Monday, October 15, 2007

Last minute advice for Virginia Boulet

I really don't understand Virginia Boulet's campaign tactics. She's taken the strongest position of any of the candidates that the council needs to take charge, but she most know that anybody who's looking for an anti-Nagin candidate remembers her endorsement of Nagin in the mayoral election. Some of us remember that she defended the mayor, calling him a "good steward of public money," even after last year's sanitation contracts. She must realize that she needs to make more specific criticisms of Nagin if she's going to have any chance of capturing a sizable anti-Nagin vote. It seems to me that those garbage collection contracts are the place to begin.

I'm certainly not a Boulet fan, but the three novices that I thought I could consider voting for -- Johnson, Jones and Lewis -- seem to think that the council hasn't tried hard enough to work with the mayor. All three have talked about the need for the council to do a better job of working with the mayor at election forums, Jones the most strongly, and Johnson makes a similar statement in a WRNO interview. What city have they been living in? The council bent over backwards to get along with Nagin for fifteen months, a booming recovery didn't come to a screeching halt when the council finally started asking questions. If they had been paying attention this time last year, they would have seen the Nagin administration stonewall and give misleading answers to questions for weeks before the Sanitation Director finally said, in effect, "sign these expensive contracts that double or triple our garbage collection bill, or the garbage doesn't get picked up."

Since one or more of the candidates is bound to talk about the need for the council and mayor to get along, Boulet needs to say the council tried that, the mayor showed that he doesn't operate in good faith, and you're calling for the council to forget the lesson that it learned the hard way. It would be a harsh statement, but she won't make the runoff if she doesn't swing for the fences. This way, her campaign would have a positive affect whether she was lected or not. I don't expect her to try anything nearly that forceful, but the other candidates keep giving her openings. If she doesn't take advantage of them, even in a more diplomatic way than I'd like, I won't make any more pitches on her behalf.

If you listen to the Clarkson interview on the WRNO link and recall what she said at last week's forum, she seems to be backing away from the anti-Nagin stance that she took at Loyola. I can only assume that she saw the positive response that Boulet got for her anti-Nagin statement and decided to strike an anti-Nagin pose herself. She had my vote, but now she's lost it -- at least in the first primary.

Boulet's "explanation" to Couhig as to why she endorsed Nagin is absurd. (I agree that Boulet should admit her mistake and follow your advice about being the anti-Nagin candidate.)

It was "obvious" to Boulet that Nagin was going to win? Really? Based on what metrics? The result was 52-48, and there were so many unknowns in the first post-K election for New Orleans (absentee ballots, etc), I don't see how anyone could believe Nagin's victory was "obvious" at the time.

Endorsements don't matter? Hell, Nagin likely wouldn't be Mayor without the T-P's critical primary endorsement of Nagin that helped him shoot into the runoff against Pennington!

Boulet's claim that New Orleans wasn't a majority black city in 1978 when Dutch was elected is also false, I believe.

Landrieu wanted her endorsement but wouldn't give her some bullshit advisory slot that she wanted, so she went with Nagin who happily complied.
I see what you mean about Clarkson's statement-- it's a little more watered-down than her debate comments... but, honestly, her point was that she can get the mayor to do what she wants, and that she doesn't foresee the need to be antagonistic out of the gate.

I don't think this is substantially different than Boulet's position that Nagin can be at the front of the parade, if he wants to lead.
Population was probably majority black, was according to mid-decade census estimates, but that was because the black population was younger. I believe the adult white population was greater than the adult black population, I know that the white voter registration was greater.

I don't think her endorsement mattered much, but it contributed, however slightly, to the May momentum swing in Nagin's favor. I'd blame the bs over whether Brinkley's book was politically motivated more, including Stephanie Grace's 100% BULLSHIT "it would be a shame if it were a factor" column. If they were going to ask the question, they should have mentioned, uncertainty about election date, Memorial Day/Summer Reading issues of magazines and the fact that it was put out by a major national publisher, among other things.
Boulet said that about Nagin being at the front of parade, but it was clearly rhetorical. At the forum, it was a strong enough anti-Nagin statement to make people sit up, even if Quentin brown stole her thunder.
Let’s get real here. At this late date in the Council sprint, only one of three candidates will be elected: Virginia Boulet, Jackie, or Cynthia. The issue in this race is a veto proof Council that will move the city forward.
Out of all 13 candidates, Virginia is the one who tried hardest to defeat Nagin in the Mayor’s race. In the run-off, Virginia met with Il Duce with the intention of endorsing him. Il Duce did not need Virginia’s support to win and blew her off. Nagin made commitments to Boulet and the people of New Orleans that he did not fulfill. As a citizen, Virginia met her commitment to serve the citizens of New Orleans.
The only people who still care about this are the MFLs, Masochists for Landrieu; folks who have been screwed by the Landrieus and keep coming back for more. E.G, Auntie Phyllis fired the entire school system and the apparatchiks still support the Landrieus; Madalyn Schenk who had the votes to be the chair of the La Demo party until Miss mary pulled the rug out from under her because she was too prochoice. Schenk is an ardent MFL. If u need to know more about the disdain the Landrieus hold for Blacks, the majority of Miss Mary, il duce and cousin Charlie’s voters, contact Mayor Donald Cravins who refused to be an MFL. Contact Emily’s List if u need more info on the disregard and contempt Miss Mary has for the women of Louisiana who have consistently voted for her. Emily refuses to be an MFL.
The MFLs make up a vocal and powerful cadre...Clancy Dubos, etc. However, desperate reasonable citizens have gotten over this and want a Council with five voters who form a veto proof majority and force the disengaged Nagin to lead or get out of the way. Virginia supported James Carter, Stacey Head, Shelley Midura and Arnie Fielkow. Jackie can not form a coalition with her political enemies Carter and Fielkow to take on Nagin. Cynthia is in Nagin’s pocket. If u want to continue to marginalize yourself and be an MFL have at it. If you want a veto proof Council that will move the city forward, vote for Virginia Boulet.
BTW, Blacks made up 43% of the vote in 1977.
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