At the left-leaning, New Orleans-based American Zombie blog, which one would think would be predisposed to supporting his candidacy, there was a devastating piece on Friday about the Democrat frontrunner for the 2nd District race, Cedric Richmond.
The scuttlebutt about Richmond has been for some time that he’s nothing more than a replay of Dollar Bill Jefferson waiting to happen. If what’s in the American Zombie piece is correct, Richmond might even be worse.
The gist of the piece is this: Richmond used a non-profit he secured funds for from several sources – The Governor’s Office of Urban Affairs and Development, the Department of Education, the City of New Orleans, Jazz Enterprises, Entergy and the Louisiana Stadium Exposition District (otherwise known as the folks who run the Superdome) for all kinds of selfish personal purposes. The non-profit, New Orleans Community Enhancement, Inc. (NOCE), operated out of a building on Crowder Boulevard in New Orleans East beginning in 2000, and it was supposed to provide computer training for underprivileged kids – among other things.
Turns out that the Crowder Boulevard address was Richmond’s office address, so when he wrote the grant letters he was basically saying, “just send the check here.” And it also turns out that when NOCE got a credit card for the nice lady who ran the place, she turned around and ripped it off to the tune of some $30,000 or so. And was arrested and charged with felony theft – but managed to plead down to a misdemeanor theft charge and pay $15,000 in restitution.
And the piece alleges that the nice lady and Richmond were schtupping each other. Which is Yiddish for bumping uglies.
There’s more, and you should go and read the whole thing.
This story has something for everybody. We’ve got sex, we’ve got money, we’ve got stealing government money from kids. It will be interesting to see whether the establishment media in New Orleans takes a whack at all this stuff – Lee Zurik would be a good candidate when he gets finished defenestrating the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad – but in any event Richmond can’t really afford all this dirt coming out on the heels of the nasty rehashing of his 2007 bar fight arrest or his 2005 bar license suspension last week.
And Richmond really can’t afford to have a major scandal hit his campaign just two weeks from his primary race against Juan LaFonta.
In February, the Times-Picayune reported that Richmond was slow with a $7,000 check to 3rd Coast Research, the opposition research firm he’d hired for his congressional race in 2008. That turned out to be a mistake, as 3rd Coast bolted from Richmond and took up residence on LaFonta’s team. The Picayune story had this interesting snippet in it…
As the 3rd Coast site explains it: “Knowing one’s vulnerabilities is the first step in controlling them. 3rd Coast Research provides campaigns with vulnerability assessments that summarize key strengths of the candidate as well as weaknesses. These reports anticipate major attacks and provide insight into the candidate’s record.”
Said LaFonta of Richmond, “he needs to be worried about his record because there’s a lot there.”
Said Richmond, “As to the debt listed for 3rd Coast, the campaign was in negotiation to resolve any payments being requested and still owed based on services actually rendered. We did not retain 3rd Coast for our current campaign and have no concern that they are working for any candidate in our race.”
One wonders if Richmond’s chickens aren’t coming home to roost with 3rd Coast as well as some of the other errors he’s made. Either way, he’s not looking like much of a candidate right now.