Jun 012017
 

Mayoral candidate Michael Bagneris shares a moment with friends at a event hosted by the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club. (submitted photo)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Former Judge Michael Bagneris is clearly the dark horse in this year’s race for Mayor. While he may not be the most conventional, the most cutting-edge or the best-financed candidate, Bagneris believes he will bring the most experience relying on his 8 years as a key adviser to Mayor Dutch Morial. Continue reading »

May 312017
 

Seth Bloom (submitted photo)

Jay Banks (submitted photo)

Seth Bloom and Jay Banks, long considered two prominent potential contenders for the District B seat on the New Orleans City Council, have each set dates in the coming weeks to make official public announcements about their candidacies. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Seth Bloom, Jay Banks both set dates for City Council campaign kickoffs
May 252017
 

From left, the Rev. C.S. Gordon, state Sen. Troy Carter, Desiree Charbonnet, and WDSU anchor Norman Robinson. (photo submitted by Charbonnet campaign)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

It was no coincidence that Dr. C.S. Gordon Jr. gave the invocation at mayoral candidate Desiree Charbonnet’s announcement Monday evening. As one of the state’s most powerful African-American ministers and pastor of Central City’s 96-year-old New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Gordon and his fellow pastors throughout New Orleans are primed to play a pivotal role in this year’s race for mayor. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: African-American ministers may be power brokers in mayor’s race  Tagged with:
May 232017
 

Desiree Charbonnet announces her candidacy for mayor to a cheering crowd Monday night at the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans. (photo by Bernie Saul, courtesy of the Charbonnet campaign)


Fulfilling the expectations raised when she recently resigned her seat as judge on the New Orleans Municipal Court, Desiree Charbonnet publicly announced her intent to run for mayor Monday night to supporters gathered at a downtown hotel. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Desiree Charbonnet announces campaign for mayor
May 192017
 

After protests over the election of Donald J. Trump as President on Wednesday evening, a city employee begins pressure washing a “Black Power” slogan from the Robert E. Lee monument in New Orleans on Thursday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A monument supporter waves a flag with the Confederate battle emblem at the site of the Jefferson Davis monument in early May. (photo by S.L. Alexander for UptownMessenger.com)

By S.L. Alexander

We recently marked the 47th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and although I’ve never skipped a year, I must admit I no longer have the stamina for more than one day’s attendance. But the weather this day (after two of the fest days being filled with thunderstorms) was unbelievably perfect–60s and 70s, gentle BabyCakes–er, zephyrs (it’s only the local baseball team has morphed names).

The 12 music stages included many types of music — jazz, Cajun, Dixieland, gospel, some country, some folk, a bit of rock — but the predominant genre, this being, after all, a New Orleans heritage festival, was the outgrowth of what is now called rhythm and blues, but back in the day even in New Orleans was referred to on the radio as “race music.” Walking back to the car at the end of the day, I noted with a chuckle the scores of bicycles chained to the fence underneath a sign clearly ordering NO BIKE PARKING, and I was feeling very happy and mellow when we got into the car parked on Jeff Davis Parkway. Heading back toward Uptown, my pleasant musings were abruptly interrupted by the sight of about a dozen protesters with giant Confederate flags, across the street from the Jefferson Davis monument, which was protected by a temporary chain link fence and eight NOPD squad cars filled with armed cops. My spirits plunged. I’ve been here nearly three decades, and the only Confederate flags I’ve ever seen in New Orleans before were at the Civil War (nee the Confederate) Museum. Continue reading »

May 182017
 

City council members Susan Guidry and Jared Brossett pose for a photo with Caroline Fayard at a rally for Fayard in 2016. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

It’s official! District D Councilmember Jared Brossett will run for re-election rather than entering the growing field for city council at-large.

“After much praying and introspection about what will best benefit the citizens of New Orleans, I decided to continue to serve in District D,” Brossett told a pack crowd of supporters last night at the Maison du Lac. “There is more work to be done. We have made great investments and by all coming together the city will continue to improve.” Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Councilman Jared Brossett will seek re-election in District D  Tagged with:
May 152017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

We’re down to two. Of the four monuments hand-selected by Mayor Landrieu for removal, only two remain – those memorializing Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Pierre G. T. Beauregard.

If Landrieu remains true to form, he’ll leave Lee’s statute for last. It is the most prominent, the most controversial, and by far the most difficult to remove. The figure of Lee looming large over the city is a major fixture, and parting with it cuts deeply to many New Orleanians. Continue reading »

Apr 272017
 

Frank Luntz speaks to the Loyola University Institute of Politics on Thursday, April 27. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Why is Frank Luntz so darkly pessimistic about the future of American democracy?

“I’m afraid that this is the election cycle that kills our democracy,” the nationally known pollster and commentator said at Loyola University on Thursday night.

Luntz is so pessimistic because he is paid to listen to people, and what he hears is an America that has become completely unable to listen to one another. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on “I’m afraid that this is the election cycle that kills our democracy.”
Apr 272017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

The new tax reform plan introduced yesterday by Trump officials was painted with a very broad brush and appears to predominately benefit the wealthy. Though touted to create economic growth, it may in fact create serious implications for working class citizens who could lose their state and local tax deductions. It is especially short on details and how the plan will be paid for. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Who is looking out for the working class in President Trump’s tax plan?
Apr 202017
 

Eric Johnson

Dr. Eric Johnson, a native New Orleanian who started a career in urban development as an aide to City Councilman Jim Singleton and has since worked in major cities around the country, made a formal announcement Thursday of his candidacy for the District B seat on the City Council that will be vacated by LaToya Cantrell’s run for mayor. Continue reading »

Apr 202017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Yesterday’s announcement by Gambit that Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet will resign her position on Friday and is likely to enter the race for mayor signals how hot this contest will become. Charbonnet was elected citywide three times and is a charismatic candidate who will attract female and African-American voters, especially those from the Creole neighborhoods. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Desiree Charbonnet could shake up mayor’s race  Tagged with:
Apr 132017
 

Timothy David Ray (via timothydavidray.com)

With City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell now officially in the race for mayor of New Orleans, the contenders for her open District B seat are beginning to line up, with political consultant Timothy David Ray the latest name to join the race. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on District B City Council race draws another contender
Apr 132017
 

Frank Scurlock (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Wealthy entrepreneur and world traveler Frank Scurlock, who recently submitted one of the failed bids to redevelop the Six Flags site, is a strong contender the most unconventional candidate to announce for mayor in this cycle. Some even call Scurlock “the Rodney Fertel” of 2017.

Fertel was the husband of the late restaurateur Ruth Fertel who founded the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse chain. He ran for mayor in 1969 with one campaign promise — to acquire a pair of gorillas for the Audubon Zoo. Fertel became known as the “The Gorilla Man” and was memorialized in the book The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steakby his son philanthropist Randy Fertel. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Is Frank Scurlock the “Gorilla Man” of the mayor’s race?
Apr 102017
 

Le Krewe d’Etat lampooned Sidney Torres IV on Napoleon Avenue on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Do you smell that in the air? If it reeks of a festering mound of equine excrement, it’s a safe bet that you’re either ankle deep in the leavings of a police horse, or the mayoral race is ramping up. Continue reading »

Apr 032017
 

Latoya Cantrell (via her campaign website)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell has formally embarked upon her campaign for mayor of New Orleans, her website now confirms, which will leave her District B seat open. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on LaToya Cantrell’s website confirms candidacy for mayor, opening District B field  Tagged with: