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Don't do this when cancel culture comes calling

In northwest Louisiana cancel culture strikes again, providing another object lesson that confession in response doesn’t necessarily do the soul nor the bottom line good, but only emboldens the mob.

Last week, the Caddo Parish weekly Focus SB/Inquisitor – a combined publication with one half dealing with community events, news, and opinion and the other replete with crime stories and mugshots of the jailed (as the masthead of that side of the paper warns, “If you don’t want it printed, don’t let it happen”) – published an editorial by owner John Settle. Formerly a lawyer, for many years he peppered local media with opinion pieces until purchasing The Inquisitor in 2019 and expanded it from its scandal sheet roots, giving him a chance to blast away through his own print forum. (When the change came, for several months I was employed as an opinion writer by the revamped publication.)

While Settle certainly has his favorites among local politicians, he takes a very uncompromising view on government transparency, with his critical comments at one point leading Bossier City Attorney Charles Jacobs to wish Settle would have an up close and personal encounter with a Zamboni ice-cleaning vehicle. As it turns out, this would have been preferred to what hit him as a result of the recent column, which delivered a laundry list of do’s and don’ts and general advice for councilor candidates in Shreveport’s upcoming elections.


Expected power play won't impact 2023 races

The springing of the expected power play won’t change a thing for Louisiana House and Senate election districts enacted for 2023 elections, and likely for the remainder of the decade.

With the decision by Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards not to veto special session bills that reapportioned each chamber, this triggered special interests to sue over maps that barely added any majority-minority districts over what exists currently demographically. With an increase in black population statewide to about a third and with the proportion of M/M districts in the upcoming maps in each chamber below 30 percent, the suit alleges this violates the law and calls for injunctive relief in the form of forcing new plans from the Legislature, and if that doesn’t suit them quickly enough then to use the judiciary to write plans to their liking that would add several new M/M districts to each chamber.

The thin case on which this resides asks the federal judiciary to disregard current jurisprudence on redistricting, contrary to the one-sided arguments the plaintiffs make. The sleight of hand they demand, which would represent a sea change in constitutional doctrine on the matter, gives race primacy over all factors in reapportionment where a cohesive minority exists, to the point that courts would define adequate minority representation as roughly the same proportion of M/M districts as that minority population living in the jurisdiction, dismissing all other valuable factors such as maintaining community of interests and compactness that the federal judiciary for decades have backed as inputs to drawing districts.


LA finally free from misguided virus policies

Free at last, Louisianans are free at last – from a shackling not necessary for at least a year-and-a-half, courtesy of how Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards botched the policy response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, with huge consequences.

At the State of the State address earlier this week, Edwards announced this week the series of emergency declarations he had issued appertaining to the pandemic finally would expire. It became the 41st state to do so, and not coincidentally all others still with some statewide restrictions Democrats helm as governors.

Which puts Louisiana about 40 states behind where it should have been. The early days of the pandemic two years ago featured a rapidly-spreading virus with little information about it, so understandably taking drastic measures in fearing the worst didn’t seem unreasonable. The theory then was by halting a great deal of interactivity, including most commercial interaction and all schooling, for a few weeks with adequate contact tracing this would isolate transmission enough to cut off spreading.


Edwards speech reflects ignorance, hypocrisy

In his 2022 State of the State speech, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards reminded listeners of how after six years in office he has learned nothing about good governance, or even how to pursue public policy that benefits Louisiana instead of spreading the stench of politicized hypocrisy.

In this explanation of his agenda at the start of the Legislature’s regular session, about his only reasonable proposal came in his thoughts about utilizing the non-recurring portion of state funds derived from the debt-driven, inflation-inducing firehose of money coming from a Washington controlled by his party. This he asked to earmark for some major infrastructure items, looming debt to the federal government for coastal restoration, and to replenish the unemployment insurance trust fund to avoid large interest payments.

As for recurring monies, he lapsed into his familiar grasshopper foolishness. He fronted a number of items expanding government, ignoring that the false economy boosting revenues will diminish in short order, that a recent tax reshuffle will reduce general fund dollars available in the future, and that the temporary sales tax hike he instigated will roll off the books not long after he leaves office. Hence, the state can afford little if any in the way of new commitments.


Chavez copying Ellis best to negate Perkins

The entry of Republican Caddo Parish Commissioner Mario Chavez into Shreveport’s mayoral contest likely would be the only way incumbent Democrat Mayor Adrian Perkins doesn’t win reelection – by Chavez not running as a Republican.

Last week, Chavez announced his intention. His makes for the fourth such entrance, joining in challenging Perkins another commissioner, Republican Jim Taliaferro who also ran in 2018, and former city councilor Tom Arceneaux of the GOP.

However, Chavez gave every indication he would eschew his partisan label in this race, even if that party very much is the strong conservative’s natural political home. He wisely would do so, following the Friday Ellis gambit.