A mysterious new anti-Desiree Charbonnet hit piece that selected voters began receiving yesterday is just the latest effort to take full advantage of voter polarization that begins in Washington and trickles down to the local level. With “undecided” still the largest voting block in many of the October elections, candidates and their handlers are doing their best to develop messages that resonate with voters and build consensus.
Two upcoming election forums organized by Carrollton and Uptown neighborhood groups will give voters the chance to hear from candidates running for New Orleans City Council Districts A and B.
Westbank native Derrick Edwards is leading every poll in the race for State Treasurer. As the only Democrat, he is almost sure to make the runoff against one 0f three Republicans- former Commissioner if Administration Angele Davis, State Senator Neil Riser or former State Rep John Schroeder. The election will be held October 14.
Before we get into this week’s announcements we’d like to take a moment to send our love and support to all of those in Texas and Louisiana being affected by Hurricane Harvey. This city knows all too well what a storm can do to a community, and we stand side by side with those who once helped us when we needed it. To aid in the recovery process, we are opening in our lobby a drop off station for supplies to be sent to Houston. Now let’s get to our new releases.
When the Louisiana Architectural Foundation decided to bring the 9th annual Architecture & Design Film Festival to New Orleans, foundation director Stacey Pfingsten knew that the festival must include the world premiere of “Designing Life: The Organic Modernism of Albert C. Ledner.”
The nation’s largest film festival devoted to architecture and design, the ADFF “celebrates the creative spirit behind many of the world’s most innovative architecture and design projects and the larger-than-life personalities who create them.” Ledner, a spry 93-year old native New Orleanian who still practices his craft, certainly fits the bill.
Candidates for elected office – especially after qualifying – are usually out kissing babies, shaking hands, and attending numerous events seven days a week. But not the highly popular New Orleans Coroner Jeffrey Rouse, first elected in 2014 after having served as deputy chief coroner and head of the office’s mental health division for twelve years. Rouse is being challenged by Dr. Dwight McKenna in the October 14, 2017 election.
The buck stops with Mayor Landrieu and the entire City Council for the mounting problems at the Sewerage & Water Board. Citizens who mopped up last weekend or are worried about today’s lack of pumping capacity have no one to blame but their elected officials – all of whom have clearly failed them.
A consummate wife, mother and urban planning consultant, Corinne DuCre-Villavasso, was living the life she always dreamed of when in 2014 she tested positive for the Braca 1 gene mutation commonly associated with breast cancer. DuCre-Villavasso had just given birth to her third child and was visiting her physician for a post-partum check-up when told of her diagnosis.
New Orleans business leader Louis Gurvich, a long-time member of the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee and the Republican State Central Committee, wants to be elected chairman of Louisiana’s Republican Party, now 900,000 members strong. If elected, Gurvich will succeed current state party chair Roger Villere, who is retiring after overseeing the Republicans’ rise to dominance in state politics over the last 14 years. Villere is the longest-serving state GOP chair in the U.S. and is vice chair of the Republican National Committee.
“When Roger first became chair, the Louisiana Republican Party was a much smaller, less powerful organization,” said Gurvich, who also previously served on the Orleans Parish Board of Election Supervisors. Secretary of State Fox McKeithen was the only Republican statewide elected official. Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards is the only statewide elected Democrat. The number of parish-level and regional Republican elected officials has also grown significantly.
For anyone who loves politics, qualifying days for the October 14 election are exciting. It’s a time of reckoning when those who have been telling the public they will run have to pay the qualifying fees. All is revealed.
Close to 40 candidates along with family and friends and a large contingency of local media have already crowded into the offices of Clerk of Criminal Court Arthur Morrell, where the process takes place. Each candidate first completes the necessary paperwork and then raises his or her right hand to swear the accuracy of information presented. Candidates whose information – including compliance with residency and tax requirements – later proves to be inaccurate often face legal challenges.
When it comes to the day-to-day concerns of ordinary New Orleanians, it has become increasingly clear that Mayor Landrieu has, to put it mildly, completely tuned out. Gone are those halcyon days when Landrieu at least gave lip service, if not substantive effort, towards governing our fair city.
It’s becoming clear that Landrieu’s attentions have been completely diverted, and his efforts have tilted entirely in favor of preening for a national audience.
When state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson told Gambit last week she was “doing all the due diligence that a serious potential candidate has to do” before entering the race for mayor, one of her chief tasks was a meeting with her protégée, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.
Cantrell felt betrayed, disappointed, and hurt, according to sources close to the family, and the ever-feisty Cantrell quickly responded that she was in the mayor’s race to stay. Last night, the popular senator reversed course and announced that she would not join the mayor’s race after all.
In the Federalist Papers, James Madison famously ruminated on the necessity of government.
“[W]hat is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” Madison asked rhetorically in Federalist No. 51. “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
It is because men are not angels (indeed, far from it) that we need the controls imposed by government. Even those laws that are overly restrictive and burdensome usually find their origins in the inability of citizens to do the right thing.
This week’s tropical storm Cindy is just the latest example that the New Orleans region and the entire Gulf Coast must become better at living with water rather than merely struggling to defeat it. From powerful waves breaking over the sea walls on Lakeshore Drive and in Covington to flooding caused by storm surge in Venetian Isles, Myrtle Grove and Grand Isle, we must employ what the Dutch call “inventive urbanism” to make our towns and cities more resilient.