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13.10.22

Reports suggest Arceneaux-Tarver runoff on tap

If campaign finance reports reflect at least somewhat strength in the electorate, Shreveport’s mayoral race looks to be coalescing around a runoff between Democrat state Sen. Greg Tarver and former city councilor Republican Tom Arceneaux.

Reports with activity through the end of September showed these two candidates plus no party Caddo Parish Commissioner Mario Chavez had raised and spent the most money throughout the campaign and had the most on hand entering the home stretch, with Tarver leading in all. Notably, Tarver began campaigning long after the other two, although he could draw upon his Senate campaign resources.

However, a noticeable gap exists in money on hand, crucial to making across the finish line in the top two places as inevitably no candidate will receive an absolute majority. While both Arceneaux and Tarver had over $200,000 left – and Tarver nearly double that – Chavez had fewer than $45,000. More disturbingly for his campaign, since Tarver announced his candidacy in late July Chavez attracted only about 20 donations comprising not even five percent of his total raised.

12.10.22

Landry group fighting unrealistic energy policy

While climate alarmists seek to hurtle into renewable energy use by advancing their agenda through unwise regulatory reform – fought by Louisiana Republican Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry – even if the federal government gained power over siting power transmission lines the expansion turns out to be an exercise in impracticality, keenly felt by Louisiana-based power providers if not an object of fakery by them.

As the Democrat Congress raced towards producing even a stopgap budget for next year due at the end of last month, the party’s least-liberal member, West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, tried to attach an energy-related bill to the effort. Its most controversial part would have given the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the power to force states to accept transmission lines.

At present, states, who can delegate this authority to their local governments, have sole authority to permit such lines. Advocates of solar and wind energy consider this an impediment to expanding these sources’ footprint, as lower-cost generation of this kind of power tends to concentrate regionally, and in recent years hundreds of state and local actions have denied this access.

11.10.22

Audit on Perkins shows him stupid or plays dumb

The timing could not have been worse for Democrat Mayor Adrian Perkins, fighting a tough reelection battle, to have voters hear from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor a review of his shady practices from the moment he entered office.

This week, the LLA released an audit covering two questions about Perkins’ behavior in office as it related to fiscal regulations. It mentioned the one-off effort came from numerous complaints apparently from inside and outside of city government about the switch in insurance carriers for excess workers’ compensation and property and also about payments for Perkins’ travel expenses.

Public knowledge abounded about the property insurer claim – a Perkins ally ended up brokering a change that eventually cost the city much more than by sticking with the previous agent, although the City Council belatedly approved it despite selection not following city policy – but few at the time knew Perkins in late 2018 also on his own authority (and apparently before his inauguration) dumped the workers’ compensation insurer, also in place since 2006, and, again abjuring city policy, didn’t follow purchasing regulations nor received Council approval. Perkins claims he asked the city to use a local vendor and have a competitive selection process, but interviewees said he ordered them to use a specific agent.

10.10.22

Statewide contests look to produce GOP schism

The entry of Republican state Rep. John Stefanski into the Louisiana attorney general’s race next year may reflect a battle for control over power in the state’s Republican Party between prominent politicians aligned with its conservative and moderate wings.

Stefanski becomes the third candidate to announce having a go at the post current GOP Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry shortly thereafter confirmed he was vacating after his term is up when he declared formally his intention to run for governor. One of Landry’s top deputies, Solicitor General Liz Murrill, a Republican, long ago declared as did no party Third District Attorney John Belton.

Murrill is a close political ally of Landry’s with each considered staunch conservatives, and as such Stefanski’s move puts him at loggerheads with Landry. Yet less well publicized are professional and policy ties that Stefanski has with Landry opponent GOP Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser.

9.10.22

Bureaucrats subverting BC citizens park access

We have learned over the past month that “quality of life” provided by the spendthrifts in Bossier City government means not just paying for operating and maintaining a tennis facility almost none of its citizens utilize, for parking at its money-losing arena, but also for diamond sports facilities that the city won’t let them use in favor of outsiders and special interests.

Last week, the City Council initially considered apportioning $3 million in debt to build additional parking at its Tinsley Athletic Complex, which has an extensive collection of fields for several sports, most prominently football/soccer fields and baseball/softball diamonds. The head of the Bossier City Department of Parks and Recreation Clay Bohannon and Louis Cook, its head of maintenance, told the Council that on weekends and nights, especially Saturdays and Mondays, the place was jam-packed. This is part came in response to around $14 million of taxpayer dollars spent on adding several fields at the end of last year.

This led to a series of questions by Republican Councilors Brian Hammons and Chris Smith as to why, with all the land office business racked up during weekends and nights, the department disallowed field rentals during weekend days, a common complaint they received from citizens. In it, the councilors kept offering suggestions while the bureaucrats did their level best, often in arrogant and condescending tones, to shoot these down and insist what they did now was the only reasonable course of action.