Nov 152014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Like other remaining Democratic candidates around the country, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu knows she must increase her support among black and white females to emerge victorious on Dec. 6. That’s why Norma Jane Sabiston, Kristin Palmer, Angele Wilson and others are again reaching out to 5,000 key women supporters statewide to build Mary’s Army, highly committed grassroots warriors who will knock doors and work phones non-stop for the next three weeks. Armed with pink t-shirts and lists of likely voters, these women clearly understand the campaign’s success rests largely on their ability to persuade voters one person at a time. Not only does the Landrieu camp need to turn out a larger number of African-American voters, they also need to convince white voters to switch from Cassidy. Continue reading »

Oct 092014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

For Democratic candidates in Deep South and Border States, carrying President Barack Obama on their backs is a bone-breaking load that may very well end their political careers.

There is no better example of that than the multi-talented U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu who has every right to feel exhausted from carrying the weight of the unpopular President every day, every hour and every minute. But Landrieu isn’t alone. In Arkansas, U.S. Senator Mark Pryor is also staggering under the Obama load. And, in a border state like Kentucky, Democratic challenger Allison Lundergan Grimes would surely defeat Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell if it were not for the Obama load that threatens to sink her in a race so close that the winning margin may well be one percent or less. In Mississippi, Democrat Travis Childers is so far behind Republican U.S. Senator Thad Cochran that the race could well be considered over and settled. Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Jun 192014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

As readers are well aware, the Tea Party is a growing anti-big government movement that seeks to change American politics by often promising to get government out of the lives of citizens – as if that is even remotely possible. Most people of our generation began their voting lives as Democrats.  We understand that when people get a little older, more successful and sometimes more conservative, they might transition from being moderate Democrats to Republicans.

That’s fine. But right-leaning Tea Party Republicans are as out-of-step with middle America as the left-leaning fringes of the Democratic party. And they certainly won’t help the Republican party attract the ever-growing number of  Hispanic, Asian and African-American voters they must have to win another presidential election.  As the voting majority nationally because more non-white each year, both parties are scrambling to embrace those voters. Continue reading »

Apr 172014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

The conventional wisdom is that former Governor Edwin W. Edwards can’t be serious about running for the open seat in the Sixth Congressional District or, if he is serious, has no chance to win.

The 86-year-old Silver Fox, still looking good and as engaging as ever, made it as clear as he could at a recent reception that drew hundreds of his Metro New Orleans friends that he is running, expects to run first in the Nov. 4 primary and believes he’ll have a chance in the Dec. 6 runoff against whichever Republican comes out of a crowd of candidates to take him on in the general election. Continue reading »

Apr 032014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

We have been watching with much interest the national and Louisiana debate regarding increasing the minimum wage to $10.10. The latest polls show that support is growing across the nation, although only seven states and the District of Columbia have raised starting pay.

According to today’s New York Times, Louisiana is one of five states – the others being Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee – that currently does not have a minimum wage. Washington State has the highest wage ($9.32) currently with D.C. to move to $11.50 in 2016. While both those rates might be too high for Louisiana’s economy, something must be done to give our lowest paid citizens a better opportunity to succeed in life. Continue reading »

Oct 102013
 
The undivided two-way traffic pattern that dominates Jefferson Avenue on the river side of St. Charles Avenue will soon extend to South Claiborne as the drainage-canal installation proceeds. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The undivided two-way traffic pattern that dominates Jefferson Avenue on the river side of St. Charles Avenue will soon extend to South Claiborne as the drainage-canal installation proceeds. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for overseeing the construction of four major drainage canals around Uptown New Orleans, the federal-government shutdown caused the agency to miss a planned public meeting Thursday about the beginning of the latest phase on Jefferson Avenue. Continue reading »

Oct 012013
 
(map via U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

(map via U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Boh Brothers Construction Co., the contractor currently installing a drainage canal on Napoleon Avenue between Claiborne Avenue and Carondelet Street, won the contract last week for the final phase of extending that canal down to Constance Street, authorities said. Continue reading »

Sep 242013
 

New Orleans health commissioner Karen DeSalvo, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry and Sterling Farms co-founder Troy Henry are introduced during a forum at the Prytania Theatre on Tuesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans health commissioner Karen DeSalvo, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry and Sterling Farms co-founder Troy Henry are introduced during a forum at the Prytania Theatre on Tuesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Major proposed cuts to the federal food-stamp programs could be devastating to a cycle of hunger and poverty that already exists in America, even while New Orleans is making strides in the right direction against those trends, a trio of panelists agreed Tuesday evening.

“We are represented by a Republican and a Democrat, and both of them need a call this week about this vote,” said MSNBC host and Tulane professor Melissa Harris-Perry. Continue reading »

Sep 232013
 

0923screening

Second Harvest Food Bank, which helps feed a quarter of a million South Louisiana residents each year, is hosting a free screening Tuesday evening at the Prytania Theatre of “A Place at the Table,” a documentary about the struggles of Americans on food stamps. MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, New Orleans Health Commissioner Karen DeSalvo and Troy Henry of Sterling Farms will participate in a panel discussion after the event. Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Aug 272013
 
A spray-painted welcome to President Bush on St. Claude Avenue on Aug. 29, 2006. (photo by jewel bush)

A spray-painted welcome to President Bush on St. Claude Avenue on Aug. 29, 2006. (photo by jewel bush)

jewel bush

When President George W. Bush’s motorcade drove down St. Claude Avenue on August 29, 2006 — the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina — there were many signs, like sentries, stationed along his route to Fats Domino’s house in the Ninth Ward, one stop on his itinerary of ceremonial rounds.

The messages, posted on signs lined along the neutral ground and on the actual storm-clobbered buildings, weren’t flattering greetings from the city’s welcome committee. The collective reverberation to the commander in chief’s obligatory pilgrimage to the place he neglected a year earlier was that of a shimmering rage, pithy and piercing in delivery.

One of the strongest indicators of this sentiment was a lop-sided, green Port-a-Potty positioned on the very edge of the neutral ground somewhere along St. Claude, a strategic locale sure to catch the eye of, if not, the president himself, someone in his party. Among protest notes scribbled in gold spray paint on all four sides of this freestanding structure, the standout read: “Reserved for Bush.”

Mr. President, welcome to New Orleans. Continue reading »

Aug 012013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

We are among the many thousands who are remembering Lindy Boggs with love today, relishing the moments we spent with her and celebrating her remarkable life.

Although we were certainly not members of her inner circle, Lindy always treated us – and everyone else – as though we were.

Allan always thought there was a special feminine bond between Lindy and other women, especially those like Danae, who were driven by a great work ethic and a desire to get things done. For thousands of women of accomplishment, Lindy was the ultimate role model who got things done in Congress, at the Vatican and in her own private life. Danae loved to be in Lindy’s company. Allan thought they both glowed when they laughed together and swapped stories about their lives. Continue reading »

May 132013
 

Owen Courreges

This past Tuesday, Senator Mary Landrieu proposed an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act that would stop the implementation of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) premium increases that Congress imposed last year.  Senator David Vitter is co-sponsoring the amendment.

However, both agree that the NFIP needs to be self-sustaining.  Thus, Louisiana’s Senators are agreed first, that the NFIP should pay for itself, and secondly, that this should not result in massive premium increases that spur voters to kick their keisters out of office.

At first blush, it sounds like Louisiana’s Senators are saying that chocolate should taste good but shouldn’t make you get fat.  That’s not quite the case. Continue reading »

Mar 262013
 

jewel bush

Denis Chirinos-Avila is one of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States, but the right word to describe him is not “alien” or “illegal” or any other common epithet used to refer to those who live and work here without paperwork.

Denis Chirinos-Avila is scared.

The 27-year-old construction worker has lived day in and day out in a paralyzing fear that his open secret would be exposed, that he would be deported away from the life he has established in New Orleans for more than seven years. Would he be questioned in the grocery store? Or on the way to work? Or accompanying his partner, Reina, to one of her prenatal checkups? Continue reading »

Dec 272012
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

We’re off to a great start in 2013 with the Super Bowl, which is going to be fabulous regardless of which teams end up playing in the game. It will also show the world that our resilient, unstoppable comeback from Hurricane Katrina is almost complete. What will not be so apparent is that there are literally thousands of New Orleanians working their tails off to make it appear that hosting a Super Bowl is effortless for this city — which, of course, it isn’t. There are thousands of details involved in securing and then hosting a Super Bowl and New Orleans excels in both phases. Most of those who do the heavy lifting are virtually anonymous, hardly known beyond the tourism community. A few, like Louisiana Superdome’s SMG exec Doug Thornton, occasionally surface to be given a deserved standing ovation but there are hundreds more whose names never appear in the news media. They just labor away, far from the spotlight. It should also be said that as in every aspect of life in Metro New Orleans, just beneath the surface are scores of rabid rivalries but there is a tradition here of putting these things aside to make the Super Bowl as success. This will be the case again this year, which merits further congratulations to all involved. Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Nov 082012
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Well, Danae was right, as usual. She predicted the President Barack Obama victory and said correctly that his performance in the wake of Hurricane Sandy would be a game-changer.

Allan was wrong, as usual. He thought that Governor Mitt Romney was still riding the momentum of his fine performance in the first Presidential debate. Unfortunately for Romney and the Republican Party, the Romney momentum was overpowered by the winds of Hurricane Sandy and the pictures of President Obama being presidential, bringing aid and solace to the stricken. Continue reading »

Aug 172012
 

A host of prominent New Orleans Republicans said this week that they have never heard of the lone challenger so far to U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, Josue Larose, who filed to run as a member of their party on Wednesday.

But the hard-to-find candidate shares a name and a former address with a perennial candidate in Florida the political press there dubbed “Super PAC Man,” whose thousands of alleged campaign-finance violations and hyperactive registration of odd political action committees drew the tongue-in-cheek “admiration” of political prankster Stephen Colbert. Continue reading »

Aug 172012
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

The teams are complete, the matchups are clear. These guys don’t like one another and their philosophies could hardly be more different.

There was a time in America when then-Alabama Gov. George Wallace could run for President as an independent complaining that there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the Democratic and Republican candidates. That isn’t really a problem in 2012. The Obama-Biden view of the world is just about 360 degrees apart from the Romney-Ryan view of the world. Continue reading »

 Comments Off