No Surprise

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    I’m going to talk about the Baton Rouge Loop at the end of this column, so bear with me.
    I read the coverage of the Central Mayor’s race in the Central City News last week and I just had to sit back and smile.  It was that smile you get when the intent behind something you read is so obvious that everyone else can see it, but the one writing it is pretending it is news, hoping no one will notice.
    It is No Surprise that Central City News owner and editor Woody Jenkins – de facto campaign consultant for Junior Shelton – is trying to disguise his politicking for Shelton as news. 
    A quick glance at the article and you see a HUGE Shelton sign next to a tiny little DAVE sign.  Look a little farther and there is nice staged photo of my opponent smiling and supposedly studying current issues, and then there is a regular old un-posed blah photo of Dave with a caption that implies that I favor a Loop through the middle of Central, which I do not, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
    Finally, the article itself reads like a campaign speech given by Shelton with a few selected facts about Dave thrown in give the illusion of fairness.  All of this is No Surprise, and again, I’m amused, not offended.  Woody has done a masterful job promoting his ally Shelton, as he has been doing for years.
    Let’s be honest.  I am the founder of Central Speaks, the upstart newspaper that has replaced Woody Jenkins’ Central City News as Central’s weekly newspaper.  I can see why I may not be his favorite guy.   No Surprise!
I am proud of the community newspaper my daughter, Beth Fussell, and I have built, and we are honored to bring all the Good News about this Great City to you each week.  Beth continues to own Central Speaks and she is committed to being its editor during and after the 2014 mayoral election.
    So, I’ve acknowledged the obvious.  Each candidate is clearly aligned with a newspaper.  No Surprise!  The difference is this: Central Speaks is going to tell you when the printed topic is about the election and we are not going to disguise it as “other” news.  If there is an article about election issues, such as the one at the bottom of page one in this week’s issue, we will title it “Election Central” or we will print it on a page with that same “Election Central” heading.  So, if elections interest you, read these articles.  If not, skip these articles and continue reading the remaining news about our community.  Be assured that we will not try to fool you and embed election opinions in what should otherwise be community news.
    Now for the Loop!  In December of 2011 I, Dave Freneaux, completed weeks of research on the proposed Loop and the legislation behind it, and I was the first person to report to the citizens of Central that the Baton Rouge Loop CAN NOT come through Central without Central’s prior written consent.  I uncovered this fact in the 1997 Louisiana House Bill 411, Section 2028 and reported it to everyone in the newspaper.  No reporter, editor or elected official had ever told us this important fact – that the citizens of Central have legal protection against the Loop!  We don’t have to have anything pushed on our community that we do not want!
    I am on record, and I will stay consistent in my stance, in saying that I favor infrastructure improvements that can lessen our traffic woes and bolster economic development, but, ONLY if such improvements do not interfere with or damage the quiet rural community we all settled here to enjoy.  A Baton Rouge Loop through the middle of Central is NOT good for this community.  I oppose it.  For the record, my opponent, Junior Shelton, could support the Loop.  No Surprise!

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