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

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

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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

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

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

District 16 Red Stick Lessons Sunday, Apr 5 2009 

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I’ve never been one to keep my opinion to myself.  Therefore, I would be remiss if I didn’t say I was disappointed in Saturday’s election of Dan Claitor to the Louisiana Senate District 16 seat.  It was no secret that I thought Lee Domingue was the best candidate for the job. 

There are so many great lessons to learn from life, and the Senate District 16 race is no exception:

  • Don’t make any donations to political campaigns, or for the betterment of Louisiana:  (Domingue donated to Jindal’s campaign and ‘Believe in Louisiana’.)  If you plan to run for office, just don’t contribute any money towards the good of Louisiana, else it will be used against you.
  • Don’t give endorsements in a political campaignIf you do endorse a candidate, be prepared to receiving scathing attacks from reporters and bloggers, as they will assume you have an agenda like they do.   (Both Governor Bobby Jindal and BR Business Report Publisher Rolfe McCollister experienced this scenario because they endorsed Domingue.) 
  • Don’t do business with any rich families in the Red StickIf you do, and dare cross the rich and powerful, (Paula Pennington de la Bretonne, et al) you will find your personal story on the front page of the local newspaper for everyone in the Red Stick to read. 
  • The Advocate’s original code of ethics has been defiled:  The Advocate has a creed, as set forth by Charles Manship, to create a newspaper with high standards of ethical behavior.  Journalists, like Marsha Shuler, have defiled ethics by reporting news based on her personal beliefs in a biased manner.  The Advocate is not a blog or forum for personal agendas, and news stories are a vast difference from the Opinion page of a newspaper.
  • Pundits will change their tune after you are elected:  Jindal was the most beloved candidate for Governor by all the political pundits and journalists while a candidate.  These same pundits, once the money train stopped, crossed to the other side in a media frenzy to attack Jindal.  No doubt, Claitor, will enjoy this privilege in due time from these same pundits.
  • Negative campaigning is still beloved in the Red Stick:  The pundit’s negative spin is more important than the positive issues that may affect voters in any given district.  This was proven by the fact that sensationalism reporting and character assassination was given precedence over critical issues that affect Senate District 16. 
  • Hide any facts about yourself if you are a candidate, but expose your opponent’s full history:  This includes your personal wealth, your background and work history, and business dealings.  (Domingue’s personal life history was used against him, even though he laid his life open on his website and in a book he authored.  But Claitor’s personal financial history and work history was hidden from public view.)

Dan Claitor worked very deceptively behind the scenes to win this senate seat.  He also lied on the radio claiming I was working for the Domingue campaign.  I do not know either candidate and did not and will not receive any monies directly or indirectly from any candidate or their representatives in this race.  That’s more than I can say for other political websites.  Claitor has made it obvious he is a character assassin.  No doubt he will continue this character trait for years to come.  We are, after all, creatures of habit.

 

Perhaps congratulations are in order to the voters for electing the to District 16?  You have just elected a liar, and a man that worked the system like old-line politicians who, for years, have used others to do their dirty work.  I suppose that is the greatest lesson of all – and the saddest one:  that the legacy of Edwin W. Edwards is still alive and well and flowing through the veins of the very pundits that claim they want change for our state.  

 

Until next time,

 

Red Stick Republican

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Claitor:  No response

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

Dan Claitor:  Yes

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

Audience:  (applauds)

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

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

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

Dan Claitor:  I am not a trial attorney.

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

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

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

Dan Claitor:  Vaguely.

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

Dan Claitor:  Vaguely

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

Dan Claitor:  Vaguely

Chandler Loupe:  C’mon Dan!

Greg Murphy:  Dan, please!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Claitor:  I can’t do that.

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

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

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

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Can You Handle The Truth? Tuesday, Mar 24 2009 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

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