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Arguments for more mail ballots obliterated

The next time someone complains that relaxing Louisiana’s mail-in ballot rules won’t damage election integrity, you know they’re either ignorant or want to steal elections.

That’s the only conclusion drawable from a devastating piece that ran last week in the New York Post. It drew from remarks made by an anonymous New Jersey Democrat veteran political operative, whose pedigree the staff authenticated, who made it chillingly clear how easy and undetectable was committing voting fraud.

Mail-in ballots provide much fertile ground for fraud, he explained. Tricks he and others have used include:


Bossier City needs 21st century transparency

How difficult is it for government to make a link and upload a document? Apparently too hard for the biggest small town in America, Bossier City.

Yesterday, its City Council plowed through another semi-monthly session in usual fashion. This means it operates like a rubber stamp, verifying a compliant made by 2021 Council at-large candidate Chris Smith about a lack of transparency. Typically, meetings have less in the way of information and discussion than those of Red China’s governing organ the State Council, with terse statements of actions at hand, rarely any discussion of these, and rarer still anything but unanimous votes. In fact, in 2020 the average regular meeting has lasted under 45 minutes, in large part because few had any public comment and from the machine gun nature of how ordinances and resolutions were dispensed with.

On this occasion, one such item on the agenda that appeared a few days before on the city website that it also delivers from a mailing list to which citizens may subscribe, #10 under New Business, was this:


Ahistorically, Edwards can't control his party

Besides being an outlier in Louisiana statewide elective office – the only Democrat – Gov. John Bel Edwards also is an outlier compared to other past governors – he has no control over his own state party.

Louisiana, for a variety of reasons, has the weakest state major political parties of any in the country. Part of that comes from the historical dominance that governors can exert informally, blessed by a political culture that too intensely conceptualizes its chief executive as a man on horseback that keeps order and dispenses or withholds resources. In the past, governors have loomed large over their parties, determining their leadership and directing their resources.

But not Edwards. The party had serious reservations about his ability to win when he set off in 2014 to capture the office. Famously, among others, the party chairwoman state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson had gone to him and asked him to withdraw in favor of throwing their support behind a Republican they thought could defeat Republican Sen. David Vitter. Of course the party revved up support for him when he did well in the general election, signaling a runoff victory where it  became his mouthpiece afterwards, but Peterson and other party officials like recently-departed executive director Stephen Handwerk had their own independent bases of support.


Justified warning upsets Lafayette protesters

Republican Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory might overstate his case a bit, but he has the right idea to counsel against nonprofit organizations in sheltering Hurricane Laura evacuees as long as selfish protesters take to the streets of the city-parish.

Guillory sent notice to area nonprofits asking that they hold up with shelter establishment in the wake of the storm’s strike last Thursday, While the Lafayette area received just a glancing blow, to the southwest major property damage occurred, displacing many and likely for some time. As justification, Guillory noted protest activity stemming from the police shooting of Trayford Pellerin, who ten days ago brandished a knife a convenience store. He exited, with Lafayette police in tow, walked half a mile to another store, and made set to enter it, ignoring multiple times police instructions to desist and two unsuccessful Taser attempts. Apparently fearing Pellerin would attack people inside the second store, police open fire when he attempted to enter, killing him.

Since then, protests have popped up around Lafayette, without any reported acts of violence. But Guillory noted the potential for it to occur, and therefore he could not guarantee the safety of an influx of refugees. This didn’t mean that organizations couldn’t take people in, just that the city gave notice that they might be at risk. For that, some of those invested in protesting cried foul (with one particularly uneducated complainer saying Guillory wanted to instill “fear” into people from coming together to exercise their “second amendment” rights; rather than promote gunplay, she probably meant to refer to the right to assemble peacefully under the First Amendment).


LA school district illegally censors expression

Just as you can’t stop students participating in athletic events from insulting the flag, you can’t censor their artistic expression that doesn’t disrupt a school’s educational mission or promotes vulgarity or illegal drug use, a Louisiana school district needs to learn.

The Washington Parish School District finds itself mired in controversy over the issue. Apparently, by custom at its Pine Junior/Senior High School seniors have designated parking spots where they may have painted whatever isn’t negative, rude, or offensive in language, pictures, or symbols.

Senior Ned Thomas had a representation painted of Republican Pres. Donald Trump from mid-waist-up, with the nation’s chief executive wearing a suit and tie, stars and stripes bandana, sunglasses with stars on one lens and stripes on another, and overall looking serene. Not long afterwards, he was informed that the picture was too “political” and the district had it painted over.