23 December 2005

whats the secret

fox mckeithen sept 2004 attorney general charles foti in background

we never had too much faith in fox mckeithen being a very good sec'y of state.

our experience with him was disappointing. it was limited to filing several complaints with him about fraudulent papers filed to his office regarding a louisiana corporation we own shares in.

he didnt do anything. so, while we hate it that he died we cant say that we are sorry to see him go. ater is no walk in the park and we cant wait to vote (providing we get to vote) his successor in either.

which brings us up to some rumors in the press that marjorie mckeithen daughter of ol fox is thinking of running for her late dads old position.

oh yeah marjorie would make a great secretary of state - for the old boy network.

what this state doesnt need is another old boy network insider. one who hides what everyone knows is a public record, we are talking about the 17 february 2005, 911 tapes, of course. what really happened to fox mckeithen that cold february day? its no secret that the press portrayed him as a falling down drunk so what are you helping to hide ms mkeithen? was he drunk and fell down or did someone beat the hell out of him? and why. mr mckeithen was a high state official elected by the citizens and we have the right and the need to know the complete details of his demise. the fact that you're suppressing the 911 tapes is proof that something isnt right.

so no we dont think we will be supporting marjorie mckeithen or whatever name she goes by for secretary of state. can you imagine what a great job she would do for the old boy network hiding and stifling public records and dont forget the secretary of state is in charge of elections.

whats interesting is how the la state ethics board fined judge janice clark $5,000usd [4,200eur] on st valentines day 2002 no less, judge clark: "... violated the restrictions on the use of campaign funds in the CFDA when she used campaign funds for personal use." judge clark, used proceeds of a $32,000 loan "to enhance her personal appearance and wardrobe." old la ethics board url: ethics.state.la.us/campopn.nsf/0/122522d79f4726ed86256b880070abfd?OpenDocument judge janice clark

so anyway the point of this entry is to remind ourselves that during our louisiana reconstruction that we especially dont forget to reform our crooked louisiana judicial system....

Court rejects release of McKeithen 9-1-1 tapes
By Mike Hasten

BATON ROUGE — An appellate court has refused to allow Louisiana's Gannett newspapers to review recordings of repeated calls for ambulance crews to assist the late Secretary of State Fox McKeithen after he fell outside his home Feb 17.

In a 2-1 ruling issued Thursday, a three-judge panel of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal rejected a request by Gannett and the Louisiana Press Association to review the recordings. The panel agreed with an April 22 ruling by District Judge Janice Clark that the tapes are not public records.
Fox McKeithen introducing Lil Howlin Wolf at House of Blues New Orleans 2003

"We are disappointed in the ruling of the three-judge panel," said Kathy Spurlock, executive editor of The News-Star in Monroe. "Our arguments in this case align closely with the dissenting opinion of Judge John Guidry.

"We will consider our options," which include appealing the decision to the state Supreme Court or asking for a rehearing, Spurlock said. "Public access to information about the operations of emergency responders is even more critical in post-Katrina Louisiana."

"I think there was a way for the court to be sensitive to Fox McKeithen's family's feelings and yet follow the law," said attorney Brady King, who represents Gannett Capital Bureau Chief John Hill, the lead plaintiff in the suit.

Joining Hill are Louisiana's Gannett newspapers: The News-Star, The Times of Shreveport, The Town Talk of Alexandria, The Advertiser of Lafayette and The Daily World of Opelousas, and the Louisiana Press Association.

"This is such an important issue, I think we should take it to the Supreme Court," King said.

The appellate court said McKeithen had the right to refuse review of the tapes because they fall under state law forbidding disclosure of "confidential communication made for the purpose of advice, diagnosis or treatment of his health condition between or among himself or his representative, his health-care provider or their representatives."

The request to review the tapes went to the East Baton Rouge Communications District, not to McKeithen.

The ruling also said communications with health-care providers are confidential and that those who made the calls have the right to expect confidentiality.

King said he is encouraged by the dissenting opinion registered by Judge Guidry, who agreed with Gannett.

Guidry said the law applied by Judges John T. Pettigrew and James E. Kuhn did not fit the case because McKeithen did not make the calls and the persons who did were not his representatives.

The calls were for "arranging transportation" and did not involve medical advice, Guidry said. And since "written transcripts of 9-1-1 calls are widely published in the print media and audio copies of the actual calls are often replayed verbatim for the benefit of television and radio audiences," the callers should have no expectation of privacy.

Guidry also agreed with the plaintiffs that the Communications District, which operates EMS, should not withhold the tapes because it is not a health-care provider, even though it employs emergency medical technicians.

"When you analyze like he did," King said of Guidry's dissenting opinion, "it results in the records being released."