Thursday, February 4, 2010

Endorsements (And Some Commentary) in the City Elections

Jay Batt for District A Councilmen have to make tough decisions. Jay’s made them and paid for them, rightly or wrongly. One of the things that has amazed me about the district, particularly in the Carrollton area, has been the number of “no-this” and “no-that” signs. New Orleans has been justly accused as a city allergic to change, progress and development. Neighborhood and parochial matters aside, there is ONE thing that stands out about Batt- it was because of his efforts the city’s self-destructive residency rules on first-responders was finally scrapped. It’s not good enough for District A to select a “good vote”; they need to have a leader in that spot. What few reform measures that have advanced in the city generally originated from District A council members, including term-limits (thank you Peggy Wilson).

That Batt has lost twice for this seat and threw his hat in the ring again knowing he’d be targeted again by unmovable critics speaks of his humility and dedication to the city and the area. I fully encourage District A voters to support his bid to return to the council.

Stacy Head for District B If the full authority of supreme elector of Orleans Parish was vested in my hands, Ms. Head would be mayor. The Crescent City’s reigning frozen-food internet critic has courage, integrity and resilience.

Cynthia Hedge-Morrell for District D She fought for Holy Cross High School and she was the swing vote on ending the residency rule on first-responders. Her errors in other areas are largely insignificant in the big picture.

Austin Badon for District E Consistently supported reform legislation in the House of Representatives.

At-Large No endorsement from me personally but I will mention the Greater New Orleans Republicans endorsed the incumbents, Jackie Clarkson and Arnie Fielkow. I would also like to add that Congressman Steve Scalise has endorsed Clarkson. I’d love to see the Louisiana GOP condemn the state’s most conservative congressman for that “sin”.

Mayor Once again, I won’t endorse anyone but I will point out some harsh realities.

Republican mayoral candidate Rob Couhig has expressed support for the reappointment of Jim Letten as US Attorney. So has Mitch Landrieu.

That said, Paul Prudhomme couldn’t cook the poll numbers enough to come up with a scenario where Couhig makes a runoff. Furthermore, there is ZERO doubt that Landrieu will not only be in a runoff (if there is a runoff) but will also lead the field, doing no worse than falling just short of winning mayor outright.

And John Georges has no chance of making a runoff so long as Couhig’s name is on the ballot as the white anti-Landrieu vote (however big THAT segment is in Orleans Parish) is hopelessly split.

Finally, Georges’s “stand-up routine” before the DPEC did two things: boosted Couhig and Landrieu’s white numbers and killed his chances of being elected mayor.

This might not be pleasant for Republicans, but that is reality.

I’d also like to mention that a runoff between Landrieu and Henry will probably be the ugliest and most racially charged campaign since the Morial-Mintz runoff and perhaps worse than that since it’s going to require a whole lot of demagoguery by Henry and the usual suspects of “the men of God crowd” flanking him to pull this one out in the second round.

The voters in Orleans Parish have an opportunity to skip a whole lot of unpleasantness and settle the mayor’s race in the primary. Choose wisely.

Assessor Not a peep out of me in this one either but if you really wanted to piss off the Times Picayune, the same rocket scientists that endorsed Barack Obama for the presidency, then a vote for Claude Mauberret would do the trick.

Judge Civil Court, Division J The Greater New Orleans Republicans endorsed Paula Brown, an African-American candidate who enjoyed support from the National Rifle Association (!) in her previous bid for the bench. I think highly of Ms. Brown and believe she will do an admirable job. However, I’ve known Stephen Chestnut for a long time and can personally vouch for his integrity. I would vote for Stephen Chestnut.

State Senator, 5th District Question: what do Irma Muse Dixon and Karen Carter Peterson have in common? They’ve both lost congressional races to “Dollar” Bill Jefferson. Gosh it’s nice that I don’t have to preface Jefferson’s name with the title “U.S. Representative”. I’ve known Karen for a long time and she’s not the radical Jefferson has made her out to be in the 2006 congressional campaign. Carter-Peterson would be the most effective for the district in the upper chamber. Granted I’m not making an endorsement, just sayin’.

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