Monroe dentist Richard Willis triple-dog dares Gov. Edwards to stand by his appointment of Jeet Patel, so we’ll find out if Edwards rises to a “10” on the wimp scale.

Dr. Jeet Patel, whom disgruntled Monroe dentist Richard Willis is seeking to block Louisiana Senate confirmation on after Gov. John Bel Edwards chose him over Willis and another dentist on January 18, 2019 for membeship on the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry.

Though it got about the fewest Facebook shares of any post we’ve ever published, our most recent post entailing Gov. Edwards’ Dental Board appointee Jeet Patel has touched some nerves.  Specifically, the dentist behind the bold effort to block Patel’s confirmation, Dr. Richard Willis, today (April 16, 2019) decided to triple-dog dare Edwards to intervene in the Senate confirmation process to support his Dental Board choice (Patel).  He did so in boldly disseminating the following letter:

As a refresher, let’s take a brief look at Patel introducing himself to his colleagues at the last Dental Board meeting (his first to attend on March 15, 2019):


Patel introduces himself to his colleagues on the LSBD on March 15, 2019.

Edwards would have to do very little to ensure his choice, Patel, is confirmed.  What little would he have to do?  Simple.  All he has to do is place a phone call to Sen. President John Alario and ask him to stop the resistance to Patel dead in its tracks.  Trust us, those four Senators aren’t going to buck a directive from John Alario!

We’re going to be blunt:  If Gov. Edwards refuses to intervene and permits Dr. Patel to endure the humiliation of having been nominated, selected (from three choices, one of whom can only be described as a sore loser in the person of Dr. Richard Willis), and even attend his first meeting of the Dental Board, then it’s not a simple question of Edwards consistently making a total mockery of his West Point Honor Code.  If he doesn’t intervene on Patel’s behalf and demonstrate he’s “got Patel’s back,” then one can only question if he is the soldier anyone would want beside him/her in the Foxhole taking on enemy fire.  So, Gov. Edwards, are you going to exhibit military leadership, or will you merely wilt like a daisy and let Patel be shot down by someone who served on the Dental Board during a period that can only be described as absolute mass corruption?

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Will Gov. Edwards wimp out on Dental Board appointee Jeet Patel just as he did with Auction Board appointee Rev. Freddie Phillips?

Dr. Jeet Patel, who was appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards to the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry on January 18, 2019, is reportedly not going to be confirmed by the Louisiana Senate due to a full-court press being waged by North Louisiana dentists to block Patel’s Senate confirmation.

On April 20, 2016, Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed Rev. Freddie Lee Phillips, Louisiana’s first and only African-American auctioneer, to the Louisiana Auctioneer Licensing Board (LALB).  The Louisiana Auctioneer’s Association (LAA), an industry trade group comprised of largely elderly Caucasian men, went into immediate overdrive to block Edwards’ appointment of Phillips to the LALB.

How did they do so?  Six days after Phillips’ appointment, LAA President Wiley Collins distributed this letter dated April 26, 2016 to “Senators, fellow auctioneers, and Association Members” urging for Phillips’ confirmation by the Louisiana Senate not to transpire.  The preceding letter was also immediately placed as a brochure link on the LAA’s website as well as placed on prominent display on the LAA’s Facebook page.  One day prior to Collins’ letter, auction license holder (we’ve yet to see any evidence she’s conducted the first auction) Darlene Jacobs-Levy, a heavy-hitter in political contributions to Democratic candidates, led the charge of auctioneers sending emails to their State Senators to oppose Phillips’ confirmation.

On Thursday, May 5, 2016 (a mere 15 days after appointing him), Edwards caved to the foregoing intense pressure, and he terminated Phillips’ service on the LALB, thus sparing the Louisiana Senate from even having to consider Phillips’ confirmation.  Four days later, on May 9, 2016, Edwards appeared before the Baton Rouge Press Club, where Phillips directly confronted Edwards on terminating him from the LALB.  It’s extremely rare to see someone directly confronting a sitting Governor face-to-face about an action of that same Governor, so let’s take just a moment to see Phillips challenging Edwards’ decision and the “excuse” Edwards gave for his move, shall we?:

 
Phillips confronts Edwards on May 9, 2016 entailing his termination from the LALB four days before.

As is obvious, Edwards point-blank lied (sorry, there’s just no other characterization to make, and we don’t like using the word “lied” unless we feel we have no choice) in stating that, “We made a mistake…..We committed to more people than we should have, and I had to rescind one, and I rescinded yours.”  The simple reality is that the material linked above is 100 PERCENT responsible for Edwards’ action, but admitting that fact, especially entailing Louisiana’s first and only African-American auctioneer in its history as being on the receiving end of Edwards’ caving, would have been a political disaster for Edwards.  That is to say, he couldn’t tell the truth and simply state, “Well, look, a ton of good ‘ole boy auctioneers were mad as hell with me for appointing you in the first place, so I had to go ahead and remove you due to the pressure my office was receiving to do so.”  It was much more convenient to simply break from his much-touted “Honor Code” and lie, and anyone can see him doing so in the video above!

As most Sound Off Louisiana subscribers know by now, Edwards opted to cast his lot with auctioneer Jacob Brown (son of convicted felon Cecil Brown of the Edwin Edwards era) rather than Phillips.  The result, which largely could be expected, is that Brown allegedly stole over $200,000 from taxpayers ($180,000 to State of Louisiana taxpayers and $28,000 to East Baton Rouge Parish taxpayers) to support his drug habit after Edwards officials awarded him state contracts, notwithstanding ethics laws that prohibited Brown or his firm from bidding on those very same contracts!  Of course, in the mainstream media, one never heard a word about the fact Jacob Brown was even an appointee of Edwards.  It’s absolutely amazing that news organizations claiming to be legitimate sources tasked with keeping the public informed can simply overlook such minor details in their reporting on Louisiana State Police’s arrest of Brown.

Speaking of Brown, just to bring our subscribers up to speed, he was scheduled for arraignment in 19th JDC in January of 2019; however, he failed to show up in court, which prompted a warrant to be issued for his arrest.  His sister, Millie Claire Brown, who served as his surety in posting a $75,000 bond, testified that, despite her best efforts, she was unable to locate him to ensure his presence in court.  He has, however, subsequently been located and did appear in court a few days ago.  At that time, the arrest warrant was recalled and the arraignment was continued until June 21, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in Judge Higginbotham’s courtroom.

Gov. Edwards is now confronted with a nearly-identical situation to Phillips entailing the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry (LSBD).  Edwards appointed Dr. Jeet Patel to the LSBD on January 18, 2019.  Similarly to Phillips, the Dentistry profession’s good ‘ole boy network kicked into overdrive seeking for the Louisiana Senate to decline to confirm Patel’s appointment.

Sound Off Louisiana subscribers are well aware of the many posts we’ve made on the corruption on the LSBD, a fact which is now merely accepted because of the overwhelming evidence of that corruption.  Subscribers are also aware that we began providing video coverage of LSBD meetings on March 15, 2019.  That was the first meeting for Dr. Patel to attend (Edwards flushed Phillips four days before he could attend his first LALB meeting) as a Member of the Board, so let’s take just 30 seconds to watch him introduce himself (and we apologize in that we were attempting to get our camera set up and it pulled away from Dr. Patel on a couple of occasions):


Patel introduces himself to his colleagues on the LSBD on March 15, 2019.

As is obvious in the preceding video, Dr. Patel is excited to serve on the LSBD.  He is now asserting, however, that the March 15, 2019 meeting may be his first and last meeting as he indicates that North Louisiana dentists strongly oppose his appointment to the Board, and we’re told they’re having State Senator Francis Thompson do the heavy lifting and carry the water for them in essentially blackballing Patel from confirmation by the full Louisiana Senate.  We believe there is no better way to educate our viewers on Patel’s assertions than to provide an email he sent to Thompson on Friday, April 12, 2019 at 10:12 p.m. entailing the situation.  Here’s that email with a few highlights included:

 

 

At this point, Gov. Edwards is at a fork in the road.  Will he do as he did with Phillips and cave to the obvious pressure of the good ‘ole boy network of dentists, or will he for once show at least a modicum of the “Honor Code” he touted over and over in the 2015 campaign and demonstrate resistance to the dentistry network of good ‘ole boys and stand by Patel?  The ball’s in Gov. Edwards’ court.

We feel compelled to conclude with one final observation.  At the March 15, 2019 LSBD meeting referenced above, Dr. Kenneth Starling referred to some of the past LSBD’s members as “monsters.”  His adjective to describe these members drew the immediate wrath of Patricia A. “Patti” Hanson, the hygienist representative on the Board, who resides in Jennings, Louisiana.  Let’s take a look at what she had to say to Starling when he referenced some past members as “monsters.”:


Dr. Starling calls some past LSBD members “monsters” and draws the immediate wrath of hygienist member “Patti” Hanson.

First, our advice to Ms. Hanson is to grow some thicker skin!  Secondly, based on all of the pure, rank corruption and allegations of outright criminal acts of the LSBD we watched as testimony before the Louisiana Senate Commerce Committee on April 4, 2018, Starling was far too kind to merely reference these despicable people as “monsters.”

 

Finally, if Ms. Hanson may have been (or is) one of those “good” LSBD members, then she had an obligation to join with any such other “good” LSBD members and take action to remedy the mass corruption on the Board!  It’s THAT simple.

 

That’s what Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns, when he served on Jindal’s LALB, did in his extensive efforts to fight shill bidding (an ILLEGAL practice) in the auction profession!  Were there consequences?  Hell, yes!  The material at the previous link so infuriated the good ‘ole boy network of auctioneers that they demanded that State Rep. John E. “Johnny” Guinn, an auctioneer himself who also resides in the same town as Hanson (Jennings) have then-Gov. Jindal remove Burns from the LALB.  Guinn was only too happy to oblige, and he drafted this two-sentence letter of August 30, 2010 to Gov. Jindal.

 

Jindal, who by that time was rapidly planting the seeds of what would ultimately cause his initiative to become President of the United States (if anyone can call that ill-fated, feeble attempt an initiative) to be doomed before it ever got off the ground, was only too happy to oblige in terminating Burns’ LALB service on September 10, 2010.

 

So, Ms. Hanson, unless you can provide us with documentation such as we’ve supplied you above, it sure appears to us you were more than willing to “go along to get along” with these LSBD members.  Accordingly, your taking of umbrage with Dr. Starling as depicted in the preceding video falls on TOTAL deaf ears with us!

 

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Ponti, Carter demand “legislator accountability” on highway/bridge construction funding but ignore their own lack thereof regarding $600 million of such funds diverted to LSP extravagant salaries, John Alario nepotism. 

 

Former State Rep. Erich Ponti, now Executive Director at  the Louisiana Asphalt Pavement Association

Former State Rep. Erich Ponti was the guest speaker at the Baton Rouge Press Club (BRPC) on Monday, April 1, 2019, to promote an entire series of gas tax increases, increased registration fees for hybrid cars (to $200), increased registration fees for electric vehicles (to $300), all in an effort to increase revenues for funding highway and bridge construction and repair in Louisiana.

Though Sound Off Louisiana founder Robert Burns posed several questions of Ponti (outlined below), he also chose to take an action he’s never yet taken in covering a BRPC speaker.

Burns found himself both livid and insulted at much of Ponti’s commentary on “legislator accountability.”  For that reason, he chose to lay the foundation for challenging Ponti away from the BRPC because of his own reservations about being able to “maintain civility” in light of Ponti’s commentary.  On Sunday, April 7, 2019, Burns let loose on Ponti’s commentary in the following video produced that same day:

 
Burns lets loose on Ponti’s open call for taxpayers to “demand legislator accountability” in openly pondering why such “accountability” was sorely lacking on both his part and Rep. Steve Carter’s part regarding the rampant abuses of Louisiana State Police regarding blatant nepotism and other assorted waste pertaining to Senate President John Alario.

In the preceding video, Burns makes the analogy of a customer leaving Academy Sports with a new fishing rod and, at the check out counter right after he forks over the money, the cashier states, “That’s nice that you thought you could use this money to buy this nice fishing rod, but I’ve got another customer I really like over here and he needs a gun so, sir, I’m keeping the money you just handed to me, taking it over to him so he can buy a nice shotgun, and you can go ahead and take your rear end right on out the front door!”

That scenario is a prime example of both Ponti and Carter being perfectly willing to take the money that we taxpayers paid under the premise we were to get roads and bridges constructed and repaired, and they gave it to Alario, his family, and consulting contracts through the roof (see last entry on link above).  They then simply nodded their heads up and down while former Gov. Bobby Jindal was in England “educating” the folk over there about Sharia Law while disgraced former LSP Col. Mike Edmonson was simultaneously back home throwing together on a napkin a near 35% raise to LSP Troopers which they readily agreed to.  It is therefore beyond infuriating that these two gentlemen would have the unmitigated gall to stand up and lecture to taxpaying citizens to, “call your legislator and demand accountability.”

What really set Burns off (to the point that, as he said, he had to leave the room while Ponti made his presentation) was an excellent question posed by relatively-new (four months or so) BRPC Member Coleman Brown regarding the historical Louisiana Legislature’s spending priorities as well as Ponti’s take on Baton Rouge’s recent “gift” to other taxpayers in approving a 1/2 cent sales tax to make repairs and improvements to roads, “over 50% of which are STATE-OWNED or Federally-owned” in Baton Rouge.  Let’s take a look at Ponti’s response to Brown:


Ponti responds to Brown’s excellent question.

We’re looking very forward to Brown being active in the BRPC and posing similar such questions of other guests.  As for Ponti’s answer of, “that’s the past,” we express extreme animosity toward him regarding that answer.  He served in the Legislature and let $600 million of our taxpayer funds designated to road and bridge construction and repair be diverted to LSP!  We really don’t give a flying flip that there’s any so-called assurance that the money will be “in lockbox” to prevent such garbage in the future!  Mr. Ponti and Rep. Carter, you gave our money away, now YOU find a way to get it back!  Otherwise, don’t ask us for a freaking dime!  Would that fishing rod Academy customer continue to patronize the store merely by management explaining it away as, “that’s the past?”

When we see massive traffic backups across the Mississippi River Bridge, we don’t think to ourselves, “Well, that’s what happens when people won’t vote for a tax to fix the problem.”  Instead, what we say is, “Well, everyone is sitting in this traffic in order than Senate President John Alario’s family can live high on the hog off our Transportation Trust Fund and, as if that’s not bad enough, while we’re told there’s simply no money to fund highway and bridge construction and repair, just look at the $40 million + in pork barrel projects Kevin Boyd identified in this Hayride article!”  In fact let’s just take a moment to itemize it from Boyd’s article, shall we?:

Here are some things JBE did find money for in HB 2:

  • $9,236,300 for a soccer stadium in Algiers
  • $1,100,000 for the C.C. Antoine Park in Shreveport
  • $60,900 for a junior golf course in Shreveport
  • $66,600 for a farmer’s market in Westwego
  • $1,450,000 for parks in Westwego
  • $1,004,400 for an arts and community center in Westwego
  • $203,800 for a farmer’s market in Winnsboro
  • $971,200 for a sports complex in Youngsville
  • $1,500,000 for Tulane University, which last time I checked was private
  • $700,000 for the Baton Rouge metro airport, which no one uses
  • $13,928,100 for the National World War II Museum, a NGO
  • $4,117,900 for Kingsley House, another NGO
  • $15,000 for Efforts of Grace, a NGO
  • $100,000 for the McKinley High School Alumni Association
  • $2,850,000 for Lighthouse For The Blind
  • $100,000 for the Baton Rouge YMCA
  • $300,000 for the Archdiocese of New Orleans
  • $55,000 for Reconcile New Orleans, Inc.
  • $200,000 for the Louisiana Association For The Blind
  • $405,000 for the Opportunities Industrialization Center
  • $35,000 for the Boys and Girls Club

Notice how much of the preceding pork is within Sen. President John Alario’s District; furthermore, every single fiscally-conservative Louisiana citizen has got to be disheartened beyond belief that Alario, who has been in the Louisiana Legislature since 1972 (that’s 47 years for anyone counting) has announced that he is once again going to switch back to the other Chamber of the Legislature (the House of Representatives this time) to seek yet another term.  Further, we hear he plans to either put the full-court press on to be Speaker or else designate a puppet for that role and him push for the Chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee (whose Chairman is term-limited Cameron Henry, who plans to serve in the Louisiana Senate).   That secnario would permit even more wasteful pork barrel appropriations such as Boyd outlined above!  One member of the House of Representatives confided in us to being queasy about the House of Representatives, in 2020, “becoming the equivalent of the present-day Senate.”  What an absolute nightmare scenario!

As mentioned three paragraphs up, Ponti wants us all to get a “warm and fuzzy” feeling that the diversion he and Cater permitted to happen won’t happen again.  Here’s his assurance if anyone wants to give it any credibility:


Ponti attempts to provide a “warm and fuzzy” feeling to taxpayers that the LSP fleecing he and Cater permitted to transpire won’t repeat itself.

As mentioned above, despite Burns’ self-admiited anger at Ponti and Carter for their condescending appeals for taxpayers to call legislators and essentially demand a gas tax increase (as part of their assessment of legislators being “accountable” to taxpayers notwithstanding the total lack thereof entailing Ponti and Carter and Transportation Trust money diverted to LSP on their watches), he did manage to pose two civil questions to Ponti.  The first question was an assessment of Ponti’s confidence and belief that he can actually pass the measures he’d talked Carter into sponsoring for him.  Here’s Ponti’s response:


Ponti responds to specific questions by Burns regarding the proposal’s viability and the public’s ability to get a list of members to his organization.

Notice that Ponti admits to not having a tick-sheet tally on whether he can get the measure out of the House Ways and Means Committee and that, despite this massive collection of coalitions pushing the initiative, we’ll have to wait until “a later date” to see a list of members of his organization’s membership.  He also totally avoided the question entailing having 70 votes in the House to pass the measure!  Translation:  He knows he’s not even remotely close to having the 70 votes needed to pass the House, and he won’t ever come close to getting them this session either!

Burns’ second question entailed Ponti reconciling his optimism that his measure will pass notwithstanding the fact it’s an election year with Gov. Edwards’ statement made on January 7, 2019 before the BRPC that, “We’re not going to have to raise taxes this year.”  Edwards’ statement is incorporated into the following video seeking Ponti’s reconciling of the inherent conflict between his optimism and Gov. Edwards’ emphatic statement:


Ponti attempts to reconcile his optimism of passage of his tax measure with Gov. Edwards’ statement about not raising taxes in 2019.

Next, in what was an almost-certain plant question, Ponti is asked where he expects opposition.  His response really, really T’d Burns off, a fact which is readily evident beginning at the 9:00 mark of the first video on this page, and we want to STRONGLY, STRONGLY recommend our members watch from the 9:00 on in the first video above to see just how angry Ponti’s response made Burns!  Here is Ponti’s response that generated Burns’ wrath:


Ponti is vague on the “outside influence” he believes will constitute his opposition.  As Burns states on the first video (beginning at the 9:00 mark), “anyone with two functioning brain cells knows he’s referencing American’s for Prosperity (AFP).”

As mentioned in the first video above (start at 9:00 mark), Rep. Steve Carter has already let it be known his disdain for AFP.  Let’s take a 30-second review of his hostility at this time since he wants to be the next State Senator for Senate District 16:


Rep. Steve Carter, a candidate for Senate District 16, vents his EXTREME anger directed at AFP.

Also as mentioned in the first video above (again, start at 9:00 mark), Rep. Ted James made a TOTAL FOOL of himself entailing his commentary on AFP which, as demonstrated below, Burns quickly called him on the carpet on:


Rep. Ted James makes utterly bone-headed statements about AFP!

Here’s Ponti’s statements that we taxpayers, “want a gas tax and don’t care that it’s an election year,” and also that we need to “reach out to our legislators to hold them accountable,” if anybody cares to watch:


Ponti insists Louisiana citizens want their gas taxes raised.

CLICK HERE if you’d like to view Ponti’s presentation in its entirety, but we can’t blame anyone who either #1) gets furious at what he says, or #2) suddenly feels nauseous!

If you would like to be added to our em>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.