Hey Durbin, Quit Dicking With The Saints

So it seems that completely upending the banking industry wasn’t enough for Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). Now he wants to lock up the New Orleans Saints defense. According to the Associated Press, Durbin has called a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to explore whether federal law can make “bounty” systems illegal. He has asked representatives from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA to testify.

This is yet another example of when the “there oughta be a law” crowd goes wild. Does Durbin feel that the NFL’s punishment of the Saints isn’t enough and now they need to worry about criminal charges? This is completely ridiculous. Hopefully public reaction will be enough to squash this assinine idea before it goes anywhere, but Durbin is from NFC North division territory so you never know.

March 24 City Council Election Breakdown

This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but I cannot endorse anyone in the March 24 election for the New Orleans City Council At Large Seat. Each candidate gives me far too many reasons to dislike them and virtually nothing to like. This election will probably be a three candidate race with Austin Badon, Stacy Head, or Cynthia Willard-Lewis winning the votes, primarily based on name recognition alone due to their presence in local politics.

Austin Badon wants to bring the National Guard to town to police our streets in camo and Humvees armed with M16s. Also, he thinks it will be a good idea to tax people who commute to New Orleans for work from other parishes since they contribute nothing and only consume toilet water and parking spaces (his paraphrased words, not mine). Never-mind this idiotic idea was obviously found unconstitutional when Dutch Morial tried it in the 1980s. Additionally, he wants to expand DBE access to city contracts and if you’ve been reading this blog, you know what a crock those are.

Stacy Head is the Mitt Romney of the bunch. Nothing really to love or forcefully hate. With her time on the council so far we know her to be your average bigger government Democrat. What I can say is that if she wins this election, that would create a special election to replace her District B seat (of which I am now a resident). So there’s that.

Cynthia Willard Lewis lost her election in the fall for her redistricted state Senate seat with JP Morrell and instead of looking for a real job is back looking for that tax payer funded check.

Of the remaining candidates, Gary Landrieu,  a contractor and cousin to the mayor, will most likely pull the majority of votes. His primary goal is to have traffic cameras removed. In fact, he guarantees it in his video. However, he also states that he wants to replace them with “crime cameras.” No thanks, Gary. Andrew Gresset, William “Poppa” Gant, and Norbert Rome round out the bunch but all have equally uninspiring platforms.

Parking Hassles Got You Down?

If you’re like me, and your girlfriend has to constantly calm you down while looking for parking in our fair city of New Orleans, then have I got the announcement for you.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 13, 2012 from 6-8pm in the Louisiana Pavilion at the WW2 Museum (945 Magazine) UCLA urban planning professor and economist Donald Shoup will be giving a symposium titled “Parking: Can We Do Better for Our Communities and Our Businesses?” The event is sponsored by the Urban Land Institute.

If you are unfamiliar with Mr Shoup’s work, he is the author of “The High Cost of Free Parking” and is profiled in the reason.tv spot below. The focus of his message is that “in addition to making it harder to find a spot when you need one, “free” parking exacerbates other problems, from pollution to traffic congestion. Using the power of market pricing, Shoup explains how to fix the parking mess in three steps.”

An example of how his ideas are being implemented in San Francisco can be found here.

Registration for the event takes place between 5:30-6pm at the museum. The cost is $15 for ULI members and $30 for non-members.

Reviewing City Budget Is A Novel Idea

Wait, you mean we’re supposed to actually review the budget during the year? Apparently, that is what our prestigious New Orleans City Council was asking itself last week.

I don’t know about you, but I check my bank account activity and balance and due date of bills every day of the week. Is it too much to ask that the city council do this at least once a month? After all, the meeting agenda says there’s a monthly budget report to be given by Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant. Oh wait, I almost forgot. Why should we expect them to keep a hawk’s eye on the city’s spending and income when it isn’t their own money we’re talking about, it’s our money.

To make matters even worse, when they finally did get around to meeting, they couldn’t even manage to keep from getting sidetracked by…..streetlights. That’s right, streetlights. Never mind that there is a constitutional crisis going on in the Orleans Public Defenders office. Why bother working on finding funds to keep the office functional and risk severe constitutional violations or defendants from being released without a trial when we can discuss streetlights? Maybe I’m overlooking something though. Perhaps the thinking is that if the streetlights are fixed, there will be less crime, so in turn fewer defendants to have to represent! Brilliant! I don’t give Budget Committee Chairwoman Clarkson enough credit apparently.

In all seriousness though, this is a complete dereliction of duty that cannot go unmentioned. Who can possibly be surprised about high taxes and questionable spending when our elected councilmembers can’t even be bothered to seriously review them? Shame on them.


Louisiana Republican Caucus Details

According to the Louisiana GOP website:

Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 8:30 am-12 noon, caucusing will occur at 30 sites across Louisiana. All Orleans Parish east bank residents will report to De LaSalle High School at 5300 St Charles Ave. All Orleans Parish west bank residents will report to the Quality Inn & Suites at 100 Westbank Expressway in Gretna. Residents of all other parishes can find their site on the party website. Voters are eligible to participate if they were registered as a Republican as of December 15, 2011.

During the caucus, 25 delegates and 12 alternates per Congressional district will be elected to attend the state convention on June 2, 2012 in Shreveport where delegates to the National Convention in Tampa will be selected. Anyone can register to run for delegate in April so long as they register between April 10-12 online or in person at Republican party headquarters in Baton Rouge on April 10 between 1-5 pm. The fee to register as a delegate is $200 and $75 to register as an alternate.

This is an excellent opportunity to elect as many active Ron Paul supporters to the delegation as possible. In fact, with strong caucus support it is possible to counter the March 24 primary results. Only 20 of the state’s 46 total delegates are awarded in March, and those 20 are proportionately awarded to candidates receiving more than 25% of the votes. That leaves 26 delegates. 18 of those are up for grabs in the caucuses (3 per each of Louisiana’s 6 Congressional districts). So assuming Paul doesn’t accumulate 25% of primary votes, he can still have a strong presence in Louisiana.

This is important because of a little history. Here are the 2008 primary results:

  1. Mike Huckabee 43.18%
  2. John McCain      41.91%
  3. Mitt Romney       6.34%
  4. Ron Paul               5.33%

I assumed those results meant Santorum should have a strong primary showing in 2012, but the 2008 primary occured after Romney had already dropped out of the race, and I hadn’t  seen the most recent poll results of Louisiana Republicans. Granted, the poll was conducted in late November 2011, with the (basically useless) results favoring Gingrich:

  1. Gingrich 31%
  2. Romney 23%
  3. Cain      12%
  4. Perry     11%
  5. Paul           6%
  6. Others     17%
  7. Santorum <1%

All that to say, I imagine after today’s (Super Tuesday) 10 primary results we should have a better idea what other southern states are looking like and who may drop out of the race by the time March 24 rolls around.

Further, caucus results for 2008 were contested by the Paul campaign who was leading in pledged delegates until the state party extended the deadline allowing the official results to favor McCain with Paul coming in second. This shows the opportunity ahead.

If you are thinking about registering as a delegate, please contact the campaign directly so as to insure maximum exposure for all potential caucus voters. At the very least, please get out to vote the morning of April 28 for all Paul supporters.