Category: Elections

City Council Candidates Announced

Qualifying closed today for the March 24, 2012 Louisiana Presidential and Municipal Primaries. Of most importance to me are the candidates for Arnie Fielkow’s New Orleans City Council At-Large seat. Unsurprisingly, I’m betting heavily that the candidates who’ve qualified will not be limiting city government any time soon. I’m already mourning my inability to run for the seat myself this time around.

Nevertheless, the fun of analyzing the candidates begins…now:

Austin Badon (D)

William “Poppa” Gant (I)

Eugene Green (D)

Andrew Gressett (R)

Stacy Head (D)

Gary Coldewy Landrieu (D)

Norbert Rome (I)

Cynthia Willard-Lewis (D)

I will be working on a questionnaire to send to the candidates next month on issues that concern Nolatarians. My early pick is Stacy Head, just so we have the opportunity for a libertarian candidate to run to take her City Council District B seat later next year. By the way, if you live in District B and know a good candidate, please let us know!

Also on the ballot is Judge Herbert Cade’s empty seat in Civil District Court which will become section 1 of the Domestic Section. One familiar name is running;

Janet Ahern (D)

Bernadette D’Souza (D)

Kris Kiefer (D)

So there we have it. More later.


Who’s Running for City Council?

This Wednesday-Friday qualifying is open for the March 24, 2012 Municipal Primary, which includes the remaining 2 years of Arnie Fielkow’s open At-Large City Council seat. To qualify, you only need be a New Orleans resident for the previous 2 years, pay a $375 fee (plus an additional $375 if you’re running as a Democrat or Republican), or present a 1,000 signature nominating petition. You’ll need to take this form with you to the Criminal District Court Clerk of Court office at 2700 Tulane Ave to register. I have mulled over running myself, but can’t do it this time around.

So, who’s going to run? According to the Times-Picayune we already have 3 declared candidates; Austin Badon, Eugene Green, and Stacy Head. In other words, carbon copies of the current makeup of the Council. One major talking point is the historical precedent of one At-Large seat being held by a white individual and one held by a black individual. That has not been the case since 2007. I hope that this outright racial behavior can finally be buried in New Orleans and the candidate elected is chosen solely based on perceived merit, not race. I guess we shall see. To all you libertarian leaning Nolatarian’s out there, hopefully we can make some noise in this election and start moving the scales back to a more limited city government and hopefully with a like-minded candidate of our own.

November 19 Election Wrap-up

Finally getting this out. November 19 was overall a good election night in my opinion. Kira Orange Jones defeated Louella Givens in BESE District 2 which should give charter school proponents a super-majority to extend reforms throughout the state of Louisiana. A win for public school students and families unhappy with their current school. Also good is the ban on future real estate transfer taxes. Even though the current tax in New Orleans will remain, at least it cannot be raised.

Ray Garofalo won a close race for the 103rd House seat. We’ll follow up to see how true he stays to his stated campaign promises of shrinking government. Other, less known measures allowed the streamlining of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad board of Commissioners and one of the 2 New Orleans East subdivision security districts passed in Lake Barrington.

That will do it for elections in Orleans Parish in 2011. Next on the docket will be qualifying December 7-9 for the March 24, 2012 Presidential and Municipal Primary elections, which will most notably include Arnie Fielkow’s vacated New Orleans City Council seat.


November 19 Ballot Rundown and Endorsements

Early voting begins today for the November 19 election/runoffs. Let’s go over what will be on Orleans Parish ballots.

BESE District 2

Louella Givens is defending her post against Teach For America leader Kira Orange-Jones. October brought us news that Givens was busted for DWI in February and also has a >$1 million IRS lien on her home to which I still haven’t seen her try to explain. Aside from that, the most telling comments that Givens has made that prove it is time for her to go center on her fundamental misunderstanding of school accountability. She says that chartering takes away local control of schools. In a sense she’s correct. It takes away HER control. What chartering really does is completely empower the students and their parents to choose which school is best for them instead of being trapped in the closest school to home. A vote for Orange-Jones is a vote that continues New Orleans and Louisiana education reform.


House of Representatives 103

Ray Garofalo (R) vs Chad Lauga (D). Garofalo says he’s committed to shrinking government, so please go right ahead. Lets just keep an eye on those Tea Party socially conservative points.


House of Representatives 105

Rocky Asevedo (R) vs Chris Leopold (R) Reading over each of their websites gives you the sense that either one of them would be the typical Republican representative. The one difference is that Asevedo is endorsed by David Vitter, so take that for what it’s worth…


Civil District Court Div E

Nakisha Ervin-Knott and Clare Jupiter. I didn’t vote for either in October and I don’t intend to on the 19th as well.


Constitutional Amendment

The amendment would prohibit new taxes or fees on the sale or transfer of immovable property after November 30. Even though New Orleans already has a tax like this that would not be affected, I will be voting FOR the amendment to prevent the state legislature from voting for any new taxes of this sort in the future.


City Charter Amendment

The amendment would reduce the makeup of the Public Belt Railroad Commissioners from the Mayor and 16 to the Mayor and 9 appointees. I support a measure that reduces the number of politically appointable positions. Vote YES.


Depending on your neighborhood there are 2 other items that could appear on your ballot.

In New Orleans East is a measure to create the Pressburg East Neighborhood Improvement and Security Special Taxing District by implementing an annual $200 fee for each parcel of land for 4 years. The fee would go to “the purpose of promoting and encouraging the beautification, security and overall betterment of the Pressburg East Neighborhood Improvement and Security District.”

Also in the East another similar proposal for the Lake Barrington Subdivision Improvement District. This proposition would create an annual $350 fee for 8 years on each parcel of land.

I don’t live in either neighborhood, but in general I am opposed to increased taxes for vague purposes of “beautification and security.”



October 22 Election Wrapup

First, the good news:

Out of my 20 endorsements, 11 worked out. There will be 2 runoffs for positions I endorsed, BESE District 2 and House of Representatives District 103. I’m most pleased by the 20 mill tax on the New Orleans Regional Business Park being voted down and will be looking forward to see if growth occurs out there in the next 12 months. I’m most disappointed in the passage of Constitutional Amendments 1 & 2. We now have a “sin tax” added to our constitution and hopefully the potential unintended consequences likely with #2 never happen, but I suppose we’ll see.

Some observations on the results in Orleans Parish versus the statewide numbers: Bobby Jindal only mustered 37.6% of the vote in New Orleans compared with his victory of 66% of total votes. Secretary of State was very close overall, with both candidates holding 50% of the statewide vote and Schedler coming out ahead by a mere 8,498 votes. However, in New Orleans Jim Tucker won 59.49% of the votes. Continuing the theme, Mike Strain won the state vote for Commissioner of Agriculture with 67%, but lost in Orleans to Jamie LaBranche 42-51%. Most odd from Saturday night was the rejection of amendment 5 by those outside New Orleans.

Overall it was a pretty quiet election day absent any major surprises. Looking to November 19 we have 3 runoffs, another constitutional amendment and a proposition (or 2 depending on your subdivision) to look forward to. More on those later.