Facts and Statistics Reflected Locally
Democrat-led towns show highest rates of poverty, violence
While correlation does not always imply causation, it begs the question: Why are the vast majority of the most powerless and impoverished citizens concentrated in cities run almost exclusively by Democrats? Why is it that 80% of the FBI’s “Top 10” most violent cities are those run by Democrat mayors and city councils?
Or that Democrats run 90 percent of the poorest cities? Or that Democrats run 90 percent of the cities in the U.S. with the highest unemployment? Or that Democrats are more likely to be involved in scandals regarding extramarital affairs, or scandalous affairs, otherwise? Whether all this is a result of ineffective policies, bad luck or a genuine disinterest in the welfare of anyone else (other than themselves and their cronies), it remains unclear.
Statistically, Democrat-led cities outnumber Republican-led ones by a ratio of 3 to 1 when looking at the 100 largest cities in our nation. And in all fairness, any Democrat missteps or misdeeds in office would obviously make headlines three times as much as it would for Republicans (just based on the numbers).
But why are there so many Democratled cities, especially when there is generally more parity in the number of Democrats and Republicans serving in Congress? And again, why the high correlation between Democratled towns with the highest rates of poverty, violence and scandal?
It could be just the number of registered Democrat voters outnumber Republican voters by 40% nationally. With local turnout generally so low, a Republican (or “No Party”) candidate has the odds stacked against them from the beginning. This is magnified here at home.
In Shreveport, for example, the number of registered Democrat voters is more than double the number of registered Republican voters. And many voters are reluctant to “throw their vote away” on a “longshot” Republican or No Party candidate, and instead look only for the “D” behind someone’s name (instead of their qualifications) and then pull the lever.
Whether that is the answer or not, what you end up with is single-party politics at City Hall, which is not so good for representing so many competing interests in our city. As part of the elections process, the checks and balances we have only work when there are competing political parties. With twice as many of us registering as “no party” voters in Louisiana than Democrat or Republican combined, the checks and balances system has become “unchecked and un-balanced.”
But it’s not just here at home. Across the country, the result is higher and higher Democrat-led cities, and the numbers on poverty, crime and corruption tell the tale.
And unless voters hold elected officials accountable on election day (by actually showing up to the polls), the incumbents only become less and less responsive to the voters. As time marches on, they are more likely (nevertheless) to be re-elected and less likely to be removed, whether by the voters or prosecutors or their resignation.
By the time they do get removed, though, or even investigated, it’s almost always too late. Remember New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, convicted on corruption charges for accepting bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors right after Hurricane Katrina? Or the mayor of Birmingham, Ala., who was convicted of accepting bribes in exchange for giving millions in sewer-bond business to a friend. Then there was Nashville’s mayor, who resigned amid a sex scandal involving her former head of security.
Up in Allentown, Pa., the entrenched oneparty politics was so bad that the mayor was re-elected to a fourth term, even after being indicted on 47 charges of trading contributions to his campaigns for favorable treatment to donors getting work from the city.
Here in Louisiana, in New Roads, their mayor was indicted on 10 felonies by a grand jury for putting thousands of dollars on a cityissued credit card for personal use. He then traded sexual favors from the city’s financial director in exchange for her use of a city-issued credit card.
Former Caddo Parish Commissioner Lynn Cawthorne was sentenced to 46 months in prison and three years of probation postrelease after stealing $987,019 intended to feed impoverished students during the summer. But even before being sentenced, his constituents overwhelmingly re-elected him to office – after he was indicted for the charges he was eventually convicted of.
So, besides malfeasance in office and dishonesty, these mayors all have in common that they have a “D” behind their name, and from the conviction rate and the indictments, there’s not much else worth noting.
And no, this isn’t about tearing down one political party or uplifting another (although it sure sounds like it, I know). It’s just worth noting the remarkable correlation of Democrat-led cities with increased poverty, violent crime and unmitigated corruption – and understanding the psychology of why voters keep voting for the same “brand” of candidate even after years and years of having nothing to show for it.
Either voters a) don’t realize the consequences, b) their “give-a-damn” is broken, or c) it’s both. While this may mean we’re getting the government we deserve, it’s definitely not the government any of us need – no matter what letter you put behind your name.
Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at email@example.com, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.