Not only will the group enjoy “The City of Lights,” but they will also vacation on the French Riviera in Monaco, the ritziest principality on earth.
The taxpayers will be covering the expenses for this extravagant junket. At a minimum, there will be $16,571 in costs, for the Mayor and four staff members. The details on how the travel costs will be paid for the other members of the entourage, including the three city council members, have not been disclosed.
With the problems facing New Orleans, the timing of this junket is quite poor. If New Orleans had a low crime rate with great drainage and street conditions, then maybe the Mayor could take a trip to Paris with 19 of his cronies to celebrate. However, New Orleans today is beset with numerous problems that never seem to get resolved. These funds, no matter how insignificant, should have been spent on more pressing issues of concern to the people of New Orleans.
Over his political career, Landrieu has been a specialist at public relations spin, trying to create a positive impression of his poor leadership. In fact, he has been so successful that some analysts see Landrieu as a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2020. He will be garnering plenty of national publicity over the next year as he is writing a book about his successful fight to take down four Confederate monuments in New Orleans and is currently serving in a high profile position as the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Of course, in New Orleans, Landrieu will be presiding over the various tri-centennial activities in the first few months of the year. Ostensibly, the tri-centennial celebration is why the Mayor and his entourage are in Paris enjoying this expensive vacation. According to his spokesperson, the junket was organized to “pay tribute to the nations that were instrumental in the city’s founding.”
While in Paris, the group will meet with political and business leaders and the Mayor will participate in a symposium before the group concludes festivities in Monaco discussing “tourism and economic ties.”
As the Attorney General and Legislative Auditor investigate questionable credit card spending by city council members, it is pretty amazing that this entourage is in the midst of such an extravagant trip funded by taxpayers.
In New Orleans, taxpayers are being played for fools by these self-indulgent politicians. In particular, Landrieu has a history of taking taxpayer-funded trips both domestically and abroad. He is a regular visitor to Colorado enjoying seminars and other activities sponsored by the Aspen Institute. In fact, he was in Aspen on August 5, 2017 when an average rainstorm caused a major flood in New Orleans. Instead of immediately returning to New Orleans, Landrieu stayed in Aspen to enjoy parties and other political events. This incident should have clearly exposed to the voters of New Orleans the truly selfish priorities of Mitch Landrieu.
Whether it is attending a climate change conference in Rome or visiting the French Riviera, Mayor Landrieu has certainly enjoyed his tenure as Mayor of New Orleans. Who knows what else is being planned over the next few months as Mayor Landrieu finally finishes his second term. Since he does not have to face the voters of New Orleans again, it seems like he is going to live it up on the taxpayers’ dime.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award-winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org