I’m not sure exactly where to start….

Slabbed has an embarrassment of riches and I do not have the time this morning to do any of it justice. In no particular order:

  1. Last week Slabbed was told by a source connected to Diamondhead City Government that Bay St Louis City Clerk Sissy Gonzales had interviewed for the City of Diamondhead Treasurer position with the Assistant City Manager in Diamondhead and that she would be leaving the Favre Administration. The agenda for the next Diamondhead City Council meeting indicates the Treasurer’s position would be authorized to pay up to $60,000. I would look for Gonzales to take the money and run.
  2. Last night, the Bay Waveland School Board by a 3-2 vote extended the contracts of Superintendent Landry and her brother John McGraw the business manager by four years.  Those voting yea were Bell, Kidd and Thomas.  The action was taken after a lengthy executive session and according to one of the trustees in the executive session not authorized to speak for the School Board the action was taken against the advice of School Board Attorney Ronnie Artigues. The contract extensions were not listed on the School Board meeting agenda in advance of the meeting according to Lana Noonan of the Hancock County Alliance for Good Government, who also attended the School Board meeting.
  3. Just weeks ago New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was the darling of the national media with the New York Times even pumping Landrieu as a national political candidate after he removed the Confederate monuments from public display. Later today Slabbed will join the feeding frenzy on the Landrieu flash flood thanks to a reader that took an observation I made on Twitter to its natural conclusion. It is my hope the local media that has their teeth sunk into Mitch Landrieu’s hiney saves a bit of space for Slabbed to take a bite. 😉  This also illustrates why you should never get your local news from a national news outlet.

It is my hope the readers advance public knowledge of items 1 and 2 in comments, especially item 2, because the local school board really stepped out last night.

There has not been a single news story that encapsulates the reality of New Orleans today….

Than the one I highlighted and commented upon earlier this morning on Twitter.

It’s certainly not the kind of story you would see in the travel media promoting New Orleans as a tourism destination or one written by the current bane of long suffering NOLA lifers in the “hipsters” – or even in the jaded newsroom of the NOLA Media Group aka The Times Picayune, a news organization that is now a shadow of its former self.

How a once great city became the hollowed-out a place where the organs of public safety now more closely resemble a cartoonish hamster on a spinning wheel under the hood of the muscle car than an actual police force is a case study in decades of rot spawned by systemic public corruption. The integration of municipal government to more closely resemble the community in the late 70s and 1980s also meant there were more people looting the City as the old line families never left the trough, rather the trough expanded to accommodate more people. And through the decades the impacts on municipal infrastructure, public schools, public safety etc is undeniable. Continue reading “There has not been a single news story that encapsulates the reality of New Orleans today….”

Meantime over in New Orleans a Film Tax Credit Scam Trial of the Rich and Famous

The gang rides again with ninja lawyer protecting the flanks.

High-stakes trial over La. film program gets under way in federal court ~ Gordon Russell

One of the defendants is Peter Hoffman, a colorful Hollywood producer who has beaten a federal rap once before. Another is Michael Arata, an actor and lawyer who is married to Emily Arata, a top deputy to Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

The Aratas are related by marriage to Fred Heebe, the landfill magnate who was the target of a federal investigation when he famously brought down former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten and two of his top lieutenants by bringing to light an online-commenting scandal. Arata is being represented by Billy Gibbens, one of the lawyers who helped Heebe get the federal probe of him dropped.

Thank God Gordon Russell can still write the word Heebe for the Advocate as I’m being told that leaving that singular word in comments at NOLA.com will result in immediate comment deletion.

In other news the Advocate is taking a victory lap sponsored by Lucky Coin:

Rouses, Winn-Dixie shifting ads to The New Orleans Advocate ~ Timothy Boone

“Divide and concur! Politics is a messy business”

I have been getting some fantastic background on the upcoming New Orleans City Elections that makes the post title, taken from a reader comment seem a bit understated.  In any event I’ve heard enough about the upcoming New Orleans city elections to become interested.  As a reminder how wacky these Louisiana elections can become how about this gem from the 2010 election:

For starters we need to set the field and for that I link this article from Gambit which lays things out nicely. For the mayor’s race in particular let’s begin with this very recent article by Andrew Vanacore at the Advocate and this article circa 2010 by the T-P’s Bruce Alpert. The aftermath of Michael Bagneris not getting an Article III appointment to the LAED is one of the major drivers of Bagneris’ decision to run against Mayor Mitch.

Commencer le spectacle

Thursday Links

Some of these have appeared in comments recently, others I’ve put out on twitter. I have a busy day on tap so without further adieu:

Group: Insurers charge 300 to 600% more for coastal than inland policies ~ Anita Lee

Jeff council eyes new contracts to complete over-budget arts center ~ Jeff Adelson

Jeff Parish attorney cuts off IG’s access to e-mails, for now ~ Paul Murphy

Jefferson IG and parish attorney clash on access to employees’ emails ~ Jeff Adelson

Sheriff Mike Byrd turns in resignation on the side of Highway 63 ~ Warren Kulo Continue reading “Thursday Links”

For those of you that missed this last week. Rotten to the core in NOLA

And I get the urge to laugh hysterically when Mayor Malf Moon hints at dumping the tab for decades of neglect due to local thievery on the US Treasury.

Editorially, Slabbed New Media is resolutely against dumping, whether by a sleazy stock operator in Vancouver Canada, a large multinational insurance company outta Bloomington or the Mayor of arguably the most corrupt city it the entire country.

Watch and learn folks.

Some people say we’re in the dog days of summer as the Times Picayune wanders off Half Moon’s reservation around 2 weeks too late

Folks it didn’t take long for my email in box to start buzzing with this Michelle Krupa story on Diana Bajoie, a Dollar Bill Jefferson political hack with an extensive background in conprofit earmarking. The buzz of course relates entirely to the fact that none of what Krupa reported save comments from Team Bajoie is new, as it appeared here on Slabbed back on June 6th but more important relates to an exhaustive investigation into the whole “conprofit” earmarking scam done by my colleague Jason Berry over at American Zombie as it related to now congressman Cedric Richmond, whom the Times Picayune enthusiastically supported editorially for the office.  The long and short of it folks is if you want the T-P’s endorsement for political office it clearly helps to be as dirty and on the take as possible.  Jason wisely asks that we all reserve judgment on this story as the behind the scenes is likely to be complex. That said the remainder of this post will examine that complexity.

It all started back in 2010 when Jason began running an expose on Cedric Richmond’s past career as a career politician/political hack in state government.  The return on searching for the truth where ever it led was catching hell from democrat political operatives, duplicity from the GOP side of aisle and grief from the Times Picayune, who took pot shots at him in service to Mayor Half Moon, who backed Richmond to the hilt.  All this caused Slabbed to jump in supporting Jason’s excellent investigative work and in the process, applying the concepts Jason pioneered, Slabbed explored similar taxpayer funded scams in Jefferson Parish involving then Parish Councilman Byron Lee.  I am not claiming Slabbed trail blazed this topic though we did greatly help advance the conversation.

So here we are almost 2 years later and Mayor Half Moon’s pick to serve as interim city council member, Diana Bajoie skated past the local main stream media without so much as a notice of her involvement in the Dollar Bill Jefferson scam despite the fact it was reported in the Times Picayune during the course of their coverage of the Rene Gill Pratt trial. That is until last night. Continue reading “Some people say we’re in the dog days of summer as the Times Picayune wanders off Half Moon’s reservation around 2 weeks too late”

Half Moon set: Local bloggers sour on Mayor Mitcho

Jason at AZ wrote a fantastic post on Mayor Half Moon Landrieu’s all out push for the “Ho Zone” in what appears to be a return to the politics as normal in New Orleans.

A fair read of Jason’s recap of events indicate all the economic interests which stand to benefit have been fully consulted and brought on board. The problem is selling the residents and it appears Half Moon does not care what the locals in the impacted neighborhoods think.

In an interesting political parallel here on the coast, efforts to merge the various tourism marketing groups hit snags in both the legislature and now locally. The money the local politicos are jockeying over comes from BP and potential hotel/motel taxes.

John Fitzhugh / The Sun Herald

Finally NOLA politics got you down? Need to get away for a few days to recharge and refresh?? Sun Herald photo journalist John Fitzhugh profiles Bay St Louis being the most bike friendly city on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and judging from the number of riders I saw last weekend in Old Town and on Beach Boulevard, the visitors in town are taking full advantage of the beautiful views and constant cool sea breeze that never stops this time of year and that does not count the wildlife on the beach itself. I highly recommend it for good clean R&R.