Rumors of a dull mayoral race were premature. Officially, Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris retired — not resigned — on Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 11) in anticipation of his run for mayor against Mitch Landrieu. Bagneris has served several terms as judge at CDC and thus is eligible for retirement at most but not all of his salary, according to one insider.
Bagneris, who served as chief judge recently, famously locked horns with Landrieu over the location of a new Civil District Court building. The judges at CDC want to put a new courthouse on Duncan Plaza, on or near the former site of the Louisiana Supreme Court — but Landrieu has thus far stymied that effort. The mayor wants to recreate a “civic center” inside the old Charity Hospital by locating City Hall, the civil courts and other municipal offices there. The judges have adamantly refused to consider Big Charity as a site. (See story in Gambit, Oct. 1, 2013.)
Bagneris got his political start under the late Mayor Dutch Morial, who was his mentor. He became Morial’s executive counsel in 1980 and ran unsuccessfully for council at-large in the citywide elections of 1986. He won his judgeship at CDC in 1993.
Ironically, Bagneris was recommended for a federal judgeship by the mayor’s sister, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, in 2009, but the White House rejected him in 2010 for reasons that were never articulated.
As he enters the mayoral campaign — he is expected to qualify Thursday or Friday — Bagneris will need to gin up his fundraising efforts. Judges are constrained from running for non-judicial offices and from raising money unless they have a debt. That’s why Bagneris had to give up his seat at CDC even to discuss running for mayor, and it explains the paltry $2,600 in his campaign account as of his most recent filing in February 2013. No doubt he is getting offers of additional campaign cash now.
Bagneris has served on many local civic boards, including the board of the Jazz and Heritage Festival and the Tulane University Board of Trustees.
This pièce de résistance features assertions that Minyard sold body parts, à la Burke and Hare; insinuations that Minyard was responsible for the grief that accompanies losing a loved one; fake internal organs that look like giant, uncooked chicken breasts; and a snaggletoothed, hunchbacked assistant named Igor who, by the looks of things, had wiped his bloody, disfigured hands all over the back of his boss's lab coat.
Spin reported that 56 Hope Road — the company run by deceased reggae icon Bob Marley's children and widow Rita — filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts U.S. District Court against Louisiana-based chicken tender empire Raising Cane's.
Raising Cane's has used the slogan "One Love" on its promotional materials, from merchandise to menus to ads, since the early 2000s. The company trademarked the phrase.
"One Love" also happens to be one of the most popular songs of all time, on Marley's 1977 landmark album Exodus.
Hope Road also has used "One Love" on its merchandise — from T-shirts, hats and bumper stickers to college dorm decorations worldwide. The family has charged Raising Cane's with trademark infringement, among several other allegations related to the usage of "One Love" on the company's gear.
In a statement to Gambit, Todd Graves, founder of Raising Cane's, wrote that the company "denies the Marleys' allegations and will continue to defend our rights as we have done with the Marleys in related proceedings concerning the ONE LOVE mark before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board since 2010."
Graves said he has met with Cedella Marley "in a good faith attempt to reach a resolution regarding the Marleys desire to enter the restaurant space," though Graves said settlement offers were turned down.
"Raising Cane’s looks forward to proving our position in court, putting this matter behind us and continuing to pursue our ONE LOVE — serving our communities our quality chicken finger meals."
Graves signed the statement, "Founder, CEO, Fry Cook and Cashier" with a closing "ONE LOVE."
Two-term at-large New Orleans Councilmember Jackie Clarkson will announce on Tuesday that she is running for the District C seat being vacated by Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer, who announced last week that she would not seek a second term.
From the moment Palmer announced she would not run again, Clarkson's cell phone lit up with callers urging her to run — including Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Clarkson has been a staunch ally of the mayor for the past four years and often refers to him as "the best mayor I've had the pleasure to serve with." The plan, according to a source close to Clarkson, is for Landrieu to formally endorse her at her announcement on Tuesday, along with a group of civic, business and community leaders.
In running for the District C seat, Clarkson will be returning to her roots. Her first foray into elective politics came in 1990 when she won an open election for that seat. She lost a bid to keep that seat in March 1994 to state Rep. Troy Carter, but then won Carter's state House of Representatives seat in a special election in the autumn of that same year. She captured the District C seat again in 2002, then lost her first bid for an at-large council seat in the spring of 2006.
When Oliver Thomas resigned from the Council in the midst of a bribery scandal in the summer of 2007, Clarkson won the special election to succeed him that November. She has held that at-large seat since.
Clarkson easily will be the front-runner in District C, and her entry could keep some others from running — though the Feb. 1 primary is sure to be contested. The only other announced candidate thus far is former judge and one-time mayoral candidate Nadine Ramsey. Qualifying runs this week from Wednesday through Friday.
Many good friends and supporters have encouraged me to run for Governor in 2015—to bring my focus and leadership to the challenges we face as a state. We started to consider this as a family over Thanksgiving. We certainly haven't made our decision yet, so we'll be reflecting and praying on it very carefully through the Christmas holidays.
District C New Orleans City Council member Kristin Gisleson Palmer will not seek reelection in the February race, according to a statement from her office this morning.
Palmer, who was elected to the District C seat in 2010, said in a statement, "As I look to the future, I'm eager to pursue other opportunities and spend a lot more time with my daughters."
"I'm proud of the success we've had in growing our economy, improving our infrastructure, reducing blight and providing law enforcement the tools they need to fight crime. While I will continue working to make New Orleans a better place to live, work and raise a family, I have decided to not seek re-election in the February election. ... Even though I won't be a candidate for re-election, the residents of District 'C' can be assured that I will work as hard during the last five months of my term as I have the first three and a half years. I truly love public service and will never quit fighting to help the City of New Orleans fulfill its full potential."
Palmer chairs the Disaster and Recovery, Housing and Human Needs, Sanitation and Environmental, and Transportation committees, and she's a member of the Governmental Affairs and Public Works committees.
Nadine Ramsey, the former civil district court judge who ran for mayor in 2010, announced in October that she will seek the District C seat. With Palmer out of the running, Ramsey remains the only announced contender.
As the only “local” utility regulator in the four-state Entergy system, the New Orleans City Council often finds itself in the position of being the tail that wags the dog. Regulating a utility giant ranks among the most far-reaching powers that council members have. They guard that authority jealously.
Major decisions by Entergy Corp. and its various subsidiaries often get rubber-stamped by statewide regulators in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi, but those same decisions get put under an electron microscope in New Orleans. That frustrates Entergy executives — and some self-proclaimed “reformers” who want to transfer local utility regulation back to the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC).
Supporters of local regulation say the council’s regulatory authority is the only thing standing between New Orleans ratepayers and significantly higher utility bills. It doesn’t happen easily.
Utility regulation at City Hall is an intricate — and intensely political — dance. Council members know they can’t squeeze the utility too much lest it become insolvent. They also are constantly looking over their shoulders at restless voters, who want the lowest rates possible.
Most of the time, the relationship between the council and Entergy New Orleans (ENO), the local subsidiary, is cordial. Sometimes, particularly when ENO makes decisions that put the interests of its parent company in conflict with the interests of local ratepayers, the council flexes its regulatory muscle. This can take the form of calling utility execs before the council Utilities Committee, subpoenaing documents, or even taking the company to court.
On rare occasions, as happened on Nov. 21, the council exercises its nuclear option: a prudence investigation of the utility’s decisions.
That is, the utility must demonstrate that it 'went through a reasonable decision making process to arrive at a course of action and, given the facts as they were or should have been known at the time, responded in a reasonable manner.'
A prudence investigation is the regulatory equivalent of a declaration of war. It gives the council authority to examine documents and decisions that otherwise would not be subject to public review — and if the council deems decisions by the utility to be unreasonable or imprudent, the council can spare ratepayers from any adverse economic impact.
In some ways, it's like taking the utility to court — only the council gets to be judge and jury. This is not something the council does lightly. In the past 30 years, the council has conducted only three prudence investigations; each time, the investigation led to huge savings for local ratepayers — after a protracted, bitter fight with the utility.
bg keep ya head up keep it real in the cell
Is he clean? Is he smart? Is he willing to really differentiate himself from Baldy…
Money doesn't necessarily win elections anymore. Look at Latoya, Yolanda King and Vance McAllister. There…
Jackie says..."now when I was first elected to the council back during the civil war...."
all I want for Christmas is for Gray and Lewis to go away,and leave my…
At times like this one can only wonder what they "all " was thinking. One…
This is awesome. Yet more great things for the area. Now that I know about…
GTFO, you senile bitch!
Jeez. Another corrupt piece of shit. Take a hike, hyphen!
Way to fuck things up, Baldy McButtsack! Wackie Jackie, who pines for the Jim Crow…
I am not a lawyer. But in general, song titles cannot be copyrighted, as they…
I heard that lots of money trickles down.. right into the NFL's pockets. It just…