Today’s installment of documents laid on me by my gabby cousin Slabb O’Leak deals with a parade but this was no ordinary parade folks, no sir. This was a special parade indeed so to refresh everyone’s memories we need to hit the way back machine and head back to February 2010. Our own AROD was cooling his heels in the St Bernard Parish prison, arrest on charges trumped-up by US Attorney Jim Letten, who evidently had the manpower to burn (as also illustrated by Sal Perricone spending large parts of the day playing on the internet) despite the rampant political corruption. Less than a month before, Parish President Aaron Broussard had resigned in disgrace due his own corruption scandal, portions of which are coming to trial in just a few months. Interim Parish President Steve Theriot had already been installed via the bums rush by the Parish Council and had been on the job for around 3 weeks.
It was a crazy time for the political classes in Jefferson Parish and indeed our readers may recall that Theriot was a very busy man at that time and had actually pushed back his coronation and genuflection ceremony with Ashton Phelps and the gang at the Times Picayune because he was so busy and rightfully so as “Rome” was literally burning down . But what was TheRiot and his band of 6 dwarfs on the Parish Council actually doing then? Easy folks, they were negotiating with Ray Ray the Chocolate guy to ride in the Saints Superbowl victory parade and it consumed lots of time.
Now this seems straightforward, in exchange for 25 passes to the official reviewing stand at Gallier Hall, the taxpayers of Jefferson Parish agreed to pony up over $160,000 so the City of New Orleans could host the parade. But the Nagin folks that extended this “generous” offer to the taxpayers of Jefferson parish did not know one thing. Councilman at large Chris “Mini-me” Roberts absolutely adores a parade! (along with seeing himself on the TeeVee).
What followed was a thoroughly entertaining email chain as Roberts was hell-bent on getting his Mardi Gras float, bought with his political campaign ca$h into that parade as the public gets a peek at what really matters to their Councilman at Large: Feeding his massive ego no matter the cost to the taxpayer.
I’m also reminded the whispers we were hearing at that time the Parish Council was not completely unified and this is indeed the case. Current Parish president John Young abstained from the vote to install Theriot for instance but no where is that conflict better illustrated than this subject.
My readers no doubt notice that I do not take many shots at Young and there is a method to my madness. Yes by nature he is a political creature and that is to be expected since he is a politician. He also appears to listen to the concerns of his constituents and does not, at least overtly, view his minion as marks as did his predecessor Aaron Broussard. While I am not ready to lay the Slabbed seal of approval on him, as very few politicians ever earn that distinction, there was one voice inside the Yenni Building that actually wondered whether spending $160,000 for a few passes to the reviewing stand at Gallier Hall was a wise use of taxpayer money and for this we must give props to Young:
That email drew this very snippy response from Roberts:
Paul Rioux at the Times Picayune was certainly leaked the above email by Roberts as he quoted from it in his story on Jefferson Parish dialing back their contribution to $95,000. And the commenters to Rioux’s story, at least most of them seemed to understand that whooshing sound they were hearing was their tax money going down the toilet so Roberts and the gang on the Parish Council could have a nice party at Gallier Hall. I doubt he saw them all though because the complete email chain reveals Roberts was strictly in this deal for himself:
And we already know after John Young questioned the wisdom of spending so much money, coupled with the fact the parade was to only feature Saints players and coaches, not self aggrandizing politicians that Mini-me threatened to watch the parade with the unwashed masses. Wondering what was giving John Young so much heartburn about this deal? I think the budgetary line item calling for a “$10,000 Host Party”
($20,000 total between the City of NO and Jefferson Parish) may have been the final straw for Young:
And of course during the course of all this posturing the City of NO keept sweetening the taxpayer funded honey pot:
Stay tuned because on tap are the taxpayer-funded leeches at JPAS.