Sunday, September 09, 2007
Spit (it out) Take
Following Nagin's victory, Boulet, a former special counsel with the Adams and Reese law firm, became an unpaid adviser to the mayor. For a time, she worked on financial matters and commercial development, but recently she has said she has grown disillusioned with Nagin's performance and has largely dropped from public view.
In two years, Cerasoli wants to make government in New Orleans transparent and allow everyone to see how the funds are spent and who is involved in city contracts. Right now, there is an unfortunate and deliberate layer of mystery surrounding the operation of City Hall. “Corruption is neither need-based or greed based. It is simply opportunity based. If there’s an opportunity for corruption to exist, it’s going to exist.”
Currently the City of New Orleans provides plenty of opportunity for corruption. Such opportunities need to cease and a functioning Inspector General will help make that dream a reality. However, Cerasoli needs to be funded, not defanged before he even gets a chance to succeed.
I came close to doing spit takes when I read the Boulet quote and when I heard Crouere read his piece on Ringside Politics, but, in both cases, I immediatley thought that both helped elect Nagin, both need to say exactly what they mean. I'm not saying that Crouere intnetionally helped Nagin, but his commentary did help make Nagin's re-election more acceptable to conservatives.
Oyster and Ashley have already gone over Boulet's candidacy, and I've said most of what I have to say in the comments, but I will emphasize that Boulet needs to explain exactly whatit is about Nagin that she's grown disillusioned with.
One other thing about the city council election, it's not an ordinary city council election -- it's an election to fill slightly more than half of a normal term. Considering the candidates, that's probably a good thing. Jackie Clarkson is Jackie Clarkson. Cynthia Willard-Lewis is Cynthia Willard-Lewis. For some reason, people seem to thing that a SOUL member will be a candidate for change, and I'm sure that the former New Orleans Brass investor that Nagin and Rice installed on the Sewerage and Patronage Board will be presented that way. What the election should be is a referendum on the recovery, and Boulet could help make it that. I might even consider voting for her, despite the things I've written about her.
I was glad to hear Crouere's commentary, but it should have gone further; "deliberate layers of secrecy" need to be created by somebody. Crouere should have gone furher and said, "Nagin has created a deliberate layer of secrecy..." Remember, Nagin approved (and apparently lobbied for) the changes that led to a weakened inspector general's office.