Oct 162014

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Investors in the U.S. and around the world have been getting an economic reality shock as the markets are adjusting to a new normal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen five percent in the last five days. Though certainly not the biggest loss in history, it does send a clear message that growth has been slowed in every corner of the planet — probably by “bad policy making and political inaction”, according to TIME.

In Europe growth is exceedingly slow and unemployment extremely high.  Japan’s Prime Minister Sinzo Abe’s economic programs are being called a failure. Emerging markets like Brazil, Russia and even China are struggling. Growth has slowed in China where the country is saddled with excessive debt and a property slump. We could all move to India or the Phillipines where growth remains healthy.

While the U.S., says TIME, is better off than most advanced economies, the inability of Congress and President Obama to find solutions to problems like “income inequity and sagging infrastructure” is holding the economy back.

We may be Democrats, but we are not stupid.  When the market moves downward, Allan gets nervous — and rightfully so.  It may be great that Brad and Angelina want to put some of their hard-earned dollars in our Louisiana races, but middle and upper income voters can’t be pleased by a shifting global economy.

We’re also tired of countless dire fundraising email requests and phone calls from both Democrats and Republicans.  The New York Times reported yesterday that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has basically given up on unseating incumbents in several Republican-held districts and are looking ahead to a Republican-controlled House.  Now the DCCC is pouring whatever resources remain to protect embattled Democratic incumbents.

Sentiment is also shifting nationally toward Republican philosophy on foreign policy and the economy, according to The Wall Street Journal.  Add to those shift in numbers (R +18 on Foreign Policy and R+10 on the Economy) the “pronounced and pervasive” anti-incumbent mood of voters, Democrats around the country are having a hard time.  Even our accountant told a pollster that she didn’t want to vote for either Landrieu or Cassidy.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll out yesterday claims that Republicans are still in a favorable position despite low voter interest, high dissatisfaction with Washington, and a “reordering of issues.” Republicans are still bullish on gaining the seats needed to control the Senate.

The poll found that 57 percent of the voters surveyed said it was time to give a new elected official a chance.  Only 30 percent said their representatives deserved to be re-elected.

Mary Landrieu’s camp — lead by Verna Landrieu and Madlyn Schenk — have put together a sold-out 1600 person women’s luncheon next Wednesday at the Hyatt.  Yet many Uptown women will be staying away as they quietly — or even not so quietly — support Dr. Bill Cassidy, who pledges to be the kind of senator/doctor that the country needs.


We always attend the Mayor’s annual budget address to the City Council and were pleased to hear that New Orleans’ economy is growing. “There’s a better day ahead,” Landrieu told the Council because “we cut smart and reorganized” in previous years.

Giving the police a 5-percent pay increase is only a baby step. That amount still doesn’t even make up for the losses officers took due to the change in the detail system. New Orleans’ police pay is still below average across the board.  With other policing agencies still paying higher salaries, why would qualified applicants want to work at the NOPD?

We appreciate the NOPD — especially when we need to call them — and a 5 percent raise is clearly not enough.


Local historian Tom Pickles and writer/lawyer Christopher Tidmore have planned a celebration this Saturday at 6330 St. Charles to raise money for a permanent site to commemorate the Battle of New Orleans.  Pickles’ Louisiana Living History Foundation received a 25-acre donation from the Meraux Foundation to create a permanent living history site for an annual re-enactment of the Battle of New Orleans and other historical events.

This event will feature food from John Besh and music by the New Leviathan Orchestra.  Tickets to the Patron Party (which begins at 7 p.m.) are $250 per person.  Gala tickets ( 8 p.m.) are $100.  Please RSVP to ChristopherTidmore@yahoo.com or pay at the door.  We love history and will be there!

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 television 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 both currently work for the Orleans Parish School Board. Among the recent candidates who have been represented by their public relations firm are City council members Stacy Head and Jared Brossett, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, former Sheriff Charles Foti and former Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell.

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