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Veterans' Day, 2023

 This column publishes every Sunday through Thursday around noon U.S. Central Time (maybe even after sundown on busy days, or maybe before noon if things work out, or even sometimes on the weekend if there's big news) except whenever a significant national holiday falls on the Sunday through Thursday associated with the otherwise-usual publication on the previous day (unless it is Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Independence Day, Christmas, or New Year's Day when it is the day on which the holiday is observed by the U.S. government). In my opinion, in addition to these are also Memorial Day and Veterans' Day.

With Saturday, Nov. 11 being Veterans' Day, I invite you to explore the links connected to this page.


Competitive Caddo contests cued in runoffs

Somewhat surprising results in October Caddo Parish elections left some very competitive runoff contests on Nov. 18.

The sheriff’s race to replace retiring Republican Sheriff Steve Prator classifies as one of these – not surprising that it produced a runoff between Republican former Shreveport Councilor John Nickelson and Democrat former Shreveport police chief and chief administrative officer Henry Whitehorn, but surprising that Nickelson pulled 45 percent, 10 points clear of Whitehorn in a race on paper that favors the Democrat. A major factor here appears to be differentially reduced turnout between partisans, with Democrats more likely not to have voted. If that pattern repeats, and it may well given Prator and his considerable influence backed Nickleson, the general election leader will win.

However, this hot race may affect the dynamics of other contests in the parish, although few remain unsettled. While most parish commission races drew multiple candidates, only one had more than two. Incumbents and favorites held off challengers – including past District 8 Democrat appointed Commissioner Ronald Cothran, who ran in District 10 this time and barely knocked off two challenging Democrats, including one who barely lost four years ago – the only big surprise came with District 1 Republican Todd Hopkins losing to the GOP’s Chris Kracman in the race with the highest turnout. A gerrymander solidly favoring Democrats created almost no interparty competition, leaving only one contest not internecine and all settled without a runoff.


Don't let carbon capture, hydrogen mania cost LA

It’s not going so well for climate alarmists in Louisiana at the other end of the continuum, either.

While one strand of alarmism focuses on a ruthless propagation of non-fossil fuel-based sources for energy, no matter the costs or inconvenience, another seeks to mitigate fossil fuel outputs, such as carbon and methane, by circumventing or diverting production of these in the energy production process. Two such tools in pursuit of the latter are hydrogen and carbon capture and sequestration.

Hydrogen can be used as a method to carry another fuel or by itself, burning without natural carbon dioxide or methane release unless the process of its production – it rarely exists in nature purely, so otherwise it has to be detached from some other elements like from oxygen in water – causes this. CCS works around processing release by collecting it before atmospheric emission, in making hydrogen or straight combustion.


BC has chance to improve contracted services

New owner, but same old Manchac Consulting Group: shielded by its political allies on the Bossier City Council, it continues to enjoy privileged status and an ever-deeper reach into Bossier City taxpayers’ pocketbooks that an embattled Council majority bloc wants to impose without considering any other options.

The firm that has worked on Bossier City projects since 2010 and which took over public works through a formal public-private partnership agreement in 2016 a couple of months ago was bought out by Waggoner Engineering but remains as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Waggoner is based in Jackson, MS but for many years has had a Louisiana presence in Baton Rouge where Manchac is located. It and its original owner and founder Joe Waggoner and his affiliated companies have been active in donations to Louisiana politicians of both parties (although more often Democrats) for statewide, legislative, and local offices, but have concentrated local candidate giving in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

This may explain the more aggressive search for business Manchac recently has undertaken. As the merger was being negotiated, it offered its services to the Cypress Black Bayou Recreation and Water Conservation District, and appears actively to be searching for other opportunities.


Avoid gouging LA taxpayers, ratepayers over wind

Rather than driving Louisiana energy customer bills sky high, the new Legislature and incoming Republican Gov. Jeff Landry Administration need to cut off at the pass special interests and rent seekers.

Regarding accelerating use of offshore wind-generated power to meet arbitrary goals applauded by climate alarmists, both Democrat Pres. Joe Biden and Democrat Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards haven’t had a good few months. Biden wanted 30 gigawatts of power capacity nationally from wind by 2030, and Edwards shot for 5 GW by 2035. At present, U.S. capacity stands at 150 MW at one location off of Rhode Island.

The story goes that these installations provide lots of jobs to build and few costs to maintain, staying out of almost everybody’s way. To jag along this development, Biden had a then-Democrat-controlled Congress lard up almost $11 billion dedicated to offshore wind expansion and dangle various tax credits from 10 to 30 percent for those involved in production and support of offshore wind power generation. Some states, but not Louisiana, added their own incentives.


Election results strengthen Seabaugh influence

Early voting has started for the Nov. 18 runoff elections for state and local offices in Louisiana, but that doesn’t need resolution to declare the biggest winner in northwest Louisiana elections this cycle: Republican state Rep. Alan Seabaugh, who is emerging as the region’s kingmaker.

Who will become state senator for District 31 in a couple of months in a far-flung district anchored in southern Bossier and Caddo Parishes, which together will have the plurality of population, and extending south. For a region, that is one of the higher-profile elected offices to attain, but more impressively is the strength Seabaugh showed at gaining it.

Known as an unwavering limited government conservative, that and his take-no-prisoners style of advancing his policy objectives has created many enemies on the political left and among get-along-go-along Republicans in name only. They banded to find a popular non-politician malleable enough to carry their water in retired collegiate basketball coach Republican Mike McConathy. Not only had his time on the hardwood in Bossier and Natchitoches Parishes built up considerable positive name recognition, but his father had served as Bossier school superintendent.