Even though there are six weeks left in his term as Mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu has already set his sights on a bigger prize: the White House.
With the launch of his book, “In the Shadows of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History,” Landrieu has been all over the national media. In recent days, he has been interviewed on the CBS Morning Show, the National Geographic Channel, 60 Minutes, This Week, The Daily Show, andMeet the Press, to name only a few. This Friday, he will be a guest on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.
As I readied for my Facebook Live discussion with Kathy Finn, the author of the unauthorized biography of the life of Tom Benson, many questions jammed through my mind, that i wanted to know the answers to and which i suspected, our audience would also.
Just who was Tom Benson? How did he become a billionaire and one of the richest persons in the United States? Why did he purchase the New Orleans Saints? The New Orleans Pelicans? What qualities did he possess that launched his remarkable success, coming from such a humble background? Given Benson's reported lack of knowledge about football, how did he fit in with the other NFL owners?
How did a man, not born of wealth, somehow, start out as a car salesman, then a dealer and then a banker and then an owner of major sports franchises, do it? I mean, how did Tom Benson, who passed away yesterday at age 90, who owned the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans, emerge as a billionaire, philanthropist and one of the most important men in Louisiana history?
Let’s face it. The owner of the New Orleans NFL football team and NBA basketball team, Tom Benson, was indeed, a Saint.
And now, he moves on to his next winning season and the state of Louisiana mourns.
Late winter and early spring is one of the best times of the year in the New Orleans region. The Chambers and Greater New Orleans Inc hold major events. The French Quarter festival announces its schedule for those waiting to take in the sun, the food and the music. The Big Idea and Entrepreneurship Week is upon us once again from our friends from Idea Village.
Two days after receiving tremendous praise from Chris Matthews of Hard Ball, ready to launch his book tour and a couple of months before he turns over the keys to the Mayor's office to his successor LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced today what the city will be doing with the controversial confederate monuments his administration took down amid much anger.
Was that a political endorsement for Mitch Landrieu for the position of President of the United States we heard last night coming out of the mouth of MSNBC’s Hardball’s Chris Matthews?
Well, let me explain. First, a little history.
Whenever Jeff Crouere and I put together a Politics with a Punch panel, which we normally do at the last minute for a variety of reasons, I look at the names and the talent we have assembled and think to myself, boy, isn’t this a great event.
For years, Arnie Fielkow was pitching New Orleans Saints to the State of Louisiana as its Executive Vice President. After Katrina, as the City Councilman, then the Council President, he was helping the city rebuild from disaster that devastated the lives of so many and the infrastructure that made New Orleans so special. In recent years, Fielkow, who is far from being short, lived among the real redwoods of the sporting world, running the very respected National Basketball Retired Players Association, leaving the city for Chicago.
He left his heart in New Orleans. Welcome back, Arnie.
We missed you, but we’re so glad you’re home.
That Gov. John Bel Edwards endorsed sham “tax reform” in his
recent special session call becomes all the more apparent when another example surfaced of Louisiana’s subpar fiscal policy.
In the days prior to the session’s launch next week, the state announced Gameloft would close its New Orleans office, reneging on a deal to bring more jobs to the state. This meant it gave away nearly a million dollars over the past seven years to the gaming firm under the Digital Interactive Media and Software Tax Credit, or almost $25,000 per job created. The total amount actually comes close to $2 million, but the state plans on clawing back over half.
I have lost a piece of my own history today.
A friend of mine has just passed away today. She was in her early nineties.
Pearl Marzoni was a wife, a mom, a friend and a wonderful ballroom dancer. She was also instrumental in connecting me to my remarkable wife, Althea, also very talented on the ballroom dance floor.