Well, the runoff elections are over in the state of Louisiana. It was a rather ugly campaign season statewide. As has been the usual case for the last several years, the recent campaigns exposed us all to a tremendous amount of mudslinging and downright negative campaigning.

As I mentioned in one of my editorial columns a few weeks ago, I can not stand these types of campaign tactics. Again, I think there is way too much of this type of campaigning taking place these days in the entire election process, not only within our state of Louisiana, but all across America. As such, in my opinion, these tactics are keeping many qualified individuals from deciding to be a part of the political process that has long made this nation what it is. What a shame! I am afraid that we are almost at the point to where keeping these qualified individuals from entering the political fray is catching up with us.

Truthfully, I don’t think anyone can blame people for not wanting to have every possible skeleton that either may (or may not) be in their respective closet(s) dug up and exposed to the masses.

Randy Brown, Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune.
Randy Brown, Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune.

True, the public has a right to know, of course…especially when someone is considering serving the public, at the taxpayer’s expense and in a position of responsibility for being both wise and frugal in terms of spending the taxpayer’s money.

However, things have gone way too far. We are almost to the point of nothing but negative campaigning. In the onslaught of politically based ads that we have been inundated with these last few months, very few candidates even talk about the political issues surrounding the particular position they are seeking, what they can bring to the office or the positive attributes of their own character. Instead, most candidates these days seem to focus on nothing but all out character assassinations on the candidates they are running against. In short, how nice would it be for these types of campaign tactics to begin to decline in future elections? It has reached the point to where (as I have been hearing for a few days now) the voting public can’t wait for election season to end so that all of the political mudslinging and negativity can disappear from their daily routines, albeit temporarily (until the next election cycle occurs). Also, I have heard much talk in recent days concerning the speculation of possible voter manipulation/fraud and vote buying in

political races all across our state during this most recent statewide election cycle. This has become way too common place not only within Louisiana, but all across America. This too must stop. We all must realize that this type of thing defeats the entire purpose of what America and our political system is all about. Bought or fraudulently manipulated representation is not the type of representation that our constitution guarantees us as American citizens. And quite frankly, this type of thing makes me very angry and absolutely sick to my stomach.

As I mentioned above, the runoff elections are now over. Whether or not the candidates you supported won their respective races, it is now time for us all to work together in support of those who did win. Our state is facing a critical time. Louisiana is at a crossroads and faces some monumental problems that have to be solved (and soon) in order to move our state forward. We have a new governor along with many new and returning legislators who will go into a grueling and painful special legislative session just as soon as they are sworn in early in January of 2016. Our state faces a projected budget shortfall of more than one billion dollars. And as a very close and politically experienced friend of mine so often says, it ain’t gonna be fun…and it a’int for the “weak-at-heart!” Please, lets all put our political differences and personal feelings aside and work together to move our state forward.

Finally, I would like to applaud Bossier/Caddo voters for approving the hotel-motel occupancy proposition that was on the November 21st ballot in Caddo and Bossier parishes. The proposition passed by an overall margin of 72.5% to 27.5%. This proposition will enact an additional 1.5% occupancy tax on hotel/motel rooms rented in Bossier and Caddo parishes. This additional occupancy tax equates to approximately $1.10 per night for the average hotel/motel room. The proposition will go into effect on December 1, 2015 and last for 12 years. The benefits that will result from this proposition were heavily editorialized on BPT’s Opinion Page over the last several weeks. The benefits are huge and our area will soon begin to experience better air service, more frequent large sporting events and the survival of our historical annual Independence Bowl football game.

Randy Brown is Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He can be reached at rbrown@bossierpress.com