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Please don’t forget our April fundraiser, now headed into the home stretch.

I don’t accept advertising because I don’t want to be beholden to anyone who might happen to be an advertiser and fall under my radar. The exception is Cavalier House Books of Denham Springs. Cavalier House has a free ad because the owner, John Cavalier, built this web page for me. Of course, there are those pesky pop-up ads over which I have no control and from which I derive no benefits.

I don’t charge a subscription fee because I want LouisianaVoice to be available to everyone. That alone has cost me considerable revenue. But I’d rather give up a little income than deprive someone who cannot afford a subscription fee the right to read my posts.

The only other revenue source is the generosity of those who (a) believe in and support what LouisianaVoice is attempting to accomplish and (b) can afford to provide some financial support toward those efforts.

I have no axe to grind with any public official—Republican or Democrat—unless that official is abusing his position by profiting, showing favoritism, or otherwise bending the rules so to effect an uneven playing field for the rest of us.

I believe in public service being just that: a service to benefit the public, not some bureaucrat or political fat cat who has grown a little too comfortable in his position.

If you believe in the same standards of government, please do what you can on behalf of our efforts. Click on the yellow DONATE button to the immediate right or mail your check to:

LouisianaVoice

P.O. Box 922

Denham Springs, Louisiana 70727

Thank you,

Tom Aswell

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LouisianaVoice makes an effort to give a voice to the people who go about their lives every day trying to pay bills, educate their kids, make their lives a little better and plan for retirement honestly and without taking advantage of others.

It is you who have made this a great country, not the politicians, the bankers, the oil and pharmaceutical companies. My job at LouisianaVoice is to keep that message in front of those who think their money and power gives them the right to decide our lives.

My heroes are not the ones who make movies, throw touchdown passes, or scream political slogans—from either side of the aisle. My heroes are teachers, honest cops who have compassion, Doctors Without Borders, those who fight for the rights of women, minorities and anyone else who is discriminated against or taken advantage of by those in position to do so just because they can. No one has the right to attack another’s dignity or self-worth.

None of you will agree with everything I write. We’re human and we’re not going to agree all the time. But one donor said he nevertheless supported what I am doing. That is the spirit with which I hope my readers will always approach LouisianaVoice just as I defend every reader’s right to disagree with me.

If you agree with what I try to accomplish—informing readers about our elected and appointed officials who try to use their offices to further their own interests—please do what you can to help us during our April fundraiser.

I come to you, hat in hand, twice a year—April and October. Your assistance helps me pursue public records, ward off the occasional lawsuit filed to shut me up (I’ve won two of those and lost none, but it costs money to do so), pay for gasoline and vehicle maintenance for those road trips that have become more regular as I have expanded my coverage throughout the state.

Anything you can afford is appreciated more than you know—no matter how large or small. Please help by clicking on the yellow DONATE button to the right or send your check to:

LouisianaVoice

P.O. Box 922

Denham Springs, Louisiana 70727

Thank you.

Tom Aswell

 

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Folks, if you believe in what LouisianaVoice is trying to do, please don’t forget our April fundraiser.

It’s imperative that an effective electorate be an informed electorate and that’s where we come in. LouisianaVoice does not track policy-making to a great extent because I’m a one-person operation and to try and monitor every committee meeting, every Senate and House debate and floor vote is simply impossible.

But what I do is to peel back the veneer and look beyond what elected and appointed officials say to see what they actually do. After all, it’s one thing to sit back and pay lip service to equal pay for women, equal justice for all, clean, honest government, and all the wonderful things we were taught about democracy in civics class. It’s quite another to see how those theories are put into practice.

 

My job is to see how equal treatment for all is disregarded in favor of personal enrichment of our so-called public servants. An individual should never go into public service as a means of increasing his or her own wealth, position and power. After all, the very term public service implies–or should imply–just that: service.

Unfortunately, we have legislators who, instead of listening to their constituents, turn instead to lobbyists for special interests who pour money into their campaigns for advice and direction on important issues. And their interests far too often run counter to ours and taxpayers—women, minorities, teachers, and environmentalists, to name but a few—end up holding the short end of the stick.

Regulators favor big oil, big banks, big pharma, and big everything else with big tax breaks that have to be made up by the middle class. College students end up with back-breaking tuition costs because the legislature has failed to adequately fund higher education. TOPS, intended to ease the burden for families with college-bound kids has instead become a financial windfall for speculators throwing up student housing around college campuses.

LouisianaVoice revealed the abuses of state regulatory boards like the Board of Dentistry and the Louisiana State Medical Licensing Board. It was here that you read about a dentist who tried to reveal the problems with dental implants that ended up costing the state millions of dollars. But the dentist who tried to warn his bosses had his career ruined by those trying to protect their investment. There is no real protection for whistleblowers.

As evidence by the two stories beneath this plea for contributions—and by earlier stories about the Louisiana State Police (LSP)—law enforcement has been allowed to go unchecked. Abuses have abounded in local sheriffs’ departments across the state and the previous administration at LSP was reappointed by the governor despite ample evidence of mismanagement at the top—just because the sheriffs’ association wanted him reappointed. In hindsight, it’s clear that was a major blunder by our governor—but you know what? We at LouisianaVoice told him so before he ever took office.

When my book Louisiana’s Rogue Sheriffs: A Culture of Corruption is published, you will be disgusted at the manner in which many of our local sheriffs abuse basic civil rights, misuse departmental funds and personnel, and roll roughshod over anyone who gets in their way.

LouisianaVoice took on Bobby Jindal. We showed how he favored contributors with huge contracts. Now it appears that he may be attempting a comeback of sorts. I don’t know whether he plans to return to the governor’s office or some other public office like U.S. Senator, but he keeps churning out those Wall Street Journal op-eds and he’s not doing that for his health.

Please help us to keep telling these stories. They are important and the mainstream media simply is not doing it. Because of budgetary cutbacks by newspapers, real investigative reporting is all but dead and buried.

Please contribute to our efforts by clicking on the yellow DONATE button above the advertisement for my Bobby Jindal book to the right of this post. Or you can mail a check or money order to:

Capital News Service/LouisianaVoice

P.O. Box 922

Denham Springs, Louisiana 70727

 

 

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I came across this cartoon the other day…

…and it occurred to me that the power of words is useless unless there is:

  • Someone to write the words, and
  • Someone to read them.

It’s a little like another slogan I saw recently:

 

After every election in this country, there is always that sad reminder that less than half the registered voters participated in one of the most sacred privileges available to a free people: the right to vote.

As someone once said, if you didn’t vote, you have no right to complain.

Likewise, if you don’t read, you have no right to say you didn’t know.

An uninformed public is a compliant public, willing to be bent and molded by those with the resources to shape public opinion.

And more and more, that is being done with sound bites rather than in-depth reporting. Sound bites that inundate you with half-truths, misrepresentations, and outright lies.

LouisianaVoice is neither Republican nor Democrat, neither conservative nor liberal.

LouisianaVoice has only one agenda: the truth.

LouisianaVoice has only one objective: to inform our readers of what takes place behind closed doors that impact your lives.

You won’t always agree with what appears here. Likewise, we will make mistakes. But the mistakes we do make are made with the intent of informing you with the facts available to us.

Getting those facts takes time, effort and money. We have to pay for public records. And sometimes public officials even sue in an effort to discourage our efforts.

One area sheriff, in response to a simple public records request, retained the services of an expensive New Orleans law firm to do the records search for no other reason than to escalate the costs and to discourage our efforts to get to the truth by passing the attorneys’ fees on to us. Yes, it’s dirty pool, but it’s an illustration of how far your public servants will go to keep the facts from you.

That’s why we hold two fundraising drives each year—in October and April.

We are in our April fund drive now and we humbly ask for your continued financial help.

You may have seen the comment by Ben who, in ridiculing our efforts (for whatever reason), predicted that because other liberals only like to spend other people’s money, our fundraiser would be a failure. I’m happy to report there was a spike in contributions after his comment was posted. Ben might also be interested in knowing that we have never failed to meet our fundraising objectives.

Please help us prove him wrong again by clicking on the yellow DONATE button above the image of my Jindal book to the right of this post or by mailing a check or money order to:

Capital News Service/LouisianaVoice

P.O. Box 922

Denham Springs, Louisiana 70727

But even more important, do it to keep our public officials accountable.

 

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Well, I don’t have any silver or gold decals to hand out nor can I offer any leniency if you’re pulled over for speeding in Louisiana.

But if you could find it in your heart to contribute to LouisianaVoice, I can promise you to keep investigating corruption, malfeasance, and unethical behavior on the part of Louisiana’s elected and appointive officials—just as I have done for the past eight years.

As I wrote on Monday, I do this with no compensation from anyone. I don’t accept advertising (with the exception of Cavalier House Books because John Cavalier initially set up this blog page for me (plus pop-up ads over which I have no control and for which I receive nothing). Nor do I charge a subscription fee. I want LouisianaVoice to be available to anyone who wishes to read it.

I love Louisiana but I detest Louisiana politics. I really don’t care if my subject is Democrat of Republican; if he’d doing wrong, it’s wrong. My grandfather used to tell me, “If it ain’t altogether right, then it’s altogether wrong.” He saw things in black and white, not shades of gray. Unfortunately many of our officials don’t share that philosophy.

There’s only one way to keep our officials honest: the good, old-fashioned way.

I do have have expenses involved in chasing down public records, court costs, gasoline, vehicle upkeep, etc. It is because of this that I humbly ask that readers who appreciate what I do help keep the stories coming with whatever contribution they feel they can afford.

You may contributed by clicking on the yellow DONATE button to the upper right (above the illustration of my Bobby Jindal book) or by sending a check or money order to:

Capital News Service/LouisianaVoice

P.O. Box 922

Denham Springs, Louisiana 70727

 

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