Coronavirus Might Have Killed LaToya Cantrell’s Political Career…

…but if that happens it’s really because Cantrell’s career was sick with other illnesses and at the end of its life anyway. Coronavirus isn’t all that much of a threat to the careers of other politicians who are healthier and less susceptible.

That’s the best take we can offer after yesterday’s complete stupidity in which Cantrell decided to cancel the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The City cancelled this weekend’s events after state officials announced additional coronavirus cases this afternoon.

Organizers say they are disappointed but understand the decision.

Out of an abundance of caution, Mayor Latoya Cantrell announced events this weekend, like the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Uptown Super Sunday, will not be rolling.

“This weekend’s events, I’ve made the decision to cancel all of them,” said Cantrell.

“The ones we feel sorry for are our maids, the girls on our court and our grand marshal of the year, who have been prepping for this the whole year,” says St. Patrick’s Day Club President Dick Burke.

Burke says while the news is difficult, paradegoers can still enjoy the parades in Jefferson Parish as of now.

“They’re all disappointed but a lot of riders ride in St. Patrick’s Day in Jefferson Parish either on Saturday or Irish-Italian the following Sunday. So, they’re still going to get a ride out of it,” says Burke.

Cantrell apparently didn’t bother to consult with anybody else in a position of authority before making that call. She definitely didn’t consult with Billy Nungesser, the state’s Lieutenant Governor, who is supposed to be in charge of culture and tourism, and Nungesser didn’t exactly support her decision.

“I’m disappointed. You know, being in the tourism industry, to learn about that through the news, we had all the tourism leaders from New Orleans in a meeting with the governor this morning. There was no mention of that and I think that just sends the wrong message,” says Nungesser.

He says further cancellations of events during festival season would be a huge economic hit.

“I think we need to safely carry on. We’ve got millions and millions of dollars in conventions that are right now sitting back thinking about whether to cancel those events coming to New Orleans,” says Nungesser.

But in case you’re concerned, be not so. Cantrell did NOT cancel this weekend’s United Negro College Fund Masked Ball event that she’s hosting…

Because it’s not an event put on by the City of New Orleans, you see.

And the Irish Channel parade is?

She stepped in and killed an event somebody else was putting on out of fear of the coronavirus, but not the event she’s involved with.

Meanwhile, the Irish Channel pub crawl is still going to put thousands of people in close proximity with one another, and she isn’t canceling that. Maybe she would if she could.

One imagines the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Metairie will be the biggest and most successful yet, and if the leadership of Jefferson Parish was smart they would be out to steal as much parade business and other culture and tourism event business as possible from Cantrell and her crowd. After her tandem-float stupidity nearly wrecking Mardi Gras earlier this year, and after Mardi Gras parade routes had to be altered to keep floats from passing by the wrecked Hard Rock Hotel property which is in its sixth month with no significant steps made toward demolishing the wreck of that building, you would think Cantrell might want to let loose the reins a bit and not put herself in the spotlight so much.

But you’d be wrong. Cantrell can’t tell when to stop, it appears.

There won’t be a mayoral election in New Orleans until 2022. The default position on Cantrell still has to be she’s likely to be re-elected, because the people who elected her aren’t particular sticklers for good performance by political leadership.

That said, you can’t continue to kill festival events in a city dependent on tourism just because there might be a handful of people with a bad case of bronchitis. Eventually, that goes viral and puts your political career in intensive care.

LaToya has run out of goodwill with the people of New Orleans, and she never had any with the rest of the state. The prognosis on this patient is far from good.



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