My ride home from work every day is rather uneventful. After reaching black-belt proficiency on Scooter Libby and memorizing the location of four monster potholes with the potential to send Gambit searching for a new listings editor, there isnt much left to do but look out for afternoon drunk drivers and grin as the almost-autumn breezes fly by my smiling face.
Its been this way for each of the 10 weeks Ive been on the job. Yesterdays commute, however, made a spectacular break from the routine. Approaching the intersection of Washington Avenue and Broad Street, I had to heel ol Scooter to the side of the road so my brain could fully absorb what my eyes refused to register. There above me, in audacious, eggplant-shade purple, was a billboard with the most improbable message imaginable:
KIMBERLY WILLIAMSON BUTLER, it read, COUNCILMEMBER AT LARGE.
Tried and proven, the advertisement continued. Leadership you can trust. Tried and acquitted-on-a-technicality seems more accurate, and well leave questions on her at-large status to Eddie Jordan and the NOPD. But I believe I can safely comment on Butlers qualifications for city council: she has none. This is the same person who allegedly made $364,000 worth of criminal evidence disappear when she, as clerk of court, deposited the confiscated funds into an interest-bearing account, failing to recognize that upon cashing out of a bank, you dont get the same bills back; who announced her candidacy for mayor on the courthouse steps, where she had just surrendered after hiding out in a lengthy (and very public) holdout over a judges records request; and who, in 2006, appeared on her official Web site in front of a Photoshopped image of Disneylands New Orleans Square masquerading as a cleaned-up, kid-friendly French Quarter.
Without a doubt, the woman has chutzpah. Still, I thought the general idea of replacing Oliver Thomas was to, you know, clear up the air of impropriety that has settled over city government like a downtown smog since news of Thomas bribe-taking scandal first was announced in August. Maybe Butler feels shes the right person for that job, or maybe Jesus himself told her to run. (Butler's a devout Christian, and with her record, you'd have to be.) Either way, the impending election just got a hell of a lot more entertaining.