Plaisance is being awarded 5 yo-yos for his contradictory statements and stupid actions as a member of the City Council of the City of Abbeville, Louisiana. His actions include posing for photographs with members of the Church of Scientology, the useless Lighted Airport Sign for the private airport in Abbeville and his enthusiastic sponsorship of the patently unconstitutional Baggy Pants Law, which has attracted worldwide ridicule. He is a graduate of the Abbeville high school class of 1966 (ranked in bottom half of his class), and is an ordained minister. His ego probably convinced him that he would have more recognition as a politician than as a messenger of GOD.
He was photographed (right) with members of the Lafayette branch of the Church of Scientology, a religious group formed by science-fiction writer Lafayette Ron Hubbard who created a pseudoscience self-help system called Dianetics. (British diplomats later exposed Hubbard as "a fraud" in the 1970s). The organization's criminal activities, dirty tricks and abusive behavior of the past have brought it widespread condemnation and sent some of its former leaders to prison. The church has been ruled an illegal enterprise and run out of several countries because of their fraudulent activities. Here is a photo of Plaisance shown with members of the Church of Scientology, who are known to engage in proselytization (brainwashing), at the Boys and Girls Club:
The following link is to the website showing Plaisance, Tim Creswell (with the Office of Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness), Nick Gautreaux (a Louisiana State Senator), and Diane Meaux Broussard (in charge of Donations for the Boys & Girls Club in Vermilion Parish) also posing for photos with members of the Church of Scientology from nearby Lafayette: Click here for the Lafayette Scientology Link. Another website in Baton Rouge also has the photos of Plaisance and those mentioned above on their website. Click here for the Baton Rouge Site. It seems the Scientology group is getting some good mileage from these photos.
The following quote is from an editorial in the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times after the Times staff writers Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin interviewed former high-ranking officials of the Church of Scientology: “At its core, the Church of Scientology has not changed. It is an organization that uses intimidation and brutality to control its employees, places financial ambition above spiritual service to its members and stops at nothing to undermine its critics.” Click Here for entire St. Petersburg Times Editorial.
The Lighted Sign for the Airport in Abbeville is another of Plaisance's stupid actions. According to his own words, he pushed the city council for a lighted sign at the Abbeville airport, an airport only used by private aircraft. According to an Abbeville Meridional (local newspaper) article and photograph, this idea was that of his wife Vana Plaisance who teaches children in Delcambre, Louisiana (one would assume she is somewhat educated) and worked previously as a journalist. During a recession, while the governor was cutting programs for the poor, the city council approved Plaisance's proposal for an expenditure of over $4,900.00 to install the sign, and an additional continued expenditure for the electricity bill for the sign.
The sign was installed at the end of the runway at the edge of nearby Louisiana Highway 14. However, the amusing thing about this is that if you drive up or down State Highway 14, there are no directional signs to tell you how to get to the airport. It would seem that a directional sign would have been less costly and more helpful. Even better, they could have used a solar powered sign to show how progressive Abbeville could be instead of the home of political idiocy.
An online pdf file shows the proposal introduced by Palisance (simply click on the following link to view the city council meeting minutes of March 17th, 2009: Click Here to read the minutes of the Abbeville City Council meeting regarding the Sign
The Racist Baggy Pants Law is another thing Plaisance is proud of. During the Baggy Pants Mania, He went around boasting about having succeeded in passing an obviously racially discriminating proposal to ban low-hanging baggy pants in Abbeville. When this happened, it made international news and managed to spotlight Abbeville as one of the most intolerant places on the planet. These petty actions were small-time and misplaced actions for recognition by pea-brained politicians, (which reminds us of the similar other generational gripes from the early rock and roll and the hippies). It is considered by most educated people to be nothing more than discrimination against the majority of black youth for whom the baggy pants are a fashion statement. Fortunately, courts around the country are ruling these laws unconstitutional and demonstrating how people like Plaisance perhaps never read the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.
The politicians justified their actions by stating that the exposure of the tops of your underwear was indecent. In New York and other modern centers of the world, showing your underwear is a nothing more than a fashion statement. It is practiced on stage by singers and other performers. It is legal for women to walk down the street wearing a bikini and for men to wear a Speedo brief, and even to walk the streets in drag.
The best possible reasoning for these actions by the politicians like Plaisance is to have their egos massaged in the local press. My suggestion is for the young men being discriminated against to demonstrate downtown in Speedo briefs or wearing dresses with advance notice for the press to be there. That would give the politicians more exposure than they ever thought possible. We could also promote the idea of banning outdated attire of the type Plaisance wears. His wardrobe looks like it came off the bottom shelf of K-Mart, Target or Wal-Mart in the 1960's. If someone doesn't like the look of the baggy pants they shouldn't wear them, but don't trample everyone else's rights.
The following, a partial transcript from a broadcast on NPR, illustrates the constitutional issues Plaisance and others seem to have ignored: "To be sure, Saggy-pants chic is old-timey and ugly. It reinforces prejudices across races, generations and classes. Real indecent exposure is something to punish. It threatens, invades privacy, can traumatize and disgust. It's morally wrong. The state has a legitimate interest in stopping it. But saggy pants don't rise to that level. True, towns have the right to enact the laws they wish, within the Constitution. Apparel laws, however, are not constitutional unless there's a clear indecency issue. Surely, to criminalize slack slacks is to drag down the indecency line. That's the humor of it. Kids are testing that line without crossing it, because most kids don't actually want to be bad. They want the look. (Laws won't get kids to stop wearing baggy pants. Only the news that it's so last year. Only kids decide that.) Ugly is not actionable. Slovenly is not vicious. Irritating is not immoral. Still, towns all over want to issue tickets and fines. Pants Law Mania. Not only are these efforts moral policing of the most boring, least effective kind, but also they're small-time, petty, misplaced and not all that American. Drop 'em." Click here for a full transcript of the NPR broadcast.
After being elected to the city council, Plaisance ran in the election for State Representative, 47th Representative District and lost. He lost the election, and unfortunately for us, he is still in Abbeville city government. During the campaign, most of the folks in the local coffee shops were hoping that he would win so he would have to resign his position on the city council. The word on the street is that Plaisance's objective is to eventually run for mayor. That may change now that Marc Piazza is running again.
Update: (January 7, 2010): It seems that Plaisance is at it again. This time he wants to stop the city's kids from skateboarding in downtown Abbeville. There is no other place for the kids to skateboard. Instead of having these kids arrested, he should have suggested building a facility for the kids at Godchaux Park which is only a few blocks from downtown. The money spent on the airport sign could have been better used for something like a recreation area for the kids. He of all people should know what happens when adults alienate these kids....they get bored and seek other things such as drugs and booze to kill their time instead of risking being arrested for such healthy things as skateboarding. Here is what Plaisance stated: “Last week there were some kids skateboarding, lying on their backs. They are making ramps and flying off those ramps. We are talking about a back injury, a neck injury. I know they are enjoying themselves...but it shouldn’t be on the downtown streets or parking lots. We got a free-for-all city here. People skateboard, cut flips, do whatever they want.” What does he want, to control everything the kids in Abbeville do? Hey folks this is supposed to be America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Probably Francis was afraid to try some of the tricks when he was young. Click Here to read the ABBEVILLE MERIDIONAL story by Justin Martin posted on January 6, 2010.
Update - January 14, 2010 - Response from Francis J. Plaisance: It is unfortunate that our freedoms in our country allows people to write total lies about an individuals and publish them on a website. They cannot be sued for slander because they have no credibility or courage enough to state who they are. The post about me, Francis Plaisance, is filled with total lies from the beginning to the end. It is obviously from someone who is uninformed, a coward, and is carrying a personal vendetta. The airport sign, for example, costs $4900 and not $15,000, and has been applauded by the airport board. I have NEVER been a Scientologist but a member of the Church of Christ for nearly 60 years. The photo was taken by members who were in Abbeville assisting hurricane victims. The rest of the posting is a disgrace and very offensive to me. My hope is that the coward posting it has received some personal satisfaction by damaging another individual. I cannot imagine anyone supporting such comments, and am very disappointed to know there are such individuals in our City. Finally, I also understand that it would be useless to respond to the rest of the posting because this posting site would obviously not care anyway. Please at least consider respecting others, since you choose not to respect me, my family, or my feelings.
Update: (January 14, 2010): Francis Plaisance has responded to this posting with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. In his response he claims that the airport sign only cost $4900.00 rather than the $15,000.00 in the original posting. This error was a result of information others provided to us. The amount in the original posting has been changed to Plaisance's number for the time being. He also objected to our bringing his family into this. It was he who stated to the local press that the lighted sign was his wife Vana's idea. As to the references to the church of Scientology, Plaisance stated that he was not a member of the church of Scientology. The original posting may have given that impression, thus the wording has been graphs with their members (usually wearing bright colored shirts identifying their organization) is a known method used in public relations to give their organization more legitimacy than they deserve. Politicians who are hungry to have photos of themselves published, should think twice before they have their picture taken. The result can be guilt by association.As someone else responding to this posting has pointed out, Representative Jonathan W. Perry , who won the election against Plaisance, has filed a non-fiscal bill in an attempt to ban gay and lesbian citizens the ability to adopt children. We support the rights of gays to marry as well as to adopt children, and are planning to do a piece on Representative Perry in the future. Meanwhile, we stand by all other assertions in the original posting. We would appreciate any information as to what Plaisance's attitudes are toward GLBT issues.
Update: (January 16, 2010): Now that Marc Piazza, the current mayor, has thrown his hat in the ring, we have removed our earlier references to the mayor not running for re-election. That will hopefully throw a monkey-wrench in Plaisance's plans to run for mayor. It will be an interesting election and we will keep you posted.
Update - January 23, 2010 - Viewer Comment: Dear Sirs, While I generally support your agenda and wholeheatedly appreciate your presence, I must take exception to one of your articles. You awarded Counciman Plaisance 3 yoyos in your awards. I feel that your article is unfair to Mr. Plaisance in several regards. First, your assertion that Francis is associated with the Church of Scientology and post a picture of him with several scientoligists. My complaint is not about the veracity of the Church of Scientology but your assertion that Francis is an associate. He is not. That picture, and the other with several other local officials, was taken shortly after the devastation of Hurricane Rita. The people on the photos were volunteers from the Church of Scientology who came down to help people who had lost homes during the Hurricane. Whether we like them or not, the fact that these folks came down to help others (a proud liberal tenet) is commendable and the local officials were merely thanking them for their efforts- not endorsing their beliefs. Second, your assertion that the State is better off because Franics lost the State Rep's race. A very short and simple look at the voting record of Represenative Perry will clearly demonstrate that he has taken an active and prolific role in the Religious Right agenda. Just this past session of the legislature, a fiscal only session where legislators were given precious few non-fiscal bills that they could file, Representaive Perry used one of those slots to attempt to ban gay and lesbian citizens the ability to adopt children. I have known Councilman Plaisance for many years. While he might not be a liberal, he is a compassionate Democrat. While he might not walk inlockstep with our tenets, he is not our ideological adversary. While we might disagree on many issues, we also agree on many. As has been stated a million times in the debate on health care, let's not make the perfect the enemy of the good. - Best wishesand Bon Chance
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