John Milkovich

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John Charles Milkovich


Louisiana State Senator for District 38 (Caddo and DeSoto parishes)
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 11, 2016
Preceded by Sherri Smith Cheek Buffington

Born May 26, 1957
Roundup
Musselshell County
Montana
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Carola Mamoulides Milkovich
Religion Non-denominational Christian

John Charles Milkovich (born May 26, 1957)[1] is an attorney in Shreveport, Louisiana, who is a Democrat member of the Louisiana State Senate. On January 11, 2016, he succeeded the term-limited District 38 Moderate Republican Sherri Smith Cheek Buffington, who completed three terms in the chamber, having first been elected in 2003.

Background

A native of rural Roundup in Musselshell County in central Montana, young Milkovich worked on cattle ranches and in roofing and painting. He attended the University of Chicago. In 1979, he graduated from the University of Montana and thereafter the Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge, at which he worked on The Louisiana Law Review. He claims to have been committed to "working families" for more than a quarter century.[2]

He and his wife, the former Carola Mamoulides, also a lawyer and a former teacher whom he wed in 1985, have a daughter, Sarah; the couple resides in Keithville in south Caddo Parish. He is an active member of the First Assembly of God Church in Shreveport, since the renamed Shreveport Community Church, under the prominent pastor, Denny Duron. He has worked in both Sunday school and the prison ministry.[3]

Career

Milkovich won the senatorial general election on November 21, 2015, when he defeated the Republican Richard Burford of Stonewall in DeSoto Parish, a departing member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. Milkovich led with 15,665 votes (52.4 percent) to Burford's 14,206 (47.6 percent).[4] In his campaign, Milkovich advocated conservative social and economic views in sharp contrast to his party.[2]

In 1994, Milkovich and his wife were the attorneys in the case of James Marvin Monds (born December 1963), a former surgical technician at Barksdale Air Force Base, who won release after serving nearly nine years for the murder in 1985 of Vicki Thomas, who was raped, assaulted, and killed at a parking lot at a Bossier City high school. Monds became the key suspect when his vehicle, a Ford Bronco, was identified as the one at the scene of the murder. Monds testified that he had never met Vicki Thomas and had no knowledge of her death but had cut his hand while working on a flat tire the night of the crime. The Louisiana Supreme Court, which heard the case after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals recused itself, ruled that insufficient evidence - most of what was available was circumstantial nature - existed to continue to incarcerate Monds. He was therefore declared "acquitted" and released.[5] Milkovich accused the presiding judge in the case, Graydon K. Kitchens, Jr., of Minden in Webster Parish and then District Attorney Henry Newton Brown, Jr., of Bossier City, later a circuit court judge, of having engaged in serious legal errors in the case. Milkovich accused Judge Kitchens of trying to block testimony which would have cleared Monds, and he further accused Brown and Monds' former wife, Shea, of plotting the killing of Thomas.[6] The charge against Brown was quickly repudiated by James M. "Jim" Bullers, who succeeded Brown as district attorney of Bossier and Webster parishes: "The theory was and is so ridiculous that it's almost unbelievable. I personally believe that Milkovich is totally obsessed with Henry Brown. I really don't know if he believes it himself."[7]

In 2002, Milkovich was an unsuccessful candidate for Louisiana's 4th congressional district seat. He lost to the then incumbent, Republican Jim McCrery, 114,649 (72 percent) to Milkovich's 42,340 (26 percent).[8] In 2008, he again ran for Congress but lost the Democratic nomination to then Caddo Parish District Attorney Paul Carmouche. Milkovich finished third in the primary with 21 percent of the ballots cast[9] and was hence eliminated from the runoff contest narrowly won not by Carmouche but by Republican John Fleming, a physician from Minden. The seat is now held by Republican James Michael "Mike" Johnson of Benton in Bossier Parish.

In April 2018, Milkovich obtained state Senate approval, 28-3, of his proposal to ban elective abortions in Louisiana beyond fifteen weeks of gestation. The state has a ban now on abortion beyond twenty weeks. The measure now heads to the state House. A similar law in Mississippi has been placed on hold by a liberal federal judge. Milkovich called such abortions "torture". Amy Irvin of the New Orleans Abortion Fund called Milkovich's legislation a "cruel and dangerous bill" during testimony before the House Judiciary C Committee.[10] Milkovich called passage of his 15-week measure "a great day for America ... a great day for unborn babies.” Milkovich advocates the overturning of the United States Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade opinion in 1973 which on a 7-2 vote legalized abortion in all states. “We want to have statues in place so that when Roe v. Wade gets overturned, we are in a position to say ‘Look, we are putting abortion clinics out of business in Louisiana,’” Milkovich said.[11]

In June 2018, Milkovich was the only dissenting senator when the body approved, 38-1, a half-cent sales tax on the current temporary law and ending of certain business deductions. Milkovich said that he cast his "nay" vote to call attention to the need for spending cuts. "We introduced budget amendments … to cut more than $290 million of wasteful spending. I voted against the budget, and I voted against three and a half billion dollars in sales taxes over the next seven years," Milkovich explained.[12]

References

  1. John Milkovich, May 1957. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on November 22, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 John Milkovich. ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on November 22, 2015.
  3. About John Milkovich. johnmilkovichforcongress.com. Retrieved on December 4, 2015.
  4. Results for Election Date: 11/21/2015. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on November 22, 2015.
  5. State of Louisiana v. James M. Monds. leagle.com. Retrieved on June 6, 2017.
  6. Danny Anderson, "Lawyer: Death No Puzzle," Minden Press-Herald, May 5, 1994, pp. 1-2.
  7. Pat Culverhouse, "Bullers rejects theory: nothing new," Minden Press-Herald, May 6, 1994, p. 1.
  8. Election Returns. Louisiana Secretary of State (November 5, 2002). Retrieved on September 20, 2017.
  9. Election Returns. Louisiana Secretary of State (October 4, 2008). Retrieved on September 20, 2017.
  10. Greg Hilburn (April 24, 2018). Sen. Milkovich: Abortions beyond 15 weeks 'torture'. The Monroe News-Star. Retrieved on April 26, 2018.
  11. Sen. John Milkovich is ecstatic over possible repeal of Roe v. Wade. WWL Radio in New Orleans (July 16, 2018). Retrieved on July 17, 2018.
  12. Sen. John Milkovich: Why he was the Senate's only no vote [Video"]. KEEL Radio. Retrieved on June 4, 2018.