Sunday, November 16, 2014

Big Business Takeover Focus on Jefferson School Board

This blog recently pointed out how businessman Lane Grigsby, LABI, and the Greater Baton Rouge Chamber had infused massive campaign funding into the East Baton Rouge school board election in an effort to totally control all future decisions of that local board. At this point, the takeover bullies have been partially successful in EBR with a runoff election remaining.

Jefferson Parish a Major Target

The Jefferson Parish school board is the largest public school system in the state, and has been dominated by big business interests for some time. Some of their latest political shenanigans to maintain control over that Board are approaching the level of outrageous.

In one particular school board district, it seems that the only qualification the big business forces cared about was that the candidate was willing to do their bidding without regard to actual qualifications.  Using only that criteria they were able to recruit a person who had just barely moved to the Parish, but who they thought would have just the right kind of name recognition. 

The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce endorsed candidate for the school board District 2 seat is a young man named Rickeem Jackson. Mr Jackson is 25 years old, has no children, relies on his dad for living expenses, pays no taxes, and didn't register to vote in Louisiana until last August. Nevertheless, with big business backing and money he has made the runoff election. See this NOLA news story.

Candidate Jackson is the son of Saints football star Ricky Jackson, but he just recently moved in with his dad after living in other states. Somehow he was recruited to run for school board even though he has almost no knowledge or previous interest in the school system.

His candidacy survived a court challenge even though his court testimony reveals a very strange and questionable political past. Mr Jackson seemed to admit in court testimony that his 2008 presidential vote may have been fraudulently cast. Here is the testimony:

Q Let me ask you this: Did you -- did you vote in the 2008 presidential election?
A There's a possibility. If it was, it was an absentee ballot. I wasn't there. I think I understand where you're getting at with this: But it wasn't me voting at the stand. It was - - it was if there was a vote done on my behalf, it wasn't under my authorization.
Q Well who can vote on your behalf?
A A lot of people have your information, have, you know, your records. It's not hard to send in an absentee ballot vote for anyone familiar with the voting process. 
(Rickeem Jackson can't remember if he's ever been registered to vote outside of Louisiana) 
Q Let me ask you this: Did you ever register to vote in any place outside of Louisiana?
A I'm not - - I'll go back to the question: I wasn't sure when I registered to vote; so I couldn't answer that.
Q That's not the question. I'm not asking you when. My only question is were you ever registered to vote anyplace outside of Louisiana?
A I'm not sure.
(Rickeem Jackson didn't register to vote in Louisiana until August 13, 2014:
Q You are, in fact, now registered to vote in Louisiana, correct?
A Correct.
Q As a matter of fact, you have not been registered to vote in Louisiana for months yet, have you, correct?
A I'll say that's correct. I'd say that's about right.

The court testimony of Rickeem Jackson goes on to show that he relies on his wealthy dad to pay his living expenses, and that he lives in his dad's house and does not pay rent. Here is a link to the entire testimony.

This is the person the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and the Jefferson Business Council endorsed for school board. Yet like the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, they claim to only be interested in the welfare of the children.

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