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.
The possibilities here are very delicious as the behind the scenes turmoil at the Picayune surely feeds into this. If I were a betting man I’d bet Ricky Mathews will end the Times Picayune’s policy of endorsing crooks for higher office by ending editorial page endorsements entirely. Maybe the newsroom tires of Mayor Half Moon leading them by the nose in how New Orleans City government is covered. Whatever is going on the possibilities are both endless and delicious. So while reserving judgment while more information is gathered is certainly wise, speculating on what is going on inside the TP newsroom is fair game.
Whatever the case Bajoie was clearly caught by surprise and that is not necessarily a bad thing.