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Independence Day, 2019

This column publishes every Sunday through Thursday around noon U.S. Central Time (maybe even after sundown on busy days, or maybe before noon if things work out, or even sometimes on the weekend if there's big news) except whenever a significant national holiday falls on the Monday through Friday associated with the otherwise-usual publication on the previous day (unless it is Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day, Christmas, or New Year's Day when it is the day on which the holiday is observed by the U.S. government). In my opinion, in addition to these are also Easter Sunday, Memorial Day and Veterans' Day.

With Thursday, Jul. 4 being Independence Day, I invite you to explore the links connected to this page.


Bad sampling boosts Edwards poll support

It’s a relatively bad sample.

That explains why results from a mid-April poll by Market Research Insight, directed by Verne Kennedy, varied significantly from a late April survey conducted by JMC Analytics’ John Couvillion. The former, among other things, called the reelection without a runoff by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards likely, while the latter concluded Edwards would be unlikely to avoid a runoff with one of two major Republican candidates.

Since other earlier polling generally had backed the JMC interpretation, observers questioned the MRI conclusion. That poll continued a series stretching back years, commissioned by business and political elites of whom now one is the owner of the Baton Rouge Advocate, John Georges, where the results appeared.


Worried Edwards campaign aims to distract

Its recent media activity shows the Louisiana Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards reelection campaign is very worried.

Edwards has a lot of headwinds in his quest to stay in office past the end of this year, with polling for the most part reflecting his waning chance at returning to office. A record of one of the worst, if not the worst, performing state economies in the country during his term, caused by sales tax increases he continues to champion and state-sourced spending that grew around twice the rate of inflation triggered by this will hobble any chance he has at another four years.

Faced with that lackluster record to defend, the Edwards campaign has responded with a time-honored strategy: distract from that by making personal attacks on the opposition. And, in this case, not very compelling ones.


Tone deaf eulogy explains T-P demise

And this is why she no longer works in the print journalism industry.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune ceased to exist independently last weekend, which a few of its departing employees acknowledged in print. The blood bath was more than I predicted, with only a handful of staffers picked up by new the parent the Baton Rouge Advocate.

One, who moved on to a radio gig in St. Louis, was former state legislative reporter Julia O’Donoghue. She wrote a piece revealing how she had loved her job, along with a couple of comments about politics and the press. (See how history disappears so quickly – it’s now available only in cached form.)


Elective police chief discord strikes again

Need another reminder of why Louisiana should abolish the concept of elected police chiefs and pay its mayors reasonably? Welcome to Many.

The hamlet of just over 2,700 in Sabine Parish experienced some great, if non-family, entertainment last week at a special meeting of its City Council. The slightly majority-black population is represented by its mayor of more than three decades Ken Freeman, a white Republican; its police chief of more than a decade Roger Freeman (no relation to the mayor), who is white and last ran under an other party label; a Democrat white at-large alderwoman recently appointed after the death of the incumbent; and four other aldermen elected from districts of whom two are black Democrats, one a white Republican, and the other a white no-party registrant. All except Ken Freeman who were elected in 2017 faced no opposition; Freeman faced (for the second time) black Democrat DeDarren Henry, winning with 58 percent of the 423 votes cast.

The fun actually started in May, when Ken Freeman got pulled over for speeding on the way to the Sabine Parish Detention Center ostensibly to spring someone he knew that he alleged was arrested illegally. The town officers let him go without a citation, even though he had not stopped, supposedly running a stop sign, until reaching the jail and entered it without responding to officers’ commands to halt.