Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Mayor Landrieu sublty tips his hand on the Tucks TP controversy

From The Advocate's political roundup:
The tagline on the latest ad is slightly different from the previous one: “Let’s keep it rolling” has given way to “Let’s keep it going.”


Meanwhile, in the most depressing election ever, Mitch's lame opponent offers some terrible ideas.
In his second TV ad of the campaign, Bagneris has a narrator refer to the attrition rate at the New Orleans Police Department as the “blue hemorrhage,” with images of disappearing officers and squad cars.

The ad says Bagneris plans to bring the force up to 1,600 officers — it’s fewer than 1,200 right now — as well as to hire a “more proactive” police chief and institute “community engagement stops,” in which officers “get to know their community.”
Bagneris believes we need a "more proactive" police force practicing... a new euphemism for stop-and-frisk.  Good grief.  This is a losing argument for Bagneris.

First, it takes as its premise that crime is out of control in New Orleans.  This may be true.  Or, at least, it may be fair to say New Orleans has a crime problem.  But the current perception is that Mitch and Serpas (whatever we may think of them) are being "productive assholes" in this area.  According to recent reports, the murder rate is the "lowest in decades." Bagneris can argue that "the books are cooked" (and he has) but already he's been reduced to splitting hairs rather than tapping into a motivating source of voter dissaffection.

The stronger play would be to attack Mitch over police conduct, resistance to consent decree reforms, and the perception that Mitch and Serpas are defending the culture that may allow the Danziger shootings and the Henry Glover murder to go unpunished.  By arguing, instead, that crime is worse than you think it is and the police need more teeth, Bagneris could not possibly be more out of touch. Maybe he really is running a "campaign about nothing."

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