Democrat not interested in all facts

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The media covering the Concordia Parish sheriff’s election has had a field day, especially since the recent court challenge. I hope The Natchez Democrat will now allow me the opportunity to offer actual facts, not just details a reporter deems important.

To me, it’s apparent that The Democrat is not interested in all the facts of this case. Your writers selectively carve out the pieces of the election issue that you feel will create controversy.

This challenge was heard at the District Court level, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and Louisiana Supreme Court. That’s 11 judges with far more education and life experience than anyone associated with The Democrat or any media.

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The Web sites to review the judges’ exact opinions are:; and

Glenn Lipsey filed his petition Oct. 29, stating “errors and unlawful activities occurred.” Some 16 or more claims were made, listing law-abiding citizens by name. For example, prisoners transported to the polls — not a shred of evidence; felons allowed to vote — no evidence; persons denied their right to vote — no evidence; and so on.

Did Lipsey provide proof of all these claims? Those in court know there were many items that neither Lipsey nor his attorneys even discussed, much less proved.

But, names of people in the petition became public. Does Lipsey not care how people’s lives were affected by their names being used and having false allegations made against them?

Did The Democrat fulfill its duty to the public and list those claims that were not even addressed by Lipsey? Did The Democrat itemize claims that were found to be totally inaccurate or thrown out by the courts for having not a shred of evidence?

Has Lipsey apologized to those he listed as “not qualified to vote”? Or is it perfectly all right to disrupt people’s lives, bring them to court, embarrass them and make false allegations against them?

Lipsey and Andy Magoun said, “It’s the principle of the thing.” What about the principles involved in affecting other people’s lives by using their names as they did in the court petitions?

This election was microscopically studied — perhaps more than any other in the history of Louisiana. And, when done, nearly all allegations were “abandoned” for lack of evidence.

Ms. Finley, Re: your Dec. 5 column: Of course it takes more than a change of clothes to establish residency. And it takes more than homestead exemption. If it were the only factor, how many renters would be allowed to vote — or teens or elderly living with family members? If it were the sole factor, 60 percent to 75 percent of Americans could be “disqualified” to vote.

And all Lipsey could stand on was the homestead exemption issue — a part of the law that not every John Q. Citizen is even aware of.

I also find your remark about corruption in Louisiana extremely offensive. Many at The Democrat sit on a hill in Natchez and look down at us in Louisiana. But, there is only one person who held public office recently in the Miss-Lou who came under indictment — and that was in Adams County. There is only one election in the area that is under federal investigation, in Woodville.

After all court hearings, Lipsey only proved that one Natchez person was registered in Concordia — someone who voted in Concordia for years and was unaware of the homestead exemption issue.

Lipsey and Magoun questioned my policy having employees establish residency in Concordia and requiring them to register to vote.

Concordia citizens pay my employees’ salaries; of course they should be a part of the community they serve — that’s what this office is all about. Didn’t Lipsey have to reside in Louisiana to be a Louisiana State Trooper?

I believe all Americans should register to vote. Yes, it’s part of the hiring process at the Concordia Sheriff’s Office. It’s policy and it’s known at the time of employment. Once registered to vote though, I cannot make anyone actually go vote. Nor can I make anyone vote for me — it’s ridiculous to even consider that.

Lipsey had his day(s) in court. He did not prove anything except that a very few voters with homestead exemption in other areas of the state voted locally. That’s eight or nine voters out of more than 7,000.

The law is the law. Judges rule on the law — not what a candidate wants the law to be. If Lipsey wants a change in the law, he must go to the Legislature — not the courtroom.

State election laws have precise timelines. If there were no timelines, elections would never be over! A defeated candidate could say six months later: “Wait — I just thought of something else.” If Lipsey’s attorneys were so knowledgeable on the homestead exemption section of the election law, why were they so uninformed on the timelines of that very election law?

I now challenge The Natchez Democrat to help me bring this parish together to move this office and community forward.

Randy Maxwell is the Concordia Parish sheriff.