Elections

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Protesters hit with pepper spray at Dillard as David Duke enters Senate debate

Posted By on Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 11:45 PM

Students and supporters protesting against David Duke at Dillard University Nov. 2.
  • Students and supporters protesting against David Duke at Dillard University Nov. 2.

With the admission of white supremacist, former Ku Klux Klansman and neo-Nazi David Duke into a final debate in Louisiana's crowded race for U.S. Senate, protesters at Dillard University demanded Duke be removed from campus and for the university to condemn his campaign.

But as protests continued outside the doors of the Georges Auditorium, police pepper sprayed into the crowd, sending protesters running for cover, and several people were detained as they tried to make their way inside.

Students were anxious, scared, and frustrated with other protestors and fellow students, but none was defeated. Passing a microphone to students and supporters throughout the night, each speaker celebrated the history of the university, the civil rights advocates who came before them, and their goals for social and racial justice long after Duke's appearance. But all criticized the university's administration for even allowing him to be there.

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Editorial: A debacle of a Senate debate

Posted By on Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 10:17 PM

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Wednesday night's U.S. Senate debate, sponsored by the TV company Raycom Media and staged in the rented Georges Auditorium at Dillard University, was a disservice to everyone concerned — the students and faculty at Dillard, the serious candidates, and most of all the voting public. Not just because of the inclusion of former Ku Klux Klansman, neo-Nazi, white supremacist and convicted swindler David Duke, but also because of the exclusion of the on-campus voices that have been there, and will continue to be there long after Duke goes back to peddling his venom and fleecing his bigoted followers on a less public stage.

Dillard, of course, is a historically black university and has been since Straight University and New Orleans University merged in the 1930s to form Dillard. It has educated generations of scholars through the days of segregation and the Civil Rights Movement until today. The appearance of a professional bigot on campus for one hour is an embarrassment, but does nothing to threaten Dillard’s legacy. However, Raycom missed a larger chance for civic engagement by holding the debate without an audience.

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Louisiana Senate debate Nov. 2 to be broadcast nationally by C-SPAN

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 3:03 PM

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Wednesday night's final televised Louisiana Senate debate will air in New Orleans on WVUE Fox 8, but national viewers will get a taste of our homegrown politics (including David Duke), as C-SPAN will broadcast the debate live at 7 p.m.

The six candidates who met the requirement for inclusion (at least 5 percent support in a recognized statewide poll) are U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany; Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell; attorney Caroline Fayard; U.S. Rep. John Fleming; Louisiana Treasurer John Neely Kennedy; and the aforementioned Duke: convicted felon, Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and all-around white supremacist.

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Friday, October 28, 2016

"Make America Kait Again": a conversation with New Orleans comedian Kaitlin Marone, who is kind of running for U.S. Senate

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM

COURTESY OF  KAITLIN MARONE
  • COURTESY OF KAITLIN MARONE

"I thought about calling one of my platform points 'art school for everybody,'" says Kaitlin Marone, after thoroughly dissecting gender equality and police brutality and mulling over the idea of melting down all the guns. "The whole idea was going to be that everyone deserves to get a frivolous degree, and we should actually fund the arts, and art criticism, and research, and we should be into that. What's the point of being a group of beings on the Earth if we're not going to try new things?"

So that's what she did. In the grand New Orleans tradition of "protest" candidates led by comedians, Marone, party of none, is running for office for the very first time by entering a U.S. Senate race that has attracted two dozen people vying for the seat of outgoing Sen. David Vitter. Microwaved white supremacist David Duke unfortunately attracted enough attention to get into a debate let alone the actual ballot. Marone only sort of jokingly says she hopes to at least beat him.

She performs every Wednesday with the improv troupe Dean's List and co-hosts the Saturday stand-up comedy showcase Go Ahead, both at The New Movement. Dean's List will host her election night party.

Gambit: Why did you decide to do this?

Marone: I'd been making a lot of jokes about running for president. People kept saying to me, "I would vote for you." I was having a conversation with somebody about what to do about police brutality — and we were very drunk — and we decided the only path was to get into government. That was it. That was what we could do. I decided to look into what the upcoming races were. I guess I knew David Vitter was [leaving], but it didn't occur to me we would have to elect someone new, which of course we have to do. Then I thought, "If I don't know this election is happening, and it's for the [U.S.] Senate, then I bet a lot of people don't, and a lot of people aren't going to."

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In Jefferson Parish, now it’s the DiMarco scandal

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2016 at 11:36 AM

Jefferson Parish Registrar of Voters Dennis DiMarco said the private voting machine in his office was “really a convenience for those whose time is, for lack of a better word, maybe more valuable than others’.”
  • Jefferson Parish Registrar of Voters Dennis DiMarco said the private voting machine in his office was “really a convenience for those whose time is, for lack of a better word, maybe more valuable than others’.”


As if the Mike Yenni sexting scandal weren’t embarrassing enough for Jefferson Parish voters, now the feds have been notified that parish Registrar of Voters Dennis DiMarco set up a special VIP voting machine in his private conference room during early voting week.

DiMarco told WWL-TV’s Paul Murphy the private voting machine was “not a big issue,” but the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Secretary of State Tom Schedler begged to differ. Louisiana law expressly states, “Each voting machine shall be placed inside the polling place and shall be in full view of the public from the time the election begins until the last elector has voted.”

What part of that sentence does DiMarco not understand?

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Louisiana Public Broadcasting to air live U.S. Senate debate Oct. 18

Posted By on Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 4:05 PM

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Confused by the 24 names on the ballot for the Nov. 8 Senate race? The Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) and Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) will be hosting a 90-minute debate tomorrow night with the five candidates who met LPB-CABL's criteria.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Y@ Speak: the deadline to register to vote in Louisiana is Oct. 11

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 7:41 PM

In this week's edition of an election cycle in which candy must clarify its positions on refugees and sexual assault: Louisiana officials denounce Trump's comments (but not Trump) and we watched some "debates." Meanwhile: LSU thought it could take on a hurricane, and Mike Yenni won't step down despite many calls to do so after inappropriate and likely illegal sexual behavior. Sounds familiar!

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism reactivates to oppose David Duke's U.S. Senate run

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 3:45 PM

A screengrab from a 1991 ad opposing the candidacy of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke. The Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism, a bipartisan political action committee originally organized in 1990, has reactivated to oppose Duke's run in the 2016 Louisiana U.S. Senate election.
  • A screengrab from a 1991 ad opposing the candidacy of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke. The Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism, a bipartisan political action committee originally organized in 1990, has reactivated to oppose Duke's run in the 2016 Louisiana U.S. Senate election.

A long-dormant political action committee organized more than 25 years ago to thwart the political ambitions of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is now active again and plans to run ads opposing Duke's current run for the U.S. Senate race in November.

The Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism, which last was active in the early 1990s, raised money to run television ads during Duke's 1990 U.S, Senate race and his 1991 Louisiana gubernatorial bid. The bipartisan group — whose new advisory committee now include two former Louisiana governors and three former U.S. Senators — also has a website, StopDuke.com, and is being advised by veteran political consultant Karen Carvin. 

Duke has not held public office since he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in a 1989 special election to fill the seat of Charles Cusimano, who resigned midway through his term. Duke's entry into the 2016 Senate race was, he has said, inspired in part by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump (who has in recent days firmly rejected Duke's support).

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Y@ Speak: "the sky's the limit"

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2016 at 7:34 PM

Lil Wayne endorses Hillary Clinton after she maybe referenced Da Drought (or, more likely, her own speech in 2008), the Louisiana delegation steals the show, and New Orleans in deep summer means exploding streets, snakes eating bicyclists, and tourists who should be fired into the sun.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Y@ Speak: #DavidDukeLooksLike

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 7:45 PM

Deflated pink balloon David Duke, high on the fumes of Donald Trump's coronation at the Republican National Convention, is running for U.S. Senate (and nearly 4,000 people on Twitter said they'd vote for him). Also this week: New Orleans might host the NBA All-Star Game in 2017 and DeRay's bookbag is still in Baton Rouge.

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