Two more facts:
Carrere was the only - the only - candidate who did not respond to the Picayune's request for comments when asked why they were seeking to be the interim Councilman for Dist. E. You would think that if transparency and accountability were the goal it would have started with Carrere.
Also: the Morrells and the Carreres do have some history. Arthur Morrell, like every other state politician back in the 90s, was asked about to whom he had granted Tulane Scholarships. Like a few only (for instance, Bajoie) Morrell said first of all he did not have to turn over the information but then also went out of his way to deny he gave scholarships to any relatives of public officials. Of course when finally forced (actually Tulane was forced) to reveal the information, aside from Michael Hedge (that's right, Cynthia Hedge-Morrell's BROTHER, Art's own brother in law) Morrell also gave a scholarship to Keely Carrere (that's her maiden name) (who by the way did not even live in the district as required by law), who is apparently Ronald Carrere's first cousin, at least - the point being that the Carrere and Morrell families have known each other for quite some time, and maybe someone should ask CM Hedge-Morrell just how long and how well.
If only there were a newspaper or alternative news journal of some kind in town.
Clancy, I have to say, after hearing this column mentioned by Councilmember Cynthia Morrell on WBOK this morning, I think this article of yours deserves a serious rebuttal.
I find it absolutely fascinating that after FOUR different interim councilpersons have been named in two different parishes (In Jefferson, Hollis, Thomas, and Townsend, in Orleans, Bajoie) you have found it necessary to discuss the lack of "transparency" (Gerod Stephens' favorite word by the way) and process in THIS appointment of Freddie Charbonnet.
Let's look at the process by which Bajoie was appointed and let's see if you can spot any of the sort of "shenanigans" of which CM (councilmember) Morrell has so vociferously complained:
First, CM Head won an election. By law and by tradition she, like every departing CM before her, should have had the right to name a replacement and the Council of the city's elected representatives should have pretty much deferred to agree with that selection, as has always happened before. BUT, CM Morrell, with the assistance of a NOW CONVICTED politician, ex-CM Jon Johnson, broke their oath to the elected, avoided their duties as councilpersons, and prevented a quorum so that the longstanding law and tradition could not be kept. When the choice - as they knew it would in advance - fell to Mayor Mitch Landrieu (who by the way had endorsed Head's opponent in the last at large race, so if he was being open, processed and transparent as you so desire should have removed himself), he "selected" Diana Bajoie. How did he do this? We do not know. Did Landrieu speak with Morrell or Johnson or their political allies in advance? We do not know. What other names did he receive in nomination? We do not know. Did he or other councilmembers meet with Bajoie in advance? We do not know. Number of articles from you on the subject? That we know: ZERO.
As to who Landrieu selected for Dist B as opposed to who the Council selected for Dist. E:
Bajoie - (1) named in Times Picayune reports as receiving campaign contributions from ultimately convicted Fred Goodson and the gambling/casino lobby during the well-known and well-prosecuted "shenanigans" under then Gov. Edwin Edwards.
(2) Resisted efforts to reveal whether she had given Tulane scholarships to children of public officials until the very end until forced when she finally had to reveal yes indeed she had (to the child of Judge Byrnes and the child of a St John Parish school board official). (3) Led a legislative effort after Katrina to defeat a bill to prohibit relatives from receiving recovery related contracts. (4) Named in the trial of Mose Jefferson having not only directed funding to a fraudulent non-profit (just like and preceding convicted ex-CM Renee Gill-Pratt) but also as having relatives employed by the Jeffersons' operations. (5) Her niece Nicole Bajoie (who also had a child with Danziger villain, cop Robert Faulcon Jr., convicted to a sentence of 65 years, which is only relevant in that it turns out that a major subject in a cover-up turned out to have a familial connection to a public official) also has been reported to be involved in non-profits similarly funded by Diana Bajoie's legislative efforts as State Senator. (6) Has a connection of more than two decades to Sherman Copelin, Frank Webb and SOUL (convicted ex-CM Jon Johnson's political organization), as well as to BOLD (the political organization that has given us convicted ex-CM's Oliver Thomas and Renee Gill-Pratt).
Charbonnet - ???? How would we know, neither you or the TP has told the people a single thing in this man's bio, but he appears from afar to be (1) a small business owner, (2) ethically motivated, and (3) completely unconnected to any political organization. But let us know if that's incorrect. Or have you even bothered to call the man for an interview on this issue? Have you found out one thing about his background that you can report to us?
Finally, Clancy, where would we as a city be without your endorsements? From Ray Nagin and Aaron Broussard, to so many of the councilmembers who have done so much to block real progress in this town. For goodness sake Clancy use your skills not to dig up scuttlebutt but get to what really affects this city negatively - corruption.
Thank you for allowing this response.
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