A true Louisianan, E was born in St. Martinville, LA, on July 13, 1958. He grew up in the heart of Cajun country in Baton Rouge, where his father Gerald “Jay-Boy” Guirard founded the Mid-South Door Company. After graduating from Catholic high school in 1976, E went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science from LSU in 1981. He continued his education to pursue a career in law, and in 1987 was granted his Juris Doctorate from the LSU Paul M. Herbert Law Center.
E’s more than just a lawyer and values his community deeply. A big believer in community involvement and stewardship, E founded the E Eric Guirard Foundation in 2009 with the goal to “Make Baton Rouge Safe, Clean & Lean.” The foundation works with community leaders, the East Baton Rouge city-parish government, private businesses, and other charities to assist the city with issues like safety, crime prevention, health, litter eradication, and more.
All of our problems stem from the woeful public school educational system that has developed in Baton Rouge for the last 40 years. White flight, crime, labor shortages, traffic – everything can be traced back to education. It mostly directly affects minorities, but ultimately everyone. Our city public schools, by and large, are producing poorly educated citizens who test well below their grade level. Every public official, even tangentially involved in education, should be ashamed and resign. It is so bad, tinkering around the edges or pouring in more money will not work. The solution – “FUND IT, DON’T RUN IT”. Take all the money dedicated to public schools, put it in one pot, then divide it by the number of students in the parish. Each student would then get that amount of money to be used only on education. Call it a tax credit, education credit, education stipend, purple donkey – it doesn’t matter. There would be an explosion of new schools, revamped schools and educational entrepreneurialism never before seen in this country. Educational entrepreneurs from every state would clamor to set up shop here. The parish government could run schools too if it wanted, but they would have to compete with all the private schools and could not force attendance. Capitalism and free enterprise works in every other aspect of our lives, so why not for the most import thing in our lives – our children’s brains?
And until Fund It, Don’t Run It is implemented, let’s put cameras in every classroom, and let the public see firsthand what our tax dollars are paying for in the way of education.
Black lives matter is a truism that is beyond dispute. We are all children of God, and all American citizens deserve the liberty and freedom guaranteed us by the US Constitution. However, to support that truism does not mean I back Black Lives Matter the organization. I am a common sense and non-violent person, and I am somewhat troubled by the group’s occasional association with radical and violent entities. I think ultimately, since in the end we are all Americans, we together can find some different paths and organizations to reach our mutual goals of justice for all in society, racial equality and individual liberty for everyone.
The best way to promote social and racial justice is to create an atmosphere in the city of Baton Rouge that is open, welcoming, entrepreneurial and enlightened. It first starts with the schools, outlined in my Fund It, Don’t Run It program. A robust, entrepreneurial system of private schools servicing the entire school population will mix the races naturally, create harmony among everyone, and give opportunity and a future to those who did not have it before – all without government mandate. I have an inherent belief in the goodness and non-racism in most people. If we just let businesses, organizations, schools, neighbors, etc. live life in peace and progress; justice and equality will reign. The institution of the new police force, The Guardian Rouge, detailed in the next question, will also go a long way to promoting social and racial justice.
Why do we have two police forces overlapping each other – the Baton Rouge City Police and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office? Merge those two into a completely new entity, which will tie in nicely with the President’s new executive order and possible coming federal laws, and call it the Guardian Rouge. No longer call them police or cops, they will be our guardians – well trained, well paid, well educated, physical beyond fit and martial arts trained. And no more blue or green. The new uniforms and cars would all be red – or maybe a hip maroon or burgundy. Put small Guardian Rouge substations around the city and especially smack in the middle of the worst, most crime ridden sections. It will be
community policing on steroids. The Guardian Rouge will be the public’s friend – kids will want to grow up to be one and they will be all of our guardians. It’s the cop on beat – 21st century style. And tying back into Theme #2, with more electronic traffic monitoring, the main interaction of the Guardian Rouge with otherwise law-abiding citizens will not be for a traffic stop. The public will have mainly positive interaction with law enforcement andcome to understand their main role is to be our guardians. We should also pay the Guardian Rouge a bonus for living in the parish. When law enforcement lives in the parish they serve, community policing is enhanced and commitment to the parish is emphasized.
And finally, the Guardian Rouge will publicize just who in the heck the people are committing crimes – pictures, names, addresses, where you went to school, who are your parents. Parish residents need to take ownership of how we are raising our children. And we should all keep an eye out on those bad citizens who dare soil our house. A village shouldn’t raise a child, but it should look out for the bad child.
As to the coronavirus problem, my preference would have been to treat all American citizens as the free, independent adults that we are, and allowed us to use common sense in fighting this pandemic. If all the states had followed the lead of the nine states that never locked down and the country of Sweden that never locked down, we could have avoided the calaminity, heartache, other medical problems, economic loss and death caused by the lockdowns themselves and the subsequent collapse of an entire economy. At the same time, we should have emphasized protecting the most vulnerable – the elderly, especially those in nursing homes which accounted for almost 45% of the deaths and the immune
deficient people or ones with comorbidities. And even though our testing efforts have been the largest in the world, I would have pushed from the beginning an even bigger testing effort, but with rapid results. If the vast majority of folks were tested, we could have much more easily steered people into quarantines or treatments, and avoided the infection of others to a much greater degree. Finally, though admittedly controversial, the government should have made a hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin and zinc protocol available for free to anyone who voluntarily, under the guidance of their doctor, wanted to use the drug either early in the onset of the disease or as a preventive measure. Because of the political atmosphere, the use of hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin/zinc protocol has become, well, political, and we have failed to make use of a drug favored by many doctors in the United States and the rest of the world, and in fact, by many entire countries around the world with moderate to great success when used early or prophylactically, and with no incidence of terrible side effects that have been care mongered by the media in this country. The studies have been inconclusive, but what is conclusive is the safe use of this drug for 60 plus years around the world for malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, plus the sometimes amazing results in early or preventive use around the world against the coronavirus.
If we would end the lockdowns, the economy would rebound amazingly fast, people could go back to jobs and make additional stimulus money unnecessary. I would favor an at least temporary waiver of the payroll tax, as President Trump has done by executive action, which would give all workers an immediate 6% raise, perhaps for a year.
The healthcare system should be reformed by moving away from a third party, insurance company centric system and moving to a consumer based system, just like all the other goods and services that we purchase in a free enterprise, capitalist system. First, allow insurance companies to sell health insurance across state lines, just like they do with car insurance. If Flo, the gekko, the guy with the deep voice, Mayhem, the emu, etc. could sell health insurance nationally, prices would tumble down. Secondly, price transparency, again like every other commodity or service that we purchase, should be mandated. If the health consumer would be allowed to shop between medical providers for the most cost effective colonoscopy, MRI, injection, etc., again the beauty of the free enterprise system would work its magic on costs and customer service. That system could be tweaked with a government sponsored program for catastrophic illness or accident, to prevent the economic devastation that occurs regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay normal medical costs.