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Friday, 30 December 2011 12:00
Who's On The Louisiana Political Saints & Aint's Team Of 2011
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It was another crazy year for Louisiana politics. As usual, some people fared much better than others. Here is the Ringside Politics annual list of Saints and Aint’s.  

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Saints

  • State Senator John Alario switched parties and was selected by Jindal to be the next State Senate President, even though he is a former crony of Edwin Edwards.
  • Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne has won three statewide elections in the last five years. He withstood big money and opposition from Sen. Vitter to win re-election. Today, he looks to be one of the favorites in the next Governor's race
 
  • Former Governor Edwin Edwards remains very popular despite almost nine years in prison and conviction on racketeering charges. He left prison and embarked on a book tour and many public appearances where he was treated like a conquering hero.
  • Former N.O. Councilman Arnie Fielkow is truly a Saint for he worked in the organization and fought to keep the team in the city. He left New Orleans to take a management position with a professional sports league, but he will be remembered for reforming NORD and serving with integrity.  
  • Archbishop Philip Hannan passed away at the age of 98He spent 23 years leading the Church in New Orleans and another 23 years serving as a great spiritual leader for the Catholics in this community. He was blessed with a long life and was buried at the St. Louis Cathedral after a funeral procession that attracted thousands of admirers.
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal won re-election with 66 percent of the vote. While some believe he continues to pursue strictly selfish political motives, he did rehabilitate his national image and is currently seen as a national Republican Party leader and a potential future presidential candidate. 
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu continues to enjoy high approval ratings of over 70 percent. The Mayor has total control of the City Council and has been able to pass all of his major initiatives. He has won national accolades on 60 Minutes and other programs as New Orleans has received positive press for growing entrepreneurship, Hollywood South, and for being the home of major sporting events.
  • LA Republican Party completely dominates the state political landscape. The GOP has control of the Louisiana Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction. Republicans currently occupy all of the statewide elected positions except one & all congressional seats except one. In the upcoming presidential race, the state is considered so “red” that the President will surely not even campaign in Louisiana.
  • Former Governor Buddy Roemer has generated plenty of positive national press for his unconventional presidential campaign. While not being accepted as a major presidential candidate in the GOP, he has received notice from the newly formed third party organization, Americans Elect.
  • Aint’s

    • St. Tammany Parish Assessor Patricia Schwartz Core narrowly lost her bid for another term even though she outspent her opponent by a margin of 10 to 1. She lost to an Independent in the state’s only Republican plurality parish. The Assessor was hurt by charges of credit card abuse and misspending.
    • Former KKK leader David Duke was in the news again for the wrong reasons. He was arrested in Germany before addressing a right wing group. He is forbidden to travel in several European countries because he is on record denying the Holocaust.
    • Louisiana Democratic Party is an example of complete ineptitude. While still maintaining a big lead in voter registration throughout the state, the party failed to produce one serious candidate to run for statewide office this year. This incompetence occurred because of poor leadership and contributed to the Democrats also losing control of the Louisiana Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction.
    • Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser tried to move up to Lt. Governor with the strong support of U.S. Senator David Vitter. While outspending his opponent and blitzing the airwaves with negative commercials, he still lost handily to incumbent Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne.
    • Former New Orleans Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt was indicted on a racketeering charge, convicted and sentence to seven years in prison. Currently she is free while her appeal moves forward. Her case helped expose a scam involving family members of former Congressman Bill Jefferson. She was convicted of helping to steal $1 million that was supposed to benefit the poor and needy citizens of New Orleans.
    • River Birch Inc. has been a powerful political player for years, but the landfill company has hit hard times. It used to win big contracts, but is now reportedly under federal investigation. The company just lost a $160 million contract with Jefferson Parish and one former state official Henry Mouton pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge for accepting payments to lobby for the company.
    • Garland Robinette has been exposed as a phony. While purportedly hosting the “Think Tank,” the talk show host accepted $250,000 from his friend, Fred Heebe, the owner of River Birch. Without disclosing the payment, he criticized River Birch’s competition on the air and only paid back the “loan” after the media reported the payment. 
    • U.S. Senator David Vitter spent the year fighting with Governor Jindal for the top position in the state Republican Party. He tried to use his power and plenty of money to elect a group of legislators and two statewide officials in the last election. Unfortunately for Vitter, all of his top candidates lost and his influence was clearly diminished. 

    Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Jeff Crouere

    Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at Ringside Politics.

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    Website: www.ringsidepolitics.com
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