Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Another Twist To The Gretna Police Chief’s FB Rant

“Life is like an onion, you peel it off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep.”
-           Carl Sandburg

I openly questioned whether a Police Chief, or any elected official, should promote a bar that they regulate (law enforcement routinely conducts underage drinking tests and some, like JP Sheriff Newell Normand, also conduct sales tax audits).

Now, there’s a new twist to the saga of The Rugby Pub in Gretna.

According to the business listings websites, and,  Jefferson Parish 1st District Councilman Ricky Templet is the owner of The Rugby Pub.  Manta lists “Front Row Inc” as the corporate entity.

A check of Councilman Templet’s 2012 financial disclosure form with the State (filed on 9/3/2013), shows that he is the owner or has an interest in 3 corporations:

-          MRM Investment Properties, which he describes as being involved in “Rental Real Estate” and is a 1/3rd partner.

-          R & C Templet Enterprises, a “Catering Company” that he co-owns with his wife.

-          WestBank Coffee Company LLC, an “Orleans Beverage & Extract” company that he owns a 12.5% in.

The State Secretary of State’s corporation database shows that all of the corporations listed by Templet are “Not In Good Standing For Failure To File Annual Report”.  The last report filed by R & C Templet Enterprises, Inc. was on 8/25/2011. 

And, Chief Lawson and Councilman Templet are also business partners. 

The WestBank Coffee Company LLC lists Chief Lawson as an Officer, along with West Bank State Senator David Heitmeier and others. It too is “Not In Good Standing For Failure To File An Annual Report”. 

Councilman Templet’s 2012 financial disclosure does not list any income from the 3 corporations or any other income other than his JP Council salary, his wife’s income, and a small amount of income he received from the LA Legislature prior to his election to the JP Council. 

According to Schedule F of Templet’s financial disclosure form, all three corporations are listed as “Business operated at a loss.” 

The same corporations also operated at a loss for 2010 and 2011, although Councilman Templet also listed himself as “General Partner” for the corporation that owns the Westbank Beacon and that he “received 10% of net ordinary business income”. He does not list that 10% in his income filing, so perhaps the magazine lost money in 2011 as well. 

There is no mention of The Rugby Pub in any of the Councilman’s financial disclosure forms.  In his 2010 disclosure report, he does list a 12.5% partnership interest in “Tap & Go LLC” and lists their address as the same address of The Rugby Pub. “Tap & Go LLC” is another of Councilman Templet’s interests that “operate at a loss”.

According to the Secretary of State’s database, “Tap & Go LLC” has been inactive since 10/23/2009. Councilman Templet is not listed as an Officer in the corporation. 

However, the April 11, 2012 Gretna City Council meeting agenda lists “The Rugby Pub” as owned by R & C Templet Enterprises, Inc. There is no listing of any action before the Gretna City Council in 2013 regarding any change of the Alcohol licensing for The Rugby Pub. 

Councilman Templet also lists ownership of 6 rental houses valued between $25,000 – 100,000 each yet claims on his income disclosure form that he derives less than $5,000 in annual income from the properties.

While there is nothing illegal about owning and operating a bar or operating several businesses for a loss for several years, clearly the information contained in the filings raise several ethical questions. 

Unfortunately, Councilman Templet failed to respond to a request to answer some of these questions. 

NOTE: Several items were submitted by members of the Facebook page: Voters' Awareness League of Jefferson Parish. I appreciate their help and research. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Jindal Blasts ObamaCare, Times-Picayune Editorial On Fox

On “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace”, Governor Bobby Jindal was in fine form taking shots at the rollout of ObamaCare, defending himself against claims made in a Times-Picayune editorial that criticized the Governor on health care, and even Al Gore.

Regarding the epic fail of the launch of the web site, the entry point for ObamaCare, Jindal was blunt in his assessment.

“This is an incompetent rollout, but it’s symptomatic of a liberal ideology that believes government should be running our health care.”

“Maybe they’ll bring in Al Gore, you know, the guy who says he invented the internet, and they’ll fix the web site.”

He questioned the competence of the Obama Adminitration.

“I’ve long wondered, is this Administration the most incompetent or the most liberal Administration in recent history?”

Governor Jindal believes that, inevitably, President Obama will be forced to delay the implementation of the individual mandate noting that the President has delayed penalties for large corporations.

“It’s harder and harder for them (the Obama Administration) to justify why they wouldn’t delay the individual mandate as well.”

When pressed by moderator Chris Wallace about his decision to not accept Federal dollars to expand Medicaid and a recent editorial in the Times-Picayune, Jindal defended his actions.

“I think we need to do health care reform from the bottom up,” Jindal said. “We believe we’ve got a better approach.”

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Gretna Police Chief Threatens Critic On Facebook

A late night Facebook post by Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson threatening a critic is raising questions among constituents in the West Bank community. received several emails alerting us to the post, made late Friday night. The post starts innocently enough with the Chief mentioning that Country Music star Jason Aldean is in Gretna and then degrades into name calling and threats.


Arthur Lawson – “Jason Aldene (sic) is at the (R)ugby (C)lub in (G)retna.”

Further down the string, after a person mentions that she was just there and must have missed Aldean, an individual questions Lawson.

Bobby Lemoine – “Wow!!!!...really professional for an elected official to make up a story to drum up business for a bar in his jurisdiction!!!...Arthur Lawson, YOU are what’s wrong with this country! a voter in Gretna, I am a FORMER voter of yours, thanks to this ignorant post!”

Arthur Lawson – “Bobby you are a asshole I passed on what I was told but if you ever have a set of nuts you can meet me at the Rigby (sic) Club and we can get it all straight.”

Shortly after, Lawson continues:

Arthur Lawson – “Supporters are (sic) not he is a coward and he has no nuts!

Arthur Lawson – “Don’t know this guy but would love to meet him, if any of you know him”


While it is a matter of opinion whether a Police Chief, or any elected official, should be promoting a bar or other private business, clearly the name calling, threats and implied intimidation are uncalled for from any elected official, let alone a Police Chief, and should not be tolerated.  

Chief Lawson is an iconic figure in Gretna and has contributed much to the community. Unfortunately, his actions and threatening behavior call his judgment into question. The Chief could have easily deleted the response, “unfriended” or blocked Mr. Lemoine or just ignored his comment. It was absolutely unnecessary for a Chief of Police to let the situation degrade as it did and play out online.

In addition, rather than squash the discussion, Chief Lawson and his supporters continued to pile on with more negative comments, insinuations and personal attacks against Mr. Lemoine. A Police Chief should diffuse situations, not egg them on with inflammatory public comments.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

State To Spend Almost $2 Million To Archive Mike Foster’s Papers - Kathleen Blanco’s? About a Buck Fifty

Former Louisiana Governor Mike Foster, who helped get current Governor Bobby Jindal’s political career started, will have his papers archived in Franklin at a former high school. State taxpayers are picking up the bulk of the tab to the tune of an initial $1.8 Million.

Some local funding will also be used to convert the third floor of the former high school. The first two floors are used by Franklin city government.

Governor Jindal himself issued the announcement of the project, which will feature Franklin’s political history.

"This building will serve as a place to celebrate the incredible work of Gov. Foster and educate generations of our people about the monumental reforms he implemented," Jindal said in a statement.

The small town is home to not only Governor Foster but four other state governors including Foster’s grandfather, Murphy Foster, who served as Governor from 1892 to 1900.

The papers of former Governors, including former Governor Kathleen Blanco who succeeded Foster, are primarily held by the Secretary of State’s Office, which is responsible for the state archives. Some documents from Huey P. Long are stored by Tulane and LSU.

Foster served as Governor from 1996-2004.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Report: More People Sign Up For Mars Trip Than ObamaCare

The Washington Times had an interesting take on the lack of enthusiasm and signups for ObamaCare compared to the amount of people who signed up for a trip to the Mars One colony project.

It was widely reported last week that only 36,000 people had successfully signed up for health insurance through the ObamaCare National and State Marketplaces. The Department of Health and Human Services issued a press release claiming that number was false and the real number was about 51,000. Whatever the actual number was, it certainly wasn’t enough of a difference to call attention to the Epic Fail that the ObamaCare web site is especially when the President set a goal of signing up 500,000 individuals per month.

The Times reported that The Daily Mail claimed that 202,586 individuals had successfully signed up for a program to colonize Mars - which should happen about the same time that the ObamaCare Marketplace actually signsup 500,000 individuals, let alone 500,000 in a month.

Given the massive amount of advertising and promotion devoted to the Marketplaces, and the fact that the Federal Government had 3 years to set the web site up and get all the bugs out, the lack of actual signups and the amount of downtime that the web site has had since its launch October 1st is astounding.

The state of Vermont was given $9 Million to promote the Marketplace and only 712 residents signed up.

In Louisiana, the Federal Government allocated almost $2 Million (don’t know why we got so much less than Vermont – maybe it’s the “Jindal Effect”) for groups, primarily of the non-profit variety, to promote the Exchange and act as “Navigators”. Actual signup figures for Louisiana aren’t officially available as the Federal Government hasn’t released any state signup figures but insurance company officials speaking off the record claim the results are dismal.

“We’re actually losing money just on personnel costs that we allocated for the rush of applicants that the Federal Government projected we would need to process,” an insurance official said. “That ‘rush’ was nonexistent.”

As bad as things are in Louisiana, it could be worse – we could be Alaska.

According to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, as of last week, not one Alaska resident had signed up for ObamaCare.

Zip. Zero. Nada.

Even CNN isn’t buying into that rosy forecast and noted that “an application is only the beginning of the process that leads to enrollment.”

CNN is estimating the figure at 257,000 signups. 

But, Insurance company officials don’t believe that estimate either.

“With all of the computer downtime, the multiple screens, the computer crashes, the time it takes for someone to complete the steps – it’s a wonder that anyone has signed up,” a Louisiana insurance company executive said.

Bloomberg is reporting that an estimated 5 Million lines of computer code need to be re-written on the web site. President Obama is expected to address some of the issues with the system today. 

I wonder if the Mars colonists get free health care?