As some readers know, I’ve been criticized here recently for “preaching to the choir” … not doing anything about local corruption.
Although inaccurate, I completely understand the frustration.
In fact, I can certainly attest, there are real reasons, far beyond mere politics, for the opposition to reform here.
Most notably, our place features unelected, if not unknown, “leaders” who hide an awful lot of what the rest of us need to know. Decades of local control of traditional media has been key.
Not unlike many other cities, our history is in many ways shocking, and certainly needs exposure … enough of it to make all of that old news. We move forward only by knowing and understanding it.
“Leaders” here continue to hide it, and some do so because its serves their purposes.
I recently learned, for example, that my friend Jim Leslie’s murder in 1976 was almost certainly financed by a prominent local businessman who was also an organized crime figure. He paid $60,000 – $275,000 in today’s dollars – for a team of five men to kill Jim in hopes of preserving Shreveport and Bossier City’s lucrative gambling, prostitution, murder-for-hire and more.
(For more history: http://realshreveport.com/the-murder-of-jim-leslie/)
In fact, the criminality at issue traced to New Orleans, but local “leaders” knew a lot about it … and kept it quiet, news media included.
How has such history been hidden so long?
In fact, while it took research at the U. S. National Archives to unearth much of it, important pieces are also in the Noel Memorial Library at LSU-Shreveport, and were for years in the records of the U. S. Middle District Court in Baton Rouge.
Why can we not, even yet, see the Caddo Parish Grand Jury record of important parts of that history? Why the leadership devotion to secrecy … in so many things?
That aversion to openness about our history speaks volumes about today. Such covering-up by local “leaders” and traditional news media has become one of Shreveport / Caddo’s most corrosive influences.
It is, therefore, powerfully true: the internet and social media are necessary to expose such history and other facts and truths.
Since the awfulness of the 1970s and earlier, is Shreveport more open, or the opposite?
How do we explain so much unmitigated public corruption?
… How did a small group of local “leaders” meet privately in a downtown office a few years ago and make the decision to keep our failing Caddo public schools under local rather than state Recovery School District control?
… How, some ten years ago, did a few such “leaders” succeed in directing law enforcers to let a top local official off when he was caught in a federal corruption sting?
… How could the Caddo Parish Commission openly ignore Louisiana law, our Constitution, and a statewide public vote (which passed two-to-one) and give its members taxpayer-funded retirement pay … the only place in Louisiana to do so? Why would local “leaders” deliberately oppose litigation which would have forced the return to taxpayers of the stolen money?
… How can the local man attached to so much Shreveport City Hall corruption since 2006 continue doing so?
… How did the General Motors Plant scandal not warrant a full and complete criminal investigation?
… How did ex-mayor Glover’s hijacking of the land for Hwy. 3132 to the Port not warrant a full and complete criminal investigation?
… Who brought Adrian Perkins here to be mayor, financing him and arranging to split the Republican vote just in case such might matter?
The list goes on and on, and the overarching question therefore posed details the work I have been doing for the past nine years.
As long as unelected “leaders” control our governmental machinery, and do so in secrecy, some of the rest of us had better oppose them … not one or two or three of us, either.
© 2019 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED