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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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

Domingue Continues to Dominate Dist 16 Race Friday, Mar 6 2009 

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The political vultures are swarming around Senate District 16 in hopes that they can swoop down on their prey – the most promising candidate in Saturday’s primary, Lee Domingue.   It’s politics as usual.

One problem:  Domingue, their prey,  is alive, well and still dominating the campaign.  Domingue continues to rise in the polls.  As the election approaches this weekend, it appears panic is ensuing in other political camps.  Desperate people do desperate things.

As WBRZ says, first the facts:

  • Three candidates are vying for Senate District 16’s seat vacated by newly elected Congressman Bill Cassidy:
    • Lobbyist Laurinda Calongne, former congressional candidate;
    • Attorney Dan Claitor, former district attorney candidate; and
    • Author and Business Owner Lee Domingue
  • Domingue rose to the top quickly raising the most in political contributions, which is the mother’s milk of politics, garnered the support of key community leaders, and captured the most sought-after endorsement of republican Governor Bobby Jindal.
  • Before the Lord heard the news, local media and political consultants began weaving a web of deceit that has now completely unraveled: 
    • The Advocate, long time rival of the BR Business Report, authored an article insinuating that candidate Lee Domingue was chosen as businessman of the year because Domingue contributed to Believe in Louisiana, a political organization that supports Jindal.   Other hyperbole suggested that publisher Rolfe McCollister and Governor Bobby Jindal endorsed Domingue for the same reasons.
    • Today, The Advocate retracted this statement acknowledging that the Junior Achievement/Business Report Annual Awards are chosen by an independent panel of members.
    • The truth:  if we require business leaders that have not donated to Jindal or Believe in Louisiana to run for political office, we might be searching for years.  Worst, the only candidates might be democrats!
    • An erroneous email blast was published targeting Domingue insinuating that Dunham School would lose their non-profit status for making pro-Domingue phone calls from their facility.
    • In response to the false allegations, the headmaster of Dunham issued a statement stating that no political activity or phone calls had taken place from their facility. 
    • Dunham’s headmaster further clarified that Domingue’s tie was non-political as a both a Dunham parent and member of their board of trustees.

In politics, this is called last minute desperation.  If it weren’t so sad, it would be laughable.  Of utmost importance, the accusations are false and the record is now set straight.

The real fact remains that Lee Domingue appears to be the most viable candidate to represent the people of District 16.  Perhaps the proof in the pudding is that Domingue has handled continuing accusations with the type of responses that make for a great leader. 

The voters want someone they can identify with, and Domingue seems to be that person.  He has openly shared his past business failures, something most politicians have difficulty admitting – past mistakes.  Better yet, Domingue built another business and uses proceeds to reach out in faith and action to those in need.  

This is the essence of a true leader.  One that serves others. 

While the media and pundits continue to grasp for straws, Domingue grasps for the heart of the voters by showing his vulnerability and ability to pick himself up by the bootstraps and rebuild.  In difficult financial times, this is refreshing and encouraging to all of us.

On Saturday, vote for a leader – vote for Lee Domingue for Senate Dist 16!

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Domingue Dominates Senate Campaign Tuesday, Feb 10 2009 

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Senate District 16, once known as Jay Dardenne’s home plate, includes Baton Rouge’s most informed and active voting district in East Baton Rouge Parish.  Dardenne went on to prove his political savvy by winning the position of Louisiana Secretary of State.  After Dardenne moved upward, Dr. Bill Cassidy quickly beat out his opponents winning the much sought after Senate seat, only to move on to the 6th Congressional District seat vacated by Richard Baker.  This Senate seat brings good tidings!

Now, the seat is up for grabs again.  Three Republican candidates are vying for this critical seat in the Louisiana Senate including two ‘career candidates’ that formerly ran unsuccessfully for other offices:  Dan Claitor, attorney and a member of the well known Claitor family and Laurinda Calongne, business owner and lobbyist.  The third candidate is a newcomer:  Lee Domingue, business owner and not-for-profit founder.

According to The Advocate, Domingue leads the field with the most dollars raised.  Calongne and Claitor claims this does not concern them; however, anyone following politics understands that cash is the mother’s milk of winning campaigns.

  • Lobbyist, Laurinda Calongne’s website, quotes her as saying “we should have learned  long ago  that overspending during a temporary rush…is economic suicide.”  She also touts herself as a fiscal conservative, but Calongne doesn’t seem so conservative fiscally since she loaned her own campaign for congress nearly $300,000 according to the FEC.  She lost.  Calongne is also closely tied in business to the infamous Bob Livingston – though Calongne removed Livingston from her consulting firm’s website, Livingston still lists her as one of his key people in his Washington lobbyist firm.  Enough said.
  • Attorney, Dan Claitor’s website, gives reasons he is running, but it seems he is running because he failed to win the race for District Attorney.  Sorry, but I am not fond of candidates that jump from one race to another, so I will leave you to visit his website.  Running in race after race is what was the demise of Dan Kyle, a likeable man with many good attributes, but a killer scenario in the political world, according to voters.  Claitor may be also be a good guy, but anyone who can’t even put their picture on their website makes me wonder.  His campaign for District Attorney failed to make headway with his “Ready to Listen. Prepared to Fight”  slogan.  He should stay in his first love – fighting crime!
  • Business owner, Lee Domingue, caught my eye when a friend told me his background and compassion for others through a not-for-profit organization he created.  Domingue founded Cyrus International to fight human trafficking and to support orphans with AIDS.  He is also a successful businessman, honored as Businessperson of the Year by Junior Achievement and is author of the book Pearls of the King.  Domingue started his business in a garage and brought it to a billion dollar success.  He believes he is here to make a difference.  I like that kind of thinking – immensely, especially when they have proven success and are able to bring others together.  Coalition builders with fresh ideas are excellent first-timers for elections!

Out of all the potential candidates for Senate District 16, I am most impressed with Lee Domingue.  Perhaps I will let his own words in the BR Business Report speak for him best:

“Making money is easy, but making a difference is eternal.” 

“I want to be remembered as somebody who gave it all for the next generation.”

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Republicans in 6th Reject Party Unity Saturday, Jun 7 2008 

Overdue Update:  Republicans finally came together and agreed that Cassidy was the most formidable candidate for the 6th Congressional District.  Calongne and Jenkins have agreed not to run!  Things may be looking up for the Louisiana GOP.

In times where party unity seems to be a daily political discussion on a national level, it might be advantageous to take a look at an interesting race that is brewing this fall in the Red Stick.  Voters will now have three Republican candidates to choose from in the 6th Congressional race since the trio seems to reject the idea of party unity. 

Voters often wonder why candidates run for office.  After all, who would want to subject their family and future to the whim of the media, political pundits and overwhelming daily stress in a daunting challenge of changing the course of our country that is already spiraling out of control? 

Apparently three are willing to take the plunge including Senator Bill Cassidy, business owner Laurinda Calongne, and editor Woody Jenkins.  All three have strong political ties, experience and supporters. 

Who will wind up on 1st to run against recently seated democrat Congressman Don Cazayoux?  (Don may have his own party competition on the democratic side in Representative Michael Jackson)  Cazayoux hit the floor running with an impressive website that is user friendly and a message of “what can I do to help?” This past week he began running radio ads and held conference calls for constituents to call in and address their concerns and needs.  Republicans will have to overcome his effective ability to be ‘one of us’ coupled with his humor and lack of elitism.

As a republican, this race is already causing me concern.  It won’t take a crystal ball to see the future and what to expect based on the past:

  • Republican Senator Bill Cassidy is a physician specializing in diseases of the liver.  Cassidy won a senate seat vacated by Jay Dardenne against William Daniel in 2006, and was re-elected against virtually no strong competition in 2008.  Cassidy’s platform was to improve education and healthcare in Louisiana.  He is married to retired physician Laura Cassidy, has three young children who attend public school, and attends the Chapel on the Campus. 
    • Opponents will say Cassidy is attempting to catapult his political career to a national level with a goal of changing a fledgling national healthcare system without achieving his goals in the office he promised to serve for at least 3 more years and cite his inexperience in Washington as a negative.

 

  • Republican business owner Laurinda Calongne, principal of Robert Rose Consulting, lost her bid for the vacated congressional seat of Richard Baker earlier this year in the party primary against Woody Jenkins.  Calongne ran on the premise that her business savvy would help streamline government spending, to ease the tax burden of constituents, and to fight against illegal immigration.  Laurinda says she has raised millions of dollars for the republican party and even more for health care related organizations through her grant writing to increase benefits to Louisianans.  Calongne is married to engineering consultant Dan, has one teenage daughter, and they attend Healing Place Church and Our Lady of Mercy.
    • Opponents will attack Calongne for being a registered lobbyist, for ties to Bob Livingston, and twist her stand against illegal immigration claiming she is being discriminatory.

 

  • Republican Woody Jenkins, former representative and editor of three Red Stick publications, lost his bid for this congressional seat in the run-off earlier this year to Don Cazayoux, democrat.  Jenkins’ campaign ran on his conservative values and history in the legislature.  He was backed by the Family Research Council and the Louisiana Family Forum, both christian conservative organizations and by Governor Bobby Jindal.  Jenkins is married to attorney and former assistant district attorney, Diane; they have four adult children and listed no church affiliation.
    • Opponents will attack Jenkins’ inability to win elections against strong democrats, questionable ethics in past elections and a controversial non-profit organization he and his wife managed.

Three strong republicans that refuse to agree on party unity.  Is this the wave of the future?  Maybe. 

There is no way these three candidates can run against each other without attacks on their opponents if they expect to set their self apart from the pack.  Families will suffer, as they always do in tough campaigns, and the need to raise at least $1 million by each candidate to be effective will make it one for the books – especially with McCain making major fundraising strides in Louisiana.  Who is willing to pay the ultimate price to represent Louisiana’s 6th district? 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Who’s In and Who’s Out on the 6th, Mayor Holden? Sunday, Mar 16 2008 

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As I read the ongoing saga of superdelegates among democrats for the presidential campaign, I can’t help but wonder about Red Stick elected officials and where they stand in the 6th congressional race. 

For instance:  Have you noticed the apparent absence of a mayoral endorsement for either of his fellow democrats Michael Jackson and Don Cazayoux?

Mayor-President Kip Holden, has been a ‘master endorser’ in political races.  Since 1986, he has endorsed John Breaux, Billy Tauzin, Ralph Tyson, Curtis Calloway, Byron Stringer, Darrell White, Rosemary Pillow, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Richard Ieyoub, Kathleen Blanco, Mitch Landrieu, Pat Smith and Sid Gautreaux – to name a few. 

Holden hands out endorsements faster than I can shred my junk mail. 

I thought the Mayor would quickly endorse his fellow african-american democrat Michael Jackson. Jackson is vice-chair of both the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus and the Democratic Caucus, a fellow attorney, and a rising star.  They have a close friend and supporter in common, Raymond Jetson, who Jackson was an aide to during Jetson’s legislative era.

On the other hand, Holden could endorse fellow democrat Don Cazayoux.  Or has he?  It’s commonly known, all denial aside, that when the AFL-CIO, firefighters local and union of police endorse a candidate that directive comes ‘behind the scenes’ from the Mayor.  All of these groups have endorsed Cazayoux.

Why is Holden’s endorsement so important to the voters of EBRP? 

Because if either democrat gets elected they will need to bring home the bacon for EBR Parish.  The Red Stick can use all the bacon we can fry up from Washington with our traffic woes, increasing murder rate and inflated city-parish budget.

So, who’s in and who’s out on the 6th, Mayor Holden? 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

 

The 11th Commandment Thursday, Mar 6 2008 

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My friend has a saying:  “the truth always wins out.”  In life, sometimes it takes awhile for the truth to come out.  In politics, truth seems like a paradox. 

Truth is sincerity, integrity, honesty.  Truth in politics is just downright refreshing!  Show  me a politician who is truthful, and I will show you a politician people will respect.  Unfortunately, they may not win the race. 

The 11th commandment for republicans:  Speak no ill towards a fellow republican.  I hear this phrase every time a republican brings out something that is negative about a fellow republican. 

Does this mean you are not to tell the truth about your republican opponent if the truth is negative?   Are we to turn our heads and become ‘politically correct’ by not seeking out the truth and sharing that information with others?  If that is the case, the voters lose in the end.  Let’s not confuse false accusations with the truth.

Most individuals do not have the time to spend hours researching candidates to find out who they really are, what they are made of, what their history is and what details they may have purposely omitted from their political resume. 

Let’s not allow the “11th Commandment” to blindfold us.

Be open.  Listen.  Research.  Allow the truth to guide you.  If a candidate has committed an ethics violation, if they have not paid their former employees, if they say one thing and do another, BEWARE!  Ethics reform in Louisiana is calling each of us to higher ground. 

We need to take the extra time to research candidates more carefully.  The right to vote comes with a responsibility.  When you pull the lever to vote, make sure you have done your homework. 

The NEW 11th Commandment:  Do all your fellow republicans a favor by seeking the truth about every candidate.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Ethics for Dummies Wednesday, Mar 5 2008 

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ETHICS FOR DUMMIES:  When you deviate from the ethics process, you either pay now or pay later

Louisiana is making a strong move towards the way business is done in our state.  Ethics reform is a major part of our progress.  While lawmakers and the governor are moving us forward, some life-long politicians are moving us backward. 

In 1996 Woody Jenkins and his campaign manager, Tony Perkins, agreed to pay $82,000 to a direct mail firm that was tied to David Duke.  Okay, everyone makes mistakes even if this was a lollapalooza.  Unfortunately, the larger mistake Jenkins and Perkins made was to purposely hide the campaign expenditure once they realized the mail firm was tied to Duke.  That double whammy caused a fine with the Federal Elections Committee.  To add insult to injury, Woody talked the FEC into reducing the fine because he claimed his finances would not allow him to pay a huge fine.

ETHICS FOR DUMMIES:  Don’t hide campaign expenditures

Woody Jenkins was a young republican in college; he changed to democrat when it was convenient to run in 1971 for the legislature.  After 22 years, in 1994, Jenkins changed back to republican party.

In 1996 he ran as a republican for the U.S. Senate, winning the party nomination, and lost to Mary Landrieu.  Woody cried foul, contested the results, took it all the way to a senate committee, cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars for a 10 month investigation to only find out the election results were accurate.

ETHICS FOR DUMMIES:  Ensure the public confidence in the integrity of government.

Another controversy swarming around Woody Jenkins’ career was the creation of a non-profit, Friends of the Americas.  Jenkins refused to publicly register Americas claiming the government had no jurisdiction on out-of-state groups raising funds.  A claim many states reject. 

This same non-profit ran by Jenkins and his family was later chastised for paying Jenkins, his wife and his treasurer $456,892 over a 2 1/2 year period (according to an article in The Advocate dated June 7, 1990.)  Jenkins was a representative at the time and his financial records were requested.  He refused claiming this was a tactic that competitors of his TV station sought. 

ETHICS FOR DUMMIES:  I repeat — ensure the public confidence in the integrity of government.  (2nd strike)

Jenkins’ non-profit had other issues.  The treasurer absconded with $305,997 of the funds of Friends of the Americas right under Woody’s nose according to an article in The Advocate.  This took place over a two year period before Jenkins realized what was happening. 

ETHICS FOR DUMMIES:  One more time – ensure the public confidence in the integrity of government.  (In baseball and criminal actions, they refer to this as:  3rd strike.)

Other allegations surround Woody Jenkins in regard to unpaid bills to campaign workers from past campaigns.  There are also fines that were levied for withholding taxes for employees and failing to pay the government until questioned.

ETHICS FOR DUMMIES:  Owe no man.  (Actually this is in the Bible, but should be in the ethics code.)

What does all of this mean?  It means that Woody Jenkins has made a proclamation of faith and does believe that life begins at conception.  Good, so do I.  Unfortunately, Woody fails to meet the ethical requirements that I and others expect our elected officials to espouse to when holding their self up as someone who will represent us in state government.

Reminds me of the old saying:  “I am from the government and I am here to help you.”  Yeah, right.

What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. 

C’mon guys, get it right this time.  Let’s send someone to Congress that will bring home the bacon for the taxpayers of Louisiana.  That person is not Woody Jenkins.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican