Friday, October 5, 2007

Kimberly Willyouevergoaway Butler

Posted By on Fri, Oct 5, 2007 at 9:16 PM

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 isn’t much left to do but look out for afternoon drunk drivers and grin as the almost-autumn breezes fly by my smiling face.

It’s been this way for each of the 10 weeks I’ve been on the job. Yesterday’s 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 we’ll leave questions on her at-large status to Eddie Jordan and the NOPD. But I believe I can safely comment on Butler’s 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 don’t 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 judge’s records request; and who, in 2006, appeared on her official Web site in front of a Photoshopped image of Disneyland’s “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 she’s 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.

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