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Taking a Switch to Mitch Landrieu 

  Six of the major mayoral candidates met last Wednesday (Jan. 6) — exactly one month before the citywide primary — at a forum sponsored by the New Orleans Rotary Club. It was an exercise that, while initially cordial, turned into a whack-a-thon against presumed frontrunner Mitch Landrieu. John Georges and Rob Couhig took turns attempting to pummel Landrieu, while Nadine Ramsey, James Perry and Troy Henry stayed out of — or above — the fray. It didn't get as fractious as the previous night's forum at Walter Cohen High School, however. Landrieu said that forum reminded him of "the World Wrestling Federation," but the Rotary meeting had its moments. Referring to a question about post-Katrina changes to the city's footprint, Couhig observed acidly that such an idea took hold during Landrieu's "period of disengagement with the city." Couhig went on to admonish Landrieu to "use local people" in his campaign. For his part, Georges took an interesting tack: praising Landrieu's performance as lieutenant governor, while saying that a lieutenant governor with such a stake in New Orleans was too valuable an asset for the city to replace — possibly with someone from Lafayette or Baton Rouge. Georges also called the relationship between the city's mayor and the state's lieutenant governor "a good marriage," which led Landrieu to quip, "If that's a proposition, John, the answer's no." — Kevin Allman

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