Monday, October 08, 2007

Vote for Boulet or Clarkson

I'm serious. I certainly don't expect either Clarkson or Boulet to provide the leadership that the Louisiana Weekly called for last Summer:
Making matters worse, there are very few local, state or federal elected officials who have consistently represented the interests of those most affected by these man-made and natural disasters. When we've needed them the most, these elected officials have been nowhere to be found.
Much of that stress is the result of incapable, myopic "leadership," unscrupulous business practices and government agencies that have shown very little compassion for those most affected by the devastating hurricanes of 2005.
I blame the mayor, City Council, state legislature, governor, president and Congress for the ongoing woes of this region.
Somebody somewhere needs to step up and provide true leadership in this age of ineptitude and chicanery.

As I said, I don't expect Boulet or Clarkson to provide that leadership, but it will have to come from the City Council. We know that it won't come from the mayor, or his city attorney.

As a recent Stephanie Grace column implied (it matches my recollection at Adrastos), Boulet and Clarkson are the only two major candidates who are willing to come out and say that the council needs to provide the leadership that the mayor can't, or won't, provide. For the most part, the other candidates emphasized the need to work together. Even the candidates who were critical of the mayor (at last week's forum), called for an end to the finger-pointing and blame games. That certainly sounds good, and the the Louisiana Weekly editorial that I quoted called for the same thing. However, when the editorial was written, the finger-pointing and blame games were all between city, state and federal officials, the city council was trying to work with the mayor at that time. For over a year, the council was reluctant to confront the mayor, and we all know where that got us:
City's garbage pickup costs to jump

The cost of collecting household trash in New Orleans will nearly triple starting Jan. 2

Some of that money could have been used to prevent this:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said orders to tear down the house came from City Hall -- but no one is City Hall is answering questions about Banks' home.

I'm not a fan of either Clarkson or Boulet. Unlike some other Landrieu supporters, I don't expect Boulet to do penance for her endorsement of Nagin, but I do want to hear details about her disillusionment with Nagin. Saying that the "mayor's disengaged" and "may move to Dallas," doesn't provide much detail. I'd also like to know whether she still approves of the mayor's handling of the city budget. Since Clarkson talks about priority budgeting, I'd like to hear what she'd cut. It's too late to do anything about the sanitation contracts, where would she challenge the mayor now?

I don't think that many residents are happy with the choices that we have in this election, but it can be a referendum on the mayor's leadership.

You're saying a vote for Boulet will be perceived as a rebuke to C. Ray? Are you saying that the electorate can signal its dissatisfaction with the Mayor by voting for someone who endorsed him, campaigned for him and was one of his biggest apologists until suddenly becoming "disillusioned" with him earlier this year?
I think he's saying she might actually do something about it, such as actually using the budget, funding the IG office, etc. (Is that it BDSJ)?

Whatever this "rebuke" people are clamoring for is, there is one thing for sure, it will simply roll off C Ray's back...if he even notices. Now, cutting in on his action would be another story. Of the 13 who have shot at making the runoff, Clarkson and Boulet seem the most likely to support those kind of efforts.
Thanks, Celcus. I probably wouldn't have put it that way, but that's about it.

Oyster, I didn't see you at the forum, you should try to make one of the remaining ones. I believe there's one at Xavier Thursday, and one at UNO (or Franklin) Tuesday. You can also hear very brief, not very informative, interviews with Rob Couhig on the WRNO website. He's only interviewed Vassel, Boulet and Johnson so far --Johnson implied the same stupid thing most of the candidates are saying about the subpoena.

Only, Boulet and Clarkson are explicitly stating that the council needs to take charge. The rest are talking about the need to get along and even criticizing the subpoena, as if the recovery came screeching to a halt on Sept. 12 (I believe that's the date it was issued). Were any of them paying attention this time last year? Working with the mayor meant waiting patiently while the mayor stalled and then gave false cost estimates and finally said, "accept these expensive sanitation contracts, or the garbage doesn't get picked up."

Personally, I'd rather vote for Boulet than Clarkson, but if she can't give more detail than "the mayor's out of touch," I'll have to vote for Clarkson first. I don't need the penitent apology from her that some people seem to want, but she did defend the mayor as recently as January or February. I seriously thought about moving to Jefferson Parish after the pay raises, and she called him a great steward of public finances. Of course, that also came after he doubled the city's sanitation bill. I want to know when she wised up.

The reason I say to vote for one in the first primary is that I'm not at all sure that one or the other is bound to make the run off.
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