CROUERE: Landrieu’s Loathsome Legacy

Although Mitch Landrieu left New Orleans City Hall in 2018, the stench remains. His loathsome legacy as Mayor will haunt the city for decades to come.

In his two terms as Mayor, Landrieu used his office to garner national attention and propel his political aspirations. He did not serve the people of New Orleans in any positive way.

The crime crisis now facing New Orleans is a direct result of Landrieu’s foolhardy decision to remove funding from New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) recruitment classes. When that occurred, a workforce crisis ensued that has only gotten worse in the last few years.

He also turned over management of the NOPD to a federal judge and signed a catastrophic consent decree with the Obama Justice Department. It was never a promising idea to cede control of a local police department to a federal judge and a federal bureaucracy.

As noted in the July 25, 2022 New Orleans Advocate piece by John Simerman, the citizens were protected by a police force exceeding 1300 officers when the “sprawling federal consent decree” was signed on July 24, 2012. At that time, there was a budget to reach the staffing level of 1,600 NOPD officers.

Instead of attaining that lofty goal, the NOPD has suffered a tremendous decline in manpower. Every year since that decree was signed, the number of officers has plummeted. Today, the real force level for the department is only 950 officers or less. Every week, more officers are resigning or retiring due to the problems in New Orleans.

With crime surging and the number of officers dramatically dropping, the violence in New Orleans will continue to explode. At the mid-way point of 2022, New Orleans was in the lead to reclaim the undesirable title of Murder Capital of the United States.

Landrieu’s legacy of failure extends beyond the crime problems of the Crescent City. As Mayor, his so-called record of “accomplishment” included removing four confederate monuments that had stood in New Orleans without much fanfare for many decades.

After the Dylan Roof racially motivated murders of innocent African American church attendees in Charleston, South Carolina, Landrieu seized on the confederate monument issue to gain national acclaim within the Democratic Party.

To the people of New Orleans and the national media, Landrieu positioned the removal of the monuments as an effort to make the city more racially harmonious. Ironically, this was a solution in search of a problem. Prior to Landrieu’s publicity campaign, neither Black nor white citizens were calling for those monuments to be removed.

Landrieu created the issue for his selfish political purposes, not to help the African American citizens. At the time of the monument removal, New Orleans was not suffering from a plague of white racism against African Americans. The city had many problems, but it did not have bands of KKK members rioting on the streets.

Instead of a confederate monument problem that desperately needed fixing, Landrieu presided over a city with tremendous blight, extreme levels of illiteracy and poverty, the massive use of illegal drugs, rampant violent crime incidents, horrific public educational outcomes, deplorable street conditions, terrible infrastructure, and ancient as well as inadequate drainage pumps.

Landrieu chose to ignore the real problems and create one for national media consumption. Landrieu presented himself as the crusader against racial injustice and bigotry in New Orleans.

It also propelled him to author a book about racial issues, start a non-profit organization, land an analyst gig on CNN and now an appointment to a prominent position in the Biden administration as “Infrastructure Czar.”

What is ironic is that New Orleans has horrendous infrastructure thanks to Landrieu’s indifference and mismanagement. To think that he is going to be able to appropriately dispense $1.2 trillion in infrastructure funds is a total joke.

It is also comical that some pundits rate Mitch Landrieu as a Democratic Party presidential or vice-presidential contender in 2024. In such a sweepstakes of political nightmares, a haggard Hillary Clinton, a mentally incompetent Joe Biden, an elderly communist sympathizer Bernie Sanders, a phony Native American U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren or even the “word salad” queen Kamala Harris would be better choices.

Those analysts who rate Mitch Landrieu as a presidential contender either do not know him or do not know his loathsome legacy in New Orleans.

Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award-winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs Saturdays from Noon until 1 p.m. CT nationally on Real America’s Voice TV Network AmericasVoice.News and weekdays from 7-11 a.m. CT on WGSO 990-AMWgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America’s Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on Crouere.net. For more information, email him at [email protected]

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