Dear Shreveport - do NOT elect Bryan Wooley. Wooley will get some votes simply because he's got the "R" after his name, but he is, in my own personal opinion, a worm. I'm sorry, Bryan - I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but you have run the dirtiest, smarmiest, nastiest campaign I have EVER seen, and in Louisiana, that says a lot.
Let me just start with Bryan Wooley for a moment. The whole campaign sign issue tells me a lot about Bryan Wooley and how he intends to conduct business. A city ordinance says that signs in commercial areas can only be 16 feet square, but Wooley, clever, sneaky little thing that he is, cut his 32 square foot signs in half so he would be "in compliance."
I have to agree with John Settle on this one: Wooley was thumbing his nose at the law and it took a lawsuit to get him to comply. As a city councilman, Wooley knows the ordinance, or at least he should. He didn't care. He found a way around it.
Wooley has taken what I consider to be cheap shots at Mayor Glover. The mayor is, as many of you know, a very large man. I watched one of the local stations interview Wooley after the primary; when asked what he was going to do next, Wooley said he was "going to the gym, going to stay in shape, and get back to work." Was that a cheap shot at Glover? Sounded like it to me.
Wooley says he will "demand that criminals be arrested," but I don't think Glover has ever said they shouldn't be. Wooley says he will cut down on fire department and EMS runs; he says an AK-47 spray is "not acceptable" but again, I don't think Glover ever has said that it is. Wooley says cops are just public relations officers in Shreveport and not law enforcement officers. "We will not cater to criminals" he says. I don't believe Glover does. Wooley criticizes Glover for vetoing the police pay raise but wants to purchse more vehicles and equipment. He says he's going to give the police offiers a raise and new equipment, but doesn't say how he'll do it.
When Glover vetoed the police pay raise in 2008 it was not because he thought their salary is sufficient as is; it was because the $2 million plan was "imprudent and unwise" at a time when city leaders were struggling with an $8 million shortfall. The City Council did not contest the veto.
In the mayoral debate last night and in currently circulating campaign ads, Wooley is trying to link Mayor Glover to drug use which is totally unproven and unfounded. It's dirty politics. Wooley said last night:
"Taking donations, major donations, from crack cocaine felons is not leadership," Wooley said. "And accusations of doing drugs in front of children is not leadership. And you would think this is the activity of a criminal. But instead it's the behavior of our mayor. And all of it has happened since he took office the last four years."
But he offers no proof. Nothing. The donations issue to which he refers was covered here (at a site paid for by Bryan Wooley.)
The drug use issue comes up in an interrogatory in a divorce case; again, no evidence that Glover is guilty of anything, yet Wooley is working it for all it's worth. You can ask anything in an interrogatory; it doesn't mean it's true.
All in all, Wooley is throwing mud and dirt in every direction rather than leaning on his own qualifications.
Glover, from my perspective, has run clean and pretty decent campaign. To be honest, I didn't vote for him initially; I voted for Jerry Jones. But, Glover has proven himself to be a true supporter of Shreveport and its citizens. He's on the scene and on the job all the time. He's traveled to China to lobby for Hummer jobs in Shreveport; he was on the bank of the Red River when those poor drowning victims were being recovered this summer. He was at El Chico attending a fundraiser for Sgt. Greg Washam in July, encouraging citizens to come on out in support on his Twitter page.
Glover cut a personal check in support of the Highland Jazz and Blues festival last year in the amount of $500.00. I believe he believes in this city and I believe he works tirelessly to drum up support and entice businesses to invest in this city.
Now, with regard to the "your rights have been suspended" argument, I still believe Glover was interpreted out of context. He tried to clarify that remark:
When you have been pulled over for whatever suspected action that you have taken, at that point your right to continue to proceed has been taken away. If you chose to continue to advance down the road in your truck, despite the fact that you know that you have been properly and appropriately signaled by a law enforcement personnel to pull over, then you are in violation of the law.
So that's the first right that you've had at that particular point in time that has been suspended. Your choice to keep your driver's license in your pocket and away from even inspection has been suspended. Your choice to keep your vehicle registration and insurance information in your glove compartment or wherever it is that you keep it...has been suspended.
Your right to be able to hold onto your weapon and say whether I have a weapon or not is my own business at that particular point in time...has been suspended.
He might have poor communication skills sometimes, but what he means, at least as I interpret it, is that an officer's safety is paramount. If an officer asks you if you have a gun, you aren't really allowed to say "none of your business." I guess you COULD say that, but then the officer would be correct in assuming himself to be in danger. His life might be on the line.
Communication skills or not, Glover has the experience and the know how to solve Shreveport's problems. Wooley is not ready to be mayor. Wooley manipulates the city ordinances, he assumes facts that are not proven to be true, he has been intentionally misleading, and I'm always suspicious of a candidate who is more interested in slinging mud than promoting his own qualifications and agenda.
In short, I believe Glover has the interest of the City at heart and not the interest of himself. Shreveport is a city with problems; we've got crime and lots of it. There are lots of reasons for that; the economy is poor, unemployment is high, the mood in the country is tense and angry. Wooley advertises himself as the "great uniter" but we've heard that before and his actions are not backing that up.
Cedric Glover has my vote.