Viewpoint: Nov. 8 ballot includes 8 constitutional amendments

In addition to the races for U.S. Senate, Congress, judges, clerks and the School Board on the ballot, New Orleans voters will choose among eight constitutional amendments in the November election. All amendments were passed by the Louisiana Legislature during the 2021 or 2022 regular session. Each proposed amendment had to receive a two-thirds favorable vote in the House and Senate to reach the ballot. The Public Affairs Research Council has created a well-researched guide to the amendments. which is available on their website, parlouisiana.org. 

Amendment No.

Knowledge for Change Celebration supports Nola Abortion Fund at Carrollton Station on Friday (sponsored)

Register to vote, learn what will be on the midterm elections and support the New Orleans Abortion Fund with raffle donations sponsored by local businesses such as Stein’s, Wild Lotus, St. James Cheese, Picnic Whiskey & Provisions and more! This Friday, Sept. 30, acclaimed artist Mikayla Braun and educator Jaclyn Tregle partner with Carrollton Station to host the What Is Going On?! Knowledge for Change Celebration, which will provide a space where people can register to vote, with help from the League of Women Voters of New Orleans.

Viewpoint: Candidates gather endorsements as Election Day draws closer

With the mid-term elections less than eight weeks away, political organizations are giving the nod to their preferred candidates. In turn, those endorsements are fueling fundraising for the all-important get-out-the-vote efforts, which will make or break most races. Last night, Municipal Court Judge Mark Shea courted donors at Junior’s in Lakeview, while his opponent Derek Russ entertained his supporters at Bijou on the edge of the French Quarter. 

The red hot race between Shea and Russ is a classic example of a well-liked, seasoned elected official being challenged by a younger upstart who has tired of waiting in the wings. Many pundits believe race is a factor in this campaign. As to be expected, Shea has garnered the lion’s share of endorsements, including from the Alliance for Good Government, the AFL-CIO and nine other organizations.

Cantrell recall organizers collecting signatures at Ms. Mae’s on Magazine

Uptown voters will have a chance today (Aug. 28) to sign a recently filed recall petition to oust Mayor LaToya Cantrell from office. Organizers will collect signatures at Ms. Mae’s Bar, 4336 Magazine St., at Napoleon Avenue, from 2 to 6 p.m. The Ms. Mae’s “signin’ party”  is the first event in the recall effort. Belden “Noonie Man” Batiste, an activist and frequent long-shot candidate, and Eileen Carter, Cantrell’s former social media manager and the sister of former state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, filed the petition Friday (Aug. 26) with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.

Viewpoint: Fall campaigns getting off to a slow start; money is tight in most races

Labor Day is recognized as the traditional start of our fall campaign season. So these hot August weeks are when candidates flesh out their messages, pick up a few early endorsements, and beg friends, family and deep-pocketed business associates for money. With the economic uncertainty brought on first by Covid-19 and now by inflation, fundraising for most candidates – especially first-timers — has been especially tough this year. While U.S. Rep. Troy Carter drew only one opponent, Republican Dan Lux, his fundraising efforts continue. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise has two opponents, Democrat Katie Darling and Libertarian Howard Kearney, and is also raising money through political action committees. 

In the judicial races, only two contenders — Criminal Court Judge Karen Herman and Municipal and Traffic Court Judge Mark Shea — have opponents.

Viewpoint: Old and new faces are showing up for fall elections

There were few surprises Wednesday (July 20) during the first day of qualifying for Louisiana’s mid-term elections, which will be held Nov. 8.  As expected, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy led the pack in his run for re-election. In addition to Democrats Luke Mixon, Syrita Steib and Gary Chambers — whose names have been frequently mentioned in connection with the race against this popular incumbent — several other Senate candidates qualified yesterday, including Vinny Mendoza and Beryl Billiot, who both ran previously. Newcomers in the race include “Xan” John, Thomas Wenn and W. Thomas La Fontaine Olson. Olson (no party), who resides Uptown on Milan Street, chose not to disclose a gender and listed race as “other” on official documents.

A message from Rep. Aimee Adatto Freeman: Join us Friday, July 22 (sponsored)

Dear Friends and Constituents,

Thank you for your support, partnership and encouragement. This is an especially consequential time in our nation and our state. The pandemic, inflation, mass shootings, anti-abortion laws — the list of challenges goes on and on. And many solutions lie in the state Legislature, where policies that most impact people’s lives pass – or fail. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved together since I was elected as the Representative for District 98, especially the wins everyone else said were impossible.

Viewpoint: New political season begins next week with qualifying for fall elections

In the middle of this hot summer, we’re getting ready for an even hotter election cycle. Qualifying for almost a dozen races — from U.S. Senate to clerk of First City Court — starts next Wednesday (July 20). The election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 8. 

With inflation increasing daily, 2022 is a hard year for newbie challengers to raise money. That means incumbents who have not made glaring errors generally have a good shot at getting re-elected.

Viewpoint: It’s time to put that mask on again

Those readers who know me personally understand that I am very involved in the Greek Festival, which is returning Memorial Day weekend after a two-year hiatus. During a visit to the Greek church earlier this week, the festival’s long-time operations director, who comes in from Texas, said, “I see you are wearing a mask again,” to which I replied: “I never stopped wearing a mask.”

Just before Jazz Fest, I wrote about an out-of-town friend, a decades-long Fest enthusiast, who wanted to mask at the Fair Grounds even though he is fully vaccinated and boosted. Impractical, I thought, and way too hot to mask.  He recently flew home after two jam-packed weeks during which he attended the festival all seven days, consumed copious amounts of ice cold watermelon in the WWOZ tent, caught nighttime performances such as singer John Boutté at d.b.a., and dined with old friends at Peche, Brennan’s and Doris Metropolitan. On the way to the airport, he even grabbed an oyster po’boy at the Kenner Seafood Market. By the time his flight landed in New York, he had the dreaded Covid cough.