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BC establishment ready to chuck new charter

Months of work on potential Bossier City Charter changes circle the drain, an apparent victim of a feature, not a bug, of the process shaped by City Council graybeards and their allies.

This week, the city’s Charter Review Commission attempted to meet for one last time to complete votes for changes and to pass an enabling motion sending the whole package to the Council. That officially would compel the Council to place the changes, shaped as a replacement (despite the questionable legality of that) of the document, on the Dec. 7 ballot.

At its previous meeting, taking advantage of a couple of absences among the five appointees of city councilors against term limits – Republicans David Montgomery, Jeff Free, and Vince Maggio, Democrat Bubba Williams, and no party Jeff Darby, the only votes originally in favor of establishing the Commission – the four other appointees added into the package of consensus and voted-upon approvals a retroactive three-term limit for the mayor and councilors. With eventual voter approval, all but Maggio would be ineligible to run in next year’s city elections as a result.


Landry Regents picks, agenda to shape policy

While conservatives aren’t wrong in expressing concern over some of Republican Gov. Jeff Landry’s appointments to the Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors, understand that in policy terms that it does little injury to their cause.

Last week, after a June meeting where several just-expired appointees served, Landry made his picks to replace them. Some weren’t and rewarded with new terms, while other new picks were promising. However, three irked observers on the political right because these new supervisors, especially in one case, hadn’t been their allies if one having been an outright opponent.

The choices of Jimmy Woods and Rémy Starns appeared to be forms of political payback. Holdovers, Woods is an ally of Landry non-enemy Democrat state Sen. Cleo Fields, who fronts the most extensive network of black Democrat party activists in the state and who stayed largely out of the governor’s race last year despite Landry facing his main opposition from a black Democrat, while Starns is the state public defender who went to bat for Landry’s reforms of the soon-to-be-renamed-to Office of the State Public Defender, but who otherwise has stumped for Democrats.


BC term limits subject to last ditch power play

The empire will try to strike back at the upcoming Bossier City Charter Review Commission meeting, aided by questionable collusion, but potentially failing to bear fruit depending upon who shows up and perhaps what courts of law may have to say in the future.

Of course, the issue in question is term limits, which at its last meeting were voted in favor to forward for citizen approval as part of the entire package, three terms and retroactive in nature starting at the end of this year in advance of next year’s city elections. It passed 4-3 with two absences, one of whom by past rhetoric seemed likely to vote against it.

The Commission generally has been debating changes, classifying them as consensus or not, with the intent of bringing the latter to a vote at this, the final meeting. But at the previous one, term limits was moved and approved already, to the chagrin of the political establishment whose membership comprises the four city councilors – Republicans David Montgomery and Jeff Free, Democrat Bubba Williams, and no party Jeff Darby – who could not run for reelection with these limits in place, plus rookie GOP Councilor Vince Maggio. Lights began burning late at night at City Hall to come up with a countermove to prevent the measure from going to a vote of the people, utilizing the appointees of these five who make for a majority of the Commission.


Graves political exit not likely to last long

The announcement by Republican Rep. Garret Graves that he will not seek reelection might constitute a short-term setback for him, but leaves him other valuable opportunities in the future.

Graves faced an uphill battle to preserve the seat he has in the Sixth District. It was redrawn dramatically earlier this year to create two majority-minority districts in response to a Middle District federal court decision that declared the 2022 map that had kept the Sixth little changed as one of five out of six non-M/M districts likely violated the Voting Rights Act – into a form that a Western District special court panel recently declared was unconstitutional.

But that district and map on which it is part will stand for fall elections, as the U.S. Supreme Court enjoined throwing it out for now on the basis that the impending election created too little time to administer voting properly if suddenly changing the map. That transformed Graves’ district into a majority-minority district almost all of which he never has represented and which would favor a black Democrat, one of the prominent of which, state Sen. Cleo Fields, already has started campaigning to represent it.