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Best of New Orleans 2011: Politics 

Best Lawmaker

1. Mary Landrieu — Louisiana may be trending "red" in all other statewide matters, but our readers love Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. The three-term senator and New Orleans native didn't even make the list last year (the 2010 choice was Republican Congressman Steve Scalise of Metairie), but this year she zoomed past all others to capture top honors.

2. Steve Scalise

3. David Vitter

 

click to enlarge Arnie Fielkow - Best New Orleans City Council Member - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER

Best New Orleans City Council Member

1. Arnie Fielkow — The soon-to-depart councilman seems a perennial fave among our readers, having finished atop the field in this category for five consecutive years. In fact, our readers have been remarkably consistent in this category, as the second-place finisher Stacy Head likewise held that spot for five years — and third-place finisher Jackie Clarkson held hers for four years in a row. Too bad Fielkow is leaving the council for the sports world.

2. Stacy Head

3. Jackie Clarkson

 

Best Jefferson Parish Council Member

1. John Young — Wow, John Young isn't even on the Jefferson council any more ... and hasn't been for almost a year. Young won this category in three of the last four years, in fact. Maybe that explains why he was such a shoo-in for parish president in the special election last autumn.

2. Chris Roberts

3. Cynthia Lee-Sheng

 

Best Local Scandal

1. Danziger Bridge — Our readers' choice for best — or perhaps it should be "worst" — local scandal was as obvious as the horrific facts that led to the recent federal convictions of several New Orleans cops. The Danziger Bridge shootings mark a departure from the usual political hijinks, and they remind us corruption is no laughing matter.

2. Jefferson family tribulations

3. Edwin Edwards' release from prison/ marriage/ reality show

 

Best (Likeliest) Local Politician to Have a "Weiner" Problem

1. David Vitter — OK, we admit it: This one was pretty much a set-up. Or so we thought, until U.S. Sen. David Vitter was joined in the kinky-sex-scandal penalty box by fellow Republican Joe Stagni, a city councilman from Kenner. Given more time and, um, exposure, we think Stagni's "sexting" imbroglio might even have put him on top, so to speak.

2. Joe Stagni

3. Mitch Landrieu

 

Best Local Politician You Love to Hate

1. Ray Nagin — We can't really quarrel with any of our readers' choices in this category — or even their rankings. Former Mayor Ray Nagin no longer holds office, but he still holds a special place in the spleens of many New Orleans voters. At least he can boast that his last election (this one) was a runaway win for him — and that he's still "keeping the brand out there."

2. David Vitter

3. Bobby Jindal

 

Best Target for Federal Indictment

1. Ray Nagin — Call it the Nagin Hangover. Call it lingering resentment. Call it wishful thinking. Whatever it is, our readers aren't ready to forgive the former mayor for his mistakes — or his potential misdeeds. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, develops from the convictions of former chief technology officer Greg Meffert and his one-time business partner Mark St. Pierre. In the court of public opinion, the verdict is already in.

2. David Vitter

3. Ronal Serpas

 

Best Sequel to Ray Nagin's Memoir

1. Ray Nagin's jailhouse memoirs — You know, in an odd sort of way, a jailhouse memoir from the former mayor might sell a lot better than the one he's peddling now. Could such a tome be any more delusional than the original?

2. If I Did It ...

3. Kathleen Blanco's memoir

 

Best Prison Jobs for Greg Meffert & Mark St. Pierre

1. Cleaning toilets — Are we the only ones who find it strange that the No. 2 response to this one would put them back in cyberspace? In any event, the clear majority prefers to see City Hall's two former tech bosses doing something, well, a lot less technical to pass their time behind bars.

2. IT directors/ teachers/ computer repairmen

3. Laundry detail

 

Best Ticket Out of Louisiana for Bobby Jindal

1. Run for president — We have a feeling the governor is going to love this response (and we did our best to make sure the ballots were not stuffed ... honest!). Of course, he has to get re-elected first, which seems pretty certain at this point. Then comes the hard part — no, not winning the White House, but rather actually doing all the things he has promised to do as governor.

2. Run for vice-president of the U.S.

3. Cabinet/ambassador appointment




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