Friday, November 16, 2012

There's chutzpah....

...and then there's Cedric "C-note" Richmond.

Cedric Richmond says 'more dire actions' may be needed to restore trust in U.S. Attorney's office

If there's anyone I need to reassure me that actions are being taken to restore "trust and accountability" most certainly is not C-note.

Retaliation for his good buddy, Ike Spears?  Or perhaps he, himself, has crossed Letten's radar....who knows?

What I do know is that C-note has picked up the Bill Jefferson playbook and he's slyly attempting to create a political dynasty in the New Orleans landscape.  He may have even violated some campaign financing laws in this last election by spending his own cash to promote his cronies, but I'm still looking into that one.

Hindsight is 20/20 and I have been kicking myself in the ass for the past week over the Crescent City Connection toll extension vote.  I have known about the glaring issues with the CCCD for the past couple of years but I just felt like it was too much for me to bite off so I shied away from it.  I really wish I hadn't because I now realize how many people were duped into voting for the tolls without being made aware of the corruption surrounding the Crescent City Connection Division of the Louisiana Dept. of Transportation.  I suppose I'm pissing in the wind at this point but I am going to try and rectify some of those issues in the wake of this highly suspicious vote.  I don't have any evidence of voting fraud (and I've been looking) but I do have a lot of information on the CCCD itself that I think needs to be brought to light.  That's coming.

For now, I want to jump back to C-note's dynasty building efforts.

There are two candidates in the upcoming city council run-off that have jumped into bed with Richmond, lock, stock and barrel. Once again, I'm not telling anyone how to vote, but I will happily share what I know.

The first candidate is in District B....Dana Kaplan.  At first, I was actually encouraged by Kaplan.  I dug into her non-profit, Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, and I found little to nothing that would set off the con-profit meter.  Aside from running a deficit of -$230k in 2009 and -$82k in 2010, the 990's looked pretty benign.  I spoke with some folks about the entity's achievements and it got mixed reviews but there were no accusations of wrongdoing with the organization.

I also looked into District B candidate, Latoya Cantrell's, Broadmoor Improvement Association.  Same results...nothing glaring in their 990's and the word about town was rather positive for this entity.  One source, who I trust implicitly, actually had nothing but praise for Latoya and the BIA.  Of course there is the highly publicized (internationally evenincident with her husband, Jason, dropping a spliff in the courtroom but I think you all know how I feel about marijuana at this point.  I'd even burn one with Jay just to ask him what the fark he was thinking....I digress.

My issue with Kaplan begins and ends with her sudden capitulation to Richmond, Mayor Landrieu and, most importantly, her implausible acceptance of Sheriff Marlin Gusman's endorsement.  Kaplan has publicly been at odds with Gusman over issues in the past but most notably the size of the mega-jail Gusman is constructing.  I don't understand how she can suddenly swallow that turd regardless of the political push she may receive by the names mentioned above.  In fact, I've heard she has even admitted to a former city council member that she did it only because she felt she had to in order to progress her political career.  That's disconcerting...a political "career" is just about the last motivation I would look for in someone seeking public office in this city.  If she's already bending to career politicians' will, like Richmond, in her first foray into a public office....I think we know how this story ends up.

In the course of this runoff, at some point, Kaplan needs to answer a simple question, "Do you still believe we should have a smaller jail, and if so, do you believe Gusman was wrong for investing in the current one?"  She needs to answer that question...we need to know just what she is willing to do in order to garner political support to further her own "career".

In juxtaposition to that approach, I hear tell of a rather contentious meeting with Mayor Mitch and Latoya Cantrell where she reportedly told da mayor to fuck off (not literally).  What I should say is that she reportedly told the mayor that she's her own woman.

I like that story, I hope it's true.  Not that I am anti-Mitch, I just don't like the idea of everyone bowing down to him lest we end up with another maniacal, empire-building scheme, e.g., the Hospitality  (I still hear it echoing in the background)

The second candidate who has pledged loyalty to C-note is District E candidate, James Gray.  Aside from Richmond, CWL is, literally, cheerleading for this dude to reclaim the council seat she vacated.

I'm not sure I need to say anything else.

But I will.

At the beginning of the campaign I was sent this document on Gray, I'm sure it's opposition research done by an opponent (assess it at your own discretion).  It is backed up with documentation and it appears Gray has numerous tax liens, foreclosures and civil judgements against him ranging from 1988 to 2012.

Aside from the clear lack of financial competence, what really concerns me here is that this guy looks like he likes to dabble in real estate.  That's not a crime but...but...what I've learned over the past 6 years from writing this blog is that almost all crime in the political arena, especially con-profits, almost always involves real estate.  You need look no further than Ike and Cedric's NOCAP and NOCE con-profits they were running out of Ike's building at 5437 Crowder.

I haven't researched Gray's real estate portfolio nor his connections to any nonprofits but suffice to say, this document + Cedric Richmond backing + city council seat = major pucker factor on the American Zombie con-profit radar.  Yeah that's total speculation, at the moment, but I get to do that because I'm a blog....nanny nanny boo boo.

Those are my current sentiments on the upcoming run-off.  If the candidate is being endorsed by Richmond, I am, almost by default, against that candidate.  The last thing we need is Jeffersonian dynasty 2.0 in this city.

With Kaplan, if she provides a valid explanation as to why she has hopped into bed with Gusman, other than to further her career, I am all ears and look forward to that explanation before the election.

Stay trustworthy and accountable....C-note may be watching.


TruittLaw said...

JB- Great post, as always. Glad you're back at it. When you and Doug over at Slabbed shine your light, the cockroaches sure scurry. Keep up the great work!

adrastos said...

I'm not a fan of Cedric's but Letten needs to go. It's not supposed to be a lifetime sinecure and he and his people act like it is.

Jason Brad Berry said...

That may or may not be true...I don't know. What I do know is that Richmond has no business sticking his nose in it. The conflicts of interest are too numerous to name and the fact that he's taking cues from Heebe's defense team is rich unto itself. Yes, one could argue that he is simply responding to the developments that are occurring in the case but I think we've both around the block enough times to know that in N.O. should usually assume conspiracy coupled with incompetence instead of going one way or the other.

Jason Brad Berry said...

been around...

Anonymous said...

" should usually assume conspiracy coupled with incompetance instead of going one way or the other."

THAT is a true mouthful of words, right there.

If life is a carnival, you just won the biggest stuffed bear they have.

Anonymous said...

adrastos, what would happen to the cases Letten and his imperfect people have been working on if he goes?

It seems there are a lot of story lines that have not been drawn to satisfying conclusions, and when the characters in those stories start calling for him to step down, that inclines me to want him to stay until some more charges are laid.

The same generation of Louisiana polical types presided over both Katrina etc., and all the oil industry politics that had the BP oil catastrophe as a result.

Same players locally and in Washington, same lower level party hacks and B-list staffers working on a revolving set of local and national elections, contracting processes, administrative and policy work, etc.

That set of people is responsible for a lot of "unprecedented national and man made disaster."

Much too much to just let slide, in the opinion of most ordinary people, at least until a given "ordinary person" drinks the koolaid to excuse a friend, relative, lover, or potential political mentor.

If the B-team generation of those political machines is allowed to keep active in their chosen line of work... well.

If they were the kind of people you'd want in public life, they would be lining up to blow whistles, and they aren't.

If you don't like Letten, who else do ya got?