Monday, 08 September 2014 19:33

Postcard to Nagin, Edwards, GOP elated, Vitter, Jindal and Common Core

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Nagin's postcard

It is now official. Former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin is now in custody for his federal corruption conviction.  He is set to be released in ten years, but, it could be less, for good time.

No doubt, many in New Orleans are glad to see him behind bars.


I have mixed emotions as I have always liked him as a person.  I often laughed at his off-the-cuff comments.  I recall his first press secretary former WWL TV reporter Patrick Evans publically told the media only days after Nagin was first elected that the Mayor's unscripted comments made him (Evans) "cringe".   

Months after Katrina, Nagin called the media back into a press conference and blasted us for negative media.  He urged us to not say anything untoward against the city. That came at a time when many doubted the city would return and when the city, or what was left of it, was receiving horrible press on a daily basis, for a variety of reasons including a nationally-focused police brutality incident on Bourbon Street.

After preaching to the media that we were causing irreparable harm to the city by our comments, he then, took on his newfound enemy--the business community.  Much had been written how days post-Katrina, white businessmen had reportedly met in Dallas, to discuss how the hurricane could be an opportunity to remake the city and to change the black domination.  

At this meeting, across from the Superdome, after beating up my media brethren and, of course, me, he launched onto anger-mode, however, this time directed at those who were once his allies.  Nagin told us that the business comunity in Atlanta dwarfed those in New Orleans, in stature, in importance and in wealth. 

To punctuate that moment, Nagin referred the New Orleans business community as a "Superbowl full of prostitutes".

An interesting comment, indeed, considering his tirade against the media only moments before for our reporting the city in an honest, but, sometimes difficult light.

Patrick Evans was not working for Nagin then, but if he were, I am sure he would be cringing.

However, the most memorable moment, at least for me, was the Sunday after he bested Mitch Landrieu in the historic race from hell, the post-Katrina Mayoral elections of 2006.

Once again, the media congregated before him for the first post-election wrap.

I had spent much of the prior evening (election night) at the Landrieu campaign headquarters.  Moments after the election results were called and Landrieu was getting ready to address the depressed crowd, I decided to catch the victory results at Nagin headquarters.  The election was a moment of moments.  History was made, even for a city reeking in history.  The New Orleans elections were over.  The city had been at war, even over when the elections would be held and where to place the voting machines.  Also, after Nagin's infamous Chocolate City speech, the talk of "race", did not refer to "elections", but the horrible state of black-white relations.

On my way out of the downtown hotel hosting the Landrieu election party, I ran into some of the "blue-blood" New Orleans business leaders, who were strong Landrieu supporters.  Obviously, they were quite distressed and swore they would be leaving the city due to the Nagin victory.

The next morning, during the packed-press conference, attended by media from all around the globe, in front of the reporters, I openly told Mayor Nagin about my experience with the city's leaders and their collective vow.

Nagin, never one to hold back his thoughts quickly responded, "Business people are predators, and if the economic opportunities are here, they're going to stay," Nagin replied. "God bless them. I hope they stay. But if they don't, I'll send them a postcard."

I will never forget that moment and this recollection serves as my own personal postcard to the Mayor.  

Mayor Nagin, we are all very disappointed in you and in certain members of your administration. 

Despite your deeds, God bless you and your family.  But, it is time for you to acknowledge your deeds and your guilt.  

Somehow, you will be a better man for it.  And, the city will be a better city.

Dick to hear Jindal

US District Court Judge Shelly Dick will hear Governor Bobby Jindal's lawsuit against the Obama administration over the Common Core on November 20. The hearing will determine whether Jindal has enough evidence to bring a legal case against U.S. Department of Education.

Edwards Gets the Democrats

Today, there are likely two opposing yet elated parties pleased with the same result.

Party number one: Edwin Edwards.

Party number two: Louisiana Republican Party

The Louisiana Democratic State Central committee has formally endorsed Edwin Edwards for US Congress.

The last time Governor Edwards ran for elective office, the cry was to "vote for the crook", since he was running against David Duke, for Governor.  This year, republicans might want to remind voters of the 6th congressional district of that slogan. 

Here is the press release from the Democratic Party:

The Democratic State Central Committee of Louisiana has voted to endorse former Gov. Edwin Edwards in the 6th Congressional District race.

“Our governing body has voted overwhelmingly to endorse Governor Edwin Edwards in his bid to represent the Sixth Congressional District of Louisiana,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson. “We are proud to feature a slate of candidates that represents the Louisiana Democratic Party’s illustrious past and our proven present. We encourage voters to check their registration before the deadline on October 6 to ensure they are ready to ‘geaux’ vote this fall for the strong Democratic candidates running in races from school board to Congress.”

"I am pleased to have this and other endorsements from groups that are helping people who have an interest in promoting a better life for our nation and the district,” said Gov. Edwin Edwards. “I appreciate the vote of everyone because I am going to serve everyone.”

“The Sixth Congressional District is more challenging terrain for Democratic candidates since it was redrawn in 2011,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Vice Chair Shane Riddle. “However, with the outpouring of support that Governor Edwards has received, contrasted with the cluttered Republican field, Democrats see a path to victory. I am impressed with the team and the energy coming from Team Edwards -- and I have often been told to never count out Edwin Edwards.”

In February, the Democratic State Central Committee unanimously endorsed incumbents Sen. Mary Landrieu and Congressman Cedric Richmond in the 2nd Congressional District.

Vitter to the Core?

If you think that David Vitter has heard the last about Common Core and his recent support for it, despite his prior opposition?

Think again. 

A website has been created urging Vitter to reconsider his pro-Common Core position.

Vitter is currently leading in all polls for Governor.  The election is fall 2015.

Here is the first few paragraphs of the website.  

We, the People, of Louisiana are writing to ask that you reconsider your August 1, 2014 “strong support” of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) in our state. Your statements are in obvious and direct conflict to those you expressed in a recent fundraising letter in which you pledged to “protect our citizens… from heavy-handed big government education policies like Common Core.”
If you believe Common Core is just about standards, then you are misinformed. The structure of this initiative includes: two sets of mediocre academic standards (Math and ELA) intended to stretch across the nation; two standardized assessments funded and reviewed by the federal government; and detailed data systems directly accessed by the U.S. Dept. of Education that will track students from preschool to the workforce. These components, of which the Common Core Standards are part and parcel, are inextricably linked via a myriad of signed agreements and contracts with the federal government, other states, and private organizations and corporations, arising from our commitments to the Race to the Top grants and No Child Left Behind waivers. For the reasons set forth in the Joint Statement Regarding the National Governors Association’s Common Core Standards Initiative and the Constitutional Structure, dissolving these ties is the necessary FIRST step in returning the control of public education in Louisiana, solely to Louisiana citizens.


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