I haven't posted anything about LIFT because I don't really know a lot about it. I knew the investigation was underway about 6 months ago as a source for the blog told me he was questioned by the F.B.I. about it, and I knew it involved Tax Credits, but that's all I knew.
I know Ernest Collins was all up in LIFT"s shit as well....but we'll just have to see what turns up. If anyone has any info...please send it on.
Why the Feds continue to give Nagin a pass on his dirty deals and corrupt contracting practices. . .
Former Nagin Chief of Staff Garey Foster met with Karl Rove of the White House on numerous occaisions (beginning late Summer 2002 through at least early summer 2004) to push the White House to advance the investigations of the previous administration to remove any political threat to Nagin's future. Foster convinced Rove that Nagin was the most agreeable (and maleable) mayor a Republican White House could have in a city like New Orleans - besides, Nagin contributed from his personal funds the maximum allowable under federal campaign finance laws. Rove agreed to aggresively focus on the previous administration, convenient because Morial was a heavyweight among Louisiana democrats and the key to Sen Mary Landrieu's Election. (Poor Jim Letten was only "acting" U.S. Attorney and had no choice but to play along to keep Rove happy and keep his job - Letten wasn't appointed to the permanent job until 2004, a reward for toeing the line and his success in uncovering slimy deals and trashing Morial's reputation and political future. And if Letten continues to do Rove's bidding by giving Nagin a pass, Rove has assured him that the White House will support Letten to succeed Jindal in Congress after Jindal is elected governor.)Trashing Morial and investigating Morial cronies and relatives, while at the same time overlooking the same shennanigans and self dealing of Nagin's cronies (Meffert, Charles Rice and his brothers, Foster, David White, et al) would insure that Morial wouldn't challenge Nagin for re-election. (remember,this is all Pre-K) Despite all of the mounting evidence here (thanks, Dambala!) and elsewhere, the Feds have been quiet, and careful to protect the reputation of Nagin and his band of thieves. But they may find more than they can ignore in the LIFT investigation. Nagin was all over this thing and struck the sweetheart deal to sell the city land for LIFT's "Film Factory" project near the Lafitte Housing Development. Nagin even agreed to LIFT's request to demolish the relatively undamaged Lafitte Project because LIFT didn't want "those people" across the street. This is where the rush to demolish the housing project began - it had nothing to do with wanting to create safer, better communities for the working poor, elderly and disabled.
If the Feds spend 10 percent of the time and money they've spent investigating Morial looking into Nagin's cronies, former staff and family, then we'll see a parade headed for the pen, for sure.
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