Saturday, October 12, 2013


Giant Nagin Head

WWLTV has created an interesting graphic there.  It's hard to know just what Giant Disembodied Nagin Head is looking at over to the left but it is evidently very sad.  Maybe someone is being cold-cocked or is waving around a list of very little significance. I guess we're supposed to infer that  he's just read Judge Chasez's ruling.
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin wants a federal judge to reconsider a request from his attorney for what he calls key documents in his trial, two weeks before it is set to begin.

On Friday, Robert Jenkins, Nagin's attorney, filed a request for Judge Ginger Berrigan to reconsider a ruling this week by magistrate Judge Alma Chasez.

Judge Chasez rejected an attempt by Nagin’s attorney to force the government to provide a copy of a report on the online commenting scandal in the U.S. Attorney's office.

The judge said none of the prosecutors involved were directly handling Nagin's case, and so Jenkins’ request was not justified.

She told Jenkins that he hadn’t cited any cases in which a judge had ordered prosecutors to provide the defense with a document essentially unrelated to a case.
But he could still be contemplating Judge Berrigan's ruling this week that he won't be allowed to enter his stellar performance as Mayor into evidence either. Stephanie Grace had a bit of fun with that suggestion here.
It’s bad enough the trial will focus on allegations Nagin sold out the city in exchange for kickbacks from multiple crooked contractors.

It would potentially be worse should all the rest of it — from his questionable day-to-day management decisions to the lack of progress after Hurricane Katrina to the general air of distraction that circulated through City Hall during Nagin’s later years — take center stage.
So sure, that Ray Nagin Golden Age really might have mitigated all the bribery... you know... if it had happened.  Maybe Giant Nagin Head is daydreaming.

I suppose that bit about the trouble coming in Nagin's "later years" requires another reminder that Nagin's "early years" were every bit as bad as the later ones.  But we've been through that exercise too many times by now.  Here's a link to the last time it came up.

The fact that it took so many so much time (plus one huge disaster) to catch on to Nagin might provide an object lesson for anyone keeping an eye on the current administration.  The circumstances of the "early years" of Mitch Landrieu really aren't very different from the the early years of Nagin when a similar "pro-business" enthusiasm for technocratic efficiency was in vogue. The difference is this group actually implements the Nagin agenda with considerably more competence which, arguably, makes them worse.

They're also generally more careful about the way they dish out favors.  Maybe not.. considerably more careful, though.
Who is Executive Director Dottie Belletto? She’s the president of New Orleans Convention Company (NOCCI), an event and marketing corporation which lists clients as varied as Jude Law, Zatarain’s, the Oyster Jubilee, George W. Bush, and the Dalai Lama. Both NOML and NOCCI operate out of the Basin Street Station facility. In February 2013 Uptown Messenger columnist Alan Katz called her “Mayor Landrieu’s favorite meeting planner,” the force behind the annual Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball. Mayor Landrieu appointed her to the board of the Ernest Morial Convention Center and she is a member of the Louisiana Economic Development’s Ambassador program. She was also the mayor’s point person for the various ceremonies surrounding the 2012 Louisiana bicentennial.

If the IG’s report is correct (we await comment from NOML), Belletto oversees an organization whose sole income stream is the $100k annual revenue from a $1 lease granted by a city agency. In 2010, the mayor asked for an inspection of the FMC’s operation. How long did it take to uncover this arrangement? As interim director, did Ann Duplessis notice the $1 lease payment for the prime property on Bourbon Street? In searching for funds for consent decrees, new sewer systems, etc., did no one remember the $100k sitting on the 300 block next to Rick’s Saloon?

Perhaps the mayor will comment on this. Perhaps the media will mention not just Ms. Belletto, but also her very public special relationship w/the mayor. As students of the cultural economy, we look forward to hearing more about New Orleans Musical Legends, Inc.

Yeah, perhaps.  More likely, though, we'll have to wait until the "later years" before we get too inquisitive. 

1 comment:

Mr. Conti said...

Don't be naive. Dottie is Norma Jane's sister. Norma Jane is the chief lobbyist and former CoS for Senator Landrieu. She has first access to all city event planning. See, Mari Gras stands ticket-sale contracts.