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LA hasn't plague of locusts, but of pessimism

Louisiana doesn’t suffer from the plague of locusts realignment theory, but from a plague of pessimism that poses a challenge its Republican majority must address.

Looking back at a midterm election that broke decades-old reliable modelling of partisan outcomes, one hypothesis to explain focuses on the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic’s tendency to have some individuals, argued disproportionately likely to vote for Democrats, move from areas with surplus Democrats to those with a relative paucity, in order to escape restrictions typically imposed more heavily in states run by Democrats.

A corollary to this not so event-specific is that policies, such as higher taxation and more wasteful spending and transfer payments, in Democrat-run states increasingly burden individuals, particularly those producing more economic benefits for society, so to escape these some people – including especially those who ironically backed politicians that delivered those very policies they now seek to avoid the consequences of – move to places without such policies. More bluntly, that subset are locusts who degraded their former environment now taking wing to more pristine ones to do the same if they can help it. After all, they and their families always can move on while the less advantaged stuck there have to suffer their damage.


Attack ad volley won't alter Tarver path to win

Unsurprisingly and inevitably, first one then the other shoe dropped in Shreveport’s mayor race, muddying up a contest the candidates had kept clean while leaving its trajectory essentially unchanged.

Last week, a radio ad began circulating on stations with larger proportions of black listeners that highlighted Democrat state Sen. Greg Tarver’s past marital difficulties. It claimed his first two spouses accused him of abuse, and that one shot him “to save her own life.” That may be conjecture; what we do know publicly is nearly 35 years ago after returning from a legislative session Tarver entered his residence where his second wife was and a short while later exited with gunshot wounds. No charges ever were filed but a divorce was not long after, followed by his marriage to his third and present wife.

Upon this surfacing, Tarver alleged runoff opponent Republican Tom Arceneaux had leverage over their appearance. Apparently, a group called Watchdog PAC LLC had produced it, which Tarver said also had produced attack ads on behalf of vanquished candidate Democrat Mayor Adrian Perkins prior to the general election. Contrary to statute that requires any entity spending at least $500 in an election cycle that, among other things, opposed a candidate to register with the state and to produce donation and expenditure reports, while a similarly-named political action committee run by a longtime Republican political operative registered with the state through 2017, this group isn’t currently registered.


Clearer still, Edwards virus policy cost lives

If only Louisiana’s political culture had been different and Democrat John Bel Edwards not been governor, a significant portion of Louisianans might be alive today who perished in the first almost two years of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

The first point is being made even as I write and you read this. In communist China, its typically servile population has taken to the streets to protest government attempts to impose harsh lockdowns in a futile attempt to bring the zero Covid fantasy to life. Although official government reporting of virus statistics is highly suspect on this issue, a recent wave of infections prompted the reaction, which unlike in the past the populace seems willing to challenge.

At one time, early in the pandemic Louisiana had restrictions almost as virile. Edwards and most state governors issued orders that didn’t entirely stop movement and commercial relations, but did substantially restrict activities in public for what was considered nonessential for a few weeks, justifying this by arguing it would allow public health authorities time to get ahead of the virus to stamp it out.


Lower income taxation may bring sports winners

As a recent blockbuster baseball deal showed, Louisiana legislators in the midst of studying an overhaul of the state’s tax system might want to consider rearranging things to boost sports performances that in turn could increase state and local tax revenues.

The Texas Rangers last week landed baseball’s best pitcher (when healthy) Jacob deGrom in free agency with a five-year, $185 million deal. When reviewing details of the deal, a major consideration why the Rangers outbid other clubs for his services was no state income tax in Texas. If the Lone Star State had the same tax system as the Bayou State, that deal to deGrom would have been worth (without any manipulations for tax avoidance) almost $4 million fewer (major leaguers nationwide are taxed half on their home state/country, the other half on the various state/country tax laws where they visit to play road games).

Legislators have met this fall to gather information on tax system reform, with many in the body articulating that a rate reduction, if not abolishment, of individual income taxation should be up to the plate. Among its neighbors, Texas and Tennessee have no state income tax, Mississippi has cut its recently and its governor wants elimination of it next year, and Arkansas and Oklahoma have joined Louisiana in recent reductions.


BC no bid fixation to grift taxpayers again

This week, the Bossier City Council seems poised to offer up another sweetheart deal to public works contractor Manchac Consulting Group and to deliver the sucker punch to taxpayers telegraphed weeks ago when it renewed a deal for a facility hardly any citizens use.

With the backing of Republican Mayor Tommy Chandler, the Council will consider dipping into its anything-goes debt-fueled slush fund to spend $1.5 million on new tennis courts at the city’s Bossier Tennis Center. Fewer than three months ago it approved a no-bid three-year contract renewal at $36,000 annually for a company run by longtime center tennis professional Todd Killen to operate it, which obligates him to make a few kinds of service provision but lets him rake off whatever revenues he otherwise can gather, without his having to make any capital expenses.

At the time, in particular GOP Councilor Chris Smith voiced concern about that kind of arrangement, musing that rethinking the deal, or even city ownership of the facility, might make sense especially because the bargain didn’t set aside some of the revenues an operator could keep for future capital expenses. He was ignored, and now those chickens are coming home to roost.