Sep 272012

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Most of us start out as innocent, kind-hearted people anxious to get a quality education, a good-paying job, raise a family and have a couple bucks left over to buy a beer at the Saints games. But something happens to some of us when we achieve wealth or power – we change. We think we are better than everyone else, should have special privileges and that society’s rules no longer apply. When that happens, government often taps us hard on the shoulder – as it recently did with Aaron Broussard.

Aaron accomplished great things in Jefferson Parish and Kenner for many years. He was a big thinker. But he also played free and easy with the rules. And he stayed so long that the definition of acceptable mores changed. What did Aaron and then wife Karen do with all that money? Take lots of trips, eat out every night, buy fabulous clothes, shoes and jewelry? They sure didn’t save the money for retirement like many of us do.

Perhaps Aaron Broussard will tell us in the coming months or talk about other people as well, including another former parish-wide elected official. That’s what you do to avoid dying in jail, especially if you already have cancer.

None of us are perfect. We have always considered Aaron Broussard a friend and feel terrible that he is ending his career like this. But we also appreciate the hard, unrelenting work of Jim Letten and his highly capable staff. They keep all of us on the straight and narrow.

Allan Katz spent 25 years as a political reporter and columnist at The Times-Picayune, and is now editor of the Kenner Star and host of several televsion programs, including the Louisiana Newsmaker on Cox Cable. Danae Columbus is executive producer of Louisiana Newsmaker, and has had a 30-year career in public relations, including stints at City Hall and the Dock Board. They currently work for the Orleans Parish School Board, and among the recent candidates who have been represented by their public relations firm are City Councilwoman Stacy Head, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and state Rep. Robert Billiot.

  One Response to “Allan Katz and Danae Columbus: What happened to Aaron?”

  1. The public should think twice about those we elect and consider putting personal integrity, character (the way one behaves when nobody is looking) and honesty at the top of the list of qualifications for public office. We do, in most cases, get the leaders we deserve. It used to be that we could count on a free, aggressive and unbiased media to dig into the backgrounds of political candidates and inform us of the truth about those who ran for office, but those days are gone. There is no better example of what happens to the country when the media abdicates its responsibility to the public in this regard than the 2008 election of Barack Obama (not that the alternative was much better). And before you Obama fans start frothing at the mouth and sputtering about all our current problems being the fault of George W. Bush, at least we knew who Bush was and what he stood for when he ran in 2000 and 2004. You certainly can’t say that about Obama in 2008. And if Obama is re-elected in November, just think of the mess he’s going to inherit this time!

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