From the reader mailbag: Hammerman……..

More questions raised after developer with ties to Jindal accepts plea deal ~ Hammerman

And now this slightly edited reader email which I thought interesting on a couple of levels:

In the above-cited article, WWL TV reporter David Hammer posed this question: Why does Praveen Kailas seem to get special treatment at every turn?

One possibility is because people who are developers, or are in a family or clique of developers, or are partners of a principal developer in a deal, have direct and indirect relationships with silent partners who are usually powerful people. The silent partners receive interests in the deal for their help in helping the deals succeed. A continuing interest helps the deal continue to succeed. The silent partners are often public officials who the system does not want to expose. People like Praveen Kailas sometimes lead the deal, but often they ride the coattails of principal developers who are closer to the silent partners. To keep control tight, the principal will intimate to all his or her other partners that there is a powerful silent partner in the deal who has a piece of it, but whose name must not be revealed.

It has always been puzzling that reporters who have have indications of the kinds of relationships described above seem to shy away from going the extra mile to learn whether there are silent partners being in and protecting deals. I think Mr. Hammer may have some such indications, yet he posed the question he did without trying to answer it. Apparently, he has not tried to learn all the deals in which Mr. Kailas has an interest and the names of all the other partners in the deals. Are readers supposed to do his work for themselves after he indicates to his readers that “special treatment” may be taking place? Is it really journalism to just pose a question and move on in spite of the fact that trying to answer the question or showing possible explanations from other factual circumstances could be an even bigger story? Continue reading “From the reader mailbag: Hammerman……..”

Blood in the water Monday: Since someone has to defend Ricky Mathews…..

Actually folks I’m not going to defend Mathews, the heel de jour in New Orleans.  I will say I’ve been looking at this whole Times Picayune make over “professionally”, that is as a practicing CPA and yes even the Newhouse accountants have been raked over the coals since the announcement of big changes at the T-P in late May.

I do not have time to write the post this subject deserves, at least today, but I would like to point out a couple of things I’ve seen in the news coverage that interested me.

First is Ashton Phelps falling on his sword rather than make the changes Steve Newhouse required.  This is the way things are done in the business world when you lose faith in the plan.  The Phelps’ family has been part of the cultural landscape in the city for a long time and to the extent street talk had the papers editorials being written at the Boston Club, if you want to understand the cesspool that is the City of New Orleans you must understand the Boston Club, the third oldest social club in the entire country.  To the extent I’ve been able to divine the job of a newspaper publisher is to kiss ass and make nice with the rich, powerful and famous, places like the Boston Club would be a natural for people like Phelps and Clancy DuBos. Speaking of DuBos has anyone else noticed he has been bashing Mathews on a fairly regular basis?  Not quite Slabbed style but close.

There are several theories about why DuBos harbors such a distaste for Ricky Mathews. Continue reading “Blood in the water Monday: Since someone has to defend Ricky Mathews…..”