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.
Folks we stay very busy on the Jefferson Parish beat but you must give Mayor Half Moon credit for nabbing former Senator Diana Bajoie as his pick to fill Stacy Head’s old slot on the NOLA City Council. As a youngster Bajoie was viciously assaulted with an ugly stick, yet rebounded to a long career in the Louisiana legislature. Her accomplishments include steering $50,000 via earmark to a conprofit controlled by the Jefferson clan, which then dutifully looted out the taxpayer largess. Frankly I think she is right up Mayor Half Moon’s alley.
Slabbed congratulates Ms Bajoie on her interim appointment to the NOLA City Council.
Stephanie Grace and James Gill tacked the topic of the 7 year sentence given Rene Gill Pratt for her role in the Jefferson clan scheme to loot out bogus charities funded in part by state/federal earmarks. We saw the outrage at the sentencing disparity between Betty Jefferson and Rene Gill Pratt on these pages late last week as the topic is framed that Gill Pratt got a stiff sentence because she elected to go to trial and fight the charges while Betty Jefferson essentially received a free pass. My own opinion is I do not accept that argument to frame this issue.
Way back on these pages I revealed I was a student of low-level game theory and certain related branches of mathematics. Game Theory 101 includes the concept of prisoner’s dilemma, a topic that has appeared several times on these pages. The bottom line is that the person in legal trouble who cuts the first deal gets the best deal and those that do not roll over end up steamrolled if guilty. For example, in the continuing criminal investigation involving shit house double-dealing in the Nagin Administration, Greg Meffert wisely chose to cut a deal and will no doubt get a much lesser sentence than the one given Mark St Pierre. St Pierre thought he could con his way out to the bitter end and the results were very bad for him. Was the sentence a punishment for electing to fight until the bitter end or is it the well deserved fruits of his illegal activity, proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law? I gravitate to the latter point of view personally.
Folks each of these news stories deserve their own post and in time most will be featured but for now here are some links that interested me this morning. Please feel free to add your own in comments that fit the theme: ~ sop
FBI begins search of Choctaw casinos. I first heard rumors about the Choctaw way of conducting business several years ago after Jack Abramoff’s name was mentioned in connection with them. Based on the little I know I’ll add this raid could end up being a huge political corruption story here in Mississippi.
USA v Renee Gill Pratt part deux kicked off yesterday. Gill Pratt is a real hogger and hopefully this time she gets the long stretch in the pen she so richly deserves. One holdout juror that did not take their oath seriously lead us to this retrial. The incompetent Judge Ivan Lemelle is presiding.
For our many readers that are not in this area who are hooked on our Jefferson Parish coverage we’ll start with a must read in the Times Picayune story Gill Pratt racketeering trial offers glimpse into inner workings of a political machine. The unbridled greed is breathtaking and provides probably the best reason for banning earmarks since it appears most of it is looted out by cronies of corrupt politicians who are incapable of making an honest living.
As Dambala at American Zombie puts it, New Orleans area politicians looting charities is the “art of the con profit”. The scheme is now a time-honored one in the Dollar Bill Jefferson crime family: Steer government earmarks to a charity under the effective control of the politician doing the steering and then loot the money out on the back-end. In Jefferson Parish Councilman Byron Lee’s case, people have been looking and then some for several months and the verdict is in as the man appears in dire need of a criminal indictment. We’ve been hearing rumors for weeks now that is exactly what has happened. Before we get to the latest I think we should review Lee and his history with affiliated con profits:
We begin with the River Birch landfill, since all corruption roads appear to lead straight back to Team Ward/Heebe’s massive real estate holding in Waggaman, purchased in the 1960s from Carlos Marcello. As part of the settlement involving the permitting process in the late 1990’s River Birch agrees to pay $70,000 per year for 10 years to the 3rd Jefferson Parish Council District to fund community projects in the area impacted most by the landfill. I’ll add landfills and corruption seem to go together in Jefferson Parish like white on rice and it contains a major political component.
I am proud to say that we’ve taken part in making the anal sphincters of two undeserving would be politicians twitch mightily lately and that does not count the Jefferson Parish Council nor Jimbo the Clown and his sidekick Mikey the Cook. I’d be remiss if I did not add our own Poldawg has a cyber brother over NOLA way on Team Richmond.
Now we are a bipartisan bunch over here at Slabbed and we exhibit a strong streak of independence like our own Congressman Gene Taylor so I have no compunction to say everyone in NOLA should vote for Joseph Cao with a clear conscience because one can never go wrong voting for an honest man.
As always we thank the Slabbed Nation for your support.
So I got the music post up and was headed out the door to Buzzard’s Roost for a late Friday afternoon appointment when the phone rang and my appointment cancelled. Then Sock emailed me the link to a breaking story involving newly elected 24th Judicial District Judge Ray Steib, by all accounts a conservative guy, who nonetheless garnered the Slabbed Seal of Approval because we thought he was honest. In fact we still do think he is honest and impartial and we hope he will maintain a distance from the corrupting influences of Magnum JD.