Attorney files lawsuit over bond issue, records request
A lawsuit was filed Monday against the Bossier Parish School Board (BPSB) related to issues involving the recent passage on April 21 of a $210 million bond issue, the funds of which are to be used to construct new schools and renovate existing ones.
Bossier Attorney John Settle alleges that a public records request to Superintendent of Schools D.C. Machen for information leading up to the passage of the bond issue has not been fulfilled. He is asking for:
*Contact information for all bond attorneys BPSB/employees have consulted in re bond issue;
*Copies of all correspondence (letters, e-mails) to and from bond attorneys;
*All communications (e-mails and texts) to and from BPSB/employees to Clarence Babineaux in re bond issue (construction, etc.);
*All communications (e-mails and texts) from BPSB/employees to other BPSB employees in re bond proposal/tax propositions;
*All press releases in re bond proposal/tax prepositions.
In the lawsuit, filed in 25th Judicial District Court, Settle says that Machen was asked for the above requested information on April 27, however, to date, it has not been provided.
A hearing is scheduled for May 24 before Judge Parker Self.
Put down that cellphone!
The state House of Representatives has passed a bill by a 59-29 vote that would make it illegal to drive while using a handheld cellphone.
The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar House-passed bills have died in the past. Let’s hope the Senate, this time, goes along with this much-needed legislation.
All of us have been behind erratic drivers who are either on their cellphone and/or texting. They weave from lane-to-lane, drive slower than the speed limit, and run red lights and stop signs.
A sticking point with the Senate could be the provision in the House bill that would make violations a primary offense, which means drivers could be stopped for using a handheld device.
The Senate seems inclined to going with making it a secondary offense, which means a violator could only be cited if stopped for another offense.
Hopefully, the House will prevail and the Senate will pass the legislation. Our lives could depend upon it. Ten states have laws already on the books which ban handheld cellphones for car and truck drivers.
Voting for the House bill to ban handheld cellphones while driving were Reps. Roy Burrell, Henry Burns, Thomas Carmody, Kenny Cox, Jim Morris, Gene Reynolds, and Patrick Williams.
Voting against the bill were Reps. Ritchie Burford, Alan Seabaugh, and Jeff Thompson. Barbara Norton was absent and did not vote.
Roemer’s still running
Former Louisiana Governor and 4th District U.S. Rep. Buddy Roemer, a Bossier City native, is still running for president, according to a recent e-mail sent out by his campaign staff.
Roemer, who got a cold shoulder from Republicans when he was running in the preferential primaries, switched to independent and is pursuing the nomination through Americans Elect, an online campaign organization., as well as through the Reform Party.
Currently, Roemer has (at press deadline) 4,709 votes on the Americans Elect website, compared with 8,935 for Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
Roemer’s campaign is asking supporters to go to the website, Americanselect.org, and vote for him. It notes that Roemer is polling at 7% nationally, but did not cite the poll.
Roemer’s campaign spokesman pointed out that if Roemer reaches 15% in a national poll, he will be included in the national debates with Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.
Roemer has been traveling around the country, concentrating mostly on college campuses where his message of ending business-as-usual in Washington, D.C. and implementing real reform strikes a favorable chord with young voters.
Campbell gears up
Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell of Bossier City is gearing up for his re-election bid, which will be in 2014. He is seeking a third, six-year term.
The outspoken Campbell, who is currently serving as chairman of the five-member Public Service Commission, represents the Fifth District, which includes 24 parishes across north Louisiana from the Texas to the Mississippi border.
He is having a fundraiser on Monday, May 14, from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m., at Ernest’s Orleans Restaurant in Shreveport. Tickets are $500 per couple.
RSVP by phone to 888-265-2078 or by e-mail to
Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.