Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Responses to other posts

I had two comments on other blogs fail to send earlier tonight. Since one of them was pretty lengthy, I'll combine them into one post here.

Yatpundit points out Warren Riley's rosy assessment of police recruiting:
The good news about this announcement is that Supt. Riley says the city's getting 150new NOPD officers

Sounds to me like Riley's bragging about the fact the NOPD might be managing to tread water, manpower-wise:
Starting a wide-ranging recruitment campaign, with the goal of hiring 250 to 350 new officers over the next couple years — the number Stellingworth said will be necessary to accommodate normal attrition levels

The lengthier comment was at b.rox. To begin, the commenter who said that Willard-Lewis would be much worse on preservation matters was exactly right. I'll go into more details on this in another post, but listen to what they say and look at their donors.

I'm glad that people are only repeating the rationale behind strategic voting for Willard-Lewis and not taking credit for it. The idea that by electing W-L we'll get a better District E representative to take W-L's place and a better at-large representative when she gets indicted is the lamest thing I've seen since I once saw a circle jerk in an old folks home in the days before Viagra*. I'll leave aside the issue of electing a candidate that you don't like in the belief that the federal government will solve our problem, and concentrate on District E. It appears that Michael Darnell would be the favorite in the District E race should Willard-Lewis win the at-large race. I don't know why anybody would assume that the political insider would be an improvement over the term-limited politician. I know very little about Darnell, but the two things that I do are enough to cause serious doubts. His response to the recent subpoena dispute was the entirely reasonable-sounding statement that both sides were intransigent and unreasonable. That would be a reasonable conclusion for a true outsider, like somebody from Latvia, to reach, but it strikes me as a dishonest assertion from anybody who's paid any attention to local politics for the last two years. Being reasonable and patient with the mayor leads to nothing but stalling, refusal to answer questions, vague or incomplete answers to questions, or answers that contradict each other or the known facts. Being patient and reasonable with the mayor put the city council in the position of having to approve the expensive garbage contracts or get stuck with no garbage pickup at all. That brings up the second thing that I know about Darnell, his law partner is Ed "go ahead and triple the cost of garbage collection because the contracts are going to 'homegrown' businessmen" Murray.

I don't how to put this politely, but editor b's and Jeffrey's apparent willingness to give Willard-Lewis the benefit of the doubt because of perceived bias on the part of the Times Picayune is absurd. First off, the Picayune's local reporting has always been more characterized by institutional timidity than institutional bias (notice that I said local reporting). Unless an Orleans Parish official is actually under indictment, anything critical is usually buried very deep in a story. The story about sanitation contracts was a front page story, but the questions about Willard-lewis were buried several paragraphs deep. Compare that wth a recent article that raised questions about Clarkson. Also, as I've pointed out before, by omitting Alvin Richards' contributions to Change Inc. and ignoring Metro's many partners in various enterprises, the article that Jeffrey and Bart thought was so unfair to Willard-Lewis greatly understates the campaign contributions that the sanitation companies have made to Nagin. I can only assume that same thing occurred with regard to Willard-Lewis. At any rate, the bias question is irrelevant. The article may have shown Willard-Lewis in an unfavorable light, but there's no sign that the reporter misquoted Willard-Lewis or distorted her record on the sanitation contracts.

Actual reasons for voting for Clarkson, or against Willard-Lewis, coming soon.
*Of course, I never had the pleasure of witnessing any such event.

"The idea that by electing W-L we'll get a better District E representative to take W-L's place and a better at-large representative when she gets indicted is the lamest thing I've seen since I once saw a circle jerk in an old folks home in the days before Viagra."

Heh. Yeah, the post-Viagra senior circle jerks have been much less lame.

I heartily agree with the analysis, here, and you articulated some (impolite) points that I didn't know how to express clearly.

I look forward to your argument of good solid reasons to vote for Clarkson or against C W-L. Frankly, I was a little intimidated trying to make a good argument, because (like you) I was never as down on Cynthia as some other nolabloggers. Also, a couple of my good friends are working on Cynthia's campaign, so it's difficult to stay perfectly objective.

Finally, I wasn't here in the early 90's, so I'm not familiar with Clarkson's early political history. So I felt awkward arguing for her since there was a good chance that I'd posit something about Clarkson that would look ill-informed.
Just curious, do your friends have any involvement with "Reinventing the Crescent" or connection to NOBC? Is one a blogger, for that matter?

I'll refer you back to this post. I've been hesitant to post on my misgivings about about NOBC, beyond "NORA gets the attention and NOBC gets the blank check," because I haven't wanted to slander anybody. However, if Nagin is going to try ramrod through riverfront redevelopment, it's the council's duty to look at it critically. I noticed Sean Cummings' parents on W-l's donor list, the president of one of the group's in the Riverfront Alliance on Clarkson's.

Even if you like everything in the proposal, I don't like the idea of a city council that will uncritically embrace the mayor's plan to fundamentally alter the city's landscape. I was unimpressed by the one meeting that I attended -- one specific, logical objection, one (admittedly) subjective impression that set off my b.s./sales pitch for the rubes detector.
This is P***ing me off. There must be a problem with blogger's spam detector. I added a lengthy comment, did the word verification, then got an error message.

Just curious, do your friends have any involvement with "Reinventing the Crescent" or connection to NOBC? Is one a blogger?

Just a reminder. I've noticed some NOBC money behind Willard-Lewis, some Riverfront Alliance money behind Clarkson. Don't have time to type everything I typed before; don't want to slander anybody with NOBC, but it already has the mayor's full backing, so I want a council that will be willing to take a critical look at its plans.
I don't think I ever said anything about giving Cynthia the benefit of the doubt. I'm fully willing to believe she's as crooked as they come.

But I also have problems with Clarkson so I'm not happy with this choice at all. What I was saying at b.rox was related to my impression of the T-P's motives.
I don't think enough attention has been brought to the Cummings/NOBC issue. The council not providing a critical view of the plan is similar to Stacy Heads comments "Come on, it's Trump". I am not a die hard presevationist, but instead of spending time bitching about a $30k air conditioner repair, spend your time looking at $300 million in investment dollars. Just because someone has a lot of money, doesn't mean they are good. And just because they tell you they are doing something out of the kindness of their heart, or benefit of the City doesn't mean they are. Cummings should divest himself of his properties, or rather should have done it before it became more valuable.

Link to old USA today article.
"Just curious, do your friends have any involvement with 'Reinventing the Crescent' or connection to NOBC? Is one a blogger, for that matter?"

No, and no.
Glad to hear it. A "yes" to the second question wouldn't have led me to question anybody's integrity. Judgment maybe, impressionability maybe, but not integrity.
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