Thursday, November 19, 2009

Are you $#!&%*! me?

This bleepfest of a political ad is said to concern next February's New Orleans mayoral election, but I say why waste something this insane (and illustrative) on just Louisiana's largest city?

After all, there's a whole state out there begging the question "Are you s****ing me?"

OF COURSE, you have the never-ending follies in New Orleans, which have seen Mayor Ray Nagin perfect the concept of absurdity as performance art. But the city's mayoral wannabes are off to a good start, as documented Wednesday by the The Times-Picayune:
Stepping to the plate Wednesday during the first meeting of all seven announced candidates for New Orleans mayor, four participants swung and missed on the very first question.

The faux pas unfolded as each candidate was asked to take a position on the Youth Study Center, the city-run juvenile detention site in Gentilly at which former inmates have alleged in a federal lawsuit they suffered inhumane treatment. The issue fit the youth-centered focus of the forum, which was sponsored by the nonprofit Afterschool Partnership.

First up was businessman Troy Henry, who apparently confused the "study center" reference with the generic notion of providing a safe place for kids to go after class. He said he favored the center but hoped it would be used "in collaboration with all the revised library systems that are also being built."

The next three candidates -- grocery distributor John Georges, insurance executive Leslie Jacobs and state Sen. Ed Murray  -- followed Henry's lead and also whiffed.

Georges said a new mayor would have to be "creative" in rebuilding ruined public buildings to include study centers, adding "it's also a budgetary issue."

Jacobs pointed out that with a $1.6 billion plan in place to rebuild local schools, "we need to look how to locate each of these youth studies centers inside of our school buildings."

And Murray, whose state Senate district includes the detention facility, said the next mayor should "somehow figure out a way to put (youth study centers) in schools and figure out how to just keep the schools open a little longer and also use library systems across the city" to bolster after-school programs.

By the time he took the microphone, nonprofit executive James Perry was ready to unload on what amounted to a hanging curveball.

"I want to be clear, because I think some folks misunderstood this issue," he said. "The Youth Studies Center is a jail. It is a prison, the subject of some very difficult litigation. Children have been imprisoned for long periods of time with no access to quality eduction
[sic] at all."
UP IN BATON ROUGE, meanwhile, folks like to look disapprovingly at the Crescent City and its foibles, shaking their heads as they speak gravely about the "slums a Noo Orluns."

Perhaps they should rethink that. The hometown paper, The Advocate, serves up plenty of
ironic food for thought:
A sister of Mayor-President Kip Holden pleaded guilty this afternoon to a bribery-related charge in an ongoing federal probe into the local criminal justice system.

Evelyn J. Holden, who worked in the property records section of the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court Office, admitted in federal court that she conspired with then-senior Baton Rouge City Court prosecutor Flitcher Bell and others to fix criminal and traffic matters in City Court.

Bell, who resigned last month, already has pleaded guilty in the case.

The government alleged that Holden and others “solicited and obtained cash and other things of value from individuals with criminal and traffic matters pending in (Baton Rouge City Court) with the promise that the charges would be dismissed, reduced, or otherwise ‘fixed’.”

In a factual stipulation read in court, prosecutor Corey Amundson said, “On numerous occasions, (Holden) paid a portion of the cash to Bell in exchange for Bell causing the charges to ‘go away’.”

THIS CASE -- this federal case, one must note, being that local authorities don't "do" corruption prosecutions -- has been going on for a while, though. The mayor's sister is hardly the only Baton Rouge official doing the "perp walk" here.

Three, including Holden, were charged just Thursday. That makes seven in all.

Baton Rougeans historically have had a problem taxing themselves enough to fund a First World infrastructure. Obviously, the city finds it can't afford an American judicial system either and is making do with a cheap Latin American import.

And no, I'm not s****ing you. Just ask the FBI.

No comments: