As Bayoubuzz discussed yesterday, Charbonnet picked up the endorsement of the New Orleans Tribune in one of the more interesting, provocative yet odd endorsements I have ever witnessed. The African American-based paper previously supported nobody in the general and said that all of the leading candidates—Bagneris, Charbonnet, Cantrell, Troy Henry, Tommy Vassel were equal in candidacy.
The focus of the endorsement for Charbonnet, however, was much less about Charbonnet and so much more about the white power brokers from NotForSaleNola who spent hundreds of thousands in their efforts to defeat her. The paper also slammed Sidney Torres, who also spent a significant amount via his Super PAC Voice PAC after Charbonnet pulled out of his televised forum.
The New Orleans Tribune also took issue with the right-wing website The Hayride, Stacy Head and Michael Bagneris. The latter made the following statement to NOLA.com in supporting Cantrell, “I believe what I say. I’m not one just to throw things out,” Bagneris said. “If (Charbonnet) is in there, then just put the for-sale sign-up.”
The endorsement for Charbonnet defended her by stating:
“Let’s get something straight. Desiree Charbonnet has NOT ever been accused of, investigated for, or charged with any wrongdoing in her 19-year political career. All of a sudden, a bunch of rich, White people get to taint her image by making baseless accusations against her. They send out mailers featuring caricatures of a gun-toting Charbonnet—images hatched in the same twisted, racist mindset of those who held President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with such disdain that they published a heinous political cartoon on the cover of The New Yorker that depicted them as fist-bumping, Muslim extremists, complete with Michelle Obama toting an automatic weapon and rounds of ammunition. Jacobs and her posse sent out a mailer with a cartoon image of a Black woman carrying a pistol and not only was there no outcry, a fair share of Black folk are actually buying this bull. To be sure, New Orleanians—Black and White—ought to be outraged by this sort of blatant racially-tinged rhetoric.”
Indeed, based upon that description, assuming its accuacy, we all should be outraged.
Continuing its focus upon the white establishment, the Tribune wrote further::
“And if you think we’re reaching when we say that the White business elite and Uptown crowd want someone in the mayor’s office they at least think they can control, especially if that someone has to be Black, consider this: Nearly 16 years ago, when the idea of New Orleans ever electing another White mayor seemed like a fairytale, they went marching into the enchanted forest, also known as the executive level suites at Cox Communications, to persuade a young Black telecommunications executive who didn’t have a lick of city government experience that he was just what the city needed and then put their might and money behind him to secure his victory. And never forget how they turned on him as soon as the city’s demographics morphed enough in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to make him expendable. If WE need one reason not to trust the White business elite, this is it. When they no longer needed him, the prince was turned into a beast.
So, what exactly did the Tribune say about Charbonnet in support of its endorsement? How’s this:
So here we are. Some three weeks away from the runoff. And we’re unapologetic and completely forthcoming in this endorsement. We are with Desi for more reasons than one. Of course, we decided a while back that she could do the job. She has some good ideas and with the right team and ample time to implement them, our city would be better for it. We felt the same way about Michael Bagneris, Troy Henry and Tommie Vassel. And yes, we feel similarly about Charbonnet’s runoff opponent LaToya Cantrell. That is the chief reason we did not make an endorsement for the primary. We found it hard to choose. And our endorsement of Charbonnet now is not meant as a criticism of her opponent.
Let me be very specific: I despise the current power of Super PACs, whether they are funded by whites, blacks or greens. I feel they tear apart the democratic process, giving people with money incredible leverage in the political system. I personally favor a state constitutional amendment prohibiting them and surely would support one to the US Constitution, which would put the matter to rest, hopefully, forever.
I agree with the Tribune that the idea that any group of rich people dominating the airwaves and "webwaves" is disgusting—my disagreement with the paper, however, is, to me, the activity is repulsive whether those involved were white or black.
I don’t understand how the focus of the editorial is upon attacks to the white business community. They have a say in the election as much as the African American community does. The only serious candidates in the race were black. So, it is not like these rich people were backing a white candidate over a black one.
Indeed, Michael Bagneris did receive a strong white turnout and he appeared to be the darling of those who oppose the removal of the confederate monuments. Also, a few of his contributors also helped fund the NotforSaleNola.com. His comment above about not for sale signs is somewhat of an indication of his connection to the organization, yet, not absolute.
At this point in time, the only way to reduce the impact of white Super PAC money from rich uptown businessmen (and women) would be to get out the vote for those who are in their cross hairs. The African American community won’t be able to control its own destiny in this city or any venue, if they don’t go to the ballot in more dominant numbers.
Thankfully, so far, the election really has not been about race and hopefully won’t be. It would be difficult to inject race in this election given the fact that the two competitors are both black.
Endorsing one candidate because of the unfair tactics coming from a third-party group against her is a very strange way to back any person for public office.
The beating up of Charbonnet without presenting any specific facts about her record is most unfortunate, as it would be if any group went against LaToya Cantrell.
With three weeks remaining until election day, let’s hope unfair carnage stops.
But, seriously, does anybody believe that will happen? .