Wish it was a different story, but at this point it looks pretty obvious that New Orleans’ new mayor is going to be the crook from the City Council. Cantrell knows it, and that’s why she isn’t fazed in the least at the revelations about her credit card.
But by all means we support the folks trying to make her corruption an issue in the mayor’s race and hope we’re wrong about the futility of their actions…
A news conference held on the steps of city hall Thursday called for a mayoral candidate to drop out of the race.
The Inter-Denominational Ministerial Alliance called for Latoya Cantrell to drop out of the race amidst controversy surrounding her credit card purchases with taxpayer money.
Cantrell was really broken up about it, by the way…
“It’s come to my attention that eight ministers from the inter-denominational ministerial alliance, which endorsed my opponent, held a press conference to criticize my candidacy. I appreciate their concerns, but I want to be clear: I will continue running a campaign focused on unifying our people, erasing artificial divisions and addressing the issues that matter to voters. When I am Mayor, I will listen to and collaborate with this group – and others – because we all have the same goal: a safer and better New Orleans.”
Artificial divisions like people who have a problem with crooked politicians with their noses in the public trough, for example.
The word on the street is the race is all but over. Cantrell has a double-digit polling lead on Desiree Charbonnet, beating her 44-26 in a poll taken last week. Can the credit card scandal eat away at that lead? This is New Orleans we’re talking about – you can’t find a place with a higher tolerance for shameless political corruption than the Big Easy.
And the money is flowing in to Cantrell’s campaign. This week she’s been filing campaign finance reports which include big checks from the type of folks who donate campaign money as a necessary tribute – Milton Womack and Mike Polito out of Baton Rouge, both of whom own construction companies, members of the Wampold family in Baton Rouge (real estate development), the Wall Street insurance brokerage J.P. West, the environmental engineering firm H. Davis Cole and Associates, the engineering firm CH2M Hill, former U.S. Senator and current D.C. lobbyist John Breaux, Breaux’s firm Squire Patton Boggs, Acadian Ambulance’s PAC, state capitol lobbyists Haynie and Associates, Lamar Advertising – they’re all in there. She wouldn’t be catching those checks, most of which are from out of town, unless the word was out among the donor class and the inside crowd that the race is over.
So you have a committed socialist about to be elected mayor of New Orleans, on the heels of a scandal involving the misappropriation of public funds for private use using a city credit card, and everybody is hustling to buy favor with what is almost assuredly going to be a pay-for-play administration.
All we can say in response to this is the U.S. Attorney in New Orleans will and should be a more important person in that city than the mayor – and he or she will have a considerably busier job.