CAUGHT: Livingston Schools Electioneering Scheme!


Voters have short memories! But it wasn’t that long ago that the Livingston Parish School System sought to pass a perpetual sale tax which would have increased their total sales tax revenue by 225% when compared to 2011. Despite questionable activities on the part of the members of the Livingston Parish School System to persuade voters with their blue check-mark of approval the measure was defeated.

But only 20.5% of the registered voters showed up to the polls on March 25, 2023 to defeat the tax proposition by a vote of 54% against and 46% in favor. Of the 43,929 registered Republican voters in Livingston Parish, only 10,971 (25%) showed up to vote. Is this an unintended consequence of the election integrity crowd telling people they can’t trust the election system in Louisiana? After all, it was elections expert Alex Haldeman himself whose recent report (top of page 8) predicts the report is “all but certain to be exploited by partisan actors to suppress voter participation and cast doubt on the legitimacy of election results.” Whatever the reason for such low voter turnout, it’s a bad sign!

Teachers across the state should be licking their wounds from House Speaker Clay Schexnayder’s active blocking of the MFP (a permanent teacher pay raise). However, the teachers in Livingston Parish should be doubly upset because their own leadership failed to provide a promised pay raise. Instead, the school system led them down the same old failed path of tax increase schemes. Some of these Livingston teachers have reached out to us saying the pay raise tax was doomed from the start. Mostly, they say, it was because the administration has allowed a certain school librarian to politicize their entire parish. She now enjoys jet-setting to mini-vacations all over the country while still being paid as if she were showing up every day for work. Livingston parish is rightfully upset.

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Violations of state law?

A picture is worth a thousand’s words! And it’s imagery that forms the basic means of human communication. Whether it be a photo or the written word it is illegal to use PUBLIC FUNDS “to urge any elector to vote for or against any candidate or proposition…” Even our constitution says so! But it takes more than parchment barriers to prevent elected officials and government bureaucrats from violating the spirit and rule of law.

So, while the majority of the voters in Livingston Parish casting a ballot against a massive tax hike, will they soon forget the enormous efforts by the Livingston Parish School System to push through this tax? Will they hold their leadership accountable?

Election code violations?

Gary “Frog” Talbert buying lunch for voting teachers.

There’s still plenty of time for Gary “Frog” Talbert to disclose buying lunch for voting teachers on his campaign report – if he choses to do so. This is one of those gray area / loopholes that politicians just love to explore.

However, under the Louisiana Election Code, Louisiana Revised Stature 18:1484 specifically, outlines who is required to file disclosure reports listing contributions and expenditures, which includes “each political committee” and “any person other than a candidate or political committee” which meets the criteria outlined in LARS 18:1501.1.

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Louisiana Revised Statute 18:1483(14)(a)(i), defines a “political committee” as “two or more persons, other than a husband and wife, and any legal entity organized for the primary purpose of supporting or opposing one or more candidates, propositions, recalls of a public officer, or political parties, which accepts contributions in the name of the committee, or makes expenditures from committee funds or in the name of the committee, or makes a transfer of funds to or receives a transfer of funds from another committee, or receives or makes loans in an aggregate amount in excess of five hundred dollars within any calendar year.

Further, Louisiana Revised Statute 18:1501.1 states “Any person, other than a candidate or a political committee, who makes any expenditure or who accepts a contribution, other than to or from a candidate or to or from a political committee, shall file reports if either said expenditures or said contributions exceed five hundred dollars in the aggregate during the aggregating period as defined for committees.

Newspaper ads require disclosure

On March 16, 2023 an ad appeared in The Livingston Parish News with the names and signatures of forty-nine school administrators from the Livingston Parish School System. The ad which reads “Livingston Parish Voters, we are asking you to vote yes” claims that it was “paid for and strongly supported by the school principals listed on this page.” If over $500.00 in contributions were received or expended by a person or a group of persons to publish that advertisement, they would be required to file a report with the Louisiana State Board of Ethics.

According to public records the $1,100 ad was paid for by Laura Dunlap, the school principal at Seventh Ward Elem. Her name is included in the ad with a list of other school principals supporting the tax. Additionally, a discount of $166.30 was provided which may constitute an “in-kind” donation by the newspaper (LARS 18:1491.5). Despite the language contained in the ad, it appears that not all of the school principals listed in the ad contributed to its publication. One should wonder whether they all actually endorsed the tax or even approved of their name appearing in the ad.

As of today, we are unable to locate any report filed with the Louisiana State Board of Ethics Administration disclosing what is clearly an expenditure in excess of $500.00 by a person or group of persons taking a position on a proposition in an attempt to influence the outcome of an election. So the next time an election rolls around in Livingston Parish, we hope the residents therein will recall all of this subterfuge and demonstrate their disdain by showing up at the polls.


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