Have You Noticed That Desiree Charbonnet Sounds An Awful Lot Like Jeff Landry?

Yesterday one of the two favorites in the New Orleans mayor’s race, municipal judge Desiree Charbonnet, put out a crime plan which sounded eminently sensible

Mayoral candidate Desiree Charbonnet released a crime plan Monday promising she would add between 80 and 100 new officers a year to the New Orleans Police Department, create rapid-response units to deal with crimes in progress and undertake a national search for a police chief.

But alongside those proposals and largely noncontroversial ideas such as expanding intervention and mentoring efforts, Charbonnet’s plan calls for cutting payments to the monitors tracking whether the NOPD is adhering to its federal consent decree, revamping one of the main offices responsible for stemming corruption in the department, and diverting money from housing and economic development funds to help pay for the anti-crime efforts.

In what appears to be a reference to Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s recent spats with state officials such as Attorney General Jeff Landry, the plan also says a Charbonnet administration “will leave no offer of help unaccepted, no partnership underutilized, and will explore cooperative agreements wherever they will increase the efficiency of our use of resources while minimizing costs.”

Hold that reference to Landry for a bit. There’s a little more…

Charbonnet called for using various housing incentives to attract and retain officers.

More controversially, she called for “revamping and reforming” the Office of Police Secondary Employment, which was established under the federal consent decree to stamp out corruption in private details worked by officers. Those details were referred to as the NOPD’s “aorta of corruption” by the Department of Justice.

Charbonnet did not specify what changes she wants, but it’s unclear whether U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan, who oversees the consent decree, and other officials would sign off on changes to a major pillar of the agreement.

And one final thing…

The proposal calls for better community policing and cites as an example the private patrols set up in the French Quarter by businessman Sidney Torres, who flirted with an entry into the mayor’s race for months before bowing out last week.

In other words, Charbonnet is running to more or less completely repudiate Mitch Landrieu with respect to crime. It’s pretty obvious she’s casting herself as the law-and-order, pro-normal candidate as opposed to LaToya Cantrell, her primary competitor, who’ll be more of the Karen Carter Peterson/social justice warrior variety.

In other words, Charbonnet is your de-facto Republican in the mayor’s race. A Republican can’t win a mayor’s race in that city, and therefore none decided to run (not just for mayor; no Republicans qualified to run in any of the City Council races, either). But there are a few Republicans in the city, and there are Democrats who will vote for other Democrats who sometimes say Republican things. That was the secret to Ray Nagin’s election in 2002, for example.

Now back to Landry, whose rhetoric on crime in New Orleans is largely hand-in-glove with that of Charbonnet. While she was putting out her crime plan, here was the Attorney General appearing on the Moon Griffon Show yesterday to discuss crime in the Big Easy and Landrieu’s efforts (or lack thereof) in fighting it…

Sounds pretty similar, no?

We can’t vouch for Charbonnet’s economic development policies, or infrastructure policies, her tax policies or really much of anything else. What we can say is she sounds like somebody who might be willing to put fighting crime above idiocy like taking down monuments or global warming. That makes her a potential ally of Landry’s, and a potential improvement over Landrieu assuming crime-fighting isn’t the only thing she has a clue about.

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