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How Corrupt Are We?

Here we go again. Louisiana is the nation’s most corrupt state, according to a study by the news website Business Insider.

The study, using data from the U.S. Department of Justice, found that between 2002 and 2011, Louisiana convicted 403 government officials of crimes “involving abuses of the public trust.”

While other states had more convictions, the study calculated its rankings based upon population. In other words, the number of convictions per 100,000 people. The Pelican State came in with 8.76 convictions, the highest in the country.

Business Insider found that Florida had the most convictions, 618, but according to population, that came out to only 3.28 convictions per 100,000 people.

The Top 10 most corrupt states based upon convictions per 100,000 people are: Louisiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kentucky, Alaska, Montana, Mississippi, Alabama, New Jersey, and Virginia.

The Top 10 most honest are states are: South Carolina, Oregon, Washington, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah, Nevada, Kansas, Idaho, and Nebraska.


Is Cassidy ‘dithering’?

lou Burnett

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rob Maness seems to be running against his fellow GOP candidate, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, rather than the Democratic incumbent, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.

The problem with that is there is no longer party primaries for federal elections. All candidates of different political parties run in an open primary with the top two finishers moving on to the runoff.

Maness, who is proving to be a menace for Cassidy, has already captured the endorsements of Tea Party organizations and other

conservative groups. He continues to charge that Cassidy is not conservative enough to defeat Landrieu, who is seeking a fourth six-year term.

Now, Maness is complaining that Cassidy is “nowhere to be found” in the debate over whether the U.S. should take military action against Syria for using chemical weapons.

Maness, a retired Air Force colonel, said in a press release, “Does he (Cassidy) favor striking Syria for its use of chemical weapons against its own citizens or not?”

Cassidy got the attention of Maness when the congressman said at a meeting in Terrebonne Parish that he doesn’t know where he stands on Syria and won’t until “I get to the bottom of the issue.”

Maness said that, because of his military background, he “understands security issues, war, and the need to project a strong image around the world.”

“We already have a senator who dithers on major issues, tries to be all things to all people and seems not to embrace a single principle Louisianians would recognize,” Maness said.

Perhaps the Maness strategy is to run against Cassidy in the primary with the hopes of making the runoff as Landrieu’s GOP opponent.


Judicial juggling

There has been a highly unusual number of Caddo judges who have or will retire or who have moved up or want to move up the judicial ladder in recent months.

Add District Judge Leon Emanuel to the list. He announced that he is retiring after21 years on the bench on December 31, 2013, a year before his six-year term expires.

His intention to retire was revealed in an article in the September 5 issue of the Shreveport Sun. It is not yet known whether a special election will be held to fill his seat on the bench.

Here is some history of the judicial juggling taking place:

*2nd Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Charles Peatross retired. District Court Judge Jeanette Garrett, without opposition, won the election and has taken his place.

*2nd Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Gay Gaskins retired. District Court Judge Frances Pitman won that spot on the bench, defeating Juvenile Court Judge David Matlock.

*Pitman’s District Court position has been filled by Katherine Dorroh, who won the special election without opposition.

*Garrett’s District Court position will be filled by an election on October 19, 2013, between Assistant District Attorney Brady O’Callaghan and Shreveport attorney Mike Miller.

*District Court Judge Scott Crichton is running for the state Supreme Court, and that will create another vacancy. His term on the District Court expires at the end of 2014. He has to give up his District Court seat to run for the Louisiana Supreme Court.

*Judge Leon Emanuel is retiring, creating yet another vacancy on the Caddo District Court.

*Shreveport City Court Chief Judge Bill Kelly is retiring. His term ends in 2014, creating a vacancy there.

There will be one of more retirements taking place on the 26th Judicial District Court, which includes Bossier and Webster parishes. We will take a look at that situation in a future issue.

All District Court and City Court judges are up for re-election in 2014. There will definitely be more movement with open judicial seats continuing to occur.


Political tidbits

*Sheriff Prator to Speak – Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator will be the guest speaker today (Tuesday, Sept. 10) at the membership meeting of the North Shreveport Business Assocation.

Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. at the NWLTC-Shreveport Campus, 2010 North Market Street, Building E Auditorium, Shreveport. The program starts at noon.

Reservations are required. For more information e-mail info@ShreveportNorth.org or call 677-4397.

*Free Legal Clinic – The Shreveport NAACP and the Shreveport/Bossier Black Lawyers is hosting a free legal clinic on Friday, September 20.

The event is from 10 a.m. until noon at the Clarion Hotel, 1419 70th Street, Shreveport. It is open to the public.

For more information, contact Lloyd Thompson at 318-828-1905.

*Media Lunch Bunch – The Media Lunch Bunch holds its weekly get-togethers every Tuesday at noon at Ralph & Kacoo’s in Bossier City.

Candidates and potential candidates for elected office are welcome. No invitation is necessary.


Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.

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