As bad weather looks set to attack Shreveport, its mayor manufactured another attack ad against his own Senate campaign.
Democrat Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins in fewer than two years in office has given the city’s citizens plenty to wonder about his transparency and whether they can trust him. The moment he entered office he put into motion an insurance deal with a relation to a political ally that he alleged would save the city money. Instead, it cost much more for much less. He also had a campaign organization of his try to bill the city for disallowed inauguration expenses. When it came time to pick a permanent police chief, he said he would follow the choices of a committee he appointed, only to reject its recommendations. And he apparently claimed improperly an automobile allowance even though he used a city-provided car.
Incidents like these will make it easy for supporters of his Senate opponents, principally those backing incumbent GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy, to portray Perkins as just another shifty politician who acts out of personal or political gain at the expense of the people. And now Perkins has delivered more ammunition to his critics with a disastrous television interview.
For months, rumors have run rampant that Perkins’ driving behavior had triggered as many as three law enforcement stops between April and July, but that he had skated, if not participated in coverups, on each occasion where running him in would have exposed some secret about his physical or mental health. The smoke billowed to the point where the city’s internal auditor joined with a local station to make various public record requests to ascertain whether such things had happened.
In front of a camera Jul. 10, the day after the supposed third stop, Perkins told Shreveport’s KTBS that he had endured a single stop, Sunday Apr. 5, for driving the wrong way at nearly 2 AM, and that he wasn’t under the influence of alcohol. In this instance, either for some reason the Shreveport officer didn’t call in the stop or communications may have been redacted. But public records reveal this wasn’t the only time.
On Friday Jun. 12, a Caddo Parish deputy caught Perkins speeding in his trendy Tesla in a posted 45 MPH stretch approaching downtown at nearly 65 just before 7 AM. He was let off with a warning, recently confirmed by his office.
So, either Perkins has an extremely poor memory or he lied to reporters about the frequency of his being pulled over. Being a bad driver doesn’t necessarily disqualify one from the Senate, but memory lapses or public mendacity sure don’t commend someone to the job, either. It just adds to the shady reputation Perkins has acquired while in office and makes it all the easier to exploit in negative campaign ads.