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Again, Caddo GOP district has Democrat imposed

If once isn’t enough to residents of District 8 of the Caddo Parish Commission, apparently a thousand times won’t be too many.

Last week, responding to the resignation of Republican Jim Taliaferro to take a Shreveport City Council seat, the Commission by a vote of 8-3 appointed Democrat Ronald Cothran to the district’s spot through October. Because legally inauguration of the next 2024-28 term happens a little too late to overlap the interim appointment according to the parish charter, simultaneously the fall ballot will have an election to cover the seat until the end of the year and then for the next term.

Controversially, the district is one of the most Republican-oriented in the state, with 48 percent of registrants with that party and just 30 percent Democrats. Prior to that, the Commission had six Democrats, four Republicans, and no party Mario Chavez, who had been elected twice as a Republican but changed his registration earlier this year when running unsuccessfully for Shreveport mayor.


Use speed cameras for safety only, not money

You could cite any number of instrumental reasons why placing red light cameras around Bossier City is a bad idea – traffic enforcement performed by an outside party, questionable validity, administrative problems, constitutional issues – but the philosophical one provides the strongest argument against their installation around school zones: where is the need?

If the stalking horse no doubt to be trotted out by proponents – principally Blue Line Solutions, the proposed vendor who stands to get half of the revenues from any such operation, during the special workshop next work held for the purpose by the Bossier City Council – is safety, then they need to prove its necessity. Prove that there is a problem in school zones with speeding cars mowing down vulnerable children before taking such a drastic step.

(Actually, should this be a problem? After all, the city will pay nearly $20,000 this year to the Bossier Parish School District so that the BPSD can hire Bossier Parish Sheriff Office deputies to direct traffic during the designated hours around the two schools supposedly most in need of traffic control at these times.)


Schroder in, might fit anybody-but-Landry bill

Enter, as an imperfect fit for the anybody-but-Landry set of Republicans ensconced in Louisiana, GOP state Treasurer John Schroder for governor.

Within a day of each other, GOP Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser backed away from but Schroder made formal his entrance into the contest against Republican Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry. It was perhaps the only combination of circumstances that gives him any chance to win.

Nungesser, a self-described “moderate” Republican, had hoped to thread a needle between Landry, with staunch conservative credentials, and any state-party-backed Democrat who entered the contest. A Democrat with party mandarins’ blessing must contest the office, and almost certainly a non-white, because Democrats can’t win if they don’t play and desperately need to retain the office to have any governing influence over the next four years, they must have a topline candidate to help carry down ballot candidates, and they best run an establishment racial minority ally to prevent another of the outsider woke kind from capturing the party’s base from them. Given the electorate’s climate of increasingly searching for a candidate to challenge oversized state government too inclined to redistribute to favored clientele and declining citizen fortunes, he didn’t fit the bill.


Nungesser couldn't beat something with nothing

Republican Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser’s best shot in his expected plea for people to elect him governor was frontrunner GOP Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry has a nasty political style and is “not a nice” person. And explains why he passed on exiting his current post.

With Republican Sen. John Kennedy expectedly opting out of running, Nungesser seemed poised this week formally to announce he will take the plunge. There was little time to wait as Landry stole a march on all opponents months ago with his formal announcement, since then piling up campaign dollars and racking up endorsements, including the state party’s, to Nungesser’s chagrin.

Nungesser has a poll, commissioned by him and not released publicly, showing him neck and neck with Landry, which is the first such that hasn’t put him considerably behind Landry. That may be as others have included Kennedy’s name, yet that omission questionably explains the difference. The fact is, Kennedy is significantly closer to Landry on the issues than to Nungesser, so without Kennedy in the contest the bulk of his intended voters should switch allegiance to Landry.


Report falls short defending justice changes

Sometimes you should cut your losses and make the best of it, as Louisiana’s Pelican Institute is discovering on its backing of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwardscriminal justice changes.

After a period of some stagnation, in the past few years Pelican has proven itself valuable in articulating a conservative agenda tailored to the state. But it went out on a limb when it threw its support behind Edwards’ alterations that shortened sentences for some convicts and reduced punishments for some nonviolent crimes. This followed the lead of some conservatives who based their support on allegedly “smart” ways of tackling crime that would save money.

The problem was the Edwards’ modifications lent themselves more to saving money and following political fashion than creating a well-designed attempt to ensure such adjustments didn’t present opportunities for reduced criminal deterrence. The Edwards Administration knows this and, among other reactions, spent much of the latest annual report on the changes trying to convince readers of cost savings supposedly caused by these.