Elliott Stonecipher

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Elliott Bond Stonecipher
Born (1951-07-13) July 13, 1951 (age 67)
Alma mater
OccupationDemographer, political consultant; pollster; political pundit
Political partyNonpartisan[1]
Spouse(s)Divorced from Shari Robertson Stonecipher, now Shari Norberg
Children1

Elliott Bond Stonecipher (born July 13, 1951) is a demographer, pollster, political analyst, civic activist, and public speaker based in his native Shreveport, Louisiana.

In 1980, he founded his company, Evets Management Services, Inc., which does polling person-to-person, by telephone, or mail on political, commercial, and public-policy subjects.[2] He is a regular contributor to the blog, RealShreveport.

Background[edit]

Stonecipher is one of four children born in Shreveport, Louisiana to R. L. Stonecipher (1923-1973), a postal clerk who served in the United States Navy during World War II, and the former Elizabeth Jo Ann Holcombe (born 1925). In 1969, Stonecipher graduated from C. E. Byrd High School in Shreveport.[3] Stonecipher attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, from which in 1973, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. In 1975, he earned a master's degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.[4][dubious ]

Briefly a schoolteacher, Stonecipher at the age of twenty-five took a position in Baton Rouge with the Louisiana Department of Education during the first term of superintendent J. Kelly Nix. He had worked on Nix's campaign. He was appointed as director of the state teacher certification.[5]

After three years with Nix, Stonecipher established his own firm to become a campaign consultant and conducted public opinion polling. His firm specializes in demographic analyses for clients in the financial services industry. Stonecipher and his company also provide research in regard to change-of-venue studies in criminal cases, particularly those involving capital murder.[4][dubious ]

In 1981, Stonecipher was selected as "Small Businessman of the Year" by the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. In 1987, he was named "Rising Young Business Leader" by the Shreveport Leadership Council.[2]

Demographer and analyst[edit]

Stonecipher was a consultant to Governor Buddy Roemer, a Democrat-turned-Republican who served from 1988 to 1992.[6]

For a time, Stonecipher worked for Roemer's Innovative Data Systems computer company. Early in 1980, Stonecipher explained the loyalty of northwest Louisiana voters to the Democratic Party despite the region having flirted with Republicans in state and national elections in 1964.

The lower- to middle-class voter looks across the spectrum, and he sees a candidate at least rhetorically tied to the 'little guy,' the blue collar worker. He looks the other way and sees a candidate supported by rich business and by what is called the country-club set. He's paying $1.20 a gallon for gasoline [then considered excessive by many] and reading about huge profits for the oil companies. One candidate has his children in public school, like he does, while the other one is paying hundreds of dollars a month to keep his children in private schools. ... In the emotional turmoil, the voter realizes there are the 'haves' and the 'have-nots', and he knows which one he is, and they feel drawn to stick with their own kind. ... It's not the individual candidates or what they believe, but the perception of the candidate the voters get - and that's based on the media representations of the candidates. Truth doesn't enter into it anymore.[7]

Even as most white conservatives in the state began to swing Republican in the early 21st century, Caddo Parish has remained one of the large Democratic outposts across the state.

For years Stonecipher has highlighted the problem of out-migration, with population losses following declines in the oil industry in the state, as well as the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since the inauguration of Republican David C. Treen as governor in 1980, Louisiana's total population increase has been 9.4 percent, far below the national average of 38.6 percent. The state has lost two congressional districts during this time. The 2010 census was discouraging to Louisiana. "Even more startling is our comparison ... to other states in the South," said Stonecipher in regard to out-migration.[8] Stonecipher criticized the Bobby Jindal administration for having misrepresented the effects of out-migration: They "cherry-picked estimates from federal surveys that ignore inconvenient details and disregard methodologies. They go dumpster-diving for talking points. Get you a stat [statistic] that you like that fits with your narrative and don't ever look back.”[6]

In 2002, Stonecipher co-authored the final report of a government study into possible bio-terrorism attacks in the United States in the aftermath of 9-11. The study was published in Emerging Infectious Diseases magazine of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. Since Hurricane Katrina, Stonecipher has performed extensive pro bono work in regard to "good government" reforms and political ethics.[4]

In 2012, Stonecipher wrote a column on continued public corruption in the decades since the July 1976 murder in Baton Rouge of his friend, Jim Leslie, a Shreveport public relations executive. Stonecipher referred to the mid-1970s Shreveport Times investigation of George W. D'Artois, Public Service Commissioner, and said lines had led to Leslie and his work on the commissioner's 1974 campaign. According to Stonecipher, Leslie had told him that D'Artois tried to pay his fee with checks drawn on city funds, rather than the campaign account. Leslie allegedly said that D'Artois told him to cash the checks and not to testify to a grand jury. Leslie did testify earlier in 1976. Stonecipher said that he never doubted that Leslie's murder was a hit ordered by D'Artois, in retaliation. The former commissioner was arrested on first-degree murder charges in April 1977, but died during heart surgery in June 1977 and never faced trial.[5] The case was never solved, although East Baton Rouge Parish police and Concordia Parish police had arrested two other suspects in the case in April 1977.[9] Rusty Griffiths, the alleged hit man, was killed in Concordia Parish in 1976, shortly after Leslie's murder.[9]

Stonecipher criticized the Jindal administration regarding its 2013 decision to turn over management of the LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, renamed University Health in 2013, and the E.A. Conway Medical Center in Monroe, to the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, which has no experience in hospital management. The president and CEO of the Biomedical Foundation, Dr. John Fisher George (born 1959), is a Jindal appointee to the LSU Board of Supervisors and contributed $10,000 to Jindal campaigns.[10] Among the Biomedical Research Foundation trustees and a past chairman of the organization is industrialist Don Jones, who was from 1984 to 1989 the mayor of Bossier City.[11] Stonecipher termed the transfer of the two hospitals to the supervision of the Biomedical Foundation as secretive and politically tinged: "There is no transparency. None. Everything that's being done is being done in secret. That's not a way to build public confidence."[10]

In a 2013 radio interview, Stonecipher characterized Shreveport as "a far less vibrant community" than neighboring Bossier City. He said that many lower-income Shreveport residents, who paid no property taxes, were dependent on public services, a situation less common in Bossier City. Stonecipher said that Bossier City economically resembles East Texas more than Shreveport, and that the latter has the highest property taxes in the state.[12]

Stonecipher sometimes appears as a guest on the tatewide radio talk show, The Moon Griffon Show. He has also been featured on National Public Radio, Garland Robinette's Think Tank program on WWL (AM) in New Orleans, and WJBO radio in Baton Rouge. His work has been published in American Banker,[4] and the Wall Street Journal. He has also been a guest on CNN and the Fox News Channel.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Stonecipher married the former Shari Robertson. They had a son together before their divorce.[14]

Stonecipher has two brothers and a sister.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Elliott Bond Stonecipher". voterportal.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 9, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Predicting the Outcome of Elections using Actuarial Science". Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  3. ^ "Elliott Stonecipher". newsle.com. Retrieved September 28, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d "A Better Shreveport". abettershreveport.blogspot.com. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Elliott Stonecipher (July 5, 2012). "Lessons from the Murder of Jim Leslie". forward-now.com. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Mark Ballard, Political Horizons: Impact of statistical spin, September 21, 2013". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate'. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  7. ^ Elliot Stonecipher, Minden Press-Herald, February 22, 1980, p. 1
  8. ^ "Statement from Elliott Stonecipher, January 11, 2013". BusinessReport.com. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  9. ^ a b AP, Monroe News-Star, 19 April 1977; accessed 17 March 2019
  10. ^ a b "Melinda Deslatte, Privatization deal set for north La. LSU hospitals involves foundation without hospital experience, August 6, 2013". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  11. ^ "13 members selected for the University Health Board of Directors". KTBS-TV. November 21, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  12. ^ "Dennis Foley, "Stonecipher: Shreveport Is A Far Less Vibrant Community Than Bossier, East Texas Cities", July 11, 2013". KEEL Radio. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  13. ^ "LSU Medical School deal: Beware toxic politics". npaper-wehaa.com. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  14. ^ "Darrel Norberg". legacy.com. Retrieved September 27, 2013.