The West Monroe-based reality show “Duck Dynasty” was flying high in the ratings until one of it’s stars, Phil Robertson, made derogatory comments about gays and African-Americans in a recent magazine article.
It’s Season 5 premiere show drew 8.5 million viewers, far below the 12 million who tuned in for the premiere in Season 4. The second episode of Season 5 had only 6.7 million viewers and a disappointing 2.9 rating among the coveted 18-49 demographic group.
The uproar over Robertson’s comments prompted the A&E Network to suspend him, however the network reinstated him after a backlash from conservative viewers.
Are the Robertsons worried about the big drop in ratings? Likely not. Their lucrative deal with Walmart is still in place, along with many other retail outlets. Forbes Magazine estimates their net worth at $400 million.
But as Variety pointed out, if the ratings continue to plummet, the “Duck’s goose could be cooked.”
More clutter for Cassidy
He is supposed to be the chosen one by the national and state Republican Party to oppose incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu this fall.
But fellow Republicans keep casting stones at what has now become Cassidy’s glass house. He already has two opponents from his own party – retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness and state Rep. Paul Hollis.
Now comes a huge stone being tossed by Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian think tank and lobbying organization.
He told The Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C. that Cassidy cannot win against Landrieu because he is not conservative enough.
Perkins didn’t stop there. He hurled a couple of more stones, obviously aimed at Maness and Hollis. When asked if a stronger candidate had emerged in the race, he said, “not that has come to the forefront yet.”
Though he said he is not currently looking at jumping into the U.S. Senate race, it did not rule it out, but admitted it is getting late and Cassidy has the money.
Obviously, Perkins has an itch to get back into elected office. He was a state representative from 1996-2004. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2002 in a nine-candidate field and finished fourth with 10% of the vote. Landrieu defeated Republican Suzanne Haik Terrell in the runoff.
Shootout for City Marshal
The election for Shreveport City Marshal usually does not draw a lot of attention. Perhaps that’s because most people don’t know what a city marshal actually does, and it is way down on a lengthy ballot.
But the election for Shreveport City Marshal in 2014 will likely be a whole different story even though the incumbent is seeking a second six-year term.
The incumbent is Charlie Caldwell, an African-American who won the seat in 2008 by defeating former Shreveport Interim Police Chief Mike VanSant, who is white, by a 53-47% margin.
However, Caldwell’s term and road to re-election has been filled with political potholes. We won’t recount them all here since we have reported on them before, but the latest came last week in an investigative report by news anchor Gerry May of KTBS-TV.
It seems Caldwell has a shiny Camaro, which he keeps under wraps and uses only for parades. It was purchased with tax dollars for $25,421 in 2011. You can get the full story by going to the station’s website, ktbs.com.
It is not surprising, therefore, that Caldwell has drawn opposition – three opponents and counting at this point. They are:
*Joey Hester – He is white and the father of former LSU and NFL football star Jacob Hester. A former deputy city marshal, Caldwell fired Hester over policy disagreements, even though Caldwell said it was because of “budgetary concerns.”
*Don “D.D.” Otis – He is black and is a retired Shreveport Police Department lieutenant. Otis has already clashed with Caldwell when Carl Richard, a deputy city marshal, questioned some black citizens who had Otis signs in their yards. Otis called it “voter intimidation” by Caldwell.
*A.J. Johnson – We have not seen any public revelation from him, but sources say he was a deputy city marshal and Caldwell’s driver. The story is yet to come out why he no longer has that position and why he is running against his former boss.
But wait. There is another potential surprise candidate out there who may run for city marshal, but does not want to go public just yet. He would be a viable entry into the race. There may be other candidates emerging when qualifying rolls around.
Qualifying is not until August 20-22, and the primary election will be on November 8.
So, as one can see, the city marshal’s race will be spirited, a.k.a. nasty, and not for the faint of heart. To be sure, it will be one of the more interesting races to watch this fall.
In case you are wondering what the duties of the city marshal’s office are, here is what it says on the official website:
“The City Marshal has the power of a sheriff in executing the Court’s orders and mandates. The City Marshal is the executive officer of the City Court. Fines owed to the City Court are collected by the City Marshal’s office and disbursed to various agencies according to law. The Marshal determines the level of personnel and requests those resources necessary from the City of Shreveport.”
‘Hey, I’m running’
In our piece in last week’s issue entitled, “Waiting on Hightower,” we said that his decision is “anxiously awaited by those indicating they will run for mayor.”
Well, one of the names mentioned was quick to respond. State Rep. Patrick Williams sent an e-mail basically saying that he is not waiting on anyone and that he has already officially and publicly announced his candidacy.
That, he has. It took place on January 4 before a packed house at the Joseph E. Martin Fellowship Hall at Lake Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Willaims, 50, has represented House District 4 since 2007 – the district previously represented by Mayor Cedric Glover – and is serving his second term. Prior to that, he served on the Caddo Parish Commission.
He is an architectural consultant who has also worked in the recording field, holding an MBA and working on a Ph.D.
In his announcement, Williams said, “We’re going to make economic development a top priority, not just talk about it.”
His other priorities are reducing crime, revitalizing neighborhoods, improving education, and bringing younger leadership into the political process.
Local politicos have already dubbed Williams the frontrunner among the list of other potential candidates who are considering a run for the city’s top job.
Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.