Archive for March, 2010

OPNO: Rhymes Removed from Schleuter Probe


Ouachita Parish News Online (OPNO) is reporting that Director of Human Resources for the City of Monroe J. Michael Rhymes has withdrawn from the investigation into Police Chief Ronald E. Schleuter’s taping of Mayor Jamie Mayo.

Lincoln Parish News Online had reported on the controversy here and here.


V-Vehicle Tax Refund on OPPJ Agenda


The Ouachita Parish Police Jury will discuss at its next meeting procedures for refunding the V-Vehicle tax passed last fall on Ouachita Parish property owners, according to a Robbie Evans story in The (Monroe) News-Star.

Lincoln Parish News Online had reported on the refund issue in several stories that can be found here.


Aides sent to discuss VVC loan with DOE

Lawmakers looking at raiding Megafund

Bill Dye weighs in again.

Business is God’s Business

And here are some comments from Congressman Rodney Alexander

Interview with Congressman Rodney Alexander

V-Vehicle, Megafund Money up for Grabs


Louisiana’s Department of Economic Development (LED) Megafund is being looked at as a source of money to plug the state’s budget hole.

Here is the story.

Lawmakers looking at raiding Megafund LED wants to protect

Google/V-Vehicle Tie Disclosed


Google, a Mountain View, CA company engaged in public cloud computing and internet search technologies, revealed in the annual proxy statement its investment in V-Vehicle Company.

Investment in V-Vehicle Company

In July 2009, Google Ventures LLC invested approximately $4 million in the Series B preferred stock financing of V-Vehicle Company, a new car manufacturer. Prior to Google’s investment in this financing, Google also invested approximately $1 million in a convertible debt financing, which was converted into Series A preferred stock as part of this financing transaction. KPCB Holdings, Inc., as nominee for certain funds of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and several of the managers of the fund, holds more than 10% of the outstanding shares of V-Vehicle. L. John Doerr, who is a member of the board of directors of Google, is a managing director of these funds and the general partner of certain Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers funds. L. John Doerr is also a director of V-Vehicle.

Lincoln Parish News Online had reported on the connection last August.

Lincoln Parish News Online has reported extensively on the controversial company and the Monroe project. Archived stories can be found here. We will continue to report on this ongoing story.

V-Vehicle Refund to Taxpayers Short by $14K


Last week’s V-Vehicle Company refund check of $6,184,733.07 was short by $14,675.71, according to our calculations based on invoices submitted to the Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LED) by the company.

Since the beginning of the project, we have kept a running total of money spent by the taxpayers, along with copies of the invoices. Here are the tabulations, with links to invoice copies:

10/21/09: $4,184,733.07
09/09/09: $1,266,049.13
08/13/09: $177,281.25
08/11/09: $491,740.26
07/10/09: $79,605.07
Total Paid:$6,199,408.78

The check is drawn on the Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, CA.

Lincoln Parish News Online has reported extensively on the controversial company and the Monroe project. Archived stories can be found here. We will continue to report on this ongoing story.

Public Records Bills for the Legislative Session


There are several important bills regarding Louisiana’s Public Records Law that have been pre-filed for the upcoming legislative session.

Here is pertinent reading on the subject.

Top Five Sunshine Solutions
For the record, public records are ours: James Gill

When Preachers Preach


Some commentary on the controversial V-Vehicle issue by Bill Dye, pastor of the North Monroe Baptist Church.

Political Retribution is an Ugly Thing

Dye was one the many area pastors invited to hear a pitch for the the V-Vehicle tax from the politicians last fall. Here is The (Monroe) News-Star story on the meeting.

Louisiana’s Watchdogs


File photo of Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) and the Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) staff

Deputy Press Secretary for Government Mike Hasten (allegedly the Gannett Capitol Bureau Chief) has another keeper today – Watchdogs cite budge woes. In the piece, Hasten waxes poetic about what he describes as two “watchdog” groups in Louisiana – Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) and the Public Affairs Research Council (PAR).

For fifty years or better these two groups have been guardians against political corruption and waste here in Louisiana, we have been told by the media. They never fail to get ink or air time whenever they want it. Yet the corruption has not slowed a whit during that time.

So who is watching the watchdogs?

But Will it Cash?


Almost without exception yesterday evening as we conversed with various associates around the region and state about the return of almost $6.2 million to the State of Louisiana from V-Vehicle, the first comment we heard was “Do you think it will cash?” It’s amazing how that was the first thoughts of everyone…

Today’s stories

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune
V-Vehicle automaker returns incentive payments to state

The (Baton Rouge) Advocate
V-Vehicle returns millions to state

The (Monroe) News-Star
V-Vehicle returns $6.2M to La.
Ventured, and gained
Offer shares to the public
DOE loan: What did we expect?

The Check is in the Mail


According to The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, V-Vehicle has returned money paid to it by the taxpayers of Louisiana.

V-Vehicle returns state incentive money after financing plans fall short

From The Ouachita Citizen
V-Vehicle repays state