Nov 032016
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Rampant voter frustration, anger, and resentment is all around us — from the Dillard University students and others who tried to crash last night’s televised debate to the local and national candidates who have shown a definite lack of civility — and these sentiments unfortunately could be the hallmark of all future elections.

The verbal attacks presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump lob at each other every day are small potatoes when readers take note of what is happening around the world.  Several brawls broke out in Hong Kong’s legislature just yesterdayTime is featuring video of similar fights between elected officials in Nepal, Kosovo, Nigeria, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, India, Russia, Japan, the Ukraine and China.  No wonder voters around the world are unhappy!

Though New Orleans African-American voters cast their early ballots in big numbers, overall voter interest in the presidential election by this constituency is down from four years ago.  Fed up with the two major parties, Millennials are shopping among the lesser known contenders.  College-age Republicans clubs are in an uproar as whether or not to endorse Trump.  Republican women have been “set adrift” by Trump’s personal style and past experiences. Yet, undecided voters are still leaning toward the GOP, a big change from 2012, as are evangelicals and non-college educated whites.

Today, the presidential election is too close to call with Trump continuing to pound away at Clinton’s slim lead due to the newest FBI email investigation – which is strongly resonating with voters.  One of the reasons candidates like former KKK leader David Duke and Trump continue to make inroads is because they have successfully tapped into what the New York Times aptly calls the “crisis of whiteness.”

This “white anxiety” also helped cause Brexit and can be felt in the rise of right-wing nationalism in Norway, Hungary, Austria and Greece.  The Times defines “whiteness” as more than just skin color but also as “privilege.”  It includes those who want to be called “us” instead of “them.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Louisiana is one of the states where in the upcoming elections voters are losing sleep.  In a survey of 10,000 Fitbit users, Louisiana voters lost 8.71 minutes of sleep time on September 26, the night of the first presidential debate.  Let’s hope we all get a good night’s sleep after November 7.


Councilmember at Large Jason Williams isn’t wasting any time putting together the million dollar war chest he’ll need for his upcoming race for mayor.  Williams has enlisted the assistance of one of the city’s premier business leaders – investor/developer Joe Jaeger – to host tonight’s gathering at Mardi Gras World.

Always the king maker, Jaeger is a deep-pocketed bundler whose relationships extend from the construction industry to tourism to the Audubon Nature Institute where he serves as chairman.  Jaeger is a “team member” with an ownership interest in almost two dozen hotels, condos and commercial developments in the region.  As a member of the Business Council on both sides of Lake Pontchartrain, Jaeger has a well-established history of contributing big bucks to candidates of his choosing.

Jaeger will give Williams a head start on fundraising which will allow him to retain key consultants early to develop the all-important campaign strategy.  Though many of the other candidates toying with the mayor’s race could fade away, Williams is in it to stay.  The fun starts tonight at 5 p.m.  All contributions are surely welcomed.


Still haven’t decided who to vote for on Tuesday? Political consultant Clancy DuBos and pollster Ron Faucheux will share their thoughts at the Institute of Politics annual reunion tonight at Basin Street Station from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Under the direction of the capable Tommy Screen, the IOP has been providing a valuable political education to interested citizens for decades.  Based at Loyola University, IOP is a “must attend” for anyone considering a run for office. Tickets are available at the door.

Danae Columbus has had a 30-year career in public relations, including stints at City Hall, the Dock Board and the Orleans Parish School Board. Among the recent candidates who have been represented by her public relations firm are Foster Campbell, Regina Bartholomew, 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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