Thursday, November 10, 2016

The party and protest: Election Day and aftermath in New Orleans

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 at 12:45 AM

Hillary Clinton, mounted to a box of tissues, at Twelve Mile Limit on Election Day.
  • Hillary Clinton, mounted to a box of tissues, at Twelve Mile Limit on Election Day.

On Nov. 4, 2008, a crowd spilled out of One Eyed Jacks and onto Toulouse Street. Inside, a shoulder-to-shoulder audience of a few hundred people watched, through tears, as then-President-elect Barack Obama embraced his family and Vice President-elect Joe Biden while DJ Soul Sister blasted Parliament.

On Nov. 8, 2016, on the dance floor at One Eyed Jacks, a dozen people quietly sat behind a few small tables. A few others stood at the bar. A screen above the stage ticked a few more electoral votes to Donald Trump. There were no cheers.

At 8 p.m., a crowd — in solidarity pantsuits, homemade "Nasty Woman" T-shirts and patches and pins — packed into Twelve Mile Limit in Mid-City, turned to CNN as early voting returns started painting the map. Boos for red states. Cheers for blue ones. Cheers for Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth's election to the Senate. Boos for Marco Rubio's reelection to the Senate in Florida.

Crowds across town gathered for watch parties as the polls closed, high off the momentum from voting and in the company of friends, comparing TV results with updates on Twitter. Less than 24 hours later, a Trump effigy burned at Lee Circle.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mayor Landrieu to Trump: "reconcile the divisive rhetoric" by reaching out to African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and women

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 12:37 PM


Following Donald Trump's election to U.S. President and Hillary Clinton's concession speech, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu congratulated the president-elect and encouraged him "to reconcile the divisive rhetoric from this campaign" by reaching out to African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and women. "One of the greatest aspects of our democracy is the peaceful transition of power," he said.

Landrieu also extended "sincere gratitude and appreciation" to Clinton "for her lifetime of sacrifice and service for our country. America is a stronger country because of her contributions."

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Trump elected U.S. president; Kennedy and Campbell headed for U.S. Senate runoff

Posted By on Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 2:05 AM

President-elect Donald Trump. - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • President-elect Donald Trump.

Defying the majority of the polls during a long runoff election, Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States early this morning, when Hillary Clinton called the GOP nominee to concede the election.

At 1:50 a.m., Trump took the stage at his New York headquarters flanked by Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his family to announce it was time for “Americans to bind the wounds of division” and “come together as one united people.”  After an uncharacteristically brief speech, Trump left the stage to greet supporters, his wife Melania beaming at his side.

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Monday, November 7, 2016

Y@ Speak: it's not over yet

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 6:32 PM

As we wade through the traditional Election Day Eve flooding to celebrate our right to swim to a voting booth, let's look back at the week before we finally, finally reached the presidential election. (If you missed some Halloween-y stuff, check last week's bonus edition.)

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New Orleans bars hosting parties for Election Night

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 10:07 AM


Tomorrow's a special day in America. It's the day when members of all political parties can unite over one thing: our shared joy that this miserable, fractious election season is coming to its merciful end. 

Toast the occasion  —  and for those of you without cable, catch televised coverage of the returns  —  at one of the venues listed below.

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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


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


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


"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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