Thursday, September 24, 2015

One more shot at the race for Clerk of Court

I pulled most of this from my first blog post about the Clerk’s race back in April. Even after all of the back and forth in the comments, so bad at times that I had to take down a blog post to stop it, these are still the basic facts of the race.
Your comments are welcome, but as badly as I hate to do it, they will be moderated and must have my approval before they go up on the blog. It’s a shame, but I won’t allow it to turn into pandemonium in the henhouse. Please keep your comments on point – you all know the rules. If you believe that anything I have stated is not factual, by all means call me out.

Today I want to talk about the race for Bossier Parish Clerk of Court. A lot of people are a little unclear as to the duties of the Clerk of Court and they are manifold. This is one office that will definitely affect you if you live in Bossier Parish.
Do you vote? The Clerk of Court is the chief election official for the Parish. The Clerk is responsible for making sure those precincts are staffed and equipped, that they operate as prescribed by law for the hours prescribed. The clerk also tallies the totals to report to the Secretary of State.
Own property? Your deed and mortgage are recorded with the Clerk. The office has all property records from the inception of the parish in 1843, so the Clerk is also an archivist.
Getting married? Guess who issues your marriage license.
Getting Divorced? Guess where you file that lawsuit.
Need a Protective Order to deal with an abusive household member? You go to the Clerk of Court to get it in motion.
Criminal cases, ditto. Staffing each Civil and Criminal Courtroom and issuing subpoenas? The Clerk’s office.
Been summoned to serve on a jury? That too.
This year the candidates are Jill Sessions, an eight year veteran of the office, and Monica Hudson, who served in the office for about that length of time under Wilna Mabry.
In the past, this was a hand-me-down office. Since the 1930’s, in fact, the person elected had experience in that office.
Wilna Mabry was Chief Deputy to Mrs. Broussard, who was elected after her husband, the Clerk, passed away. By the time Miss Mabry ran for Clerk, she had decades of experience and had served for years as Chief Deputy.
Joan Carraway succeeded Wilna Mabry. Mrs. Carraway had decades of experience and had served for years as Chief Deputy.
Cindy Johnston, our current Clerk, ditto. Decades of experience in the office and years as Chief Deputy.
This is where the chain ends.
The current Chief Deputy, Jill Sessions, was just appointed in February at the time that Mrs. Johnston announced her retirement. She only has 8 years with the office, and has served in limited capacities, so it is not the level of experience that people have expected in the past.
Monica Hudson, who currently works for DA Schuyler Marvin as a victim’s rights advocate, also has almost 8 years experience with the Clerk of Court’s office, albeit in the past.

The experience that counts comes from the 35 deputy clerks who work in the office. For the most part, they are capable and some have the decades of experience that really does matter. These are the people who will make a new Clerk, whomever is chosen, a success.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Race for State Senate 36th District

Robert Adley is being term-limited out of the State Senate, leaving the seat open. There are three contenders, and in my opinion all are top quality. Burns comes closest to being an incumbent in this race with all of the blessings and burdens that go along with that. My opinion is that it won't make a difference.
Gatti is running a very aggressive campaign and seems to be very well funded. Hollenshead is also campaigning actively. Frankly, I'm undecided in this one, they all have points that I like. Click on their names to go to their websites.

Henry Burns has been serving as Representative for the 9th District and was the first to announce for the seat. Burns, a retired Army Officer, is a former owner/operator of The Wooden Spoon Bakery for 22 years. He is also an independent oil & gas operator and raises thoroughbreds.
“My sole purpose has been to serve you and encourage you...on the frontline everyday. We share the same concerns of taxes, highways, ethical government, economic development, and education.”
Burns could have run for another term in the State House, but chose to seek the Senate Seat instead.

Ryan Gatti is a Bossier City attorney who is seeking his first political office.
For the last 15 years, Ryan Gatti has served Northwest Louisiana as a Bossier based attorney and small business owner. He has helped countless families going through their toughest times, including families dealing with situations resulting in traumatic brain injuries. He served as President of the Bossier Bar Association and in 2013, he was selected to receive a Crystal Gavel Award for his commendable efforts in aiding the administration of justice by gathering and reviewing a significant number of cases on behalf of the 26th Judicial District Court. Ryan also sat as District 1W Judge in Shreveport from 2007-2009, presiding over Workers’ Compensation trials.
A lifelong conservative, Ryan is the Vice President of the Republican Party of Bossier Parish.  An active member of First Baptist Church of Bossier, he is both a deacon and teacher for kids and youth.
Todd Hollenshead is a businessman and farmer and like Gatti is seeking his first political office. Hollenshead is concerned about the state’s $700 million annual budget deficit, the rising cost of college tuition, industry leaving the state, and the struggles facing Louisiana-based small businesses. He is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and supports gun rights.
“I believe our state needs new direction. We need leaders who will work hard for Louisiana and not be tied to the lobbyists and out-of-state special interests. I will listen to the concerns of our small-business owners, working families and the middle class and get to work for them.”

If you are a candidate for office and would like to address the voters with your platform for office, please send a few paragraphs to and we will publish it.  Attach a picture if you like and we’ll include it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

To the Candidates

This isn’t addressed to any one candidate, but to all, especially those running for a legislative seat.
Dear Candidate:
Louisiana is faced with a lot of problems, and nearly all of them are budget related. I’m glad that you are pro family values – so am I. I value my family and want them to be good productive citizens. My family values are based on my upbringing and from raising two children. Now I have grandchildren and great-grandchildren and I value them very much. I didn’t get any part of my belief in family values from a politician. You worry about the budget and get Louisiana on a sustainable course. We’ll handle the family values.
I know politicians love the 2nd amendment to the constitution. It’s great that you support it, but that is hardly a brave stand in Louisiana, where everyone and their grandmothers own guns. There is absolutely no chance that a Louisiana Legislature will pass, nor a Louisiana governor sign, any bill that limits gun rights. In fact, quite the opposite is true. So while we are glad that you support the 2nd amendment, don’t worry. Spend your time worrying about the budget and how you would rectify the funding problems that we face.
So far as loving constitutional amendments goes, some of you don’t seem too fond of the 14th amendment. The Supreme Court recently made a ruling using the equal protection clause of that amendment which has stirred up a lot of controversy. Alas, neither you nor a clerk of court from Kentucky can overrule the Supreme Court. I know that some of you have tried to turn this into a religious freedom argument, but it simply isn’t. If the lady in Kentucky can’t uphold her oath and do her job, she is free to get a job where she doesn’t have to do that. And she is free to believe and worship as she pleases; she doesn’t have the right as a public official to impose her beliefs on others. Neither do you. Don’t waste our time with this, concentrate on the budget.
While you are at it, how about sharing your ideas for solving the recurring budget crisis. There aren’t any more cans to kick down the road. The legislature has begged, borrowed and stolen from every available fund to fill the gaps in the budget for the last several years. There are no more left to plunder. Tell us what your ideas are to solve the problem on a long term basis.

Leave the family values and such to us.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bobby Edmiston for Tax Assessor

I said that I might be making an endorsement, so consider this the first one.
Bobby Edmiston is a lifelong resident of Bossier Parish and a graduate of Airline High School. He has a BA from Louisiana Tech University. Bobby has been Bossier’s Tax Assessor since 1998.
I like Bobby, he does a good job running the Assessor’s office. He has also served his country in the National Guard for years, and was deployed in 2010. He’s a nice guy.
Let’s remove the elephant in the room before we proceed. Bobby got a DWI ticket earlier this year. If guilty, he used terrible judgment in driving while he was drinking. At worst, he could be described as an occasional social drinker. The case hasn’t gone to trial yet, and he has the capable counsel of H. Lyn Lawrence, Jr. If he is found guilty, he will be sentenced. For a 1st DWI that would likely be a fairly hefty fine and some probation, and he would serve it. He was not serving in an official capacity at the time of the alleged offense.
In summary, he has served for the last 17 years and discharged his duties well. He also discharged his duties to our country in honorable fashion.

He wants to keep his job. I believe that he should. I have no reservations in urging your support of Bobby Edmiston for another term as Bossier Parish Tax Assessor.
If you are a candidate for office and would like to address the voters with your platform for office, please send a few paragraphs to and we will publish it.  Attach a picture if you like and we’ll include it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Qualifying: Day One

UPDATE: Day 3 - Not sure if complete, will double check tomorrow. Today Charles Gray filed for Police Jury District 9, and Patsy Maggio filed for Tax Assessor.
UPDATE: Ryan Gatti and Todd Hollenshead were the only two notices filed on Wednesday. Both are running for the Senate District 36 seat.

The following candidates qualified at the Bossier Parish Clerk of Court's office for the October 24th primary election. I will update for the next two days. Then we'll get into discussions. Then the fun begins.

State Senate District 36:

  • Henry Burns
  • Ryan Gatti
  • Todd Hollenshead

State Representative District 8:

  • Mike Johnson

State Representative District 9:

  • Dodie Horton
  • Michael McHalffey


  • John Chandler

Tax Assessor:

  • Bobby Edmiston
  • Patsy Maggio


  • Julian Whittington

Clerk of Court:

  • Monica Hudson
  • Jill Sessions

District 1:

  • Robert Brotherton

District 2:

  • Glenn Benton

District 3:

  • Wanda Bennett

District 4:

  • Douglas Cook
  • Johnnie Jorden

District 5:

  • Barry Butler
  • Jack Skaggs

District 6:

  • Rickey Avery

District 7:

  • James Cochran

District 8:

  • Douglas Rimmer

District 9: 

  • Fred M Shewmake Jr
  • Charles Gray

District 10:

  • Jerome Darby

District 11:

  • William Hammack

District 12:

  • Paul Plummer

If you are a candidate for office and would like to address the voters with your platform for office, please send a few paragraphs to and we will publish it.  Attach a picture if you like and we’ll include it.

Benjamin Arnold Enters District 10 Caddo Parish Commissioners Race

Benjamin Arnold, Shreveport business owner, is entering the race for Caddo Parish Commission District 10.
 “My roots remain in Caddo Parish,” stated Arnold. “The blood of the parish that shaped me runs through my veins. It’s time we took it to heart.”
 Arnold is a hardworker that has a passion for clear mindedness, strong leadership and common sense decisions. “The leadership in our parish and district wasn’t strong and wasn’t meeting the real needs of its community members,” stated Arnold. “I want leadership that is reflective of its constituents.”
 Arnold has a plan – a plan to execute and follow through until the end to assure the job is complete. Several of his strategies include:
     Promote the increase of police patrolling neighborhoods to ensure the safety of residents
     Identify areas in which to increase intermodal transportation and improve neglected roads
     Promote a more advanced education system to prepare students for career training and job placement
     Support entrepreneurs and small business owners who are interested in building sustainable businesses that keep young people home and attract others within the region
     Ensure that measures are taken to establish a transparent and open government that is accountable to its citizens
 He is a lifetime resident of southwest Shreveport, father of three children, independent business owner, served six years in the United States Military and truly loves his community.
 “It’s time someone stepped up to the plate to give to our community what is best, what is sensible and what is right. This is our pride, our passion and our community. It’s time our beliefs matched our reality.”
 Be sure to register and vote for the change District 10 needs this coming election. For more information about Benjamin Arnold, visit 
If you are a candidate for office and would like to address the voters with your platform for office, please send a few paragraphs to and we will publish it.  Attach a picture if you like and we’ll include it.