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.
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.
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.