012 

Let’s talk about one of the oldest political tricks in the book — Influence Peddling.  It come in many forms, and is referred to by many names.  The key is to recognize Influence Peddling in some of its truest forms in East Baton Rouge Parish prior to the fall election.

In some political circles, influence peddling is extremely effective and considered a legal business deal — depending upon your viewpoint (i.e. lobbying). 

For those who are in tune with the media — behind closed doors or via quick mobile dialing — it can also be extremely advantageous (i.e. keeping things under wrap).

In the community, it comes in many forms including controlling the flow of information, determining where focus is put, and deciding where and from whom and to whom funding will flow.

The examples could be lengthy, but why prolong our pain?  Let’s just get to the point, shall we? 

Influence Peddling has come to mind in the current climate of East Baton Rouge Parish politics and current leadership — especially in light of the coming fall election. 

Let me be very clear whom I refer to when considering ‘current’ leadership. 

  • They are the individuals who decide the who, what, where, and how.  
  • Simply put, they are the ‘powers that be’ — those behind the scenes who direct and determine what is, and what is not, done.
  • Depending on your working knowledge of who is really in control of such matters, they include members of the media, key community leaders, heads of community organizations and businesses, and a handful of politicians who both need and desire to be peddled regardless of what is right or wrong. 
  • They are the true decision makers and spin doctors of our political, economic, and financial climate in the Red Stick. 
  • For the past dozen or so years, they have determined where we are headed and how we will get there.

They should also be held accountable for where we currently are — something they are attuned to and very good at blaming on others.  Blame-shifting and influence peddling go hand-in-hand.

God help you if you should ever choose to disagree or question these influential peddlers or their political figureheads.  They are able, and more than willing, to strike back with a vengeance.

After all, influence peddlers stick together and are much like a brotherhood that almost appear to have unlimited powers to cut you off or make you into a spectacle — whatever suits the scenario.

They remind me of the mafia — a brotherhood of sorts that stick together against those who might interfere with their desires or whims.  The power of the political machine or editorial pen can be enormous in their world — and in yours. 

I am not a conspiracy theorist.  I work completely on the premise of truth revealed through extensive research that brings forth a working knowledge of the facts. 

Freedom from spin will set you free, and allow you to make more informed decisions.

Unfortunately, not everyone wants to know the truth.  In biblical times, they wanted to believe a lie, so God allowed a messenger to tell them what they wanted to hear: II Thessalonians 2:11.

Don’t be caught unaware.  Don’t be willing or desirous to believe a lie.  Do your homework.  Avoid the spin doctors.  Look long and hard at the facts.  And, above all else, be an informed citizen.  That is your responsibility before entering the voting booth.  Your vote does count. 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

EBRP Mayor Kip Holden: In His Own Words Sunday, Jun 17 2012 

As we prepare for the 2012 East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President’s race, I thought it might be interesting to take a look back to 2004 when Kip Holden ran against incumbent Bobby Simpson. 

I am a strong believer in reviewing the facts and quoting candidate’s own words.  It begs the question.

In 2004, according to The Advocate, mayoral candidate Kip Holden, made the following statements on October 25th while speaking at the Catholic Life Center about incumbent Bobby Simpson:

More than $119 million in this year’s budget has gone to professional service contracts, he said. “We are going to cut it out” and pay officers more.

When you can see the same conditions that existed four years ago,” then what has been accomplished, he asked.  (In reference to Crime, Traffic, Economic Development and Education.)

Fast forward 8 years.  If Holden felt Simpson should be replaced based on these 4 major failings, let’s ask the same question he asked:

“When you can see the same conditions that existed four years ago,” then what has been accomplished?”

  1. Crime is still a major issue. 
  2. Our Education problems are ever-increasing. 
  3. Traffic has improved in some areas; however, it is still a huge problem. 
  4. Economic Development is still not where it should be, and we are spending huge sums to underwrite BRAC’s initiatives that are questionable at best.

So, Mayor Holden, to use your own prolific words, why are we asking the same questions?

Two of the most disheartening issues I find of late (there are so many, but I will zero in on a few for now) include: 

Crime and Budget Issues

In 2004, Holden claimed that he would cut out $119 million in professional services contracts.  We have a long way to go to make that proposed cut a reality.

A side bar should be made here regarding the fact that not all professional services contracts are clearly spelled out in the budget.  Any accountant or CPA worth his salt will tell you how easy it is to hide expenditures in a budget the magnitude of our City-Parish — 513 pages to be precise. 

The truth is that spending for the Mayor’s Office in professional services contracts far exceeded what Simpson’s budget called for — this is strictly for the Mayor’s Office alone.  Take a look:

  • $200,000 – Patton Boggs – lobbying and consulting
  • $110,000 – Courson-Nickel – lobbying and consulting
  • $100,000 – Truancy (a pass is given on this one as it is sorely needed)
  • $100,000 – Red Stick Animation Festival

That is over $500,000 in Contractual Services for the Mayor’s Office only.  Contractual Services for the City-Parish make up 19.3% of the EBRP’s budget.  (See page 66 of the budget here.)

Finally, the budget for the Mayor’s Office has substantially increased since Holden was initially elected.  Let’s review the facts:

  • Mayor-President & Administrative Offices (page 78 of the budget):
    • 2005:  2,342,060
    • 2006:  2,785,780
    • 2007:  3,744,280
    • 2008:  4,748,700
    • 2009:  3,860,040
    • 2010:  3,825,570
    • 2011:  3,502,520

The numbers speak volumes. 

There are some changes on the horizon thanks to the Metro Council.  Their plans for 2012 included substantial changes in authorization privileges being moved from the Mayor-President to the Metro Council for certain expenditures.  These changes, of course, seriously affected the administration’s budget. 

According to the budget, those areas include:  Community Sponsored Programs, Economic Development Programs, and Community Centers (see page 76, item w. of the budget for verification.)

As I began, so shall I end. 

Mayor-President Kip Holden ran for office in 2004 under the auspices that former Mayor-President Bobby Simpson had not taken hold of Crime, Education, Economic Development and Traffic problems.

In 2012, we should do no less than ask the same very questions that Holden asked: 

“…what has been accomplished (to address these issues)…?”

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

To Investigate Or Not To Investigate, That Is The Question? Thursday, Mar 8 2012 

 

 

 

Investigations are required in order to solve the mystery of a crime – or potential crime.  To investigate is to do so by taking all leads and fully examining information presented with care and accuracy. 

As I continue to follow the storyline of alleged malfeasance in office possibly committed by Mayor-President Kip Holden, I have questions regarding how far the investigation has advanced thus far. 

Someone may need to help me interpret what is being reported, taking in to consideration the fact that the public is not always privy to the details of investigations. 

After all, the facts as presented to us are confusing at best. 

It was just a few years ago that we recall a flyer mailed to a select number of residents of East Baton Rouge Parish describing an alleged affair between Mayor Kip Holden and a woman (other than his wife). 

The flyer brought on accusations by an unnamed source at the time against Mayor Kip Holden.  Once made public via the newspaper, the Mayor began making counter-accusations by naming numerous individuals that he felt were responsible for the flyer. 

One by one, the Mayor (in an attempt to get the focus off of him) marched individual’s names before the media as the supposed source of the flyers that alleged he had an extramarital affair.  It caused quite a stir in the media, followed by the hiring of an attorney and investigator who proceeded to jump on the bandwagon of accusations.

I am always fascinated when someone is targeted by another party, especially when the response is a counter-accusation.  It reminds me of being on the playground as a child when the focus is now on the messenger vs. the alleged guilty party.  Sometimes ‘shooting the messenger’ works, and suddenly they are the bad guy vs. the individual who performed the dastardly deed.

For awhile, it seemed that Mayor Holden was successful in the public’s eye by attacking the sources of the flyer vs. the actual content of the flyer. 

After much ado, the creator and the distributor of the flyers were named publicly and the Mayor promised to sue them both for defamation of character.  Successfully, the Mayor got the attention off of the content of the flyer and on to the individuals responsible for sharing the information. 

This must have made the Mayor and his entourage very happy?

Unfortunately, nothing really happened.  The rumors died down, the creator and distributor were basically forgotten and all seemed as if nothing ever happened, with the exception of the whispers among those questioning the validity of the information contained in the flyer. 

Believe it or not, there are many people who really do believe that a betrayal of a marriage shows the true character of a person.

Fast forward to 2012.  Lawsuits begin flying back and forth about possible defamation of character and personal attacks that may or may not have validity.  A court date is set and we all watch with various degrees of interest.

Then, while we are all caught unaware, public records laws reveal that another party is asking for a full investigation into activities surrounding the prior accusations.  The ex-boyfriend of the woman who Mayor Holden supposedly had an affair with reveals that the woman shared with him confidentially that she received trips, gifts and cash from the Mayor that she believed to be from the city coffers. 

The plot thickens.

Now hold on!  Just when you think that a full investigation might take place to find out if the accusations are true, it appears that the investigation is thwarted because a Judge, a Sheriff, and God knows who else, claim that the former boyfriend’s story is considered “here say”.

Whoa!  Hold on!  This is where I may need some assistance. 

Let me get this right.  If I call or write a judge or law enforcement officer and tell them I know of someone committing what I believe to be a crime because ‘someone else’ told me that ‘John Doe’ is spending thousands of dollars on them that they believe came from the commission of a crime (and taking money from city coffers for use other than it was intended is considered a crime), will they just dismiss me because this is here say?

Let’s up the ante.  I talk to someone’s parent who tells me their child committed a murder, but since they believe it is self-defense, they are not going to tell anyone.  If I call with that information, am I dismissed because this is considered here say?

Well, I know the answer to that question.  Any law enforcement officer worth his salt will look into this alleged murder and will not dismiss my call as here say. 

So, why is the information from the ex-boyfriend considered here say?  Just because you are a jilted lover does not make every piece of information you share not worth fully investigating.

Maybe an investigation is still ongoing?  Let’s hope so. 

Thus, the topic of this piece. 

Hamlet asked “To be or not to be, that is the question?” 

I ask “To investigate or not to investigate, that is the question?”

In the age we live in, I say that you fully investigate possible wrongdoing.  We have watched Mayors in surrounding communities falling like flies because they chose to line their own pocketbooks vs. the pocketbooks of the taxpayers. 

Why should these accusations warrant any less attention? 

To dismiss information without carefully and fully questioning all those potentially involved in the potential commission of a crime would prove to me that the system is functioning even worst than I believe it to be.

As an officer of the law, you should not ‘pick and choose’ who you investigate and who you do not investigate regardless of their stature. 

Unfortunately, many of us already know this is a problem that needs to be thrown into the public eye for consideration when viewing the inadequacies of the legal and judicial system as it exists today.

We are watching and waiting to see if investigators will fully investigate charges that Mayor Kip Holden spent thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on a woman — or anyone else for that matter.

As an elected official, you have a duty to uphold the responsibilities of the office which you are entrusted by the people.  If, for any reason, you fail to be responsible with your time, taxpayer money or resources, you have failed to fulfill the duties of your office — and committed a crime referred to as malfeasance in office. 

In ending, one last burning question exists in my mind. 

What if the elected official entrusted to perform the investigation has some of his own skeletons, and the individual who he is charged to investigate knows those details?

I long for the days when I could say ‘ignorance is bliss’!

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

EBR Crime Statistics Sunday, Feb 19 2012 

Every 6 months or so, I read with great interest the crime statistics provided by East Baton Rouge Parish via our media outlets.  It’s one thing to say ‘the murder rate is down’; it’s entirely another task to understand the methologies and numbers as they really exist. 

Let’s discuss murders in 2011.  Understanding, of course, that we do not have access to all of the detailed data, we can read the archives of The Advocate and determine what is reported to the taxpayers of EBR Parish.

There are a lot of different statistics to consider: 

  • 81:  On Sunday, February 5, 2012, The Advocate reported there were 81 murders in EBR Parish (incorporated and unincorporated city limits). 

  • 64:  On February 18, 2012, The Advocate reports there were 64 murders in the incorporated city limits of the Red Stick, according to the BR Police Dept. 

  • 17:  Subtracting The Advocate’s report of 64 city murders vs. 81 parish murders equates to only 17 murder in the unincorporated portions of the parish.  (Unfortunately, the murders in the unincorporated sections of EBR Parish are not identified on the EBR Sheriff’s website.  (EBRSO stats are from 2009; a bit out of date guys!)

There are some flaws in the Uniform Crime Reporting as far as tracking crime.  I know this because I read the entire archives of The Advocate for 2011 and found more than 17 murders in the unincorporated portions of our parish. 

Though I do not believe all murders are storied in the daily newspaper, I do think those murders reported are actual.  Unfortunately, we are left to the tracking of law enforcement under the guidelines of Uniform Crime Reporting system which can make a significant determination in the method in which crimes are reported. 

The City of Baton Rouge has 227,818 residents in the city limits with 64 murders; 81 in the Parish.  New Orleans has 343,829 residents in their city limits, and UCR statistics show 105 murders in their city.   They have 66% more residents than we do, and we have 60% of the murders they have.  It puts things into perspective.

Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Walker stated last week while announcing his Mayorial intentions that Baton Rouge has crime equal or worst to New Orleans.  Earlier that same day,  Mayor-President Kip Holden stated that serious crimes were on the decline. 

Any way you cut it, we have a crime problem.  Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Walker recognizes, along with District Attorney Hillar Moore, that crimes are repeated by many of the same offenders. 

On the other hand, the percentage of those commiting the actual murders are often commiting only one murder each.  I certainly do not discount those repeat offenders that commit multiple murders; the numbers are simply smaller. 

Crime does escalate in the eye of a perpetrator.  Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Walker got it wrong by stating that we need to crack down on misdemeanors such as parking violations, etc. and keep a misdemeanor jail open 24/7.  Parking violators and such are not in the same league as those commiting crimes that escalate to violent crimes. 

Furthermore, Walker touted Baton Rouge Serial Killer Derrick Todd Lee as an example of a perpetrator that passed through the court system numerous times.  This was an unfortunate example to use because Lee’s crimes were of a much more serious nature.  We can’t compare stalking and masturbation outside of women’s bedroom windows with those individuals committing parking violations.

This gap in linking serious crimes with non-violent crimes that do not escalate concerns me greatly on Walker’s behalf, even though I am a fan of Walker and have respect for some of the intitiatives he has implemented during this political career.

I am digressing to the Mayor’s race, but if we are to look for the right candidate for the Office of Mayor-President while addressing the apparent spike in crime (regardless of crime statistics shared), we must find a candidate that is not a politician. 

Baton Rouge, and East Baton Rouge Parish, needs to address crime head-on and properly classify perpetrators, while admitting we have a huge, escalating crime problem in the Red Stick.

Who is that candidate? 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

EBR Parish Crime Commission Moot Sunday, Feb 5 2012 

Here we go again!  The local East Baton Rouge Crime Commission, according to Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, “is a dead issue” for voters of our parish in the Spring.  More bureaucracy, more delays to address one of the most critical issues of our parish — CRIME!

The Crime Commission includes law enforcement agency heads, the District Attorney, a Metro Council representative and the ‘Johnny-come-lately’ Mayor-President’s office (who originally balked at the idea because it was not his own, claiming he addressed some of the issues in his past tax issues.)

No doubt, we have a huge crime problem in East Baton Rouge Parish.  Residents of the Red Stick have made this a daily conversation at the dinner table, water cooler, twitter, facebook, etc.  It’s a huge concern for anyone living in our parish.

For some time, I have addressed the serious crime issues of our parish, and my personal concern as I watched an escalating problem in the Red Stick.  All you have to do is view the murder rate map at The Advocate to see how serious the murder rate alone has become for our parish.

The EBR Parish Crime Commission has discussed issues many issues such as:

  • Building a new prison at a cost of $165 million — an issue I absolutely do not understand.  When Sheriff Sid Gautreaux was elected, he clearly stated that he would increase the beds and capacity at the current prison through modular housing by aggressively pursuing federal grants.  (The Advocate, September 30, 2007, Sheriff Candidates Differ on Details) This promise has not happened!
  • Creating a new Juvenile Services Facility at a cost of $45 million.  This is an initiative of District Attorney Hillar Moore. 
  • A new/shared Public Safety Headquarters housing the Baton Rouge Police Department and the EBR Sheriff’s Office at a cost of $102 million.
  • Increasing space for a Addiction Treatment Facility at a cost of $2.5 to $5.5 million (a widely proposed cost with no definitive cost).
  • Additional funding for the District Attorney’s Office at $5 million.  This expense also includes ‘other unspecified operation costs for other law enforcement agencies’.  (Costs that should be clarified down to the penny!)

There is a lot of complexity in the facts surrounding these proposed public safety (crime) infrastructure improvements such as land that was purchased by the city parish that has yet to have been used, lease agreements, donated land, money owed to the city parish by some agencies, the precise size of facilities yet to be agreed upon, etc.

Side issues that were also considered:  a Truancy Jail, a Misdemeanor Jail, and taking over the soon-to-be-abandoned Woman’s Hospital as a Public Safety Headquarters.

To add insult to one part of this plan is the fact that Sheriff Sid Gautreaux says that it will take $1 million annually to operate a new Parish Prison, which he does not have in his annual operating budget.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, one of the largest failings of the Crime Commission aka Crime Prevention Committee was to include the Judges that rule the bench and the Legislators from our parish.

We can complain about crime while law enforcement arrests offenders, but it is the Legislators that create the laws governing our parish and the Judges that enforce those laws. 

Until we include everyone that has a say in the laws and sentencing of criminals, we are putting a band-aid on the problem of crime in our parish.

If a perpetrator commits murder, it is up to the laws of the land and the interpretation and enforcement of those laws that really matter.

Judges, the District Attorney and Law Makers are key to carrying out the proper sentences before a perpetrator stands before a Judge and/or Jury.  If the law doesn’t have enough bite, if the DA doesn’t go for the strongest sentence possible, and if the Judge doesn’t rule to keep the perpetrators in jail until and after sentencing, we are wasting our time on the other issues.

I am sorely disappointed that we have yet to find a Mayor-President for this parish that will make public safety the #1 priority.  All of the false campaign promises of a Sheriff that promised to increase housing at the prison and a Mayor that said we will not tolerate crime has worn my patience thin.

All the while, criminals are trolling our city committing horrific crimes on our citizens.  Once arrested, if they are identified, they are bonded out by Judges and allowed to serve menial sentences that put them back on the streets to commit more crime.

Any law enforcement officer worth his salt, will tell you that the majority of perpetrators are repeat offenders.  When will we address the heart of the problem?

It begins with the law and is followed by the Judges that we must hold accountable.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican