Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Uptown Messenger report: Mayoral candidate Scurlock suggests Aug. 5 flood is proof 'God is not happy' with New Orleans

Posted By on Tue, Aug 8, 2017 at 2:18 PM

Frank Scurlock, mayoral candidate. - FACEBOOK/FRANK SCURLOCK
  • Frank Scurlock, mayoral candidate.

In an interview with Uptown Messenger
, mayoral candidate Frank Scurlock said that a disrespect for history is “why God has washed and flooded the City twice in 2 weeks. Maybe he is not happy.”:
“It’s not just the monument issue,” Scurlock said. “Quite frankly, when you look at the crime rates, the poverty rates — I just think there’s a higher power that is looking over everything, and he wants people to remove the hate.

“New Orleans East needs a cleansing in itself,” Scurlock said. “There’s hardly anything going right, except the opening of dollar stores.”
Read the whole interview here.

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Friday, August 4, 2017

New Orleans joins growing Democratic Socialists movement in U.S.

Posted By on Fri, Aug 4, 2017 at 6:30 PM

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) recently announced its card-carrying membership reached 25,000, its biggest assembly yet, as the organization prepared to host its Chicago conference this weekend with hundreds of representatives from chapters around the U.S. It's likely the largest gathering of socialists in the country in decades.

Among those chapters is New Orleans, which went from a few dues-paying members to more than 70 within a few months after being formally recognized earlier this year. Hundreds of others regularly attend its chapter meetings.

Interest in DSA groups follows significant momentum following Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign, as well as frustration with status quo politics and moderate and center-leaning Democrats in the wake of the 2016 election and President Donald Trump's administration. Surge in membership and interest in socialism mirrors a national political realignment among young people, the majority of whom don't support capitalism. And young people also are growing in support for like-minded issues like health care — 67 percent of people under 30 believe the government has a responsibility to provide health coverage, and 45 percent believe it should be provided through a single-payer program.

Support for a single-payer system is growing, too, up to 33 percent as of June 2017 — up 5 points from January 2017 and 12 points from 2014.

On The Intercept, Zaid Jilani asks, "Now what?"

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Editorial: Progressive groups framing the election discussion at forums

Posted By on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 1:07 PM

Candidates at the "Town Hall for Better Jobs" July 25. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • Candidates at the "Town Hall for Better Jobs" July 25.

If you’re interested in the citywide elections in New Orleans, now is the time to pay attention and attend a forum or town hall. By the time the televised debates begin, much of the agenda will be set — but already community groups are framing the discussion. Many of them are new progressive groups that sprang up during the 2016 presidential election.

Indivisible New Orleans, one of the groups, held the first New Orleans mayoral town hall three weeks before qualifying began. Earlier this week, a coalition of progressive organizations sponsored a “Town Hall for Better Jobs.” More than 20 candidates for mayor and City Council attended. Among the topics: raising the minimum wage, expanding job opportunities, and supporting unions and collective bargaining — ideas that are at the top of the progressive agenda. Those ideas are a far cry from forums at which candidates typically try to outdo each other with “tough on crime” rhetoric or decry the city’s pothole problems.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Alabama Senate candidate uses audio of Scalise shooting in campaign ad

Posted By on Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 2:42 PM

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks.
  • U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks.

Audio from last month's shooting of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and three others at a baseball field in Virginia is being used in a campaign ad by a U.S. Representative from Alabama  who hopes to replace Jeff Sessions in the Senate.
U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican running in a Senate special election to replace Sessions, debuted the ad featuring the sound of gunshots and the information that "Mo Brooks gives his belt as a tourniquet to help the wounded." It closes with a gripe about the "liberal media" asking Brooks questions about gun control after the tragedy, and reiterates Brooks' support of the Second Amendment.

Brett Horton, Scalise's chief of staff, tweeted that the audio "makes my stomach turn," while an unnamed spokesperson for Scalise told NBC News, “I guess some people have their own ideas about what’s appropriate."

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

LaToya Cantrell would ban traffic cameras if elected mayor, she clarifies after some conflicting messages

Posted By on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 8:14 PM

LaToya Cantrell announcing her mayoral candidacy at the New Orleans Jazz Market July 18.
  • LaToya Cantrell announcing her mayoral candidacy at the New Orleans Jazz Market July 18.

At her formal mayoral campaign announcement last night, District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell drew some of the biggest cheers of her speech when she announced, "We don’t know if traffic cameras are making our streets safer. But we do know those cameras are costing our residents money that could be spent on their families. As your mayor, I will suspend the use of the cameras until it can be proven that they actually work as intended." (In a departure from prepared remarks that had been provided to reporters, Cantrell speculated that the traffic cameras could be redeployed as crime cameras in drug-plagued neighborhoods.)

Later, though, in a short scrum with reporters, Cantrell seemed to walk back that statement at least in part, saying, "Based on the feedback from the community, it would only be those cameras that have been recently installed" — indicating that she supported the removal only of the cameras that were put in place in early 2017, leaving in place those that had been installed earlier.

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Holding candidates accountable: Forward New Orleans' 2018 platform

Posted By on Sun, Jul 16, 2017 at 8:00 AM

New Orleans City Hall. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • New Orleans City Hall.

Candidates who qualified to run for public office in the Oct. 14 citywide primary now have slightly less than three months to get their messages out to voters. The competition will be fierce, particularly in the contests for mayor and City Council.

Voters’ challenge will be no less difficult. They must sort through dozens of candidates for various municipal and parochial offices, not to mention candidates seeking to become Louisiana’s next state treasurer.

If voters are looking for a reliable metric to assess candidates for mayor and City Council, a coalition of more than two dozen civic, community and neighborhood organizations has the answer: Forward New Orleans’ (FNO) 2018 issue-based platform statement. The platform is a collection of 35 specific policies spread across six major areas of focus; during the campaign, candidates will be asked to commit to implementing the policies.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Wide field of candidates qualifies for mayoral, City Council races

Posted By on Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 5:22 PM


Eighteen people filed to run for New Orleans mayor, and another 34 qualified for the seven seats on the New Orleans City Council as qualifying at the Orleans Parish Clerk of Court's office wound down this afternoon.

Among the expected mayoral candidates were a few surprises, including a visual artist who made his announcement via a rap video; a longtime French Quarter sommelier who founded the "Krewe of Cork"; and perennial mayoral candidate Manny Chevrolet Bruno, whose never-out-of-date slogan is "A Troubled Man for Troubled Times."

Several of the council seats have no incumbent running due to term limits, though no seat went uncontested. The race with the fewest entrants is in District C, where incumbent Nadine Ramsey will face off against former District C councilwoman Kristen Gisleson Palmer, who represented C from 2010 to 2014.

The primary election is three months from today — Oct. 14 — while a runoff, if necessary, will be held Nov. 18. Also on the ballot will be state treasurer (seven people qualified), along with several judgeships, Orleans Parish coroner, Orleans Parish assessor, clerk of Criminal District Court and Orleans Parish Sheriff. The only race that attracted no challengers was that of Clerk of Civil District Court, held by Dale Atkins.

As of 4:30 p.m., here were the candidates who had qualified for mayor and City Council and were officially registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State:

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Sidney Torres is not your next mayor, New Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 1:22 PM


No, it is not. However ...

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

The mayoral race: The Pendulum Effect

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 5:09 PM


While no one can say with certainty who New Orleans’ next mayor will be, history offers some insights worth noting. For example, we tend to elect young mayors when there’s no incumbent running. That’s not a rule, just a tendency. We also “tend” to elect men, but this time two of the leading candidates are women.

One electoral tendency that I’ve noticed dates back almost a century. I call it The Pendulum Effect. When New Orleans voters choose a new mayor, they invariably pick someone unlike the mayor who’s leaving office — even if that mayor is relatively popular. That tendency is not limited to our mayoral contests; it’s been true in recent gubernatorial and presidential election cycles as well.

However, while national and statewide electoral outcomes tend to swing back and forth between Democrats and Republicans, New Orleans voters are overwhelmingly registered Democrats. For that reason and others, our mayoral pendulum swings along a different axis almost every time. Sometimes it pivots along racial lines, sometimes along lines of personality, political style or range of experience.

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Rep. Julie Stokes announces breast cancer diagnosis, will not run for state treasurer

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 3:37 PM

Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, testifies during the 2017 special legislative session on the House floor. - PHOTO BY SARAH GAMARD
  • Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, testifies during the 2017 special legislative session on the House floor.

State Rep. Julie Stokes, R-Kenner, who announced her intent to run for state treasurer earlier this year, has sent a letter to friends and supporters revealing she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will not run.

"My team of doctors has determined that I will begin at least 5 months of chemotherapy treatment," Stokes wrote. "So, instead of running a race to help get our state’s fiscal house in order, I will focus on fighting and winning my battle against cancer and spending quality time with my loving family who mean the world to me."

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