Are we seeing some trickle down Trump now with New Orleans's incoming Mayor, LaToya Cantrell?
Many of us have long stated that the President of the United States sets the agenda in government and ethics. When Donald Trump refused to show his income taxes destroying a tradition set by modern presidential candidates, it opened the door for others in state and local government to refuse to share financial information unbound by law to disclose.
The last Republican was elected Mayor of New Orleans in 1872. Since that time, there has been almost 150 years of domination by the Democratic Party in New Orleans. For at least the last 50 years, the city government policies enacted have been almost universally liberal. No doubt the decades of leftist government policies have contributed to the many problems that beset the city today.
The only problem is, you can’t count on a disaster occurring every five years or so to cover up mistakes made in governing.
New Orleans proceeds with its infrastructure rebuild after the hurricane disasters of 2005. Given $2.4 billion to accomplish this, about a sixth of that should commence this year, albeit on a pace that would see the last of it completed just before two decades have passed since Hurricane Katrina struck.
Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry failed in his first bid to stop Orleans Parish Criminal Court Judges from hearing the controversial New Orleans city council credit card case against incoming Mayor, LaToya Cantrell.
Facing a political party adversary, who happens to be an ambitious politician, hoping to be the next Louisiana governor, is not the way that New Orleans Mayor-elect, LaToya Cantrell, wants to spend the next six month as she pieces together her transition team and ultimately her city government staff-- until she gets sworn in as New Orleans Mayor, May 2017.
There is a cloud hanging over the head of the New Orleans Mayor-Elect LaToya Cantrell. In the campaign, she was criticized for her questionable and frequent use of a city credit card. In total, Cantrell spent $107,000 on her city-issued credit card since 2013. This was the highest total among the seven New Orleans city council members. Of that amount, Cantrell only reimbursed the city $9,000 for expenses that were deemed personal in nature. Even worse, approximately $4,000 was repaid right before she qualified for the Mayor’s race.
In the world of politics, yesterday's competitor is today's friend. Today Cedric Richmond, Congressman from the 2nd Congressional District, which includes New Orleans, addressed the House regarding the 300th anniversary of the city and the significant election of the first female to be mayor of that city.
With the election of LaToya Cantrell as the new Mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu is officially a lame duck. His term will extend for a few more months, but the focus and attention of voters will now turn to the Mayor-Elect.
Landrieu could have used this period to exhaustively prepare for a seamless transition, but, instead, he decided to travel to Paris, France with a massive entourage, including three other lame duck politicians. Joining the Mayor in Paris are New Orleans City Council members James Gray and Nadine Ramsey, who lost bids for re-election and Susan Gray who is term-limited.
Let’s face it. The optics don’t look good.
On Monday, it was announced that subpoenas were issued for records associated with incoming New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s ongoing city credit card controversy that could turn into a criminal matter. Meanwhile, outgoing Mayor Mitch Landrieu, with almost a half-year left to serve in his last year of eight years in that position, is visiting Paris France paid for by the city.
Is there any lesson learned for the next upcoming statewide election?
In discussing the recent Louisiana Treasurer’s race and the New Orleans elections, in particular, that was the question I posed during the interview I conducted with Louisiana Weekly political editor and WRNO Radio weekend talk show host Christopher Tidmore and John Couvillon of JMC Analytics and Polling of Louisiana.