People Get Ready

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Let’s talk about the racial thing, again

Posted by schroeder915 on December 10, 2006

I can (almost) understand how black voters might respond to Bill Jefferson’s appeal that he was the victim of a conspiracy by the white Republican attack machine. I don’t condone the attitude, but I can, as I said, (almost) understand it.

I don’t, however, understand the race-baiting and self-righteous calls by people around the country to punish New Orleans. As I’ve said elsewhere, it was Jefferson Parish whites who voted in large numbers for Dollar Bill that put him over the top, choosing to cynically vote for the crook so they could later front a candidate who more closely resembles the complexion of Jefferson Parish after Dollar Bill gets indicted.

There are plenty of whites in this country who vote, against their own self-interest, for corrupt, sideways talkin’ politicians: Tom Delay, Ted Stevens, Mark Foley … George W. Bush for Chrissakes! Is not the privately-managed Iraq invasion, un-reconstruction, and failed occupation, “the most gruesome (and lucrative) manifestation of endemic corruption.” Has the Republican-led Congress done anything about that in the last … oh … three and a half years since the invasion?

That doesn’t mean, of course, that black voters should be absolved of making a poor choice. It’s their choice to make, and I don’t appreciate fully the reasons for that decision. It isn’t my place to say. I probably know and have friends or acquaintences who voted for Jefferson. We ought to be able to have a rational dialog about that choice. We can use this election as a vehicle for better understanding. It isn’t right for whites to tell black Americans what to think and do. The history of white America is too marred by discrimination and violent racism against minorities. It will take a lot more time, and a lot more of an effort at educating ourselves and walking a mile in their shoes, to earn that trust. Some have earned that respect. As a general rule, however, most of us have not.

When I first moved to New Orleans, I fairly soon learned that the difference between racism in the South, in a place like New Orleans, versus other parts of the country, is that here, racism may still happen by way of silent barriers to entry into certain classes of white society even though whites and blacks have far more interaction because everyone lives so closely together, and the cultures are so intertwined. Those barriers of entry into black society also exist for whites, incidentally, and they exist for lower class whites who want access to upper class white society. The race issue is as much about class as it is about race.

Elsewhere around the country, neighborhoods are far more segregated, and those daily relationships rarely form. The institutional protections against discrimination may be better observed, but understanding is a far more distant possibility. On the other hand, the more I learn about race in New Orleans, the less I think I know. It’s a highly complex, multi-faceted problem, and made ever more complicated by differences of class.

What I absolutely don’t understand, however, is the seething hatred I’m seeing surface again in the rest of America, and here in Louisiana as well, which reinforces black suspicion of whites, and sends them back into the arms of crooks like Bill Jefferson.

I’m reluctant to post this stuff, but it is, after all, the ugly face of racist America — though it isn’t my America. One can be critical of Nagin and Jefferson (as I have been elsewhere in this forum) without tastelessly and mindlessly stereotyping an entire population.

Comments following a Washington Post article:

That Mayor Nagin supports Jefferson while demanding untold billions of dollars to fix that hell-hole of a city is an insult to every tax-payer in this country. The arrogance required to behave this way is pathological. …

 

The people of LA spoke, they like the lowest common denominator in a politican and that is exactly what they got. …

 

Woe woe woe. Please stop the race baiting. We live in a country were white America has consistently voted against its economic interest for fear blacks might get something whites might not. The modern Republican party is predicated upon the southern strategy. Please cut the self-righteous hypocrisy.

Comments following a Huffington Post report:

Africans should not be allowed to vote. Jefferson is the icing on the cake!

 

Charlie Rangel, Maxine Waters, Ray Nagin, Cynthia McKinney and now Jefferson: all proof that Africans do not have the intellect to vote for a qualifed candidate to represent them.

 

We all know who’s next: Barak Hussein Obama, the most overrated member of Congress. Eliminate the African vote and all he’s left with is you white guilt, lefty, pantywaists. …

 

Of course Jefferson got re-elected. Don’t you know that the money in his freezer was put there as a part of the white racist conspiracy? It’s the same racism that’s preventing Ray Nagin from rebuilding New Orleans! …

 

It’s no wonder the federal government dragged their feet in sending aid after Katrina. Those African idiots deserve whatever they get when they have the balls to return that corrupt, criminal to Congress. …

 

O.J. Simpson, Marion Barry, William Jefferson . . . This is called “enabling,” folks. This can’t be the mountain top. Many African-Americans reflexively defend criminals in their community against the accusations of “the Man.” I guess I can understand it, but it’s just a lasting symptom of social pathology, a residuum of slavery and white racism. It’s not healthy at all. You really have to be sick to vote Jefferson back into office. Very sick. And so the African-American community’s teenagers continue to crash and burn while dad is anonymous and mom lives with her boyfriend du jour while grandma does her(failing) best, and one of its congressmen gets re-elected despite being caught soliciting a bribe on video and storing $90,000 in his freezer.

 

Get well soon, folks. …

This comment following a Chris Bowers MyDD post really hit me in the gut:

The man was found with $90,000 in marked bills in his freezer. I have a hard time justifying, at least in my mind, another dollar in levy fixing.

 

If this is the best LA can do, well then, what W has done is the best they get. …

Well, the problem here is that culpability for the disaster falls pretty damn squarely on the federal government. It would be kind of like if the federal government built a bridge and told you it was safe to drive on. Then the bridge failed, and dozens of cars crashed to the ground. Then the government tells you you shouldn’t have been driving on the bridge in the first place, and you deserved what you got.

Yeah, I’d say it’s true that W has done just about the best he can do. Any ass could do better.

The rest of America should realize that dozens of neighborhoods are dying here. It’s still a wasteland for mile after mile. People who can, are gutting their homes and rebuilding as best they are able. Some are doing it successfully. Most, I’m afraid, can’t manage without the federal assistance compensation they rightfully deserve. The fact that people realize that help isn’t on the way goes a long way toward explaining why there might be suspicion of a federal probe to remove a corrupt politician who, notwithstanding his malfeasance, has for years generally produced for citizens of Louisiana.

Remember where you get your gas to run your damn 6-ton SUV’s America. Remember that the grain stocks of the entire mid-section of the nation pass through Louisiana. Remember where a quarter of the seafood you enjoy comes from. Remember the debt America and the world owe to poor black neighborhoods of New Orleans which were significant crucibles for an entire culture of jazz and blues and food that has permeated and defined the very essence of what we are as Americans, unique in the world. Think about how economically and physically poor the rest of the nation and the world would be if that all went away. I have news for you — if something doesn’t happen very soon to help out the current generation of New Orleanians so that their knowledge is passed on to the next generation, that culture may very well disappear. What? No Louis Armstrong? No Fats Domino? No Wynton Marsalis? No Aaron Neville? No R&B? No Motown? No Rock & Roll? Consider what might be lost in the next generation.

There is absolutely no justification for anyone to criticize New Orleans unless they’ve been to New Orleans and gutted a house. Period. There begins the understanding.

Blacks and whites — and yes, Hispanics and Vietnamese and Spaniards and Chinese and Japanese and French and Serbs and Armenians and Czechs and Germans and Irish and Italians and more — the whole cultural milieu of New Orleans — we’re all here doing the best we can. Hypocritically heaping criticism on us won’t get our houses fixed. Remember the expression, “there but for the grace of God go I,” before you people go off half-cocked blaming us for making mistakes while we’re fighting for our lives.

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Let’s talk about the racial thing

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25 Responses to “Let’s talk about the racial thing, again”

  1. larry V said

    This is a historical event. It is the first time that the Blacks IN NO voted in alignment with the Duke voting white racists from jefferson Parish.

    It is amazing!

  2. F P said

    People have the same frustrations with their own local elections, all across the country. Metro areas are universally more liberal than the surrounding suburban areas.
    This kind of thing is unique to New Orleans! We all had the same issue with the Bush race too. Those idiots in the Midwest are idiots because of their isolation and the fact the Rush Limbaugh gets piped into their communities 24 -7. Local politicians connected to local business interests are also the biggest source of lies and mistrust of outside sources. They benefit hugely when the local population has an insular attitude towards newcomers and outsiders. Why do you think it took Katrina to change the levee board and the tax assessors?

    My advice, don’t worry about the few comments at the national blogs and what those idiots think, Instead get a community radio station going here so that you can educate the people and have these discussions in the community and in your own neighborhood. People without difference sources of media and without diversity are going to homogenize their thinking and their culture. Who was it that said “all politics are local”?

    Who did the mayor endorse in this election?

    Who did the governor endorse in this election?

    Who did you endorse in this election?

    Who did the other represenitives endorse in this election?

    Who did the local unions endorse in this election?

    Who did levees.org endorse in this election?

    Because the person who spoke out the loudest was Harry Lee! What we need is more Local, open, honest discussions and we need to ask these folks where they stand on issuesl like this. You can not ride the fence and participate in our community! We need more people willing to speak out just like Karen Carter did!

  3. mnpoliguy said

    “The Preemption Trap” (a.k.a. “The Rove Trap”) — Karl Rove, a student of dubious Presidential Campaign organizer Lee Atwater, has excelled in laying preemptive traps. In a congressional race in Texas during the ’90s, a listening device was found in the GOP campaign office. Rove held it up to the cameras, said it must have been planted in the night and was evidence that dems play dirty tricks too. The problem was that the bug only had battery that would last barely to the time the office opened. Rove was found to have some egg on his face.

    A more recent one for Rove, but never exactly admitted as such, was the Bush Air National Guard documents/Dan Rather event that happened last election. Bush’s air service has always been suspect and Dan Rather aired a newscast on negative towards President Bush’s service record. The documents were obtained by Rather from a superior officer, who was a disgruntled fromer Republican. Within hours of the broadcast, a right wing blog, Powerline, refuted the documents as deliberate fakes and provided authentic comparisons to boot. When one looks at the chain of custody of both the Rather documents, and the Powerline documents, it appears BOTH chains were controlled by the GOP, which makes it suspect as a trap. Not to mention, Rather looked like a fool and resigned as CBS anchor in disgrace.

    Laying Traps.
    So this morning in the Wall Street Journal, there was a story of how the GOP is not acting on a lot of legislation in order to punt it to the democrats next Congress. For instance, there are three spending bills the GOP did not act on (and were supposed to be passed by last October 1 when the Fiscal Year started). But by passing on the chance to act on them, they are forcing Dems to pass them, and subsequently add to the spending count. Dont be surprised if in 2008 you start seeing advertisements labelling the dem Congress, “the highest spending Congress in history.”

    With that in mind, I thought I would write todays blog on “laying traps.” Traps such as the one the GOP just did. “Traps” are things that one candidate can control that are put out into the public for the opponents to act on it; then when the time comes, the trap is set and the opponent is worse off than before. The press need dirt, and love to report it way too early. Dirt festers and keeps the news cycle going. Good candidates throw the press a bone, but know how to handle it. By keeping control of the story, they can come out of it better off than they were before. CONTROL IS KEY.

    “The Card Trap” –This trap refers to the subtle indirect playing of a “card” during a campaign with the idea that the other side will immediately comment on it. By commenting on the card, the opposition may gain on that one issue, but simultaneously alienates people on other issues. The most common one is the “race card.”

    An example of this one occured in the Corker-Ford race, mentioned in a previous posting on this blog. Ford was competitive in the Tennessee senate race, and had the opportunity to be the first black senator since reconstruction in Tennessee. The RNC on Corker’s behalf played an advertisement with lots of inane comments, but one in particular stood out; a white sorority-ish blond woman saying she met Ford at a Playboy party and at the end of the commercial whispering to the camera “Harold…call me.” Dems squealed that the RNC played the race card.

    However, most independent voters in Tennessee are white middle class. Those are the people Ford had to appeal to, and they dont react well to anyone claiming race is holding them back. They may have been giving Ford the benefit of the doubt, but once the democrats started screaming foul, middle class voters went to Corker in droves. The commercial didnt do it; an aversion to the response did.

    Democrats and Traps
    You may notice that Im using GOP as examples. That is by design; democrats suck at laying traps. Instead, democrats tend to do it in reaction to a story. For instance, in 1992, stories circulated about a pot-smoking, womanizing hippie named Bill Clinton having an affair with a lounge singer named Gennifer Flowers, who claimed to have tapes to prove it. Clinton press secretary Mandy Gruenwald followed Ted Koppel around for an hour or two taping random conversations and doctored them up to make them look salacious. When she appeared on Nightline refuting Flowers’ story, Koppel had to admit he had been had, the Flowers story immediately went away and Clinton won the nomination. Of course, the irony is that in 1997, during impeachment testimony, President Bill Clinton finally admitted that he had had an affair with Flowers.

    Whoever the democratic candidate is, they are going to have to be a little more proactive than they have in the past on press matters, including laying traps.

  4. These results in JP can be attributed to several factors. Derrick Shepherd, the ultra-right wing asswipe, was the main player. If the Republicans weren’t so racist, he’d be one (so would Jefferson for that matter). Shepherd cynically campaigned for Jefferson, under the theory, which has been advanced here before, that Jefferson will be indicted and forced to resign, thus giving him another shot. Shepherd also found Jeff’s right-wing positions dear to his perverted heart.

    Likewise, right-wing racist Harry Lee actively campaigned against Carter, taking umbrage at being called out on his racism in that Spike Lee Katrina joint.

    So there you have it. Right wing racists in Jefferson Parish brought the victory for Dollar Bill. We can take comfort in the fact that yes, Dollar Bill WILL be taking a trip to Club Fed in the future. Hopefully soon, but as long as it happens, I’ll be satisfied.

    Also–regarding “Karen Carter, who will probably get the seat in the end”–no, I don’t think so. Carter has no base in Jefferson Parish, which has become a key deciding factor in this district. Derrick Shepherd came in third in the primary, and if it comes down to Shepherd vs. Carter in the special election, he may well be the winner, as he’s much more of a Jefferson clone than Carter. He’ll also likely get Jeff’s support (unless one of Jeff’s daughters runs, which has been Jeff’s preferred succession plan).

  5. Dambala said

    Great post, Schroeder…this is the issue we need to be talking about. I don’t know that this election was so much race as it was distrust. I think a large contingency of rational voters (white, black, asian, whatever) were so disgusted by both the candidates that they just couldn’t bring themselves to go pull the lever either way. In the case of JP, I truly think it may have been a case of “The Devil you know…”. Although it’s important to note a little known demographic fact is that Jeff Parish ain’t as white as everyone thinks.

    There’s a vitriolic level of distrust between white and black folks in this city. The one trump card the African-American population has…at least in Orleans…is the popular vote. I think many African-American’s view any candidate that remotely represents the “white” people (whatever they may think that is) is doomed in an election while running against a “true” black man, regardless of that man’s reputation, ie. Jefferson. These are just the facts. What we need is a bridge builder, not a polarizer….so far one has yet to emerge. Although I will say that OT is the most likely candidate on the playing feild. And if there is an indictment and this election goes back up for grabs….I would love to see him rise to the challenge.

  6. Puddinhead said

    I’m gonna get an answer sooner or later through one of these forums–exactly what is it about Karen Carter that causes such a level of disgust in so many voters such that they can’t bring themselves to vote AGAINST possibly the most opportunistic (not to mention unethical) Louisiana politician since Edwards? That’s a serious question, by the way…prior to her announcement for Congress all I knew about Carter were that she was Ken Carter’s daughter, a Jim Singleton (for whom I have as much respect as for any other Orleans politico) protege, and a state legislator who always seemed to be on the same side of issues as was I.

    Is it her political bent? Are her opinions on issues so distasteful to those of the local blogging world such that Jefferson’s long career of unlawful and unethical actions is no more disgusting than is Carter’s stance on issues? Or is there some deep scandal just waiting to be exposed that will make it clear that Carter is just as “disgusting” as is Jefferson?

    Perhaps she suffers from the same problem as Hillary Clinton…some (and I’m not just talking about right-wingers with a strictly paternalistic outlook on things) just don’t feel comfortable when a woman opens her “fat mouth”. I’d imagine it’s rather amplified when there’s a race factor thrown in.

    Maybe for some it’s a little more childish than that…whenever there’s a crowded field in an election you have folks who supported candidates who were also-rans–who didn’t make the run-off. I’ve noticed a tendency for some who strongly supported, say, a fourth-place finisher, to carry over their rhetoric from the primary which basically says that their candidate is our only hope and all of the other candidates suck. The rest of us aren’t smart enough to choose their candidate…so we must deserve one of the other clowns who are all equally bad. They get caught up in the “black and white” and miss the “gray”, and if their guy was “good”, then the others must be equally “bad”.

    Obviously I’m just sort of shooting wildly here…I really don’t have an inkling that the local blogosphere’s dislike for Carter has anything at all to do with any of the possibilities I’ve offered here. But I really would like it if someone else could point out to me how we would be equally bad off right now if we’d chosen to send Karen Carter to Congress as we are having re-elected William Jefferson.

  7. Brad S said

    “There is absolutely no justification for anyone to criticize New Orleans unless they’ve been to New Orleans and gutted a house. Period.”

    Hate to tell you this, but Louisiana is a net recipient of federal tax dollars by a wide margin. This has been the case long before Katrina. You know what this means, don’t you? It means right-wingnuts like me (from net-taxpayer Colorado) get free rein to make any silly or racist (so you say) comment we choose about how our supplicants behave themselves.

    Does it infuriate you to be the brunt of national ridicule and condescension? Next time, learn to unlock revenue from your assets. You just got a good head start with the recently-passed coastal restoration bill.

  8. Where do you get your facts, Brad?

    Where did you get the figure that Louisiana is a net recipient of federal tax dollars. Does that include the approximately $200 billion dollars the federal government has taken out of Louisiana in offshore oil revenues for the past 50 years?

    Hmm … let’s see … I wonder how Colorado would rank if it weren’t for all those military contractors.

    States that take in more net federal tax revenue than Louisiana? New Mexico, Alaska, West Virginia, Mississippi, North Dakota, Alabama, Virginia, Hawaii, Montana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas. Oh yeah, those bad Hawaiians should be punished for living in the middle of the Pacific.

    The point is, we’re Americans. Nothing further be said.

    The tax issue aside, are you suggesting that you can do without all the oil and natural gas that goes into the United States from pipelines that pass through Louisiana? Last time I checked, Colorado looked pretty landlocked. And you guys get quite a bit of inclimate weather in that mountain terrain. I bet you wouldn’t like to drive around in an electric car. No, you probably need one of those big ol’ gas guzzlin’ Hummers, don’t you.

    The flow of commerce through Louisiana lowers the costs of running the entire United States economy. Remember the huge upswing in gas prices after Hurricane Katrina? That was just a minor disruption.

    Are you suggesting that farmers across the Midwest don’t need an outlet at the foot of the Mississippi for their goods to be exported?

    In your lily-white part of the world, you might be able to survive in cultural homogeneity, but most of the rest of the country and the world owe Louisiana, and New Orleans (black New Orleans in particular), an enormous debt for the cultural contributions that originated here.

    If you don’t want Louisiana to be a part of the United States, just let us know. I’m sure we could work out an arrangement with France, or Holland, or Great Britain, and the U.S. could refund our $200 billion. Hell, we’d probably make out better if we were part of the European market.

    Think, Brad. Think.

    There are an awful lot of us who don’t think too differently from the rest of the country about what has, and what is, happening here. We’re fighting the good fight. Don’t punish the whole for the sins of a few.

  9. Ray said

    Puddinhead, you’re asking the wrong people. I don’t know any local bloggers who actually advocated supporting Jefferson over Carter. If you want an answer to your question, you need to go wandering around in Central City or Marrero or somewhere and ask the man on the street. Apparently none of them blog.

  10. F P said

    most of those folks probably just voted for who they were told to vote for. Look for the people doing the telling. Al Green, their pastors, I heard Nagin supported Jefferson? And the Teachers Union supported Jefferson? I wish somebody would ask them why and make them explain that. The majority of the folks just voted for who they were told to vote for.

    What were local radio stations saying?
    Where do communities get their information?
    What were the folks in the Barbara Shops saying?
    These communities or community leaders could have had intrests at stake that the selfishly put above the greater good. How do we get these people discussing this with everbody?
    Are there any local Blogs that supported Jefferson?
    I read in the Fox News article that someone who was leaving after voting was polled and their responce was that Carter was Dirty? Here it is: “Jefferson did get a vote from Jene Allen, who is black.

    “He started the job. Let him finish it,” said Allen, who wouldn’t give her age. “I know Karen Carter would be the first black woman, but I think she played it dirty, too dirty.”

    Jefferson drew widespread support among blacks who are skeptical of the federal government’s motives in its investigation of him. He repeatedly suggested the probe is groundless because he has yet to be indicted more than a year after the FBI raided his home in New Orleans.”,

  11. F P said

    here one of the jefferson voters said that carter played dirty?

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,235717,00.html

  12. TM said

    Interesting. The silence is deafening on da po’blog.

  13. Dambala said

    American Zombie: Karen Carter…..meet the new boss, same as the old boss

    Here ya go, Ray. While Amato was actually making progress in our public school system, he couldn’t get the budget under control as he didn’t have the resources within the School System to do so. So he tried to issue a 15 million dollar emergency accounting contract to out of state accounting firm, Deloite and Touche.

    Carter, who 5 months earlier was instrumental in passing ACT 193 which gave Amato complete control over contracts and hiring and firing within the school system, suddenly flip-flopped on her support for Amato. She showed up at a Board meeting calling for his termination and directly cited his intent to hire Deloite and Touche as her motivation.

    Why didn’t she want a full independent audit of the NOPS budget…a 520 million dollar cash cow? Look at her campaign contributions and people she’s done business with. Start with any company or non-profit associated with accounting firm Bruno and Tervalon.

    The apprehension with Carter is not unwarranted.

    But you are correct….we would have been better off with her than Dollar Bill. Unless Jefferson gets a conviction…and we get to go back to the drawing board.

  14. Schroeder said

    Dambala, what that documentary on the public school system *didn’t* do was ask Karen Carter why she wouldn’t support an out of state firm over a local firm that was found to be padding federal insurance claims for the school board. Obviously, it looks pretty bad for her, and that’s the way the documentary portrayed it — I’d say rightfully so. I just think it actually weakens the argument to only present one side of the story. I’ve also heard stories that she was padding her invoices for contracting work with undue amounts of overtime. Whatever. None of these are stories of webs of corruption come anywhere near the image that is instantly conjured by $90,000 in marked bills in your freezer. The choice should be obvious. These days, every politician is compromised by the entire system of fundraising required to buy airtime and run an effective campaign organization. I say make broadcasters give free airtime to candidates, and fund campaigns with tax dollars. Tax people if they don’t vote. Only fund campaigns that can raise a threshold dollar amount. Any number of ways to tackle the issue, but get money out of politics we must. Otherwise, every campaign donor is a potential political benefactor down the road, and the citizens always lose when that happens.

  15. Schroeder said

    Ahem … I didn’t mean *your* freezer, though I’m sure you’d like to have the problem of disposing of $90,000. I meant, of course, Bill Jefferson’s freezer 😉

  16. Dambala said

    The filmmakers contacted her no less than 10 times…..she blew them off every time. She had ample opportunity to answer the allegations….and still does. The filmmakers will even alter the film if she interviews with them, but she refuses to.

    If you noticed they gave Ellenesse Brooks-Simms an opportunity to answer Piltch’s allegations. They went to extensive lengths to do that with Carter but she dodged them at every attempt.

  17. Dambala said

    Schroeder,

    Also, I don’t think this is as simple as “owing favors” to campaign donors. This is at the heart of what was wrong with the school system and we finally had someone who was attempting to gut it. She was protecting a whole system of graft in what was the largest budget in the state, 520 million….at the expense of the children of this city. That is unforgiveable in my book.

    But Bill had his hands in the budget more than she did.

  18. Blogger X said

    That is good Blogging Dambala! We can sell that to the rest of the country who are all trying to figure out the ‘vodoo mysteries’ of the deep south and what makes it all tick.

  19. charleyana said

    “Tax people if they don’t vote.”
    What an asinine concept.

    “most of those folks probably just voted for who they were told to vote for.”

    At least my non-vote was informed and carefully considered.

  20. Good insight Dambala. Given Brooks-Simms remarks in the film, maybe Carter choose the better route by shutting up.

    I stand by my conviction that Jefferson’s offense is far more easily-conjured in the minds of the rest of the nation, and therefore, far more damaging. Carter may never be washed clean of the sin of covering up the stealing of children’s educations, but that problem, I hope, is now a part of history. We would have had to keep an eye on her for any future transgressions, but now the die has been cast.

  21. F P said

    What informantion did you have, Charleyana?

  22. F P said

    There are places that have Compulsory voting. So that idea of penalizing or taxing seems to have some merit. Why would it be considered assinine? I don’t understand the issue so pleasen explain this side of it?

    Here is this from wikipedia.com

    One of the strongest factors affecting turnout is whether voting is compulsory. In Australia, voter registration and attendance at a polling booth have been mandatory since the 1920s. These rules are strictly enforced, and the country has one of the world’s highest voter turnouts. Several other countries have similar laws, generally with somewhat reduced levels of enforcement. Bolivian citizens who don’t vote may be denied 3 months salary. In Mexico and Brazil, sanctions for non-voting are minimal or rarely enforced. When enforced, compulsion has a dramatic effect on turnout. In Venezuela and the Netherlands compulsory voting has been rescinded, resulting in substantial decreases in turnout.

  23. Dambala said

    Blogger X,

    I wasn’t writing that for the rest of the country…I was sharing the info for us (New Orleans Bloggers/readers) to know the facts and be informed. The rest of the country doesn’t vote for our U.S. Rep….we do.

    But I don’t think our political voodoo is any more mysterious than theirs….Delay, Cunningham, Traficant, Foley, McKinney, Barry, etc. Who knows why voters support the candidates they do on local levels other than the folks who live there? We’re not the lone ranger here. There’s not a state in this country that can throw rocks at us over this election in righteous indignation.

    Schroeder elegantly pointed that out to the asshole from Colorado above.

    “All politics is local” – Tip O’Neill

    Schroeder, Believe me when I tell you, Carter was given ample opportunity to comment in the documentary….one of the filmmakers even showed up at her office @ an appointment for an interview and no one was there. She would never outright deny the interview, but she would blow them off or miss/change appointments continually. They caught up with her outside WDSU one night and she avoided them, but they ran her down and she told them to talk to her secretary…which they had done over 10 times to no avail. She clearly didn’t want to comment.

    While he wasn’t a controversial figure in the film, Nagin played the same tactics.

  24. Blogger X said

    Fair enough, Just thought I would help spread the transparency. The more eyes looking into shady areas the better.

    BTW, most of those comments that the local bloggers find so offensive up at the National Blogs are from right wingnut nuts trolling the progressive blogs or other morons. Nothing to worry about!

    Lets keep em nervous. There is no reason to let anyone get cozy!

  25. Dambala said

    word up.

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