Welp folks, hell must be freezing over as Hancock County has evidently run out of home grown political hacks and cronies to staff one of the local troughs.
Hancock port board endorses governor’s staffer as new director ~ Anita Lee
Hiring unqualified good ol boys to government jobs in Mississippi is nothing new as we’ve been reminded of late of that fact with DMR among other agencies but for a local plum appointment to go to an outsider in Hancock County is unheard of, especially when the board doing the appointing answers to the County Board of Supervisors. Yes, of late local politics has made for strange bedfellows with Supervisor Steve Seymour crossing party lines to cuddle up with Lynn Fitch over at Scott Walker’s house last year but plucking a Phil Bryant staffer for a $150,000 job that could (some would say should) go to someone with the Ladner surname? OMG!!!
I did not jump right on the emerging story linked in comments by Mad as Hell on Sunday because I knew two things:
For those of you from out-of-town Hewes is a former State Senator and the anointed next Mayor of Gulfport so when he sends in a piece to the paper they run it. That said I think Hewes offered a few euphemisms in his piece and a translation is in order:
4. Given the high cost and questionable work product we have seen from out-of-state consultants, there is no reason we shouldn’t replace them with a new team made up of Mississippi firms who have the credentials to develop and execute a port master plan. Certainly, there is enough local talent and expertise in our engineering and construction trades to design a model that is technically accurate, more reflective of our community, and more responsive to the needs of our Port. Talk about home-grown jobs creation. Their work would arguably be better and likely accomplished at a fraction of the cost.
Translation: I have in-laws and several cousins that need a job.
5. Speaking of locals, maybe it’s time we looked at hiring our next port director from within.
Translation: I have in-laws and several cousins that need a job.
Maybe we should have the MDA make the check to Friends of Billy.
I know that those of you still without power and those of you who endured the sweltering heat for many days are rightfully upset with how long it has taken Entergy Louisiana to restore power to our residents and businesses. I want you to know that while progress is being made, I will not rest until every citizen and business in Jefferson Parish has their power back. I have called for an investigation by the Louisiana Public Service Commission into the unacceptable length of time it is taking to get our parish back up and running again. I have met daily with Entergy’s management and will continue to do so. This is about more than mere comfort. Entergy’s inability to rapidly restore power has affected the health of our elderly, businesses economic viability, our infrastructure and the ability of our parish to get back on our feet. If not for Entergy Louisiana’s lack of preparedness and lack of a sense of urgency, Jefferson Parish could already be back to 100%. I promise to stay on top of Entergy until we have full power restoration and a viable solution is produced for future storm responses, whatever that may be. ~ Jefferson Parish Prez John Young Email Blast 9/5/2012
So folks, what are we to believe, the TeeVee pictures of powerline contractors sitting in staging areas or career political hack turned Entergy NOLA CEO Charles Rice? Since the storm Rice has gone on every NOLA TeeVee station saying Entergy did great after Hurricane Isaac without mentioning the 90 year old man in Marrero that died from heat stroke. Frankly watching this whole PR point-counterpoint between the area’s elected leaders and Entergy via it’s NOLA CEO Charles Rice and assorted spokespersons play out after the storm left me with way more questions than answers. This post has taken me three days of exhaustive research and interviews with 3 different area political observers along with extensive internet research to formulate the complicated, though somewhat predictable answer in this is how crony capitalism works.
First we need to review and do a compare and contrast. For that I’d like to direct everyone to the first Hurricane to hit this area back in 2005, Hurricane Cindy, which made landfall close to Grand Isle, cut across the mouth of the Mississippi River making landfall again near Waveland. It was the 2005 Hurricane that I slept through and we never lost power on the West Gulfport Beachfront as the old pre Katrina grid did well. That said the USA Today has an old AP story that tells the tale of damage:
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) — Heavy rain and storm surge flooded low-lying streets along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a rapidly weakening Tropical Storm Cindy pushed inland after leaving more than 300,000 homes and businesses without electricity.
By and large the area did well with only 300,000 people without power in a 2 state area populated by millions. Remember this was the pre-Katrina grid that had some age on it when Cindy hit, not the almost brand spanking new infrastructure that is the post Katrina landscape. Before Isaac hit, Entergy NOLA CEO Charles Rice commented to Bloomberg on Entergy’s readiness for Isaac: Continue reading “Slabbed is on it like white on Rice: Why does Entergy have a political hack as its NOLA CEO. A systems failure update.”
Folks, the wet kiss Rich Rainey gave former Jefferson Parish interim councilmember Mike Thomas a few days ago has caused a major stir with some of our commenters so let’s get a dedicated post going on the subject. Gate touched on my favorite part of Rainey’s story and it is worth excerpting:
Thomas knew before the meeting that the contract was going to expire because he had met with Chief Operating Officer Chris Cox in August to discuss its end. He also said he knew that the lobbyist was willing to continue working until a new contract could be minted. But his point with the phone call was to put heat on a growing frostiness between the council and the Young administration.
Firebranding or simple assholery folks? The reader comment comparing Rainey to Garland Robinette gives everyone a flavor for what the unwashed masses think. My only thought is that Thomas has only been good at getting government jobs via political connection so I doubt we hear of him doing much in the private sector unless it is as a Parish lobbyst at Adams and Reese. My bet is he surfaces as Tom Capella’s shoeshine boy over at the tax assessor’s office.
Kevin Allman at Gambit has the skinny here is a snippet:
And here’s Brownie showing how he takes responsibility later in the same story:
“People get beaten up and thrown under the bus all the time,” he notes. “You’ve got the choice of letting the bus run over you three times, and wallowing in that, or getting up and moving. And my choice was to get up and keep moving.”
If your radio doesn’t pick up signals from Denver, you’ll have to wait until June, when Brownie’s book Deadly Indifference: Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, Disease Pandemics and the Failed Politics of Disasters hits bookshelves. And if you’re shaking your head that Michael “FEMA” Brown would actually have the temerity or boneheadedness to write a Katrina book called Deadly Indifference, you don’t know Brownie.
Thank God I don’t live in Denver.