Saturday, May 20, 2006

My Two Confident Predictions

First prediction: the election won't be nearly as close as anyone in the media or almost any bloggers seem to think it will be. I won't go as far as Jeffrey, but I'd put the spread at five to six points.

I see one (but only one) of the following occurring: an unexpectedly high or low black or white turnout or a surprisingly high or low, black or white turnout. Or a crossover voter (or lack thereof) surprise.

I think crossover will be more important than turnout, but I have no idea whether Nagin will be more likely to attract a significant amount of the white vote that went to Couhig or Forman, or whether Landrieu will be able to significantly improve on the estimated twenty per cent of the black vote that he attracted in the first primary.

I don't know which, but I'm confident that one of the turnout/cross over issues will break for one candidate strongly enough to make it a five or six point difference. If I had to bet, I'd have to the over on the over/under. Especially if it's 5%.

If I had to bet, I'd bet on it breaking for Nagin. I don't believe that most people (black or white) are too prejudiced to vote across racial lines, but I do believe that most people are prejudiced enough to need convincing. I don't think that Landrieu's done the necessary convincing. He might have trouble holding on to the 20% of the black vote that he got in the primary. But I'm more confident of the spread than the outcome. I could be totally wrong, Landrieu could get 30% or more of the black vote to Nagin's less than 10% of the white vote.

Taking race out of the election, no matter what the polls say, Landrieu's the challenger, he needed to convince people to vote against the incumbent.

Second confident prediction: at first the TV analysts will express shock at how one-sided the vote will end up being. But, as night follows day, within fifteen minutes of the initial expressions of surprise, the mea culpas will be along the lines of: "yes, we wrong. But we really were very smart. Every thing turned out exactly as expected, but who could have predicted Nagin/Lndrieu's surprisingly strong/weak showing among black/white voters?"

Third confident prediction: (regardless of ) the city's short term future (1-3yrs) looks better than its medium term future (4-6 yrs.) Here's why.

In the long term, I think the city has to reorganized under some form of bankruptcy, preferably some special provisions crafted for our unique circumstance.

One of my takeaways (evil corporate speak for scribbled notes) from FLOOD BOOK was that the pre-civil war levee boards were bankrupt post war, and converted into mechanisms for retiring their debt at pennies on the dollar. New institutions were created that took over the levees.

I'm not a lawyer, but someone needs to look at the legal basis under which ante-bellum institutions could liquidate their pre-war debts at a discount while handing over all of their assets to a new, post-bellum institution.

I think this most particularly should apply to the School Board. It should be turned into a liquidation agency for its debts, with little or no tax rate, while the schools are transferred to a new authority.

Perhaps the city could disincorporate and re-incorporate (in the dastardly way I was once laid off and rehired in the space of 30 minutes to defeat some regulation governing my status, since the city really has very few real "assets". I mean, what is a city street worth, especially one in NOLA? Hell, we could probably build a new City Hall cheaper than retiring all prior debts, one suited to a smaller city, or the new city could buy the existing one from the creditors at a deep discount.

I think its time to start thinking outside the rule books. I don't see anybody willing to step up and propose these sort of radical solutionsl.
Um, I hit post too soon. FLOOD BOOK was suppposed to be replaced with Rising Tide as soon as my brain recovered from its transient outage.
I should actually get around to reading RISING TIDE, pre-katrina I had more interest in national than state or local politics and for about two months after I couldn't concentrate well enough for serious reading (Ive heard a few people say that), but still it's about time.

I imagine that one big difference is that the entire state government was reorganized under federal control. Now any reorganization would require state approval and I have no idea what other legal issues are involved.

The reason why I'm more optimistic short term than longer term, is that I think the situation is looking similar to October before the federal gravy train shut down (partly in response to questions about no-bid contracts and cronyism, IMO). Then I thought that billions of dollars would from D.C. to politically connected firms rather than to the state or city or the Gulf Coast. It would look good at first, but when the bills came due, the rest of the country would remember how much money was supposedly spent on La. and not be in a mood to renegotiate or help with the loans.

Now that "they" have figured out how to get around open bidding, a new (albeit smaller) gravy train has started up and I have no reason to be any more optimistic aboutwhat the situation will be in a few years, actually less because it's a private loan package.

The fact that the state and city are engaging in blatant patronage with the funds that they do control will make it that much more difficult to get federal help in a few years. I wouldn't worry about the fact that pointing it out gives fodder to the city's enemies, they already know.

For purely emotional reasons, it bothers me more at the city level. Just as I would have considered Forman guilty of nothing more than resume inflation if his campaign hadn't been based on his miracle working, Nagin's corruption and dishonesty doubly bothers me, because he got where he is on his reputation for integrity.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Old Favorites
  • Political Boxing (untitled)
  • Did Bush Take His Ball and Go Home
  • Teratogens and Plan B
  • Foghorn Leghorn Republicans
  • Quote of the Day
  • October's News(Dec.1)
  • untitled, Nov.19 (offshore revenue)
  • Remember Upton Sinclair
  • Oct. Liar of thr month
  • Jindal's True Colors
  • No bid contracts