The suit alleges that the School Board illegally spent public money to promote the election.
(Bolded sections are verbatim from the suit.)
Article 11 Section 4 of the Louisiana Constitution says: “No public funds shall be used to urge any elector to vote for or against any candidate or proposition, or be appropriated to a candidate or political organization. The provision shall not prohibit the use of public funds for dissemination of factual information relative to a proposition appearing on an election ballot.”
The suit also points out that the State Attorney General has issued an opinion that public funds may not be used for mailings that urge the electorate to vote for a proposition.
“That the BPSB conducted many unlawful activities in the promotion of the subject tax renewal in its successful effort to have the tax approved by Bossier voters, including emails which should be considered to be ‘mailings’ urging the electorate to vote for the proposition.
The official website of the BPSB, along with the websites of most Bossier Parish schools, had a lead article ‘Grow with Us’. This column exhorted its readers to ‘Grow with us, Evolve with us, Invest in us’. The column urged readers to ‘pledge your support for Bossier Schools by not only voting yes on April 21, but by also helping us spread the word that this referendum is critical.
That the BPSB purchased billboard/LED boards with the message ‘Grow with us, Evolve with us, Invest in us. Pledge your support for Bossier Schools by voting yes on April 21st. ‘”
“That, as set forth above, it is obvious that the BPSB utilized public funds and public resources in numerous ways to unlawfully promote the passage of the ‘tax renewal’ and the bond election, including but not limited to the following:
1. Expenditure of public funds for billboards.
2. Expenditure of public funds for tee shirts promoting election.
3. Utilization of BPSB employees to send emails to parents regarding bond and tax election through ‘school loops.’
4. Utilization of BPSB employees to promote the election by urging (if not requiring) that they vote and solicit votes from friends, families and organizations.
5. Utilization of BPSB websites, which are paid for and maintained with public funds, to promote the bond and tax election.
6. Advising the public through the media as well as emails and mailings, that passages and the ‘tax renewal’ would not be new taxes.
That the actions of the BPSB in the utilization of public funds, public resources, and publicly paid employees to promote the election constitutes election irregularities, fraud and/or unlawful activities in the conduct of the election.”
I will keep you posted as to when hearing dates are set or if new documents are filed.