Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Any Excuse to Remind Readers about Nagin and BOLD

Since I don't have time post tonight, I'll refer you to Jeffrey's post Jindal's budget cuts. It's actually a post about Jan Moller's article about Jindal's use of the line-item veto and Clancy Dubos' somewhat more critical analysis. Read it before reading any further, what follows is my comment with a few added links.

You all are laying it on a little thick. The awfulness of Moller's article only makes DuBos' analysis seem good by comparison. Not that his analysis was bad, but it was only noteworthy because it shows that, at least in this case, Gambit isn't following the same party line as the T/P.

Moller, probably unwittingly, made the drop in the bucket aspect of the cuts obvious in the first three sentences of her story, which I guess indicates that she's more of a dupe than a dishonest hack. But I can't help but think of what my reaction would have been if I read that story on my lunch break two years ago, when I first started back to work after being laid off. At that time when most NOLA bloggers seemed to be a lot more gung-ho (at least I was), my first thought would have been, "I've got to blog about this," but my second thought would have been that somebody else would have certainly posted about it before I got home. Chances are, I would have been right.

Still, DuBos did a bit more than point out the obvious fact that Moller reported, but seemed oblivious to. It wasn't a bad piece; I'm not knocking it. But a couple of things are missing. First off, if you include the $9M that he cut last month, it's closer to 1/10 of 1%, than 1/20. Still petty shit, but there's something interesting in that $9M:
Dryades YMCA reconstruction: $500,00.

That appears to be separate from the $650,00 in today's cuts:

Jindal cut $650,000 from the state budget that was targeted for the Dryades YMCA for a job training program.

If so, he really must not care very much about taking kids off of some the meanest streets in N.O. In fact, he probably doesn't, but there's more to the story than that. NGO funding isn't just waste or pork, it's a major source of patronage. Since it's been a favored source of patronage for every type of politician (black/white, liberal/conservative, rural/urban/suburban), the question should be, "whose cookies is Jindal taking away?" Or, is there no discernible pattern of favoritism?

Well, we know whose cookies he didn't touch. An area that he failed to carry in 2003, but carried in 2007 and will need in 2011 was untouched. Go figure. It does make me wonder how much of the $6M that DuBos mentioned being cut from the N.O. area is from Orleans parish and how much is from Jefferson and St. Tammany -- although that wouldn't tell me much without the identity of the Jefferson and St. Tammany NGO's

However, the obvious thing that's missing is that the Dryades YMCA has always been the BOLD clubhouse. Past board members include Oliver Thomas, Jim Singleton and Karen Carter. Its current president, Douglas Evans, has always been a Singleton crony.
A rumor has been circulating recently in political circles that Mayor-elect Ray Nagin has cut a deal to make Doug Evans, long-time operative of the BOLD organization, the new Aviation Board Chair. With five of the nine Board seats due to retire in June, the rumor had it that in order to keep a seat or get one, the potential member would have to agree to vote for Evans as chairman.

Seemingly taking on a life of its own, the rumor, if true, is seen as the first betrayal of Nagin's campaign promise to rid the city government of patronage. It is not true, however. Responding to the rumor, Nagin transition Press Secretary Patrick Evans states, "False, absolutely false...Evans is not going to be appointed to the Aviation Board,

He's also, a Nagin appointee to the Aviation Board, but that's a different story.
ANOTHER BOLD MOVE: Another longtime BOLD leader, Dryades YMCA Executive Director Doug Evans, also came in for some favorable attention from the council this week.

The Governmental Affairs Committee voted to recommend to the full council that Evans retain his seat on the Aviation Board for another five-year term. Aviation Board members are not paid, but besides overseeing the operations of Armstrong International Airport, the board helps decide who gets numerous big-dollar contracts the airport awards.

I seriously doubt that Jindal's making a serious move to hurt BOLD; I suspect he's making his political statement at the expense of people who wouldn't support him anyway.

Addition: I don't know Marrero well enough to be familiar with the area mentioned in the Picayune article:
Jindal also pared one item Monday from House Bill 2, the state's $4.8 billion construction budget: a $5.8 million appropriation for improvements to Barataria Boulevard in Marrero from 14th Street to Richland Drive and from Son-K Drive to Cousins Boulevard.

Jindal said the veto was sought by "legislative leaders," but he did not specify which ones.

Marrero's pretty evenly split racially, but it wouldn't surprise me if Jindal were scoring his points at the expense at poor, predominantly black areas that don't vote Republican anyway

My reaction to the cuts at the Dryades Y was less of a shock that kids from the meanest streets were getting the shaft, and more along the lines of whose feed bag just got emptied.
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