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On Monday, I wrote that LouisianaVoice has for 10 years – and will always – call out elected officials when I feel they have betrayed the trust placed in them when they were elected.

Some might say my story below on Steve Scalise was pretty easy pickings, given that he participated in an invasion of the U.S. Capitol that may well have helped inspired the riotous insurrection that occurred 14 months later. But the truth is with yesterday marking the three-month anniversary of that attempt at undermining democracy, I felt it more than appropriate to recall Scalise’s participation in October 2019 breach of security that also involved overrunning Capitol security.

This is the mission of LouisianaVoice. Be it a member of congress, a sheriff, the head of Louisiana State Police, the president of a local school board, the athletic department of LSU or the State Board of Dentistry, wrongdoing, malfeasance, misfeasance, or outright theft by any public official will be exposed if I hear about it and can prove the facts.

I won’t deal in hearsay or gossip but I will continue to shine light into the darkest corners of this state when appropriate.

To do so requires investments of time and money. I have expenses. As pointed out earlier, I recently had a $5,000 legal bill stemming from legal work involving the pursuit of records from an agency that didn’t wish to surrender them. Of course, the agency in question – as is the case with most public agencies – charges for copies of documents.

That’s why I come to you twice a year – in April and September – with hat in hand, asking for your help. I don’t ask that you give more than you can readily afford. I would never do that. If you can’t afford to help, no problem. You will still have our stories to read free of charge. I don’t charge a subscription fee nor do I personally accept advertising (I still can’t control what the platform host throws up there in the way of ads and I realize nothing from those ads).

Please click on the yellow DONATE button to the right of this post to contribute by credit card. That will take you to my PayPal account (You need not have a PayPal account yourself). If you prefer, please send a check to: LouisianaVoice, P.O. Box 922, Denham Springs, Louisiana 70727.

Because LouisianaVoice is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all contributions are tax-deductible and those giving $125 or more will get a signed copy of one of my two newest books: Louisiana’s Rogue Sheriffs: A Culture of Corruption, or Bordello on the Bayou, a novel based (very) loosely on the story of the Baton Rouge Madam. Be sure to provide your mailing address and your preference of books.

As always, thanks for your continued support.

Yesterday marked the three-month anniversary of the hostile invasion of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of the former guy bent on interrupting the official confirmation of the 2020 presidential election won going away by Joe Biden.

In terms of overt attempts to thwart the will of the electorate, this was an unprecedented event…were it not for an eerily similar event that involved a high-ranking member of the Louisiana congressional delegation more than a year earlier in the very same building.

The date was Oct. 23, 2019, when House Republican Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District was joined by none-other than accused pedophile Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and 39 OTHER REPUBLICAN HOUSE MEMBERS who literally forced their way past Capitol security guards (sound familiar?) into the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) to interrupt a deposition being given by a top Pentagon official overseeing U.S. policy in Ukraine.

To give a bit of background, protocol calls for tough screening of cell phones before they can be allowed inside the SCIF but that didn’t stop these 41 clowns, once inside, from not only bypassing risk-mitigation safeguards, but using their devices to ORDER PIZZA as if they were a bunch of college frat boys (and sorority girls) getting their kicks by pulling off some kind of bizarre prank.

It was about as serious a security breach ever recorded in the Capitol to that time and probably helped inspire the insurrection that took five lives on Jan. 6 of this year. The precedent had been set. As J.R. Ewing famously once quipped on the CBS-TV show Dallas: “Once you give up your integrity, the rest is a piece of cake.”

The Republicans have long since given up any shred of integrity and to know that a man being mentioned as a potential candidate for governor of Louisiana in 2023 participated in such a stunt is nothing short of shameful and certainly worthy of his being stripped of his committee assignments and revocation of his status as Minority Whip.

Click HERE to view a clip from Gaetz’s self-serving press conference staged during that 2019 SCIF invasion taken from Gaetz’s own congressional web page. Standing to Gaetz’s immediate right in the photo of Gaetz holding court is our very own Steve Scalise.

Folks, this isn’t typical Republican-bashing. This is serious business and it underscores just what a partisan hack Scalise really is. If he had any semblance of a soul left, he sold it long ago to his instincts of political self-serving with no thought given to the standards of behavior expected of members of Congress.

The simple fact is, no mater what your personal political philosophy may be, no matter what may be the collective thinking of your constituents, there are some things you just do not do and STORMING PAST CAPITOL SECURITY to pull off some sort of grandstanding security breach by forcing your way into a secure area should be at the top of that don’t go there list.

Scalise, by his PARTICIPATION IN THIS IDIOTIC STUNT, which itself bordered on sedition, has proven beyond any doubt that he does not possess the maturity or the political acumen to lead Louisiana as governor. He is certainly not worthy of serving as Minority Whip – though he does seem eminently qualified to represent the David Duke faction of the Republican Party comfortably ensconced in the congressional district he currently serves.

In the post immediately beneath this one, you can see how Donald John Trump duped his loyal followers into giving not a single campaign contribution, but multiple “donations,” all without their notice.

He literally bled dry the bank accounts of people who believed in him. It was a deliberate ploy to extract more money from his supporters than they intended to give. He even inserted a “money bomb” clause in his solicitations that, unbeknownst to his supporters, not only had them giving six, seven or eight times, but actually doubled their “donations,” all without their knowledge or consent.

It was the classic shell game by the classic con man.

One thing we won’t do here at LouisianaVoice: we won’t extract contributions from you without your full knowledge and consent and we will NEVER slip in a provision that would double what you intended to give.

What we do twice a year, in April and September, is ask humbly and appreciatively that you contribute what you honestly feel you can afford – and not a cent more. And if you feel you can’t afford to give anything, that’s o.k., too. You can still read LouisianaVoice without a subscription and without our loading the site down with a bunch of advertisements (other than what the platform host inserts without my knowledge or consent).

If you can, please click on the yellow DONATE button to the right of this post. It will take you to my PayPal site where you can give by credit card. You DO NOT have to have a PayPal account to accomplish this. If you’d rather, you can mail a check to LouisianaVoice, P.O. Box 922, Denham Springs, Louisiana 70727.

You will NOT be double- or triple-billed. But those who give $125 or more will received a signed copy of one of my two newest books: Louisiana’s Rogue Sheriffs: A Culture of Corruption, or Bordello on the Bayou, a novel loosely based on the true story of the Baton Rouge madam. Be sure to specify your preference and to provide your mailing address.

What we WILL do, however, is continue to bring you stories that no one else will do – like the manner in which LSU tries to desperately protect its institutional reputation over the wellbeing of female students who are victimized by coaches and athletes, over the interests of outspoken but honest faculty members who try to call attention to wrongs like faulty dental implants and faulty Corps of Engineer pilings.

We will call out legislators who sit out virtually an entire legislative session but still collect their $161 per diem payments for all of those days they were no-shows.

We will identify by names the sheriffs and state troopers who are doing a disservice to their brothers in law enforcement by selling drugs, having sexual affairs while on duty, abusing prisoners and not adhering to the same standards they demand of the rest of us.

Thank you for following LouisianaVoice in this our 10th birthday month!

When it comes to compiling a laundry list of why I detest Donald Trump, there are so many places to start:

  • Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was all about investigating the fraudulent Trump University – until she got the bright idea of soliciting a campaign contribution from the Former Guy himself. He ponied up a $25,000 contribution and suddenly the investigation was dropped.
  • Former U.S. Attorney for Southern Florida let Jeffrey Epstein off on a secret work-release sentence for sex crimes against underage girls was later appointed by Trump as U.S. Labor Secretary, proving once and for all, that birds of a feather…
  • During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump ridiculed Gold Star parents, Mr. and Mrs. Khizr Khan and he also mocked disabled news reporter Serge Kovaleski during the campaign – both reprehensible acts in every sense of the word.

I could go on…and on…and on, but why bother? Everything I could say about him has already been said and many probably would rather just move on. His claims of having the election stolen were made with zero proof – as evidenced by about 50 court challenges he lost.

But just when you think there can’t be any more this moron can do to humiliate himself, there is.

The New York Times on Saturday had a story that should send the Tangerine Toddler straight to federal prison.

(I know there are millions of his followers who will refuse to believe the story, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of its validity. It reminds me of a sermon I heard Easter Sunday in which my pastor noted that atheists would deny the Resurrection even in the face of what he considered conclusive evidence. Even as he said that, I could not help thinking of the dedicated Trumpsters out there who will go to their graves believing anything the Former Guy says is gospel of an equivalent truth.)

But back to our story. You may remember my writing about all the solicitations I was receiving from Trump and the Repugnantcan Party for weeks on end after the election had shown a convincing 7-million vote win for Joe Biden. It wasn’t just a single email per day, it was several – from Trump, the Repugnantcan Party and from each of Trump’s adult children.

It was a scam. First of all, Trump tried to convince us it was for his legal fight to overturn the election results when in fact, it was money for any damned purpose he wanted. That’s right. Walking around money. And the scam was that much of those post-election contributions were used not for a legal defense, but to repay more than $64 million in fraudulent pre-election “contributions.”

But most egregious of all, it turns out that the way the solicitations were set up, you didn’t give just a single contribution the way Stacy Blatt, dying of cancer in hospice care, thought. No, it was multiple contributions, unbeknownst to the donors. In Blatt’s case, he gave $500 that he probably couldn’t afford, given his monthly income of just $1,000. But as soon as he clicked that button to give his $500, a second $500 “contribution” disappeared from his bank account the very next day into the Trump fund. Then another $500 the next week and again every week after than through mid-October until his bank account had been emptied, causing his utility and rent payment checks to bounce.

In all, Trump robbed a dying man of $3,000.

It was the same story for Victor Amelino, 78, of California, who made a $990 on donation to Trump in September via WinRed, the for-profit company that processed Trump contributions. They came back seven more times, relieving Amelino of nearly $8,000.

It gets worse.

The Trump campaign, not satisfied with such paltry sums, later inserted a little thing called a “money bomb” that doubled a donor’s contribution – all without the donor’s knowledge.

After the election, Trump launched that “legal defense” fund that, in reality, was used to repay the money taken earlier by deception.

Where I come from, they call that a Ponzi scheme and they’re illegal. Just ask Bernie Madoff.

The New York Times is by subscription only so many of you cannot read the story online. But for those of you with subscriptions, you can read the entire story HERE.

For all of Trump’s cheating, lying, manipulation, chiseling, scheming and thievery, this is the very worst.

If there is any scintilla of justice remaining on this planet, he should spend the rest of his life in prison.

There is no low to which he is unwilling to stoop. And for the John Kennedys, Steve Scalises and Garret Graves who continue to spew their B.S. about a “stolen election,” you’re no better than your mentor.

Our twice annual fundraiser at LouisianaVoice is now underway. Unlike some online news services, we don’t beg for money year-round. Just during April and September. We figure that’s about all you can stand of the begging for your hard-earned money.

But the truth is, we don’t allow advertisements (except those the platform hosts sneaks in without our permission; we have no control over those and we don’t get a cent from them) and we don’t have a paywall because we want as many people as possible to have access to the stories and perspectives we offer.

But there are costs and we do come to you twice a year to asked for your support. We don’t demand that you give what you can’t afford like some shameless televangelist. If you cannot afford to help, please don’t. We understand. But if you can, anything you can contribute will be appreciated.

Those giving $125 or more will get a signed copy one my newest books: Louisiana’s Rogue Sheriffs: A Culture of Corruption, or Bordello on the Bayou, based on the true story of the Baton Rouge Madam of a few years back. Please include your mailing address and your book preference when participating.

Just click on the yellow DONATE button to the right of this column to pay by credit card. You don’t have to have a PayPal account of your own to access my account for payment. Or, if you prefer, you can sent a check to: LouisianaVoice, P.O. Box 922, Denham Springs, Louisiana 70727.

As always, thank you for your continued support of LouisianaVoice for these past 10 years.

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