Lack of Leadership Saturday, Oct 9 2010 

 

 

Chief Leduff, Sheriff Gautreaux & Mayor Holden

I believe it is imperative to discuss this past week’s “crime-fighting” debacle.

It all began when Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Walker, who is rumored at taking a run for Mayor-President in the near future, began to address the ongoing increase in violent crime in East Baton Rouge Parish as an urgent matter.  Walker declared the increasing violent crime as an emergency that needed immediate attention.  

This action by Walker, of course, met resistance from current Mayor-President Kip Holden. 

 There is nothing new under the sun since this is Holden’s MO (modus operandi).  Anyone that dares to speak against Holden’s plans, or lack of plans in this case, is seen as the target du jour.  Holden always goes for the jugular vein by attacking his opponents vs. the issue at hand.

Let’s recap the chain of events.

  • Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Walker announced he had plans to move funding to address the apparent problem with violent crime in our parish. 
  • Mayor Kip Holden lashed back by accusing Walker of instilling fear in the community. 
  • Holden also accused Walker of micro-managing the police department (which falls under the purview of the Mayor).
  • Walker mentioned that he would like to divert $900,000 from widening streets in downtown to the police department and district attorney’s office to fund increased police patrols and prosecutions.
  • Holden cried foul by saying the Bowling Congress needed two-way streets to be a success. (Guess he forgot the last Bowling Congress was a success with one-way streets?)
  • Holden struck back again claiming that he was being attacked, going so far as to speak of himself in the third person.  “This is not a time for a counsel member to try to attack the Mayor,”  said Mayor Holden. 
  • Council members Alison Cascio and Chandler Loupe supported Walker by stating their constituents were fearful of the crime problem in our parish and it did need to be addressed, while Joel Boe’ said he feels the crime is as bad as it has been for the past two years. 
  • Holden continued his hyperbole by going so far as to suggest that those criticizing policing efforts don’t understand what is going on in the poor black areas of our community.

I suppose that would be funny, if it weren’t such a sad statement.  No doubt, this is a mentality shared by Holden’s spin doctors who are truly out of touch with our entire community.  First of all, Walker didn’t refer to the crime problem as a black/white issue.  Race was NEVER mentioned until the Mayor brought up the topic.    This truly was political suicide for Holden.

Let’s continue with the events that brought forth the greatest political debacle affecting Holden and Gautreaux:

  • Mayor Kip Holden quickly summons the Baton Rouge Police Chief, District Attorney, State Police Superintendent, and Sheriff of East Baton Rouge Parish to his office to ask them ‘are you with me’?
    • This is the ultimate insult to the intelligence of the citizens of Baton Rouge.  Are you telling me that it took Mike Walker to speak out publicly to cause the Mayor to call the four leading law enforcement entities to his office to “discuss’ the violent crime problem in our Parish?
  • The cover was blown when Sheriff Sid Gautreaux repeatedly stated, at the last-minute press conference, that he told the Mayor he was in when he called the day before to ask for his help. 
    • Huh?  Is Gautreaux the ‘chief law enforcement officer of the parish’ or not?  Does he only follow the lead of the Mayor?  Is he only reactionary?  Does it take a domino effect for the chief law enforcement officer to act?  Why did Mayor Holden wait until Walker said we had an emergency to call in the top law enforcement officers for a meeting to develop a plan of action?  What kind of Mickey Mouse operation are we running here? 
  • Police Chief Jeff Leduff, who is rumored to run for Sheriff with Holden’s backing, spoke next at the press conference by saying he never understood the victims of violent crime until now.  Well, that’s a hell of a note since he is retiring at the end of 2010. 
    • Why was this a mistake?  Because it showed that Leduff has not been engaged enough with past murders and family victims.  Broken, once again, in front of the television cameras, Leduff came closer to an emotional wreck than as leader of city police.
    • District Attorney Hillar Moore seemed to be the voice of reason while stating that we needed to understand how we got to where we are today.  Understanding the past always leads to a clearer path to the future.  Moore has made it no secret that education and truancy is not only his platform, but something he has put feet to since elected.
  • Superintendent Mike Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police, was present at Holden’s ‘come quickly to my rescue press conference’ and appeared to show the same leadership skills he normally displays as chief law enforcement officer of the State Police.  Nothing new here.

Unfortunately, the press conference proved to be full of errors:

  • Mayor Holden and Chief Leduff stated the Louisiana State Police Officers will ride in vehicles with Baton Rouge Police.
    • We learned the next day that this is NOT true, and as Gautreaux said, “this will never happen”.
  • Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said the parish prison is being modified to open up more beds for prisoners.
    • This promise was made when we elected Gautreaux; he promised to add modular housing once he became Sheriff.  This has NOT taken place.
  • State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson said he was availing his office for various law enforcement agencies to work together to solve crimes.
    • This sounds good, but those on the inside know that the State Police has always opened up their campus to other law enforcement personnel.  Nevertheless, Edmonson backed up the Mayor in a show of support.
    • Additionally, Sheriff Gautreaux is already housed at the Emergency Preparedness Center near the airport where various agencies work in tandem with one another already. 
    • FINDING A PLACE TO WORK IS NOT THE PROBLEM FOLKS!

Boots on the Ground make more sense and do more good than any long list of false promises could ever make.  We have seen enough of those promises from politicians.  What we need is ACTION.

When Mayor Holden’s neighbor was murdered a year or two ago, he and Chief Leduff plainly stated that we would NOT allow this to continue.  Unfortunately, neither one of these men have kept their promise.  The criminals are running amuck in our parish and areas that rarely experienced violent crime are continuing (not just recently) to show increased activity by violent perpetrators.

Sheriff Gautreaux made a lot of promises when he was elected.  The main thing was to put more boots on the ground by drastically increasing patrols (not just in the unincorporated portions of our parish, but in the entire parish and city limits.  This has NOT happened.

Gautreaux also promised to build a coalition with ALL law enforcement agencies both INSIDE and OUTSIDE of our parish.  This has NOT happened.  Thus the press conference which resulted in a sad cover-up of what is a proven lack of leadership in the Mayor’s office, Police Department, and Sheriff’s Office.

Hey, if you are unemployed or want a better opportunity to make a REAL difference in our community, I have TWO GREAT JOB OPPORTUNITIES waiting for two individuals who are committed to making a difference:

OPENING #1

MAYOR-PRESIDENT of EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH

OPENING #2

SHERIFF of EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH

ONLY THOSE WHO ARE SERIOUS, CAN TAKE ACTION AND STOP SMOOTH-TALKING THE CITIZENS OF EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH NEED APPLY.

The only way WE can make a difference in OUR leadership is when we vote at the polls.  I have my binoculars on looking in the distance for leaders that will stand up for the citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish.

Who will be sworn in to protect and serve the people of our parish?  Who is willing to stand in the gap and really lead the charge?  Not for economic development, but for public safety? 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

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Redstick Murder Rate Escalates Monday, Jan 25 2010 

 Update:  Law Enforcement remains fairly mum regarding the escalation of crime in the Redstick.  Major crime is up 8% with the largest increase in murder at 14%, followed by burglary at 13% and thefts are robberies tied for 3rd place at a 10% increase.  It’s a commonly known fact that increases in theft, robbery and burglary will prove to be a breeding ground for continued escalation in more serious crimes such as murder.  “What happened to Mayor Holden’s no toleration for crime in the Redstick?

Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Nothing good ever comes from violence.”

  • The Advocate reports: 88 murders in East Baton Rouge Parish in 2009 (considered violent crime). 
  • There were actually 89 murders, as I give reverence to the fact that one woman that was murdered was pregnant. 
  • The statistics also do NOT include the additional deaths in vehicles, accidental shootings and self-defense.  If those were included, the total would be 109.
  • Nevertheless, of the 88 murders reported:
    • 55 resulted in NO arrests (62%, not “half” as reported by The Advocate – someone grab them a calculator, please!)
    • 33 resulted in 50 arrests (many had 2 perps, and 1 had 3 working in collusion to commit the murder).  (38%)   Of those arrested:
      • 4 were convicted
      • 3 had charges dropped
      • 2 were acquitted
      • 2 resulted in a refusal by the grand jury to indict
      • 22 remain unknown/status unreported
  • 1 murderer committed suicide

In August, 2009, Police Chief Jeff Leduff said, “Is violent crime up?  Yes it is.”

Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, in that same interview, said, “I don’t think we can blame any of our current crime rate on Katrina or the aftermath of Katrina”.   Important since the Mayor’s office often blames the influx of Katrina victims for crime woes in the Redstick.

Adam Knapp, CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, claimed in the interview that crime is not an issue for the types of businesses they solicit for the Red Stick when referring to export-driven companies vs. retail businesses. 

That is the first time I have ever heard that crime is not a concern for relocating business and industry.  Whether relocating or hiring good workers, with all due respect to BRAC, crime statistics and quality of life is always a concern and a key component in providing an economic development profile for a parish to prospective new businesses.  Of course, BRAC leaders know this fact.

Mayor Kip Holden tried to play down crime statistics as well stating it’s not as bad a picture as is being painted.  This is ridiculous.  If Holden wants to be America’s next greatest city, as he proclaims, he needs to get up to speed with reality and understand that a rising murder rate doesn’t make for people flocking to the Redstick.

Evidently there are some who still believe if we click our heels and chant there is no place like home, there is no place like home, that all will be just fine.

Voters disagree. 

In fact, everyone who is of sound mind believes otherwise.  We can talk about bond issues, improving downtown, building bike paths, and creating amusement parks all we wish, but neglecting our murder rate and increase in violent crime will be a key factor in losing or gaining the best and brightest.

The fact remains that we have a huge crime challenge in the Red Stick.  Arguing as to whether the population is accurate or crime statistics are in the city limits or in the unincorporated portion of the parish is moot. 

Jeff Leduff said it best, and seems to be one of the few living in the real world. 

Recently, this was evidenced by Sheriff Sid Gautreaux’s pitiful attempts to claim that murders ‘in his jurisdiction outside the city limits’ is down.  Does he really believe we disassociate the city limits when thinking about the Red Stick. 

Whether you live in the city limits overseen by the Baton Rouge Police Department or outside of the corporation limits overseen by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, you should note that it was Sheriff Sid Gautreaux that proclaimed in his campaign for office that most perpetrators cross city and parish lines.  So, if you live in Zachary, criminals from North Baton Rouge are too close for comfort.  Just as those who live off Bluebonnet find Gardere far too close for the safety of their families.   (If you want to see where you live according to the annexation map, click here.)

Safety is one of the most important aspects to our quality of life.  An increase in the murder rate threatens the safety we all aspire to enjoy in the Redstick. 

Dismissing the increase in violent crime and murder rate shows ignorance in its truest form.

District Attorney Hillar Moore came into office recognizing and moving forward with programs that will address this issue head-on by working with our youth to prevent them from taking the wrong path.  Moore also recognizes the importance of protecting witnesses, and prosecuting repeat offenders.  These are worthwhile programs and should be fully funded by the Mayor’s Office instead of creating bike paths from Memorial Stadium to Downtown Baton Rouge.

I would like to see Mayor Kip Holden return to his promise of “no tolerance for violent crime” in East Baton Rouge Parish.  That would be time and money well spent. 

We must build from the bottom up and work on the most important aspects of our quality of life with the safety of our lives, homes and families being paramount. 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Secrets of the Red Stick Sunday, Sep 27 2009 

secrets

It’s easy to understand why some refer to the Red Stick as “Kip World” or “Kipland” if you simply check the Webster’s Dictionary.  The definition of despotism is an individual or tight knit group of individuals that rule with absolute political power. 

Now we are getting to where the rubber meets the road in East Baton Rouge Parish. 

For those who are unaware of the tremendous political power held by a handful of individuals in the Red Stick, you need only to keep your ear to the ground and read carefully between the lines.  

History was not my favorite subject in school, but now I completely understand the importance of the past in order to understand the present.

Mayor-President Kip Holden was marked as unfriendly to business, a tax and spend liberal and named as one of two “King of Legislative Junketeers” according to The Advocate in 1997.  By 2004, Ginger Sawyer from Louisiana Business & Industry proclaimed Holden as the candidate with one of the worst LABI ratings.

Time has changed little for Holden’s political ventures.  Last year, former Councilman David Bonneno proposed a tax decrease for businesses in regard to new equipment and machinery.  Monsour quickly put a halt to the proposal at the direction of Holden. 

Now, Holden wants us to pay more taxes and build a downtown Epcot.  Holden took exception to the term ‘Epcot’ though it was birthed by the Downtown Development District, one of the main drivers of the proposed Audubon Alive! project — not the media as Holden claimed.

Holden makes a lot of claims that have no substance.  Examples include claiming there is no ownership issue with the proposed site for Alive! when in fact there is an issue with the railroad that was never resolved — or that he plans to have the state fund the $40 million required to raise the batture out of the swamp when in fact there was no discussion or approval. 

It’s part of the Secrets of the Red Stick that those in power hope we won’t notice or discuss.  I refuse to aspire to that mandate.  Instead, I will continue to ask the tough questions of our leaders and hope the newfound questions by the media will continue on behalf of the community they are charged with representing. 

The fact that the EBR Parish Metro Council was not made privy to these issues is proof in itself that Mayor Kip Holden believes he is large and in charge with no regard for others.  In fact, just yesterday it was revealed that Clerk of Court Doug Welborn was not told by Holden that his office was to be moved until Welborn viewed a slide show presentation.  Amazing!

Our community, political and business leaders need to realize that to whom much is given, much is required.  Their legacies should not be rooted in higher taxes, building larger buildings and entertainment complexes, or funding organizations that duplicate services. 

We can no longer ignore the obvious.  The truth is that our leaders are allowing Mayor-President Kip Holden and his entourage to spend millions of dollars at taxpayer’s expense while our real needs go unmet in the Red Stick.

The truth is painful. 

We can never be the next greatest city as long as we have children that are hungry, women that are abused, men that are absentee fathers, teenagers that are committing more crimes than in the history of our parish.  So much so that District Attorney Hillar Moore is proposing a full blown truancy program.

As long as we spend $500,000 annually to fund the Baton Rouge Area Chamber for economic development and approve contracts in the amount of $49,999 so that these expenditures do not have to be made public at Metro Council meetings, we are allowing Mayor Holden and his entourage to fail us as leaders. 

I suppose I shouldn’t even mention the hours spent doing ‘security sweeps’ by the Mayor’s security team before he enters facilities?  All the while witnesses to crime cannot be protected and murderers are set free.  It’s a  slap in the face to victims and their families.

Meanwhile, our citizens are tracking in the sludge from a failing sewer system into their homes making their children sick.  Perhaps it is true this is one reason our staph infection is at an all time high in the Red Stick? 

What on earth are we doing here in the Red Stick?  When will this madness stop?  At what point will JUST ONE LEADER in our community stand up and demand that we stop the excessive spending and taxation? Where is Tax Busters and Fred Dent when you need them?

If we truly want to be America’s next greatest city, we will stop the insanity of city-parish spending, address a failing sewer system as promised, house our inmates in tents as promised, have a no-tolerance for crime stand as promised, stop raising taxes, stop duplicating services, stop creating contracts for campaign contributors, and stop attacking those who question these ungodly practices.  Questioning is our duty!  These are the Secrets of the Red Stick that are injustices to our citizens.  

Somehow we have lost our way.  As a mayoral candidate, Rolfe McCollister, Jr. said, “I don’t believe in taxing our way to prosperity”.    What changed?

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Valid Question for Red Stick Saturday, Jul 11 2009 

KidsPlaying

Whose life is more valuable? Mayor-President Kip Holden or witnesses to violent crime in our parish? Sounds like an ignorant question, but it is a valid one.

Records released last year showed that three bodyguards making between $42k and $68k each worked for Holden.  This means your tax dollars will pay between $336,000 and $544,000 over an eight year period while Kip Holden serves as Mayor.  Holden is currently serving his second term in office. 

Holden also is chauffered in a Lincoln Town Car that costs taxpayers $642 per month according to public records.  That equates to $61,632 for 8 years.  Can’t you buy a car for that leased price for less?  Don’t get me started on the extravagant spending that comes out of his office.  It is a slap in the face to taxpayers of our parish.

See how quick it is to find $600,000 in budget cuts?  This is not rocket science folks, and it doesn’t take a CPA to figure it out!

On the other hand, East Baton Rouge voters were recently told there is not enough money in the coffers to protect witnesses of violent crimes in our parish.  Newly elected District Attorney, Hillar Moore, found out he is fighting an uphill battle for funding to protect witnesses.  If there is a way out of this mess, I know Moore will find it.  He has my vote of confidence.

Therefore, the logical answer on the table is: 

Whose life is more valuable? 

You see, in order for us to clean up crime in our parish, we must ask the hard questions of ourselves. 

I have heard consistently from Chief Jeff Leduff that he does not have the resources to protect witnesses.  Recently, Sheriff Sid Gautreaux touted the problem with witnesses not coming forward.  And they wonder why?

Just two weeks ago, another witness to a violent murder in our city was killed.  I wrote about this in great detail in the story, 5 Related Murders in EBRP

The Mayor waited until AFTER we had one of the bloodiest months and highest incidences of violent crime in our parish to finally go on TV and say enough is enough. 

We have to pull the funds from ridiculous expenditures and spend the money where it is needed.  “Building new jails is not the answer” as told to us by former candidate for EBR Sheriff Dalton Honore’. 

Let’s dig deeper than talking about taxes to build new prisons.  We must drive much further into neighborhoods than talking on the news. 

So, back to the valid question of the day for Red Stick citizens:  Whose life is more valuable?

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. 

 dr_phil

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

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

david_and_goliath

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

Dan Claitor: The Character Assassin Monday, Mar 9 2009 

 assassinscreed-61

Senate District 16 candidate, Dan Claitor, has a history of attacking his opponents with vigor.  While returns were coming in, no doubt Claitor was giving his political consultants orders for more personal attacks against Lee Domingue for the upcoming runoff in which only 749 votes separated the two candidates.

Just three months before he announced he was running for Senate, Claitor thought he wanted to be District Attorney.  He set out to personally attack one of the most respected individuals in the justice system, his opponent Hillar Moore.  Claitor’s commercials and attacks were like the kiss of death.  

Hillar has spent his lifetime in the Red Stick coaching and making a positive impact on our children.  Claitor ran ads mocking Hillar by saying “if you want a baseball coach, vote for Hillar” and that we did.  This was a real mistake on Claitor’s part.   Never attack someone for the good works they do in a community, especially when it makes a difference in children’s lives.

On election night as Hillar Moore was accepting victory as our new District Attorney, he pulled out a baseball cap and bat, taking the attacks in good humor, and said he ‘guessed the people wanted a baseball coach after all’.  The truth is that Hillar was not only a baseball coach, but an extremely seasoned attorney with a beloved following. 

In the senate primary, Claitor used his political operatives to attack Lee Domingue.  One of his main attacks centered around Domingue’s life change due to his faith.  Domingue was extremely open and spoke freely of his past and how his faith in God changed his way of living.  Nothing to mock.  Never, never, never attack a person’s faith – it’s bad politics and in poor taste.

Attacking Hillar Moore for his endorsements, Claitor attempted to portray that unlike Moore he “earned his support” for DA, insinuating Hillar ‘bought’ his endorsements.  Perhaps Claitor was upset that the former DA, Doug Moreau, who is extremely well respected in the Red Stick, endorsed Moore?  Claitor did not do his research.  Moore received contributions from both sides of the aisle and won the hearts and endorsements of people because of who he was, not because he had to pay for them.

Claitor also attacked Lee Domingue in the senate primary for endorsements from Rolfe McCollister, publisher of BR Business Report and Governor Bobby Jindal.  Furthermore Claitor’s political operatives tried to paint a picture that Domingue winning Businessperson of the Year was ‘bought’ through contributions he made.  This backfired. 

In fact, The Advocate printed a clarification and retraction of the facts as a result of this untrue attack by Claitor.  The committee choosing honorees is independent of the Business Report and Junior Achievement, the organization that benefits from the annual event.

In the DA’s race, Claitor said “I’m running low on other people’s money, but I’m not running low on my money”.  Moore did not have to put his own money in the race because he was receiving enough support from the people he would serve.  It seems the same scenario fits for Domingue.

Claitor also attacked Domingue for a few rookie mistakes in the primary including when Domingue’s people said he was endorsed by the Greater Baton Rouge Area Chamber.  It was a faux pas in that it was the Chamber’s PAC, CHAMPAC that endorsed him.  Probably a typographical error someone overlooked?

Oddly enough, Claitor made his own faux pas when running for district attorney by sending out a picture of him with presidential candidate John McCain giving the impression he was endorsed by McCain.  He was not.  Here is the unauthorized picture:

claitor unauthorized

At first I thought Dan Claitor might be a viable candidate.  His family name is well known and respected in the Red Stick.  But somehow I do not feel he represents their family well when he reduces himself to attacks that have no validity.  I addressed this in a previous blog about Domingue continuing to dominate the Senate District 16 race.

Claitor did not do this once, but in two political races back-to-back.  Two days after Hillar Moore was sworn in as DA, Claitor announced he was running for senate. 

Candidates who lose races and then jump quickly into the next race trouble me greatly.  It was the kiss of death for another Dan – Dan Kyle.  It sends the wrong message and makes you appear to be confused, therefore confusing the voters.

Claitor says he is a good attorney and was a good prosecutor in the Big Easy.  He touted the number of cases he prosecuted claiming he personally handled more than the entire Red Stick DA’s office.  If that’s the case, I agree with Passer Le Bâton when he said Claitor should ask District Attorney Hillar Moore for a job.  We need good prosecutors and that sounds more like Claitor’s forte’.

Wishful thinking would be to see Claitor talk about his own character instead of attacking his opponents.  Then again, the old saying “Your actions speak louder than your words”might fit here.  Perhaps Claitor IS showing us his character as ‘the character assassin’.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

The 3 Top Dogs of EBRP Thursday, Mar 27 2008 

mayor.jpg     sgpic1smb.jpg     da.jpg 

In Catholicism we believe in the Holy Trinity:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  In politics, there are also ‘three top dogs’ that control virtually all the power in any given parish:  the Sheriff, the Mayor-President and the District Attorney.

  • Top Dog #1 – Sheriff (Democrat):  On December 4, 2007, the newly elected Sheriff, Sid J. Gautreaux, III, was elected and will remain in power until 2012.  He fills the unexpired term of former Sheriff Elmer Litchfield, along with a new four year term. 

This fall East Baton Rouge Parish voters will go to the polls to elect the other two top dogs for our parish:  the Mayor-President and the District Attorney.

  • Top Dog #2 – Mayor-President:  Incumbent Mayor-President Kip Holden, democrat, recently announced he will run for a second term, and gave 100 ‘reasons’ why he should be re-elected including serving as King of the Spanish town Parade and Lollapalooza!  Holden agreed to pay the Greater Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce a $500,000 fee for economic development efforts on behalf of EBR parish.  Within a few weeks, Holden garnered the Chamber’s PAC endorsement, even though no other candidates have officially announced –speculation on this issue is obvious.   Another mayoral candidate rumored is democrat Cleo Fields, known as an arch rival of Holden.  Republicans have dropped names Wayne “Spider” Carter, Mike Futrell, and other well-respected republicans as possible mayoral candidates.  Holden nixed Futrell’s potential as a candidate by hiring him as an assistant chief administrator.   No other candidates have officially announced at this time.
  • Top Dog #3 – District Attorney:  Democrat, Hillar Moore, is already the front-runner for DA as a well-respected attorney, and is Holden’s choice for DA.  Former district attorney, Doug Moreau, still has people speculating whether he will run again – which is doubtful.  Former assistant district attorney, John Sinquefeld, was hired by newly elected attorney general, Buddy Caldwell, which most likely nixed his previously announced intention to run for DA.  Attorney Dan Claitor, a republican, has also announced his plans to run for district attorney.  No other candidates have officially announced to date.

The voters of EBR Parish should take note of these key positions due to the overwhelming control and power they hold individually and as a group in the parish.  Also, follow the money, as contributors are known to have major say-so once their candidates are elected. 

If three democrats win these seats, then the citizens can expect a ‘full throttle democrat display of leadership’ in the Red Stick for the next 4 years. 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

P.S.  The new CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Adam Knapp, is also a registered democrat.