This is what happens when no one is paying attention to the bureaucrats in a government agency. There are a lot of fine upstanding officers in the LSP, and I would bet many of them are just as embarrassed and outraged as the rest of us over this scandal by Edmonson and the LSP leadership clique.
We in Lincoln Parish have already seen this movie with the Parish Fire Board and the antics of Tom Thompson and Chief Ford. This pair was set to extend the fire tax to every structure in Lincoln Parish until we stepped in to take back control of the board. If not for the persistence of dedicated folks like Walter Abbott who got the word out, we’d all be paying a lot more in taxes to support a bunch of paid firefighters.
When it comes to the public trust, there is “technically legal” and then there is “beyond reproach,” and public servants should always strive to err on the side of the later so as not to give the impression that they are acting in an unethical or arrogantly entitled manner. Abuse of the public trust is a serious matter that erodes the public’s trust in government and hastens the collapse of society as citizens slowly become convinced that the system is controlled by a few privileged elites at the expense of the rest of us.
Stunts like this Vegas road trip pulled by Mike Edmonson might be “technically legal,” but they certainly give the public a terrible impression of how their hard earned tax money is being spent. That’s right! Tax money first belongs to the taxpayer who earned it through hard work and the sweat of his brow long before it is appropriated by the state to ostensibly serve the public!
Taxpayers already have a negative opinion of the LSP as a group holding the power to pull you over and issue you a ticket, arrest you, or otherwise seriously impact your freedom. It is too much to bear for taxpayers to also see the LSP leadership then go off to Vegas to have a high old time on their dime. The LSP may be there to protect and serve, but most see them as someone to be feared who will pull them over and give them a ticket. Edmonson should really have better sense than not to have realized this, and the fact that he did this shows that he has become arrogant and needs to go.
Louisiana is dead last in state rankings with her college graduates leaving in droves to find work elsewhere leaving small towns to dry up and die all over the state. We have a reputation for corruption which some have worked hard to overcome, and stunts like this only reinforce a negative stereotype we can no longer afford. It’s time for us to demand better government from our elected officials and send the message that we will no longer tolerate their corruption at our expense.
The bunch shouting for “more government” and “bigger government” have already demonstrated that they are incapable of running bigger government without corruption, so it’s high time we started paring down government to a much more manageable size that we can keep an eye on and that interferes in our lives a whole helluva lot less than it does now! It’s time to end the jobs program of expanding the state workforce to get some real industries in here increasing real economic opportunities for our workers.
The other thing desperately needed in Louisiana to attract industry is tort reform. We need to put a muzzle on the lawyers and pass tort reform that is at least as tough as the tort reform passed by Texas! You all know Texas because that’s the first place most of our college graduates migrate to after graduation! Texas has jobs, and Louisiana doesn’t!