Heeeeeeeeeee’s back……Former LSPC Member Calvin Braxton sues Louisiana State Trooper’s Association, LSP Major Jay Oliphant for defamation entailing fallout from Lee Zurik investigative feature.

Former LSPC Member Calvin Braxton


———————————-SPECIAL NOTE—————————————-:

Our original feature on Calvin Braxton is replicated in its entirety below.  Today’s focus is on Mr. Braxton’s 5/10/18 lawsuit against the Louisiana State Trooper’s Association (LSTA) and  LSP Major Jay Oliphant.  

———————————SPECIAL NOTE—————————————-:

Burns provides overview of Braxton v. LSTA and LSP Major Jay Oliphant
Documents obtained from LSPC entailing Braxton’s resignation:

1.   LSPC’s official UNSIGNED Calvin Braxton resignation letter.

2.   Gov. Edwards’ “statement” on the “resignation” of Calvin Braxton received by the LSPC.

Links referenced in Video:

Historical Braxton LSPC videos:

1.  Questioning legitimacy of Lloyd Grafton’s resignation.
2.  Braxton discusses LSPC’s liability over Derbonne “resignation.”
3.  Braxton vents about a “lack of communication” from then-Chairman T. J. Doss.

Sound Off Louisiana’s feature entailing Cathy Derbonne’s litigation against LSPC.

Sound Off Louisiana’s feature entailing raw, naked, exploitation by the LSTA in a presentation to the LSPC to convince the LSPC to permit the LSTA to make political campaign contributions which are now the subject of multiple lawsuits.

Original Hayride post entailing the LSTA exploitation authored by Hayride owner Scott McKay at the direct request of Robert Burns, who stated at the time that he was too furious at what he’d seen and too entrenched with LSPC affairs at that point to draft an objective post in the immediate aftermath of the exploitation.

David Young, Executive Director of the LSTA, bluntly states that, if the LSTA is not permitted to make political campaign contributions, it “will disappear.”  Young will be served with Braxton’s lawsuit.  Also, we provide subscribers with the Consent agreement between the LSTA and the Louisiana State Board of Ethics entailing the political contributions to the campaign of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and others.  Notice that Young admits to writing checks to candidates from his own account, after which he was reimbursed by the LSTA, a practice former LSPC Member Lloyd Grafton described as “straight-up money laundering.”


















Fox 8’s Lee Zurik went straight for the jugular entailing Gov. John Bel Edwards’ inaction for a FULL YEAR after receiving this damning report entailing Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC) Member Calvin Braxton attempting to use his influence and abuse his powers to have tickets fixed and even an attempt to have an LSP Trooper disciplined for arresting his daughter for DWI.


Though Braxton largely avoided Zurik’s questioning, he chose to address the matter with his colleagues once Zurik and his film crew left the meeting.  Zurik incorporated Sound Off Louisiana’s video footage (beginning at the 6:10 mark of his report) of Braxton’s commentary in his report, including Braxton defiantly stating:  “The Governor did what he did.  I’m still here.”


Zurik also supplied a follow-up letter to Edwards sent by the Louisiana State Trooper’s Association dated  June 19, 2017 point-blank asking Gov. Edwards, “whether or not you plan to proceed with specifications of charges against Mr. Braxton and have this matter set for a public hearing?”


Though she didn’t have the advantage of one-on-one interview footage with Braxton, WWL’s Katie Moore also featured the scandal on the 10:00 p.m. newscast.  In her report, she too included Braxton’s bold statement supplied by Sound Off Louisiana footage (beginning at the 3:50 mark of her report) wherein Braxton characterized Governor Edwards as “doing what he did” (i.e. nothing) and the fact Braxton boldly proclaimed himself “still here.”  Immediately after Braxton’s bold statement on Moore’s feature, Gov. Edwards’ Executive Counsel, Matthew Block, tip toes around Braxton’s alleged actions.  That segment of the video speaks for itself.


Can anyone just imagine the campaign commercials to run in 2019 by top Republican contenders for Governor of Louisiana entailing this incident?  The commercial can begin with Edwards’ oft-repeated “Honor Code” mantra of the 2015 campaign, followed by footage of him doing ZILCH about this situation for over a year (and that’s under the assumption he chooses to take action now).  Even if Edwards severs ties with Braxton immediately, the question (just as Zurik posed) remains:  Why did Governor John Bel Edwards sit on this for a full year and have to be forced into action by the media?  It’s going to be a tough question for “Honor Code” to answer in the 2019 campaign!


The following video is Braxton’s full commentary regarding Zurik’s surprise visit at the LSPC meeting of Thursday, July 13, 2017:


7/13/17 LSPC Meeting:  Commissioner Braxton comments publicly about allegations of “ticket fixing,” to include his daughter’s DWI.


If you would like to be added to our Sound Off Louisiana email list to be notified of future posts, simply go to our home page and scroll to the bottom (mobile devices) or to the top of the right-hand column (desktops).  Supply your email address within the subscribe box.  You’ll then receive an automated email from Word Press, and all you have to do is click on the blue “confirm follow” bar contained within that email, and you’ll begin receiving great posts such as the preceding one above.

Jay Dardenne: “If we could roll back the clock, we would resend the Medicaid cut-off letters to nursing home residents.”

Gov. Edwards’ Commissioner of Administration, Jay Dardenne


Sound Off Louisiana’s most recent feature focused on Senate blowback at the Senate Finance Committee meeting on Friday, May 11, 2018, during which Jay Dardenne, Gov. Edwards’ Commissioner of Adminstration and on whose behalf Dardenne was testifying, stated that the Committee had “failed.”  Normally quiet Louisiana Senate President John Alario chose not to hold back, and he faulted the Edwards administration for sending out letters to nursing home residents indicating that their benefits may end and thereby force them to be evicted.


Given Alario’s blowback, Sound Off Louisiana’s founder, Robert Burns, in posing a question at the meeting of the Baton Rouge Press Club of Monday, May 14, 2018, provided Dardenne with an opportunity to “walk back” the sending of those letters.  Here’s Dardenne’s response:


Dardenne responds to Burns’ question of “if you could roll back the clock, would you still send those Medicaid nursing home letters?”


Given that Edwards has taken criticism from AARP for attempting to force seniors into nursing homes rather than relying upon less expensive home health care, and now has been blasted by AARP again for his latest tactic (threats of eviction of nursing home residents) to insist on his desired level of revenue-raising measures, he may want to think twice about doubling-down on the “we’d send the letters out again” statement depicted above.


Sound Off Louisiana’s Robert Burns later asked Dardenne about the Edwards administration’s widely-known lobbying efforts to block Rep. Jay Morris’ (R-Monroe) HB-760, which would have provided legislators with the same level of budget transparency as the Governor has.  Dardenne’s response to that question was unbelievably baffling.  Let’s take a look:


Dardenne responds to question of Edwards’ active lobbying against HB-760.

Giving Dardenne the benefit of the doubt that his response was truthful, it is utterly mind-boggling the lack of communication between Edwards and his top Lieutenant!  That’s about all we feel is necessary to say entailing the above stunning response!


There was a near dearth of questions from the mainstream media at the press conference.  That was so much the case that Robert Scott, President of the Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council, prior to asking his first question, stated, “I can’t believe the media aren’t asking questions.”  Of course, we consider Sound Off Louisiana to most definitely be a part of the “working media;” however, his point was not lost that the “big guys” were noticeably quiet for the abbreviated 38-minute meeting (it ended because there were no more questions to be posed)!


The one exception to the mainstream media refraining from posing questions was the Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB)’s never bashful Beth Courtney, whom long-time subscribers may recall was the subject of a feature we published on her entailing her and the State of Louisiana being sued for her having allegedly strong-armed a disabled underling into retiring “to avoid possible layoffs.”  For those curious, that case was settled weeks before it was scheduled to go to trial.


Ms. Courtney lodged a softball question designed to permit Dardenne with the opportunity to slam Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, entailing his estimates of any budget shortfall.  Dardenne sure swung at the pitch.  Our readers can be the judges on how well he may have connected.  Here’s her question and his response:


Dardenne responds to Courtney’s question entailing Cameron Henry’s estimate of the budget shortfall.

We would note that Rep. Henry has not been the lone duck quacking about a projected shortfall some $200+ million less than Gov. Edwards estmates.  Here’s a chart provided by Rep. Lance Harris during his BRPC presentation two weeks ago.


As most everyone knows, Gov. Edwards has now called his  6th Special Session.  It should be a very, very interesting one!!

 CLICK HERE for Commissioner Dardenne’s presentation in its entirety.


If you would like to be added to our Sound Off Louisiana email list to be notified of future posts, simply go to our home page and scroll to the bottom (mobile devices) or to the top of the right-hand column (desktops).  Supply your email address within the subscribe box.  You’ll then receive an automated email from Word Press, and all you have to do is click on the blue “confirm follow” bar contained within that email, and you’ll begin receiving great posts such as the preceding one above.

Jay Dardenne (to Senate Finance Committee): “You failed.” Do the sharp retorts of Senators Alario, Hewitt, Donahue, and White portend Gov. Edwards’ fate in his re-election efforts next year?

Gov. Edwards’ Commissioner of Administration, Jay Dardenne


Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns has been keenly interested in Louisiana politics going all the way back to when he was in second grade when, in 1971, then-Congressman Edwin Washington Edwards was seeking to become the next Louisiana Governor in a crowded field that included former Governor Jimmie Davis.  Burns’ father, Melven, who would pass away only 13 years after that election, was bitterly opposed to Edwards, so Robert, knowing nothing more at that point in his life than to “trust dad,” would support whomever his father supported, but he would also attempt to learn as much as he could about why his dad was so bitterly opposed to Edwards.


On the night of the primary, Melven was furious to see that Edwards finished first with 23.5% of the vote, and the candidate he supported, J. Bennett Johnston, finished a distant second with 17.8%.  Those were the days of closed primaries, and it was unheard of to be a registered Republican in those days, and nobody in Burns’ family was Republican (though Robert became the first to register Republican when he registered the day after his 18th birthday in 1981).


Melven told Robert that he hoped that Johnston could corral the support of the others in the race who failed to make the runoff and knock Edwards out.  That didn’t happen, and Edwards defeated Johnston by a razor-thin 0.2% of the vote, or less than 5,000 votes total.  Accordingly, Melven resigned himself to Edwards being the next Governor of Louisiana, but not without a last-ditch effort on Melven’s part to keep that from transpiring.


Melven explained to then eight-year-old Robert that there was one last small glimmer of hope, and that was that the Republican candidate, Dave Treen, might pull off a miracle and win the general election.  Melven even called Treen’s campaign headquarters and requested that a large “Dave Treen for Governor” sign be nailed to two trees in his front yard such that every car would see it as it passed by.  Robert even recalls his school bus driver at the time, Ms. Wallace, as she picked Robert up for school, asking with shock, “Your parents are voting for Dave Treen?”  Robert responded, “Yes, ma’am, Ms. Wallace.  I’m hoping you will too.”  She responded that would “never” happen.


Everyone reading this feature who was alive at the time knows it would have been impossible for Dave Treen to prevail in a statewide election for Governor in 1971 because the state was dominated by the Democratic party, and the results of the election reflected that fact as Edwards defeated Treen by a resounding 58-42 margin.


Robert, who has continued to live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana all of his life, has remained intrigued by Louisiana’s gubernatorial elections.  All of the preceding material was rehashed for one sole reason.  Burns watched the Friday meeting of the Senate Finance Committee’s hearing on the upcoming budget for Fiscal ’19, and his take is that he’s never in his now 46-year history of following Louisiana politics seen such a colossal miscalculation, blunder, and leverage-overplay as current Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has recently made.


By now, everyone not living in a cave is aware that Edwards opted to send “eviction notices” to residents of Louisiana nursing homes.  Evidence of the degree to which Edwards drastically overplayed his hand in that regard was on full display from friend and foe alike at Friday’s Senate Finance Committee meeting.  Members readily demonstrated their anger at the overplay by strongly attacking his messenger and Commissioner of Administration, Jay Dardenne, at Friday’s hearing after Dardenne first added to the animosity by first telling members of the Committee point-blank that, “You failed.”


Let’s take a look, shall we?


Five-minute highlight of Dardenne rebuking members of the Senate Finance Committee.


The retorts were fast and furious. First let’s examine the most influential one: Sen. President John Alario, who has been a close ally of Gov. Edwards:


Sen. President John Alario vents frustration with Dardenne to include it being the administration’s decision to send out those nursing home notices.


Alario’s commentary was quickly followed by Sen. Sharon Hewitt (R-Slidell), who has been mentioned as a potential rival of Gov. Edwards in next year’s campaign:


Sen. Hewitt vents frustration with Dardenne.


Next up to express their frustrations were Sen. Jack Donahue (R-Mandeville) and Sen. Bodi White (R-Central):


Senators Donahue and White vent their frustration with Dardenne.


If a casual observer didn’t know any better, he would think Dardenne still harbors resentment entailing his own defeat to Edwards in 2015 and is now quietly extracting his pound of flesh by sabotaging Edwards’ tenure as Governor.  That’s how bad this whole presentation came across.


The problem with that logic is that everyone knows Dardenne was taking his marching orders directly from Edwards, who has now proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that he is:  1)  arrogant, 2) a dictator (as evidenced by his unwillingness to provide budget details to the very legislators whom he now openly chastises), and 3) not remotely in Edwin Edwards’ league on political savvy.


Consequently, even as Hayride publisher and great friend and supporter of this blog, Scott McKay, has openly speculated this may be the beginning of Gov. Edwards’ lame-duck tenure before being “cooked” next year, we are willing to take it a step further.


We deem this type “macro-level” screw up, when combined with the numerous “micro level” screw ups we’ve dutifully tracked during this governor’s 2 1/2 years in office, to be a death knell to his re-election potential.


We’ll see come October of 2019 but, Governor, this isn’t 1971 and, to borrow a phrase from Lloyd Bentsen, “You’re no Edwin Edwards!”


If you would like to be added to our Sound Off Louisiana email list to be notified of future Sound Off posts, simply scroll to the very bottom of this page (mobile devices) or to the end of the right-hand column (desktops) and supply your email address within the subscribe box.  You’ll then receive an automated email from Word Press, and all you have to do is click on the blue “confirm follow” bar contained within that email, and you’ll begin receiving great posts such as the preceding one above.