When Carlee called us “the most influential voice in Lafayette,” local news outlets took notice. Is it any surprise? We do the research no one else is doing. That research enables us to share insights that no one else can. One example is our LCG Council Scorecard. It’s an absolute first of its kind in the Lafayette area. Where else can you find every single non-unanimous vote cast by the council in the last four years? Who else can tell you how often council members vote to raise your taxes by election or roll-forward? No one.
Research isn’t the forte of the local news. They interview “experts” whose only qualification is they were elected or appointed to a position. Being appointed as a floodplain administrator, for example, grants someone instant credibility – regardless of what they know or don’t know on the subject. If elected officials say there isn’t enough money, the news media says it must be true!
Who told you about the Library surplus?
If it wasn’t for our research, you’d never have known about the library’s $40 million surplus. The media and politicians told you over and over again that we were wrong. There was no surplus because the library had plans to spend all of the money. Now these same media outlets are talking about what we’re going to do with the library surplus! They can’t have it both ways.
Who broke the Drag Queen story?
We were the first place to talk about the Library’s planned taxpayer-funded Drag Queen Story Time event for toddlers. It wasn’t until after the story went viral that local news outlets felt compelled to cover it.
Who told you about the school system’s erroneous “overcrowding” argument?
We told you that the school system had enough capacity for all of the students with room left over. The news media and the school board members told you schools were overcrowded and the only way to fix it was to raise $200 million in new taxes. Who was right? School Board President Dawn Morris said we were. In fact, she seemed somewhat embarrassed that the board had presented a tax as a solution to what was really a policy problem.
Who told you about the $10 million surplus in the courthouse and jail?
Remember last year when the council said the courthouse and jail funds were dangerously low? Do you remember when we told you they had $2 million in annual surpluses for two years running? They even told people in the courthouse that if the tax didn’t pass, they’d have to cut jobs or salaries! The local news said we didn’t know what we were talking about… and then we shared the documents.
Who told you that unincorporated residents really DO pay fire taxes?
You remember that one, right? As usual, local news media just repeated what the “experts” said. Nobody, including those experts, bothered to substantiate the claim that unincorporated residents didn’t pay any fire taxes. We did. In fact, we found documents showing the claim was false! The unincorporated parish residents paid over $1 million in fire taxes. What did the media say? Just because it’s called “tax” doesn’t mean people are paying it.
The media said your property insurance would go up unless you passed a new tax on yourselves. However, we found out that no matter what happened the insurance rating wasn’t going to stay the same. “What about buying more tanker trucks?” they’d say. We responded, the PIAL gave maximum points for tanker trucks already. You could buy 100 tanker trucks and the score would not improve. Not only did they not read the document, they didn’t even request the document!
We told you the underlying issue behind the fire rating problem was water infrastructure. That’s the job of the public works department, not the fire department. If you want to fix the problem with the fire rating, you’ll need to first address water availability in the unincorporated parts of the parish. Did the local news media say anything when we released the documents verifying our position? Nope.
We’re the only organization holding them accountable.
All the media attacks are our red badge of courage. They just want us to go away so they can get back to interviewing “experts” who call you stingy for not wanting to pay more taxes. Local residents are smarter than that. They know there’s more to the story. There has just not been anyone telling it until now.
Every time the media attacks us, we get bigger. This time is no exception. We have seen a record number of new monthly contributors and one-time donors. These are people just like you. They’re tired of hearing the local news push higher taxes and lower expectations. Are you one of them? Join us now.
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