Senator Mary Landrieu . . .The Consummate Politician Sunday, Sep 14 2014 

mltroubled

Louisiana’s democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is, always, the consummate politician.

I begin by recalling her calm demeanor in the face of the Katrina disaster when speaking with Anderson Cooper — her focus was to thank her fellow politicians rather than discuss the real issues at hand (i.e. lack of response by the government, dead bodies in the street, etc.)

To add insult to injury, Landrieu also went to great links to play politics by issuing a public statement congratulating Governor Blanco for her handling of Katrina.

Unbelievable, right?

Then, at the 2008 DNC when she had an opportunity to ‘play politics’, she chose to speak out against FEMA and the failure to respond properly for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

In the world of political analysts, the response would be “Well played, Mary, well-played!”

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, is also an avid blackmailer.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Two particular instances come to mind to support this argument.

The first was when she issued a press release stating she would hold up the vote on the confirmation of budget director, Jacob Lew, until the administration modified the moratorium that was set after the BP Oil Spill.

The second time Mary refused to endorse a public health care option until the administration agreed to provide Louisiana with $300,000,000 as a trade for her vote.

Some might say this is great because Mary held out for what was in Louisiana’s best interest.  I suppose that depends on how you feel about the outcome.

Are we better off with the current handling of oil production and sales in Louisiana?

Is the Affordable Care Act working for or against the average citizen at this time?

Perhaps the better question is — how do you feel now that you have the knowledge that a Senator representing you in Washington is an avid blackmailer?

Senator Landrieu also claims Washington as her official ‘home’ — even though she calls herself the senior Senator from Louisiana.

Evidence of this fact was taken on recently by one of her opponents in the upcoming Senate race when he brought out the fact that Landrieu did not even own a home in Louisiana.

Mary claims her parents home as the location she resides in while visiting her home state.

It is VERY important to note that I am about to put together the pieces of this puzzle:

  1. Judge Wilson Fields, a fellow Democrat, ruled that Senator Mary Landrieu’s residence is not relevant until election day according to the law, delaying this legal challenge until, and if, Mary is re-elected.
  2. Judge Wilson Fields is the brother of Cleo Fields, Democrat.
  3. Cleo Fields is an endorser of May Landrieu, Democrat.

Is this all a coincidence?  Perhaps, I will allow the reader to decide.

Mary Landrieu also has a propensity to spend taxpayer money for personal use.

This situation was uncovered, only after being challenged by an opponent, that Landrieu was spending taxpayer dollars on personal fundraising events by charging the government for her flight costs.

Once this was made public, Landrieu’s political operatives decided to go on the offensive by performing an internal audit of their flight costs and calendar.

Landrieu was aware that you do not mix ‘personal’ or political events with official Senate business.  All elected officials are aware of this rule of law; especially a seasoned ‘senior official’ from the good state of Louisiana.

At least 136 political functions were scheduled during 43 official Senate business flights since 2002.

Landrieu blamed the problem on faulty bookkeeping, and has now decided to use accounting software that other congressional elected officials use to avoid this problem.  Are you kidding me?

Mary has now cut a check to the good people of the U.S. — taxpayers who elected her — in the amount of $33,727.02 to the U.S. Treasury.

 Senator Landrieu’s endorsement may uncover questions.

Boysie Bollinger, one of the most powerful individuals in the State of Louisiana, has endorsed Mary Landrieu for re-election.  Mr. Bollinger is a multi-millionaire and the proprietor of Bollinger Shipyards.

Bollinger Shipyards received a $255 million contract to build Fast Response Cutters for the Coast Guard.  Landrieu is the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee that approved that expenditure, and took credit by announcing the awarding of this contract.

Enough said.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

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Who’s the New Kid? Friday, Aug 7 2009 

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There may be a new sheriff in town, but the guy we have our eye on is the new kid on the Metro Council.  Yep, that’s him.  The one who stood up for his constituents.  Right.  The guy with the funny name.  Boe’.

Joel Boe’ is a 32 year old project manager for a local construction company, who made his first run at politics winning the District 9 Metro Council seat last October with over 64% of the vote. 

During his campaign, Boe’ made it clear that he felt Mayor-President Kip Holden’s bond issue contained components that were sorely needed in our parish. 

At the same time, Boe’ said he had concerns the bond issue would not pass last fall, and told The Advocate he would like to “see the bond proposal split up to allow voters to decide which aspects of the plan they want to support”.

Once Boe’ called for the Metro Council to include the northern parts of EBR Parish (Baker, Zachary and Central) he was sorely chastised by Mayor Kip Holden.  (The Mayor’s harsh words came because Boe’ disagreed with Holden’s plan to exclude the portions of the parish that caused last fall’s vote to fail.)

As I mentioned in Bully Mayor Holden Bully, our Mayor doesn’t like it when someone disagrees with him.  Once they do, he runs amuck to the media in a no-holds bar plan of action against his intended target by ranting and raving nonsense.  Holden shows his true colors and disdain for anyone who dares to disagree.  

There really is something special about leaders who are willing to ask the tough questions.  The ones that stand by their convictions.  To do so is definitely not in step with the path of least resistance.  Nor is it a ticket to winning some of the powerfully influential politicians who prefer to manage by intimidation and control.

So, what will happen to the new kid on the block?  I suppose time will tell. 

It is my hope that Boe’ will spur on other young leaders to step up to the plate, speak their minds, represent the people (not the few, but the many no matter what part of our parish they reside).  That we will support Boe’ and those like him.

I would love to see us prove that we DO want new, fresh leadership that will help us see the bigger issues.  That these new leaders do not have to fold their hands because their opinions are different than those in ‘control’.

No doubt Joel’s parents are proud of him.  He comes from good stock.  I have not seen him, nor spoken to his parents in many years.  Ralph and Linda, I applaud you.  As I watch from afar, I am excited to see the fruits of your labor.  Thank you for equipping the new kid on the block with the tools he needs to serve us in his new capacity.

To Joel, keep on doing what you believe is right.  Do not be discouraged or dismayed.  With bright young leaders such as yourself, we CAN be the next greatest city in America. 

My hope has been renewed.   

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

$28 Billion Decision in 1 Hour? Sunday, Jun 28 2009 

 timeandmoney

What took place in the final hour of last week’s 2009 Louisiana Regular Legislative Session was insane at best.  Who on earth would sign a $28 billion budget in less than an hour?   

The money in the capital outlay budget is, simply put,  yours – tax dollars from your hard-earned money. 

How someone spends other people’s money is very telling.

When private citizens misuse their employer’s finances, they are charged with various crimes, required to pay restitution and/or serve prison time.  Yet, legislators get a free pass should they mishandle state funds. 

Even if they break a promise they made to their employer – you.  Instead of ‘doing more with less’ as legislators promised to do, they spent $28 billion of their employer’s money.

We can’t undo what our elected officials have done, but can only hope that we live long enough to witness prudence in legislative spending one day.

Let’s see how much funding landed in the Red Stick coffers.  (Monies for facilities located in the parish that are state-specific are not included in the list below.  They include facilities such as:  LSU, Southern, DOTD, CRT, Homeland Security, the Old State Capitol, State of Louisiana Offices or facilities, School for the Deaf, School for the Visually Impaired, airport, the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, levees, etc.)

  • $16,000,000 Pennington Biomedical (page 43)
  • $13,500,000 Comite River Diversion Canal (page 28)
  • $6,000,000 19th Judicial Court House (page 123)
  • $5,455,000 La 3030 Road Improvements (page 25)
  • $4,600,000 River Center Expansion, Renovation, Parking (page 80)
  • $4,000,000 Capitol City Family Health Center (page 112)
  • $4,000,000 Pecue Lane / I-10 Exchange (page 26)
  • $4,000,000 I-12 to O’Neal Lane Widening (page 27)
  • $3,000,000 Baker Fire Station (page 79)
  • $2,600,000 Office of Homeland Security (page 17)
  • $2,275,000 Zachary Sewer Programs (page 108)
  • $1,440,000 Black History Museum & Cultural Center (page 119)
  • $1,400,000 Baseball Stadium Improvements (page 80)
  • $1,325,000 BREC’s Anna T. Jordan Site & Facility (page 114)
  • $1,160,000 BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center (page 114)
  • $1,000,000 Stumberg Lane to Jefferson & Airline (page 80)
  • $1,000,000 Athletic Education & Band Center (page 125)
  • $875,000 BREC Children’s Museum (page 114)
  • $850,000 YMCA North Baton Rouge (page 113)
  • $700,000 Old Goodwood Sewer Improvements (page 80)
  • $600,000 Hooper Road Sewer Improvements (page 79)
  • $400,000 USDA Biological Facility (page 129)
  • $310,000 Fire Marshall (page 32)
  • $300,000 LASC (page 14)
  • $250,000 CASA Facility (page 116)
  • $200,000 Hwy 19 Lane Improvements (page 16)
  • $198,361 Visitor Signage (page 80)
  • $190,000 Crime Lab Expansion (page 34)
  • $155,000 McKinley High (page 112)
  • $140,000 Annison Plantation Renovation (page 108)
  • $100,000 Central Administration Building (page 108)
  • $100,000 BREC’s Rollins Road Park Basketball Court Cover (page 114)
  • $90,000 Progress 63 Senior, Veteran, Tutoring Center (page 132)
  • $75,000 Stanford Avenue Sidewalk Widening (page 80)
  • $75,000 Pride Fire Station (page 80)
  • $50,000 BREC’s Pete Goldsby Renovations (page 114)
  • $50,000 Habitat for Humanity Metro Aire Shopping Ctr (page 120)

This list along is roughly $78.4 million for the Red Stick, but The Advocate shows more which may be buried in the budget.  It is true that earmarks were the order of the day on the final day of the legislative session, and East Baton Rouge Parish was no exception.

Where does it stop? 

Do you know anyone who can continue to dip into their Rainy Day Fund and not eventually run out of money?  Is there anyone you currently know that has not made some form of cutbacks to their budget?

I do.  They are our legislators. 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

The Magical World of Louisiana Politics Saturday, Jun 20 2009 

 all about the money

Alice in Wonderland taught us about the world of childhood fantasies.  It’s a world of fantasy where some still choose to reside.  It’s a magical land of make believe where anything can happen, much like the world of Louisiana politics.

The heart of the Red Stick is the seat of both city and state government where magical dreams come true.  It’s a tale that began with wonder and delight.  Some call it the legend of Istrouma Bluff . . .

It all began long, long ago on the banks of the mighty Mississippi, when a french explorer, Iberville, spotted a bloody cypress stick and named the location ‘le baton rouge’ or Red Stick

A new architect to the land, Dakin, built a gothic medieval castle to house the seat of government with a front row view of the massive river traffic, but just as in all magical lands, this castle was not large enough for the politically powerful. 

So, Governor Huey P. Long commissioned a taller state capitol to house state government.  It would, one day, become the home of the largest employer in the state of Louisiana. 

This was only the beginning of the people’s woes including larger, more excessive state government.  A chicken in every pot, and funding for all special interests.  It was a Never Never Land, where politicians proclaimed ‘no is not an answer’.

In this magical land, money grew on trees and blank checks fell from the sky.  Politicians skipped down the halls exchanging votes only behind magical closed doors. 

The legislative sessions do often sound like tales from folklore.  Don’t they?  Unfortunately they are not fairy tales, but the reality of gatherings comprised of elected officials and appointees that often lack common sense, ethical concern and good ole-fashioned prudence. 

In the magical world of Louisiana politics, finances are infinite.  There is no awareness of real budgets or lack of funding.  Like Dick Tracy, someone with a magical answer is always ‘on their way’ to the rescue. 

The mentality is that state government is too big to fail, that bailouts and magic financial formulas will cause money to magically appear.  And like all mantras, sometimes they do come true as evidenced by $22.6 million in funding suddenly ‘found’ recently.

In this magical world of Louisiana politics, the finances are so tangled in bureaucracy that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.  So much so, that within 12 months we can be so far off base to go from a surplus to a shortfall.  Then, magically, we begin to pick the fruit of unspent dollars and tax dollars to meet the shortfall. 

It truly is magical.  No reality here folks.  Just a wonderful world of fantasy spending that will endlessly lift us to another world of wonder. 

As long as we are living in the world of fantasy, I recommend we all search for a character similar to the one in the movie ‘Dave’.  A hero that snuck a friend into the state capitol to recommend financial cuts.  If it worked in the movies, surely it will work in the magical world of Louisiana politics.  Right?

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

All the Kings Men Monday, May 25 2009 

 AllTheKingsMen

Coverage by Louisiana media outlets report that the current Legislative session is akin to a Battle Royale over the state’s troubled budget.  Like ancient gladiators, the media is in their own battle, vying for audiences by reporting every single move made by the Jindal administration.

The problem with this style of journalism is that it flys in the face of what readers really wants to know.

The public needs to understand why Jindal is being targeted for a budget crisis that reaches back far beyond his inauguration as governor of our state.  Voters are smart enough to know that the financial crisis we are facing didn’t happen overnight. 

In fact, the ‘get out of jail’ cards issued to Blanco, Foster and Edwards by this same media are mind boggling at best, not to mention the legislators who have spent our tax dollars for years like money was growing on trees around the state capitol.

It’s about as humorous as the comparison of former Governor Mike Foster being allowed to be a part time elected official while attending law school vs Governor Bobby Jindal being criticized for traveling around the country for political reasons.  Oh well, I digress.

Perhaps we are paying for the ‘sins of our fathers’?  Forefathers in state government, that is. 

It began with Governor Huey P. Long, and continues today.  A spendthrift mentality.  A chicken in every pot.  Textbooks funded by the state.  Let the government pay our way.  Just write another check.  Add another budget line item.  Conceal an amendment, if you will.  We’ll worry about the consequences later!

Everything we do has an effect on everything else.  This is not rocket science.  It’s the law of reaping and sowing. 

In our personal life, we have a budget.  We receive income and learn to live within our means.  If we do not live within our means, eventually the debt and interest catches up with us. 

Why do we continue to believe government can be run any different? 

In 1987, Roemer came into the governor’s office with $5.2 billion in state debt, and a $1 million daily deficit.  He fought for reform, but legislators stopped him from the onset, claiming they didn’t like his administration’s attitude.  Boohoo!

Fast forward to 1992 when Edwards was headed back to the helm of state government with a $500 million gap between revenue and spending.  The legislators loved working with Edwin W. Edwards.  That path led straight to federal prison. 

It’s as plain on the nose on our face.  We have been increasing state government spending annually, loading up on debt (and interest) and then going back to the trough to see who will throw us more feed.  

If we do not learn from our mistakes, history is sure to repeat itself.

By 2005, the state debt reached $24.8 billion, according to AARP.  Five times the debt Roemer tried to deal with in the 1980’s.  Do the math.  I could not locate more current information on Louisiana’s debt, but I am confident it has increased drastically. 

For decades, we have watched the legislature fight over budget deficits.  From each session, lawmakers have proposed the ‘answer to our prayers’ to become debt free or meet our annual obligations. 

The list is long.  The Louisiana Lottery.  A land-based casino.  Video poker.  Riverboat casinos.  Tobacco settlement.  The Stelly Plan.  Business taxes.  Individual taxes.  Sales taxes.  Bed taxes.  Sin taxes.  Federal stimulus money.    Homestead exemption tax increases.  All touted as answers to our  state’s financial dilemma.  Yet, here we are . . . again!

On the other hand, legislators and special interest groups fight fearlessly for earmarks each fiscal session. 

Universities fight for education funding.  Pennington fights for research funding.  Teachers, firefighters, and law enforcement fight for pay raises.  City government fights for economic development and infrastructure funding.  LSU Health Care fights for charity hospital and clinic funding.  DOTD fights for highway funding.  Another endless list. 

Republican or democrat.  Senator or Representative.  Elected official or voter.  State budget or personal budget.  There really is only one solution.  Cutbacks! 

Robert Penn Warren said All the Kings Men was not intended to be a book about politics.  Neither was the budget of the state of Louisiana.  Nevertheless, both are purely political.  For the state budget, that must change. 

The quicker we remove politics from our state budget, and run it like a business or household, the better off we will be.  Otherwise, we will continue to allow state spending to embrace political corruption and grow our enormous political machine. 

To Senator Lydia Jackson, Democrat from Shreveport, who says to the press that “No is not a solution” (referring to Jindal saying no to spending), I offer the opposite:  NO IS THE SOLUTION!  No is not a popular word in the world of politics, but one we need to be willing to stand up and shout from the rooftops.  NO!  NO!  NO to more spending! 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Media Scrutiny Depends on Politician Monday, May 11 2009 

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I always find it curious when the media attacks one politician but gives another politician a free pass.  It is so glaringly obvious.

Governor Bobby Jindal has been highly scutinized by the media for appointments to Louisiana Boards & Commissions, for each expenditure, and for records not made public. 

On the other hand, the media appears to turn a blind eye to other politician’s hiring practices, oversight of unruly employees or ‘secret’ decisions and expenditures. 

As we speak, the media frenzy across our state is viewing Jindal’s practices with a microscope.  All the while, other politicians are carefully working behind the scenes like baseball players stealing bases knowing the media has allowed their eye to stray from homeplate.

For instance, what if a politician that was elected just over a year ago had purchased expensive furniture for his office, moved to another location, lost his second in command due to a coup-de-gras gone bad, hired one of his largest contributor’s wives in a key position, lost several key employees due to alleged criminal activity, and didn’t even show up on most days until late afternoon? 

Should this elected official’s disregard for ethics, taxpayer money and unacceptable activities go without scrutiny?  What if he was supposed to be the standard for upholding the law in our parish?

Why do we hold one politician’s feet to the fire, and not others?  How are some politician’s campaign promises important enough for daily fodder on the front page, but other politician’s false promises ignored by the media?

Do we really believe our ethics are in question because we ‘need to know’ every move our Governor makes in order to prove we are ethical?

Are we really that concerned about every expenditure?  If so, then let’s play fair, and scrutinize every politician, not just those who sell newspapers. 

I was a bit humored at the recent Tea Party at the State Capitol, when guards began hauling bottled water out to the crowds.  Water funded by taxpayers.  No one asked for the water, but it was freely given.  Of course, the employees didn’t pay for it, the taxpayers did. 

Another humorous incident was in Sunday’s newspaper when it was casually mentioned that all women in the Senate and House received bromalaid plants and roses respectively.  A nice gesture for Mother’s Day, but was it at the taxpayer’s expense?

Yes, these are small examples.  Does the phrase ‘tip of the iceberg’ mean anything to you?

At what point does the media decide for us, the taxpayers, what is ethical or acceptable?  Are we really concerned about state and city government in it’s entirety? 

What I have been witnessing is the ultimate form of prejudice and discrimination.  They have proven the argument that it depends upon the politician and the personal views of media and pundits as to who is criticized or who is given the ‘get out of jail card’.

Our ‘champions for ethics’ beg the question.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Slaying the Dragons Wednesday, Apr 22 2009 

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The year was 1987, the race was for Governor, and the words spoken by one candidate were so enticing to us:  “We’ve got to slay the dragon”.  It was Buddy Roemer that caught our attention with that challenge based on fiscal reform.  The media absolutely loved him, and voters longed for real change.

Roemer was a breath of fresh air.  A candidate with lofty goals to take on our state’s bureaucracy by raising the bar for ethics and scrubbing the budget.  We were so excited; it was the promise of a better day in Louisiana.

The legislature, however, had a different agenda.  A majority of senators and representatives that kicked off Governor Roemer’s first session were, unfortunately, former Governor Edwin Edwards’ supporters.  They blamed Roemer and his administration for not being good communicators.  That was the least of Roemer’s challenges.

The Louisiana Association of Educators challenged Roemer’s plan for teacher’s performance-based reviews and pay based on merit.  The Red Stick’s finance director, Lynn Schofield balked at tax reform that would affect municipalities.  Jefferson Parish played a key role in defeating Roemer’s tax reform with some politicians spending their own campaign funds to lobby against reform.

No one was interested in tax reform.  Why?  Simple:  Reform sounds good until it affects your parish’s pocketbook.

It’s almost mind boggling to walk down memory lane. 

Fast forward to the 2007 election for Governor.  The ‘whiz kid’, Bobby Jindal is running for office, and his words are eerily similar regarding making a clean break from the past.  Once again, we are attempting to “slay the Dragons” by addressing  workforce development, creating accountability, developing a modern health care system, better schools, stronger businesses – all through ethics reform.  

Reform.  Change for the better.  Improvement.  Better Methods.  Courses of Action.  Strong words, but difficult to achieve when resistance is so powerful.  If we do not change our attitudes and take action, we are destined to repeat history. 

Do we really want reform?  Are we willing to pay the price it takes to make reform a reality? 

There is some good news in the upcoming legislative session.  Legislators have introduced bills that will give significant tax breaks.  The people have spoken, and for the first time in awhile, the politicians have heard what we are saying and are acting accordingly.  A brief description of bills filed by the House of Representatives can be viewed here, and Senate bills filed can be viewed here

Still, there is great criticism of Jindal’s calendar of events.  Jindal’s traveling is taking more hits than the news of actual bills filed that will affect each of us as citizens of our good state.  Interesting.

I long for the day when I can read critical information on bills in The Advocate.  Bills that we should be aware of as voters.  I crave information about Jindal’s speech to the Red Stick Press Club, instead all I hear about is whether his legal counsel should step down because he is considering political office after the session.

I need to hear more about how we can “slay the dragons”, not the sensationalism our local media wants to spin.  To find out what Jindal said at the Press Club, I had to do a search – not in the newspaper – but until I found his actual speech

What I learned was that Jindal spoke of the current financial crisis, and how we are all being called to make cuts.  So should the State of Louisiana.  I also learned we have retained business, secured new business ventures, and created more than 22,000 jobs, and retained more than 11,500 jobs in Louisiana since Jindal was elected. 

We have invested more dollars in Pennington Biomedical Research, and Barksdale Air Force Base.    I learned that despite the horrific economic downturn, Louisiana has not only survived, but flourished.  That we have retained some powerful businesses and had profitable major corporations open headquarters in our state over the past year.

Louisiana enjoyed a record year for the film industry.  We have totally outperformed the U.S. economy and are a leader in the South. 

Jindal plans to keep his promise of no new taxes.  That in itself should have been yesterday’s headline in The Advocate!  “Raising taxes is absolutely not an option”, were the Governor’s exact words.  What a refreshing and encouraging headline that could have been.

Jindal’s list of cuts for specific agencies are all in his speech.  A plan broken down, explaining how the budget crisis for the state will be addressed is there as well.  Again, it can be read here

How else would we have known that the Governor has a new education funding formula?  Or that he is behind the Commission for Streamlining Government?  (That legislation is mentioned in my previous post.) 

How long have we joked about state government employees?  If I hadn’t read his speech, I would not have been enlighted to the performance-based plan for state workers and compensation.  It’s about time!

There’s so much more the media did not address.  Jindal has a plan for more discipline in the classroom, extending research and development tax credits, DWI crackdowns, stronger laws for sex predators, work release program improvements, and tax amnesty for delinquent filers. 

I did not vote for Bobby Jindal, but he is our Governor.  His ideas and plans are moving forward.  Are we willing to jump into the battle with him and “slay the dragons”

Some say, “where is Bobby”?  I say,  “Bobby must be hard at work on the road…the road to a better Louisiana”.    What if I’m right?

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Sin Taxes, Spendthrift Liberals & A Voice of Reason Sunday, Apr 19 2009 

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Apparently ‘sin’ taxes on cigarettes is the answer to Louisiana’s budget woes according to The Advocate and Representative Karen Peterson, Democrat, who has introduced HB 75

The Advocate has gone so far as to claim that ‘sin’ taxes are literally political taxes, in that cuts to education in our state are less desirable than charging ‘sinners’ more taxes.  Quite humorous given The Advocate’s disdain for anything Christian in political races.  How convenient!

Did The Advocate notice that another legislator, Democrat Senator Cheryl Gray, introduced SB 226 designed to spend the first $250,000 of the cigarette ‘sin’ tax annually on technology? 

It’s no coincidence that Rep. Peterson and Sen. Gray are working together on tax and spend projects.  Just last year they joined forces in a joint press conference to discuss projects that Peterson would locate funding for and Gray would quickly spend.  A great team of democrat tax and spend liberals!

The problem with any tax that is levied or raised is that it gives the false assumption there will be more money to pay down debt.  The truth is that it gives lawmakers the impetus to spend more money proven by the Peterson-Gray spendthrift duo.

Any knowledgeable person is aware that government budgets must be spent in their entirety in order for an agency to receive funding the following year.  There is always a frenzy to spend ‘the last of this year’s budget’ by agencies between October and December so they can re-justify their budget for the following year. 

It’s simple:  If you spend less, then you have proved you need less to operate.  This is never the goal of an agency. 

While sugarplums are dancing in their heads over increased tax dollars, we the people, are still looking for government spending to be streamlined.  We are not desiring more taxes, but less taxes, less spending, less government.

A new concept:  Senator Jack Donahue, Republican, has introduced SB 261 intended to streamline state government.  This bill is more in line with the thinking of voters.  It calls for streamlining, eliminating, privatizing, consolidating, and outsourcing, if necessary, governmental agency’s functions in order to be more effective and to cut spending. 

Alas, a voice of reason!

SB 261 further provides that an assessment be made of governmental agencies to ensure they are meeting or exceeding performance standards to meet the needs of Louisiana residents.  Accountability . . . a refreshing concept!

Cost efficiency, alternative resources and specific guidelines would be required in order to measure the efficiency of programs, services, functions and agency activities.  It calls for a Commission designed to streamline government functions and expenditures.  Bravo!

No wonder The Advocate endorses a ‘sin’ tax – they endorse our spendthrift liberal tax and spend Mayor, Kip Holden, as well as his bond issue to tax millions of dollars for generations to come.  Perhaps they should take a lesson from Senator Donahue and line up with taxpayers who long for true leadership and direction that cries out for government reform vs more spending and taxes?

If we continue to do the same thing, we will get the same result. 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Tea Party in the Red Stick Thursday, Apr 16 2009 

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It was the most significant Red Stick Tea Party in decades.  Thousands of taxpayers paid a visit to the State Capitol in downtown Baton Rouge to protest government spending, the $3.5 trillion U.S. budget, and President Obama’s $787 million stimulus package.

The Red Stick branch of the U.S. Tea Party has an informative website

It was a call to arms across the country for taxpayers.  Their arms were literally held in the air with unique signs announcing the ‘brewing’ of a new movement against wasteful spending. 

A clever sign stated “I made this sign with the tax break I received and have no money left!”  Other signs decried “Obomination – ObamaNation”, and “Stop breaking into my Piggy Bank!” – a sign carried by a teenager.

The event reminded me somewhat of Howard Beale in the movie Network when he screamed these famous words:

“So I want you to get up right now.  I want all of you to get up out of your chairs.  I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, stick your head out and yell . . .

I’m mad as hell,

and I’m not gonna take this

anymore!”

So, what will you do? 

Go ahead!  Get up! 

Go to the phone or to your computer! 

Call or write your legislator and congressional representative!  Let them know that you demand that they cut the fat in the budget, stop bailing out companies who have misspent money, and that you will not continue to take this anymore!

Perhaps we can share one signmaker’s words with our lawmakers: 

“Don’t share my tax dollars, share my work ethic!”

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Dan Claitor: The Invisible Man Tuesday, Apr 7 2009 

invisible-man

H. G. Wells wrote the science fiction thriller, The Invisible Man, a novel that might aptly describe the newly elected Senator of District 16, Dan Claitor.  

In our lifetime, we may never witness a newly elected Senator who is as barely mentioned in a barage of news articles and blogs by political pundits as Dan Claitor.  Is this the same group that convinced the voters Claitor was the ‘best candidate’?

I suppose it would be funny if it weren’t such a sad commentary of what really happened in the District 16 race.  A pitiful legacy at best, for a district that was previously held in high esteem by the election of former Senators Bill Cassidy and Jay Dardenne. 

It does beg the question, and the answer is simple. 

Claitor was not really the choice candidate.  With all due respect, I am sure Claitor thought he won of his own accord – because he had some brilliant plan for District 16.  So brilliant that no one is mentioning it whatsoever!

Instead, Claitor is learning what Louisiana politics is all about – much ado about nothing more than a group of egotistical political operatives that wanted him anyone to help them control the voters.  And that they did!

Don’t believe me?  Irrespective of Claitor, there is a growing list of articles and blogs about everyone but the new Senator.  Less than 3 days after the election, NOT ONE ARTICLE even mentions Claitor being the best candidate or anything he plans to do on behalf of the voters who were led to the voting booth like sheep to a slaughter. 

Instead, the pundits have tipped their hands as the voting booths are being audited, proving they had their own agenda.  What does this equate to for Louisiana?  Politics as usual, according the message being resounded across our good state and in the Red Stick:

  • The Advocate has authored 3 articles since Saturday with absolutely NO mention of Claitor’s plans as a new Senator. 
  • The Times Picayune’s article also fails to mention any thrust that Claitor might have as Senator and embarrassingly mentions his name only 5 times in an article where Governor Jindal’s name is listed 11 times and Lee Domingue is mentioned 12 times.  (Both men are given twice the recognition as Claitor.)  Rolfe McCollister, publisher of the BR Business Report, got the same billing as Claitor with 5 name mentions. 
  • Freelance writer, Jeremy Alford, wrote an article picked up by the Daily Report in which the only mention of Claitor’s future as a Senator is that he best ‘hit the ground running’
  • Columnist Stephen Sabludowsky wrote an article on the Senate District 16 race and does not even mention Dan Claitor’s name, making him truly invisible as a new Senator.
  • Clancy DuBos, political analyst and editor of The Gambit,  talks more about bloggers, McCollister, Jindal and Domingue than Claitor, and once again, makes no mention of anything that the Senator will do once he is sworn in to the Louisiana Legislature.
  • The Daily Advertiser also wrote more about every other player in the Senate District 16 race than about Dan Claitor.  No mention there about what Claitor plans to do once in office.

 

The Invisible Man’s legacy has begun, and his name is . . . uh, I already forgot! 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

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