Will the Truer Mayor Nagin stand-up

A Documented Picture OF Ray Nagin

By Bryan Hamaker

Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans Hero of The Black Poor Not So Fast"

While berating everyone he could accept himself, Ray Nagin has attempted to proffer himself as a champion of the Afro American poor and other poor.

Mr. Mayor you record says it just ain't so.

Consider lack of experience in government and the job of Mayor. Elected to serve 2003 - that is 1.75 years experience.

New Orleans Mayor C Ray Nagin:

By Josh Fecht, US Editor

"He (Nagin) became the first New Orleans Mayor to rise to the post in nearly 60 years without holding a previous elected office. "

Consider lack of support by the black electorate. Less than half.

Rod Dreher

July 31, 2002 9:00 a.m.

Big Sleazy Sobers Up

C. Ray Nagin takes New Orleans.

"Behind the dramatic headlines lies a fascinating, and indeed hopeful, sign of bedrock political change: the emergence of the black middle class as a distinct power player in municipal politics. New Orleans is a majority-black city, with African-Americans making up 64 percent of the electorate. Nagin was elected with 58 percent of the total vote in the April runoff, which amounted to about 80 percent of the white vote, and 44 percent of the black vote."

Lack of experience and political ineptitude?


Lonely at the Top

May 1, 2004 01:31 PM

by Kathy Finn

"On the surface his supporters see the same striking image that helped sweep Nagin into office — the polished look, confident manner and slightly aloof air that prompt some to call him “cool.”

In the past year, however, the city has seen its mayor gradually forced into a defensive posture. After his administration’s early salvos against corrupt practices in and outside of City Hall, questions arose as to how thorough a cleanup the mayor intends to carry out.

As local jobs have continued to drain away, even as new ones were added, rumblings have grown about a lack of specifics in Nagin’s economic development plans. Personnel changes in the mayor’s “inner circle” raised questions about his hiring choices and management style.

In the view of some observers, and by Nagin’s own assessment, public relations has been a weakness of his administration. He says he hasn’t done a good enough job of communicating with the public either about his administration’s achievements or about public concerns

Susan Howell, director of the University of New Orleans Survey Research
Center, agrees.

“He’s been more of a corporate-style mayor as opposed to what I would call an activist-style mayor,” she says. “He’s working on education, working on cleaning up the city, improving technology — he’s doing a lot of good things, but he may not be getting enough credit for it because he’s not out effectively communicating what he’s doing.”

One person familiar with those relationships, who spoke on condition of anonymity, believes that the mayor relies too heavily on the handful of people with whom he works most closely, thus isolating himself from valuable information and ideas coming from others who are not members of the circle.

The comments echo, to a degree, charges leveled by Nagin’s former chief administrative officer, Kimberly Williamson, who was asked to resign last year. Williamson recently filed a lawsuit against Nagin, claiming among other things that she was discriminated against by the mayor and several staff members who operated in a “cliquish” manner. An earlier, similar claim filed by Williamson with the

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was dismissed as unfounded.

Some observers believe these types of issues, too, may be a product of Nagin’s political naiveté.

Property tax fairness has become a focal point of the Nagin administration, but many voters are hoping for more. They recall the “wish list” Nagin touted during his campaign — including airport privatization, a new City Hall complex, funding to upgrade public school buildings and a beefed up police force, among other major items — and they wonder if these were just imaginative proposals left in the dust after election day.

No, says the mayor; he chalks this, too, up to his shortage of political skills.

“One of my biggest challenges is that I see things so clearly and so fast … and I’m not necessarily doing the leg work to help people to see what I’m seeing so that we can all rush the fence together,” he says. “I just look around the city, and I see so many opportunities that it just drives me nuts.” "

2002 mayor race - never before

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's 'Honeymoon' May be Over

By Glynn Wilson

NEW ORLEANS, La., Dec. 6

" People are going to start asking questions," he said. "It's about time when people are going to want results."

The Times-Picayune newspaper, which endorsed Mr. Nagin in his race for mayor on its front page last spring, recently carried a story giving credence to the accusation that he may have used his official position for politics in a way that could be unethical.

Marlin Gusman, a New Orleans city councilman and former right-hand man to Nagin's predecessor Marc Morial, portrayed locally as Mr. Nagin's chief adversary, said he has doubts about Mr. Nagin's ability to lead now.

Sometimes I think Mayor Nagin does things just to be different," he said, Campaigning along with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu for Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, a 60-year-old Cajun grandmother, barnstorming the state on election day in a Winnebago

I certainly don't think when you count all the votes that a majority of the people in this community are going to be following behind him," Mr. Gusman said. A leader has to lead his people

He proved the claim he was making all through his political life that he's not a real politician," Dr. Hirsch said of Mr. Nagin, only partly in jest.

He didn't do terribly well with that," he said. "It was done in an inexpert way, which confirms his outsider status."

Whether that will damage the relationship between the governor's mansion and city hall in New Orleans and negatively affect the business climate is probably minimized, he said, by the city's clout in the legislature

He got a big public relations boost from the local media, and then things seemed to calm down and he almost disappeared from public view," Dr. Hirsch said. "I kept waiting for the second shoe to fall, and it seemingly never did." "

www.bestofneworleans.com/ dispatch/2004-12-28

"Nagin's Trials and Triumph -- If there's such a thing as a Midas Touch in Reverse, Mayor Ray Nagin has it. Once again, he showed that he has no coattails in a citywide election when Deputy Police Chief Warren Riley lost to Marlin Gusman in the race for criminal sheriff. That came right after a huge flap over the future of the New Orleans Recreation Department, which drove a wedge between the mayor and City Council. The mayor recovered in time to strike a compromise bond issue with the council, and he ended the political season on a high note when voters approved the largest bond issue in city history.

That may have said more about Nagin's chances of re-election than Riley's defeat, because it showed that voters like and trust this mayor enough to tax themselves and let him spend the money. "

Not quite the heroic supporter of Afro American and the poor he wishes to portray on CNN etc.

Rod Dreher

July 31, 2002 9:00 a.m.
Big Sleazy Sobers Up

C. Ray Nagin takes New Orleans.

" Not everybody in New Orleans is pleased. Nearly all of those arrested in last week's sweep are black. Some are grumbling that Nagin, who is himself African American, is picking on poor black folks to score points with his white supporters, particularly in the business community. Even Nagin backers are saying that to be truly credible, the mayor has to go after bigger fish than a bunch of taxicab drivers. "

June 6, 2005

Save Louisiana Wetlands Inc. (SOWL)

Post Office Box 73447
Metairie, LA 70033

" Mayor Ray Nagin, who is a corporate mouthpiece for Wal-Mart and other corporate privateers presented an environmental award to Shell Oil Company. Shell Oil Company donated monies to a small insignificant “green washing” Green Project located off St. Claude Ave. down by the railroad tracks. Mayor Ray Nagin is notorious for tearing down public housing to make way for Lester Kabencoff’s corporate development expansion plans

Mayor Ray Nagin presently has plans to displace the poor Afro-Americans living in the Iberville public housing project to make way for another Lester Kabencoff private corporate development scheme, similar to the displacement of the poor Afro-Americans that were once living in the public housing St. Thomas projects now Wal-Mart. The old Krauss building adjacent to the Iberville public housing project on North Rampart St. is presently being yuppiefied into swank condominiums.

In the meantime, New Orleans under Mayor Ray Nagin acquires no new public parks. Whatever municipal public parks exist in New Orleans under Mayor Ray Nagin they are permitted to deteriorate. The rich are able to use the facilities of their private institutions. The poor swelter in their poverty cesspools while being arrested shot and harassed by Mayor Ray Nagin's New Orleans police department. Mayor Ray NaginÆs solution to the New Orleans poverty problem is to displace the poor out of New Orleans centralized public housing, and move them to New Orleans East.

Mayor Ray Nagin has single handedly destroyed the unique and distinct character of the historic Vieux Carre (French Quarter) of New Orleans by placing hundreds of trash cans, bearing corporate logos on the streets of New Orleans. Mayor Nagin has also recently in violation of public bid laws and without approval of the Vieux Carre Commission placed hundreds of illegal parking meter structures in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans

Mayor Ray Nagin is standing quietly to the side while attempts are being made to privatize New Orleans Charity hospital. Mayor Ray Nagin is fighting hard for the rich and elitist. Under Mayor Ray NaginÆs administration the public school system is being dismantled.

The New Orleans public school system is divided between rich-elitist-private Versus poor-black public. It will only be a question of time before New Orleans public schools will be funded by such corporations as Coca Cola-McDonaldÆs-Shell Oil Comp

Mayor Ray Nagin does not represent the hundreds of thousands of poor Afro-Americans residing in New Orleans. Mayor Ray Nagin stands idle while antiquated drug laws and poverty are causing hundreds and hundreds of shooting deaths of young Afro-Americans. Under Mayor Ray Nagin the rich get richer. The poor get poorer. And Shell Oil Company is given an environmental award at Mayor Ray Nagin’s environmental breakfast on May 30th 2005 "

Staff writer Frank Donze contributed to this story. Gordon Russell can be reached at grussell@timespicayune.com or Saturday, August 27, 2005

" I would think that would be the way that people would advise a candidate to try to make (crime) the issue," he said. "He can't run on job creation, economics, neighborhood revitalization, wages going up. They can't run on any of that stuff.

The only thing they can run on is the murder rate. A series of ads creating this whole hype about murder."

But Ed Renwick of Loyola University's Institute of Politics was less receptive, saying a tax proposal could invite a strong challenge and that a loss at the polls for such a proposal could weaken Nagin's standing even if he's re-elected.

Taxes are always controversial and this could draw support away from you," Renwick said. "Taxes are always a hard sell, and with gas prices through the roof and property taxes going up in the New Orleans area, it would make it more difficult than it ordinarily would be" to pass a new tax

But the mayor made clear that he is strongly considering it, saying he has Become increasingly frustrated with the city's rising murder rate. Nearly 200 murders have been recorded in 2005, putting the city on pace for about 300 murders for the year, an unfortunate threshold the city hasn't reached since 1996

Nagin said he doesn't know how much money would be required, but he said Ballpark estimates ranging from $20 million to $50 million are not out of line. The mayor also said he has not set his sights on a particular type of tax, but he seems to be leaning toward a property tax rather than alternatives such as a sales tax. "


Lonely at the Top

May 1, 2004 01:31 PM

by Kathy Finn

" And most recently, a coalition of African-American ministers, claiming to represent as many as 150,000 local citizens, hurled biting personal criticisms at Nagin based on changes he’s made in the way the city awards contracts and disburses certain funds

Complaining that they’ve been wronged, economically, the politically powerful ministers also attempted to hold Nagin responsible for actions taken in February by federal agents against Jacques Morial, the brother of the former mayor. After FBI agents broke down Morial’s front door with a battering ram in a morning raid to seize documents from his home; the ministers pointed fingers at Nagin and charged that he had enlisted the feds in a political assault on the Morial family.

Nagin’s protestations that he had nothing to do with the raid and that the Justice Department’s investigation of the previous administration began well before he took office largely fell on deaf ears. The ministers accused Nagin of turning on the African-American community. Bishop Paul S. Morton Sr., of Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church, publicly referred to Nagin as “a white man in black skin.”

It could just be possible that some of the lack of communication still stays with Nagin during an emergency.

It is very possible that some communication breakdown could be the result of political differences Nagin has with Governor.

Jindal's heritage touches nerve

The Associated Press

Posted on November 10, 2003

"Continuing his bid to siphon Democratic support from Kathleen Blanco in the gubernatorial race, Republican Bobby Jindal unveiled a new TV commercial Thursday that features New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin asking viewers to ignore Jindal's party affiliation.

This year, it can't matter whether we're Democrats or Republicans," said Nagin, a Democrat who crossed party lines to endorse Jindal last week. "We've got to do what’s right for Louisiana."

Without mentioning Blanco by name, the 30-second spot suggests the lieutenant Governor is a product of the old political machine. "Old politics says what's in it for me," Nagin said.

"New leadership says what's best for all of us."

By Ela Dutt

September 05, 2005

"Republican Bobby Jindal, the 32-year-old former Bush appointee, chucked his career in Washington to enter the quagmire of Louisiana politics and analysts there said this was the first time in the history of that state that the candidates vying for the runoff, Jindal and Democrat Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco, were not smeared by dirty dealings, and especially Jindal was largely free of the baggage of past politics

Even though exact numbers are coming in the week after the election, Jindal’s 48 percent and Blanco’s 52 percent are being sliced up in different configurations by political analysts.

He fought on a platform of getting out the old and bringing in the new brand of politics, focusing on economic development of a state that was losing jobs and business to surrounding states, losing its youth and showing poor education results. Even after his defeat, New Orleans’ Democratic Mayor Ray Nagin, who had switched parties to endorse Jindal, said he was still not convinced about whether Blanco would be as good for his city’s economy as Jindal would have been."

It does seem unreasonable that a neophyte with minimal experience, a noted inability to communicate, and a lack of interest in the poor could jump into the fray with a clear direction and decisive leadership. Well point of fact is Nagin did none of this. Nagin will be famous for a childishly profane tirade during a national crisis that required calm collected leadership - not Nagin's forte. Well, if Nagin is reelected it will probably have to be by proxy of the poor blacks that say they are not going back to New Orleans.

Certainly there is enough blame to go around. But we don't see the decisive leader Nagin stepping up to his part of it. But he did step up to the race card real quickly although many of his black constituency wonders what race he is trying to win? Is it mayor, governor, higher?

Bryan Hamaker

Birmingham Alabama

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