I’m back. Did you miss me?

Hi guys!

I’m back from an outstanding cruise I did not warn you all I was taking for fear of being robbed whilst being out of town. Sorry about that, but I tried to keep my time away to a minimum and I had this planned for around 11 months.  I gave this to my wife as a Valentine’s Day present and since I attended I campaign event on our anniversary this year I really needed to make sure I followed through well on my pseudo-apology tour.

Fellas: I learned no matter how many times your wife tells you it’s okay to go to somewhere on your anniversary, even if you took her out the night before and bought her jewelry, it’s never okay. It’s a test and you are eternally doomed to failure if you believe her words and not your history together.  (If you catch yourself thinking, “wow, I never thought she would go for that!”  Chances are she didn’t and those clipped sentences and terse demeanor are your last warning before things go topsy-turvey –  so make sure whatever it is your are doing is worth the silent treatment and cold doghouse dinners you will be getting for a while.)

Ladies: we will probably promptly forget this advice for your birthday, my birthday, father’s day, mother’s day and some anniversary we met but we will ask you first and want to believe you are telling us the truth.  You can make this easier on both of us by just telling us “no.”  We probably shouldn’t have asked, but we really wanted to do whatever it was and want to believe you will tell us the truth.

Oh well, I doubt I’ve improved Martian – Venusian relations much, but I tried.

On the plus side, I may have had an impact on a local election.  Rickeem Jackson of the non-resident running for local elective office Rickeem Jacksons, who has never paid taxes or voted in an election prior to the one he was running for public office in, (I’m assuming he actually showed up and voted for himself – which might be a stretch.) has been defeated at the polls by an educator and pastor that actually lived in Jefferson parish, paid taxes and voted in elections.  Go figure!

http://ballotpedia.org/Rickeem_Jackson

I was planning on writing a piece on how ridiculous elections have become to have allowed someone so eminently unqualified to get elected based on his personal appearance and war chest, but I was pleasantly surprised.  This victory has flipped the Jefferson Parish school board away from the education Reformers.  Jefferson is/was LDOE’s biggest ally in the school reform movement.  They were given little oversight and wide latitude in how they operated.  Now that the Reformer superintendent has announced he is leaving, so this will mean the new superintendent will be selected by this new board.  I expect some hidden stories to be revealed that might explain Jefferson’s oft touted meteoric-rise in scores came to pass.  It appears the public does not buy the narrative education reformers are selling with hundreds of thousands of corporate and out-of-state of dollars.  The newspapers are reporting on thousands spent by Teacher’s Unions, they have been lax in their reporting of out of state billionaire’s and corporate funded Teflon child advocacy groups like the often sanctioned Stand For Children – which is run by former LDOE staffer Rayne Martin  I received this info from one of my regular sources. (Another source confirmed that Rayne Martin did run at least one Stand radio spot for Rickeem. It would not surprise me if this was not properly reported.)

We found some info about our old friend Rayne Martin’s Stand for Children outfit, and its support for Chamber of Commerce favorite Mark Jacobs.

·         Jim Walton and Michael Bloomberg contributed to the Stand for Children LA IEC in late October. Bloomberg gave $125,000 on October 20. Walton gave $25,000 on Oct. 17.

·         The biggest expenditure was $37,000 a few days after those contributions to Buisson Creative for a TV ad for the Jefferson Parish school board. Mark Jacobs, but not Rickeem Jackson.

·         We can track the spending a little further. The commercials ran on:

o   WWL  (~$15,000)<https://stations.fcc.gov/collect/files/74192/Political%20File/2014/Non-Candidate%20Issue%20Ads/Stand%20For%20Children%20La%20IEC/Stand%20for%20Children%20La.%2010-29-11-4-14%20%2814150520861707%29.pdf.>

o   WDSU (~$13,000)<https://stations.fcc.gov/collect/files/71357/Political%20File/2014/Non-Candidate%20Issue%20Ads/Stand%20for%20Children%20Amended%20October%2029-November%204%20%2814146084489527%29.pdf>

o   Not sure where the other $9,000 or so was spent. Probably on another station.

Also of interest, Stand for Children has been dinged recently (ahem, seriously reprimanded by government bodies) for campaign finance violations. Stand for Children, in its zeal to support pro-Common Core candidates, illegally attack Core opponents, failing to properly report its independent expenditures. http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/e7f9b1df42d14f10adb8ba67d0d3a633/OK–Education-Ethics-Violation/. I’ve also attached the file (3 files because it loaded one page at a time) with the actual settlement agreement so we have a primary source.. By the way, Stand for Children spent nearly $365,000 in Oklahoma and lost. Earlier this year in Oklahoma, Stand for Children was caught delivering a pro-Common Core petition with fake signatures:<http://www.news9.com/story/25071850/fake-signatures-found-on-okla-common-core-petition>.

Back in Louisiana, Stand for Children modified its WDSU request. At first, it had Stand for Children in the  “Candidate” line. One day later, that was whited out and Stand for Children was put in the “Committee” line with its address added. Also, the amended filing fills in a box that had been left blank: “Spot makes reference to vote for six Jefferson Parish candidates up for election primary on 11/4 because they are for children’s education.” This may have been a correction of an oversight, or it may have been an attempt to tighten up or cover up once they knew they were going to get hit with an ethics violation in another state.

So, Mark Jacobs is being supported by out-of-state billionaires funneled through the independent expenditure committee of Stand for Children, an organization that violated campaign finance laws in Oklahoma.

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Are Jefferson Parish Judges Corrupt?

I thought I would provide an update to my Jefferson Parish School Board Race post. I received a lot of feedback from the public about how outraged they were as well as how fed up they were with the corruption in the parish. I honestly had no idea although I had my suspicions based on how Jefferson became the poster parish for education reform.

Education reform flourishes in corrupt places because of all the opportunities for money to change hands.

I have been working on a number of stories simultaneously, that are requiring a lot of research and interviewing. Some of the groups I am investigating have a record of suing or threatening to sue whistleblowers, so I’m trying to piece together public records and witness statements that back up my claims.  Incidentally I believe that intro segues into my next point and a comment from a reader from Jefferson Parish and what they had to say about my story on Rickeem:

This makes so much sense to me with recent experience I had with the group that runs the campaign for these guys who are clearly not qualified.

Byron Lee is the puppet master here and has his hands in everything and controls Mark Spears, (controlled) Derik Shepard and some judges.

Just research Byrons construction company and see how the money trickles through everyone’s hands due to awarded parish contracts. Byron lee and judges I won’t mention have control of all the churches and with money not accounted for and sheep following baptist church members, push these puppets into office.

Just check Adrian Adams'(newly elected judge) campaign report. He is affiliated with this secret group (Byron, Mark, Derrick Zeno) and to this day has not filed a campaign report that shows where he got over $25,0000 (in 15 days) to cover radio, tv, two billboards, several mail outs. It took him 3 months to raise that much and used at least that much more in the final two weeks of election.

So sad Jackson will win. This group will not be stopped. They almost control the black community as a whole because you have to listen to pastor and vote for who they say. Very sad and frustrating.

Will this reader’s comment be prophetic? I hear Rayne Martin and Stand for Charters have gotten on the Rickeem Bandwagon from this reader:

While traveling yesterday, I heard a radio campaign add for Mr. Jackson on WWL. Guess who paid for it? Stand on Children led by Rayne Martin. So predictable.

Below is a link to the judge that made the ruling in the Rickeem Jackson case, Judge Lee Faulkner Jr. He is also probably connected to Derrick Zeno since Faulkner replaced a “Melvin Zeno”, according to his bio. That seems like a unique name but I was not able to find much online. (Can anyone clue me in on the Zenos?)

http://louisianajudgesnoir.org/lee-v-faulkner-jr

 

Judge Lee V. Faulkner, Jr.

Faulkner

The Honorable Lee V. Faulkner, Jr., was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and is a life long resident of Jefferson Parish. He graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana and the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Following law school, Judge Faulkner entered into private practice, handling personal injury, criminal, civil and domestic cases.  He also served as a public defender for the Parish of Jefferson.

Prior to being elected as Judge, he was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve as Judge Ad Hoc for Second Parish Court for the Parish of Jefferson.  He also served as a Traffic Hearing Officer for Second Parish Court.

He was elected as a District Judge in 2008, following the retirement of the Honorable Melvin C. Zeno.

He is a member of numerous social, judicial and legal organizations, including but not limited to the National Bar Association, American Judges Association, Past President of the Jefferson Bar Association, Louisiana State Bar Association and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.

I wonder if any reporters from Jefferson Parish will look into these tips?

I also wonder how Judge Faulkner determined his own “life-long” residency in Jefferson Parish? In Rickeem’s case he appears to have decided “intent” to live there is enough to meet the 2 year residency requirement for school board candidates.

For some reason this situation and these reports brought to mind this bible passage. Matthew 7:15 and 7:16

15”Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16”You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?

Matthew is definitely my favorite apostle.

This seems an appropriate passage for Stand for Children and Education Reformers and the cess-pool of corruption I’m told Jefferson Parish has become. What fruits do you see them bearing?

Lies, Money, and Deception in the District 2 Jefferson Parish School Board Race

Lies, Money, and Deception in the District 2 Jefferson Parish School Board Race

rickeem candidate

The Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce and other moneyed interests have taken the unusual step of endorsing and supporting a young man from out of state named Rickeem Jackson, in a local School Board Race.

This 25 year old had never voted in an election himself (although according to testimony he submitted under oath he admitted others may have illegally voted on his behalf before.)  Rickeem claims (as far as he can recall) he was never legitimately registered to vote prior to qualifying as a candidate for the Jefferson Parish School Board.  He has never paid taxes, although he has admitted to collecting paychecks from his father for running a non-profit charity (a charity his father set up so his son could have the title of executive director.)  Other than working for his father at a charity that may or may not exist, this young man has never worked at a real job, never collected a real paycheck and never paid taxes – by his own admissions.  He is in a rough spot here.  If he ever admits to collecting a paycheck, he’s already admitted to not paying taxes the last two years on his notarized sworn qualifying papers, and in a court of law under oath.  The more he talks and the more one investigates his claims it appears impossible to conclude that he is not violating several laws in his pursuit of an elected position in Louisiana.  He’s well on his way to being a corrupt politician before even getting elected.

In addition to not paying taxes (which is still a legal requirement as a US a State citizen as well as to be a candidate for an elective office – even if you dad gives you checks to run his faux charity).  Rickeem has claimed he is a resident of Jefferson Parish, meeting the two year residency requirement to run for the local school board.  (2 years ago he was actually playing football in Pennsylvania.) However Rickeem can produce no documents to prove this.  When challenged in court, Rickeem could produce no lease agreement, no utility bills, nothing.  The first  driver’s license Rickeem produced was issued in August of 2013 (which would give him a year of residency).  His prior license was issued by Florida.  In Louisiana you only have 30 days to obtain a license once becoming a resident.  If Rickeem met the two year residency requirement, he was in violation of state law for a minimum of a year.  He actually claims he’s been a resident since 2009 so by that claim he violated the law to obtain a state license for 4 years.   In court, Rickeem claimed he lived at various residences owned by his father, and that his father “is really wealthy and pays all his bills.”

09:51:11  17        A(Rickeem)        My dad pays all the bills.  He’s very supportive of me.  He doesn’t charge me anything to live with him.

09:51:23  20        Q (lawyer)    — you have no bills, no documents  reflecting bills you’ve paid as far as household  notes, leases, gas, electric?

09:51:33  23        A(Rickeem)        My dad is Rickey Jackson.  He’s really wealthy.  He doesn’t charge me anything to live with him.  I’ll say it again.

This young man’s residency status was challenged in court, but the judge made a very strange ruling.  This judge ruled that candidates do not have to prove residency, that the determining factor is a candidate’s intent. Apparently this intent can be determined upon the day you decide to run for office in this state and applied retroactively.  Of course his intent was never documented prior to deciding to run for school board.  His actual hometown is listed as Orlando Florida and his prior school is a California University.  Rickeem did not seem to find it important to list anywhere in Louisiana as his Hometown when he was playing football. (Of course by his own admission that would have been odd since he never attended school anywhere in Louisiana and just visited his father there sometimes during the summers.  He actually lived with his mother in Georgia and Florida prior to his retroactive discovery of his intent. He could have also “intended” to run as a candidate in Pennsylvania or Florida by this strained logic.)

rickeem college

Imagine for a moment how this strange decision could play out in races across the state and nation. . .

As long as you never register to vote, and never pay taxes, you can “intend” to be from anywhere.  This ruling should be appealed to a higher court, on principle if nothing else.  I have to wonder if this judge was connected in any way to the Rickey Jackson family?

I don’t expect to change the course of this election by revealing the results of my research.  Lots of money and advertising was plowed into this young man who lived most of his life in in Georgia and Florida, until he moved to California for a year for college and then to Pennsylvania for 3 more years.  This is just one of many crazy school board elections I heard about this year.  I will probably cover a few more of them to show you how the Education Reform Movement and charter schools and their operators have made Chambers of Commerce around the state.

So when did this “intent” to become a Louisiana resident suddenly take place?

Rickeem was playing football at Robert Morris University in 2012 and was still attending school and living in Pennsylvania through May of 2013 by his own testimony.  His plans were to find another university to play for in 2013-2014 but presumably no other university would have him.

https://robertmorris.rivals.com/content.asp?cid=1437439

 Wide receiver Rickeem Jackson has been asked not to return to the Robert Morris football team in 2013, and the redshirt junior is not happy about it.

In the statement, Walton said Jackson is welcome to continue working towards his degree and continue rehabbing his ankle at Robert Morris, and that he’s welcome to pursue other options.

“I’m trying everything in my power to land in the NEC next year so we have a chance to meet again,” Jackson said.

rickeemfootball

But that was then.  Rickeem had not earned his degree, but he was welcome to remain at the university to study, just not play football.  By his own words, Rickeem had every intention of searching for a new place to ply his craft, football, in 2013-2014 school year.  Apparently that did not work out, and instead he ended up as an Executive Director of a “charity”.  Coincidentally this “charity” went online in 2013 according to a WayBack Machine search of the domain name http://www.rickeyjacksonhopecenter.org/, the same year that Rickeem was booted from his football team, and the school year he would graduate Robert Morris University, and need something to do afterwards.

Now this kid from Georgia, Florida, California, and Pensylvania, Rickeem, has made the runoff in a Louisiana school board race against a long time local community leader, resident and teacher.  Rickeems’s only qualifications for office seem to be his pretty face (which he modestly claimed as one of his key assets on the stand) and the vast sums of money that have poured into his coffers.

09:45:49   3        Q (lawyer)    First of all, do you recognize the individual in the document?

09:45:52   5        A(Rickeem)    Absolutely.  It’s a nice looking young man.  It’s a nice looking young man on the picture, me.

09:46:01   8        Q (lawyer)   Nice looking young man?

09:46:02   9        A (Rickeem)   Oh, yeah.

09:46:03  10        Q (lawyer)   Is that what you believe, or is that what  you’ve been told?

09:46:06  12        A(Rickeem)    Both.

 

rickeem donations

 

It appears Rickeem did not file any of his paperwork himself or do anything but show up a few times at a few places.  He had a campaign manager, Councilman Mark Spears (who is not a stranger to ethics issues), his lawyer and consultants provided by the chamber to handle everything.  Rickeem is theoretically still responsible for these filings complying with campaign finance laws, which would include providing addresses for his contributors.  That means you can’t submit reports with blanks for the address spot and be in compliance with the law.  Of course, why start worrying about laws now?

My guess is Rickeem is a puppet and he enjoys his role.  He has been “handled” his whole life that was lived in Georgia, Florida, California and Pennsylvania, so it makes perfect sense that he would fall into that arrangement as an agent for the business interests that want to see more business opportunities for charter school construction and expansion in the parish.

When searching for events that his charity had sponsored, run, or endorsed I found zero evidence online.  When I visited their website for this “charity” I noticed the site was hastily put together from a template, with no specific details.  There was no event info or contact information for other employees.  Rickeem is apparently an executive director of himself.  The address of this “charity” is not even a valid address.  Seriously.  The website has the street name misspelled everywhere, and is listed as a Drive instead of a Boulevard.  However the map a Google provides knows what Rickeem’s site designers meant, even if he didn’t.

rickeem charity1

 

Rickeem is a rootless transient without any experience to hold down a real job, let alone be trusted with the care of children of Jefferson Parish.  This is exactly the kind of person The Jefferson Chamber wants on the school board.  They don’t want someone who cares about the community, the children, their personal reputation or the parish’s schools.  They want someone malleable and amenable to anything they suggest; someone they can control.  If the voters of Jefferson Parish want that too, they couldn’t find a better candidate than Rickeem Jackson.

And based on the Rickey Jackson Community Hope Foundation website, Rickeem really needs something else to do with his time.  This foundation does not seem to sponsor any events.  Their “services” are randomly capitalized  in ways that change their meaning, and their mission statement makes very little sense.   Do they really have an Art Computer Center?

rickeemcharity2

Rickey Jackson Community Hope Center [Misson Statement]

Rickey Jackson Community Hope Center, (RJCH) is a facility that provides support and quality care for at-risk youth and abused children and their families in the Greater New Orleans area.

RJCHC is committed to eliminating barrier that would compromise healthy, person growth and development. We will raise public awareness and support child abuse prevention with our radio public service announcements. Our relationship with the Courage House Network, NFL Teams, NFL Network and other national media outlets will spread our message. “The Youth is our Future”

RJCHC mission is to develop caring relationships with participants that provide support and guidance in his or her personal, academic, and career path development. High school aged participate in Mentorship, after school tutoring, and career path and leadership development services that are designed to empower and enhance their individual ability to develop into healthy productive citizens and avoid behaviors that can jeopardize their own health and well-being and threaten the well-being of their families and neighborhoods as well.

 

I have no doubt this exactly the kind of person the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce wants on the school board.

They want:

  • Someone who lets other people vote for him
  • Someone with no real ties to the community
  • Someone without any real job experience
  • Someone with no experience in education
  • Someone who seems to disregards laws with abandon
  • Someone who will allow others to do his work
  • Someone with a pretty face
  • Someone who is already pretending to help children for his own enrichment
  • Someone from outside, who lives in a castle, who won’t be influenced by the poor constituents around him

 

So the Chamber’s message is this: Vote for Rickeem Jackson. We gave him money, like others have done his whole life, and he’s here now.

 

Here’s Rickeem’s ethics filing in case someone wants to tip off the IRS. It’s probably time Mr. Rickeem was introduced to the adult world where you pay taxes and suffer real consequences for lying. If he’s been running his foundation, as he’s claimed, since he returned home in August of 2013 and earning 25,000 to 100,000 a year, he should have paid taxes in 2013. He claimed on these forms he did not. He told the judge he did not. He claimed he was receiving paychecks in court too as well as on his campaign filing for Jefferson Parish School Board. Can all of these things be true? If Rickeem wins, his claims should be investigated and appealed. He should also be investigated by the State and Federal government for tax evasion. He wants to run public schools, which are paid for by taxes. He wants to get a stipend as a school board member, paid by taxes. It appears he just doesn’t want to pay taxes. I wonder if having a “really wealthy father” and being a darling of the Jefferson Chamber of commerce makes that choice a real option for him?

 

rickeem ethics1

rickeem ethics2

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rickeem ethics4