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Thursday, November 30, 2006 by Blogger

Arsonist(s) Set Fire to Jena High School Watch the Town Talk's video coverage, here.

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Guest Post: Daniel T. Smith on Louisiana's Political Present and Future (And What We Should Be Asking of Mary Landrieu) The three most publicized Louisiana issues at the moment that are also national questions are the Road Home Program, the Oil Revenue sharing legislation, and Asian fish cutting in on LA fisheries profits. I'll start with the fish because that's what I know the least about. I read an article in DeadPelican and on Salon about this, and basically it's what you expect: a lack of protective tariffs and commercial standards is threatening native catfish farmers from losing markets to Vietnamese fisheries. http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061127/BUSINESS/611270313/1003 In Louisiana, we raise real catfish in separated ponds with no environmental problems. In Vietnam, there are fewer safety standards and the fish are raised in netted reservoirs which increases risk of disease and contamination. Moreover, the Asian fish aren't even truly catfish, though in 2003 there was legislation to require fairness in labeling, so they can't call a Vietnamese basa a catfish. Even though basa goes for up to a dollar less a pound, aficionados say there's no comparison between the flavor, but most people eating fried catfish don'tcare what it really is. As you know the Road Home Program has been generating a lot of flak. People are angry, mostly at Blanco, for crafting the contract behind closed doors with the group ICF International, based in Fairfax. DeadPelican recently reported ICF is getting two new companies to help them out, one from Houma and the other I don't remember. Here's a good article summing up the various beefs with Road Home: http://southernstudies.org/facingsouth/2006/11/hurricane-survivors-protest-louisianas.asp WeSawThat had an interesting conspiracy theory about the feds forcing Blanco's hand to pick ICF, as about half of their directors used to be in national security. Other than one other person speculating ICF probably greased hands in Washington and BR to get the contract ( http://bayoustjohndavid.blogspot.com/2006/11/jefferson-has-very-devastating-ads.html [bottom comment]. On the other hand, most other things I've read suggest the contract was just a bad choice. It's been pointed out that they do a lot of work for other states and for the federal government, and picked, ironically, for their speed in cutting checks. In the WeSawThat post, John Kennedy discusses that he thought the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency was a better choice. http://wesawthat.blogspot.com/2006/11/secy-john-kennedy-on-lra-road-home.html Interestingly enough, RedState has passed along a rumor that Kennedy is considering switching parties to run against Mary in '08 as a Republican. http://www.redstate.com/stories/elections/2008/senate_2008 Mary is considered one of the most endangered Democratic Senators in 08, for reasons you more than well know. The Senate will probably not go GOP because of the map, which negates Lieberman's party-switching threats. Many have linked her re-eletion to the success or failure of the Oil Revenue legislation. That's a big one, and interesting. I'd say this Oyster post serves as a nice primer, with an excellent dialectic resulting in a sort of consensus in the comments. Solid link: http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/10/citybiz-jindal-stubbornly-resisted.html The idea is that the House bill, which is pretty radical, would allow any state that wanted to drill off their coast for substantial federal revenue sharing and give LA a lot of cash right away. The Senate Bill, which passed with only 25 dissenters (mostly envi-Democrats), is less environmentally offensive but wouldn't give LA any real cash for a decade I think (I did read one interesting idea about putting bonds against the future income, or something). [It smells like Jindal might be trying to pull an Arlen Specter. Two amendments related to the Military Commissions Act were up for discussion in the Senate. I don't remember the exact details but Specter had promised the Dems that he would put the vote to a less-radical compromise provision striking the habeus corpus denial. My memory is bad, but the idea is that at the last minute he went with the more radical proposal that he knew would fail, but that covered him when it came to looking like he wanted to protect habeus corpus. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/senate/2/votes/255/ ] By supporting a radical bill that is a big time punch-in-the-face huge score for Louisiana comes across as being extremely noble and daring of Jindal. However, he's not a fool and he must know that it won't work. He's not pushing for compromise with the Senate Bill. I'm rusty on the process but if the House Bill is voted on and not the Senate Bill then Bobby can claim that he was a valiant hardliner, and it was the fault of the Dems in the Senate that nothing got passed. He looks good in the end, but really if he had actually compromised something could have gotten done. It's a good way to make an issue to sink Mary with in 08, who he'd probably go up against if he loses the Governor's Mansion. This is from Mary's website: "This letter by an influential group of House Republicans is yet another signal that a consensus is emerging that the best course of action is to pass the Domenici-Landrieu bill that does so much for Louisiana, the Gulf Coast and the nation. Now is not the time to overreach with an all-coast drilling plan that cannot pass. It is the time for our coalition of supporters -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- to come together and pass this vital legislation." And speaking of reelections, there's Mary's support of Joe. Besides the fact that they are both conservative Dems, and the fact that national politics have almost no play in Louisiana state politics, it's notable that Mary supported him. It took 42 minutes for Lieberman's committee to confirm Michael Brown to his position, and when the shit hit the fan Joe's excuse was that Brownie had lied on his resume, which of course was discovered only later by checking his references of all things. http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/10/mary-mary-quite-contrary.html Moreover, here's Lieberman on the Senate Bill: I cannot vote for an enterprise that falsely suggests we can drill our way out of this energy crisis and that willfully ignores bipartisan solutions to our oil addiction, said Lieberman. This bill is a wasted opportunity and a disservice to the American people. This was taken from the comments (which provide excellent analysis) of: http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/11/political-notes.html It makes sense that Mary wants to be beholden to Joe, who the media has erroneously made out as the most important senator ever (Unity08 is an organization that is trying to get a McCain/Lieberman independent presidential ticket... yikes!). I seriously doubt Joe is going to investigate much of Katrina. Thank God we have Henry Waxman. Update: I just read on her website (landrieu.senate.gov) that on November 14th she was selected to serve on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Gov't Affairs. Surprise surprise. And speaking again of reelections, the Road Home (not to mention the storm) has tied an anchor around Blanco's neck. Jindal is rockin the cashboat hard, and as you know he won with 88% to his house district. I bring this up here to point out this survey, on another conservative blog (spare yourself and don't read the comments), http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1741066/posts which gives Jindal 52% to Blanco's 20%. A poll this far out is not informative in the least, but they did also include Vitter and Mitch, both who pulled 9%. I read on a blog and then heard independently from a close friend that some want Blanco to step out of the reelection bid to make way for Mitch for Gov. I also found a new online petition asking him to run, but basically no one had signed it (Google "Mitch Landrieu for Governor" if you care). I kind of like this idea, but who knows. A lot think he's damaged goods after Nagin beat him (oops), but Blanco is looking a lot like Lyndon Johnson in 1968 if you ask me. It doesn't seem to me like Mitch has been doing that kind of campaigning, but Blanco has. Consider her budget surplus ideas (insurance rebates, salary raises), which people are calling an attempt to buy votes. Most pragmatists say that this money, as it is not a recurring source of income, should be spent on infrastructure, especially roads for the oil industry or improving the transit from NOLA and BR for hurricane evacuation. The end of this recent Oyster post is a little heartening, though he makes it pretty clear that the 109th Congress is not going to vote on the Oil Revenue sharing proposal: http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/11/one-last-gop-insult-to-la-will-dems.html And the record of Mary's Senatorial votes, where you can see when she went against her party: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/l000550/key-votes/ Questions for Our Senator: 1) Is there any way to make use of the Oil Revenue money immediately? What kind of projects (more specific than just "coastal/hurricane protection") will it be used for? 2) Is it over for Blanco? Will Mitch try to step it up? 3) What's up with Lieberman? 4) What is the real problem with the Road Home Program? Is there actually a problem at all, or are people just being impatient? Is there anything fishy about the ICF contract? 5) What's up with her support of the Iraq War, and more importantly, her support of Military Commissions and the Patriot Act? 6) Why did she go against her party after the hurricane to support the bankruptcy bill? http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/senate/1/votes/44/ 7) What is her opinion of Jim Webb's assertion that there is a class war going on in America with respect to the shift in health, financial, and vocational security risk from employers to employees? 8) Does the state Democratic Party care at all about a progressive movement in Louisiana? Does one even exist? Are Louisiana Democrats committed to the political center in order to reflect their electorate to insure reelection? 9) Is the populist political legacy of the Longs still applicable to Louisiana today? 10) What's up with the catfish? 11) Is Alexandria in a unique position to serve Southern Louisiana due to it's location as the first real city north of the Hurricane Zone? Or are we fooling ourselves? 12) What do you think of Harry Truman's statement (paraphrased) that when the Democrats run a Republican against the Republican, the Republican will always win?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 by Blogger

Open Thread: What Businesses (And Types of Businesses) Do We Need in Alexandria?

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Honoring Mayor Ned Randolph Yesterday night, the City of Alexandria held a series of events, culminating in a banquet at the Riverfront Center featuring Governor Kathleen Blanco, honoring Mayor Ned Randolph. And this reminded me: When I was a kid, every Sunday morning at church, we used to sit right behind the mayor. My brother, sister, and I thought it was pretty cool because after the service ended we got to shake the mayor's hand. As a child, I considered him to be a shy and humble person, someone genuine. I didn't really know what a mayor did, but I knew he was important. And he is. During the past four months, we've been discussing the problems facing Alexandria and how to solve those problems. I hope that this discussion does not obscure the truth: Alexandria suffers from growing pains. When considering the accomplishments of Mayor Randolph, it is impossible to recognize Alexandria without him: A successful plan for England Air Park, a state-of-the-art airport, I-49, a 4-year LSUA, the Port of Alexandria, hospital expansions, the Alexandria Aces, numerous subdivision developments, and Union Tank Car. Alexandria, it has been said, is poised for tremendous growth, and we owe much of this to the leadership of Mayor Randolph. In less than a week, Mayor Randolph will serve his last day as Mayor of Alexandria. Many things have changed in twenty years. And thankfully, we are all better off because of these changes. Certainly, there is a lot left to accomplish, but our future accomplishments will be built on the successes of a shy, humble, yet important man who dedicated most of his professional career toward public service. Thank you Ned Randolph.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 by Blogger

Dispatch from the Roy Transition Team Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jacques Roy's transition team met for four hours at the Riverfront Center and attempted to produce a list of priorities, which will be analyzed by members of Roy's Executive Transition Committee. The Executive Transition Committee is chaired by Pineville Mayor Clarence Fields. Fields and others will review and prioritize recommendations made by several transition committees and subcommittees, including Community Development, Infrastructure, Housing, Community Health, Healthy Communities, Recreation, Economic Development, Children, Workforce Development, and Education. During the first Executive Transition meeting, community leaders and key advisers presented their reports on Alexandria's top priorities. Several advisers expressed, among other things, the need for a city grant writer and public relations department, marketing our downtown, increasing the police force, an effective and comprehensive city-wide marketing plan, and increasing opportunities for workforce education. The Economic Development Committee made several recommendations concerning affordable housing and the need for a consolidated Mayor's Office of Economic Development. Secondarily, the committee also suggested wireless Internet access in parts of the City and in following with the models of Lafayette and Austin, laying down fiber-optics cable throughout the City. Mayor-elect Roy reaffirmed the need for inclusive and smart growth throughout the meeting. When Key Adviser Bill Hess noted that South Alexandria is a retail and restaurant "desert," Roy stated that South Alexandria cannot afford to be neglected. He explained that the lack of basic services in South Alexandria (such as a nearby ATM, a fast food restaurant, or a post office) is a burden to many residents and that smart growth must be a plan that includes all parts of Alexandria. I was in the Community Development Committee, and our number one priority was creating a comprehensive city-wide marketing plan. So: Later: An Effective and Comprehensive Marketing Plan for Alexandria (And What It Would Mean)

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The Town Talk: The Trees Versus the Forest Throughout the past two weeks, the Town Talk has been in a fit over the Alexandria City Government's refusal to release the details of a report analyzing leaks at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center. Today, they published an editorial instructing Mayor-elect Jacques Roy to release the report once he assumes office on December 4th, claiming that in doing so, Roy will be keeping his promise of government transparency. According to City Attorney Kelvin Sanders and Mayor-elect Roy (both of whom have read the report), the report contains sensitive information that may need to be used in potential future litigation. Releasing the information to the public, before the City has had an opportunity to build and present its case, may put the City at a strategic disadvantage. And considering it is the obligation of the City to collect any potential damages owed to taxpayers, it follows that prematurely sharing critical information and the "mental impressions" of an expert, would put taxpayers at a disadvantage as well. But the Town Talk is not having any of it. The fact that Roy has read parts of this report, they argue, means that the public also has the right to read it-- because Roy hasn't yet taken office, they claim, he's still a private citizen. I'm not sure who the Town Talk relied on for legal advice, but it seems they're a little confused. (And I have on good word that this misconception will be cleared up in the very near future). Let's think about this on a very basic level: Next November, Americans will be electing a new President. Between November 2007 and January 2008, our next President-elect will be thoroughly briefed on a host of confidential and proprietary issues, including, among other things, security and emergency management procedures. Would the Town Talk argue that our next President-elect should not be able to review confidential information unless said information was declassified and made public beforehand? Certainly not. The President-elect, like our Mayor-elect, is, in fact, a public official, and even though the hyphenated "elect" follows his title, it's still an official title. To further exercise their bully pulpit, the Town Talk claims that by not releasing the report, Mayor-elect Roy would be breaking his promise of "transparency," and they direct readers to his website, where they may find information on Roy's positions concerning government accountability and transparency. The notion of transparency, as was mentioned numerous times by numerous people throughout the campaign, means that government should be held accountable for their decisions. It means that back room consulting contracts must be brought into the public light. It means that the public has a right to know how the government is spending their tax dollars. It means the government has an obligation to operate ethically. It does not mean, however, that the Town Talk has the right to print sensitive information that may be used in litigation. That is precisely why Louisiana has an exception to public records requests. Perhaps this exception has been used loosely in the past, but in this case, it seems that the City Attorney, the Mayor, and the Mayor-elect (all of whom have degrees in law) are acting judiciously, believing that, based on the information they have read and analyzed, it would compromise the City's ability to pursue litigation if the full report was leaked (pardon the pun). It is healthy and necessary to continually question whether or not the government is acting in the best interest of the public, but in this instance, the Town Talk has attempted to pursue a story without considering the consequences.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 by Blogger

Boyce Mayor Julius Patrick Killed in Automobile Accident on I-10 Longtime Boyce Mayor Julius Patrick was killed earlier today in a traffic accident on Interstate 10. The Town Talk describes the details:

That collision sent the Toyota across the median, where it clipped a Saab in the westbound lane. The Toyota then crashed head-on into Patrick's vehicle. Patrick was pronounced dead at the scene by the Ascension Parish coroner, reads the report. The driver of the Nissan Maxima left the scene and State Police are searching for that driver and the vehicle. The driver of the Toyota 4Runner, Alona M. Williams, 20, of Baton Rouge, sustained serious injuries and was airlifted by Acadian AirMed to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, the Troop A report stated. The driver of the Saab, Scott M. Gilbert, 27, of Houston, Texas, sustained minor injuries and was not taken to a hospital for treatment. State Police said the Maxima has Louisiana license plate OTE 951. State Police Troop A is asking that anyone with information call (225) 754-8500.
Mayor Patrick was recently reelected after a tough campaign against Ernie Johnson.

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Roy: Preparing Comprehensive Plan for Alexandria According to Mayor-elect Jacques Roy, suggestions from his seventy-plus member transition team will be used in writing an extensive and comprehensive plan for Alexandria's future. Roy expects a preliminary plan to be completed within the next two weeks but states that a final draft won't be ready for at least six months. "I think people will be surprised about the amount of material produced by the transition team, its interfacing with city officials (who have been very candid), and the preliminary compartmentalization of the issues," Roy said. "The model we used has been very effective, and like the campaign, was borne of the ideas of Alexandrians. Although a comprehensive 'findings' document is far off, a 100-day plan with executive style summaries will be released shortly." Roy believes it will be important to share the plan with the entire community and has suggested holding town hall meetings, open to the public, in which audience members will be able to ask questions and offer suggestions to the new mayor and his administration. Roy's transition team is composed of volunteers, many of whom have been working throughout the Thanksgiving holidays, compiling information and writing reports on specifically-assigned subjects.

Friday, November 24, 2006 by Blogger

New York Times: Cities Compete for Coolness In Order To Attract Young Professionals Shaila Dewan wrote an interesting piece in today's New York Times about the pressing desire for American cities to attract young people in order to ensure sustained growth. Why? From the article:

These measures reflect a hard demographic reality: Baby boomers are retiring and the number of young adults is declining. By 2012, the work force will be losing more than two workers for every one it gains....

Cities have long competed over job growth, struggling to revive their downtowns and improve their image. But the latest population trends have forced them to fight for college-educated 25- to 34-year-olds, a demographic group increasingly viewed as the key to an economic future.

Mobile but not flighty, fresh but technologically savvy, “the young and restless,” as demographers call them, are at their most desirable age, particularly because their chances of relocating drop precipitously when they turn 35. Cities that do not attract them now will be hurting in a decade.

So how do cities attract young people?

Well, look to the examples of Portland, Austin, and Atlanta. They retain young people by appealing to the "cool factor."
Still, what works in one city will not work in others, Mr. Cortright said, and not all young people are looking for the same things. He cites Portland’s bike paths, which many point to as an amenity that has helped the city attract young people.

“I think that confuses a result with a cause,” Mr. Cortright said. Portland happened to have a group who wanted concessions for cyclists and was able to get them, he said.

“The real issue was, is your city open to a set of ideas from young people, and their wish to realize their dream or objective in your city,” he said. “You could go out and build bike paths, but if that’s not what your young people want, it’s not going to work.”

Thursday, November 23, 2006 by Blogger

Observations and Unsolicited Opinions on Alexandria's Housing Problem Recently, the Town Talk reported that Central Louisiana's real estate market is outperforming national trends by a significant margin. Although new high-end residential construction is definitely a growth sector in Central Louisiana, I disagree with the contention that our real estate market is healthy and stable, particularly Alexandria's market. Indeed, the reason that our real estate market appears to be so strong is because affordable housing is simply too expensive to construct. The proliferation of high-end developments, while exciting, actually belies a major problem: the lack of affordable housing in our community. During the mayoral election, several community activists expressed support for a plan of in-fill revitalization; that is, encouraging investors and developers to tackle large-scale renovation projects on homes located in blighted areas-- as a way of solving the affordable housing problem. It's a good idea, and we definitely have a problem. The median household income in Alexandria is a little more than half of the national average, which means that the average family in Alexandria cannot afford the average home. An affordable home in Alexandria is actually priced and valued correctly; the problem is that it is still prohibitively expensive for the average family. The average family in Alexandria, based on the federal government's definition of affordable housing, should be able to afford a home priced between $80,000- $110,000. Unfortunately, there is a significant dearth of homes in this price range in our real estate market. During the past twelve months (according to our local MLS), only 48 three bedroom, 1,500-square foot homes sold in Alexandria; that is an average of four homes per month, a staggeringly low number when one considers the number of people who have moved into Alexandria during the past twelve months. And this just scratches at the surface. We're only looking at the "average" family. Consider the fact that approximately 40% of people in the Alexandria region live from 50% to 150% below the poverty line. This precludes them from even considering buying a home. If Alexandria's growth follows the current trend, new neighborhoods will only include high-end housing. It's simply too expensive for builders to justify affordable housing construction, unless it's subsidized by the government. This will create stratification and segregation. The average taxpayer will be paying for new infrastructure for subdivisions they will never be able to enjoy. While I understand that in-fill redevelopment is essential at solving a short-term problem (with the added benefit of improving blighted neighborhoods), we must be thinking ahead. We must envision what Alexandria will look like in twenty years, as we expand and as certain areas of town become developed due to added infrastructure. We must ensure that our growth is not lopsided, that it incorporates a mix of developments, and that it encourages affordable housing. Currently, I believe Alexandria may be over-saturating itself with high-end developments, and as a result of this over-saturation, we may be over-extending ourselves as well.

by Blogger

CenLamar Featured in Virtuocity Apparently, all the fuss we've been making about smart growth here in Alexandria has been picked up by a national website on sustainable communities and "human-friendly development," Virtuocity.com. From Virtuocity:

The recent election has inspired the author to contemplate the implications of the public’s choice, just as this local example resonates with a nationwide situation. Alexandria, says Mr. White, is a prime example of suburban sprawl, as the town has tripled in size while the population remains constant—a problem that could be partially solved by annexing the surrounding neighborhoods that currently remain outside of the city’s zoning laws and tax liability.

by Blogger

Lifted from EPSN by way of Wonkette: What's the Best Part of Thanksgiving?
No big surprises here: Louisianans love their food, Oklahomans love their football, and Floridians are in the process of a recount.

by Blogger

Vote for Jindal! Win a Free Apple Computer! Recently, the Louisiana Republican Party has been touting their clever pro-Jindal, anti-Blanco website, www.dontblamemeivotedforjindal.com. In today's Town Talk, James Quinn, a director for the Louisiana GOP, wrote an opinion piece about the website, claiming that it chronicles Blanco's "weakly blunders" and ineptitude. I have no problem with a political party setting up a website, complete with embarrassing photos of one's opponent (which is about as substantive as this website is). That's what democracy is all about! But here's the kicker: In order to lure people to the embarrassing photos...err.. information, the Louisiana GOP is promoting a TV ad contest in which contestants have the chance to win a FREE APPLE COMPUTER! Woo hoo! Ball's in your court, Kathleen. I suggest the Dems offer something even better... like a FREE CAR! Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 by Blogger

Tonight at the Frosty Factory: A Dazed Jam Session Featuring Dale Le Boeuf, Zach Rhea, and Derek Ashcraft, 9PM Influences include Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Thelonius Monk, and Les Claypool.

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CenLamar Endorses: Talk of the Town: The Rise of Alexandria, Louisiana, and the Daily Town Talk Hurry up! There's only one in stock on Amazon.com! Or just order it directly from LSU. Book Description (Anyone care to draw some parallels?): As the sleepy courthouse town of Alexandria, Louisiana, began to recover from the devastation and trauma of the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Daily Town Talk appeared. Nicknamed "Alexandria’s postage stamp paper" by a rival publication, the Town Talk aimed to be "the best daily outside of New Orleans" and became one of the most successful regional newspapers of its kind. It quickly championed urban rejuvenation and envisioned Alexandria as the "Future Great" city of the state, if not the entire South. Fredrick M. Spletstoser tells the story of the paper’s first sixty years and of the town’s triumphs and setbacks during that same time. An unpretentious country journal, the "Town Talk" would become in the second half of the twentieth century a pioneer in newspaper technology under the leadership of Joe D. Smith, one of the most respected names in American journalism.

Though Alexandria did not evolve into the grand and glittering metropolis dreamed of, it was not for lack of effort. The Town Talk and the family who published it were among the city’s most optimistic champions. The newspaper was inextricably bound up with—and often directly behind—transformations in Alexandria’s urban landscape, the development of municipal services and education, efforts to attract industry and cultivate trade, and the stimulation of surrounding agribusiness.

In chronicling Alexandria’s past, Spletstoser examines the construction, timber, and railroad booms that occurred across the turn of the century, the large and enduring military presence in central Louisiana, and the impact of Huey P. Long’s political career. Along the way, he narrates colorful stories culled from the "Town Talk"’s pages and describes the fascinating family members who published the paper during this entire period.

Among the most important institutions in the South after the Civil War, small-town newspapers recorded the feelings and desires of the vast majority of the common people. Talk of the Town illustrates the role provincial journalism played in the planning and expansion of towns throughout the country as it relates the engrossing social, cultural, economic, and political history of one southern place and the people who lived there.

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WeSawThat Posts Controversial Audio Recordings of Rich Dupree and Greg Aymond From WeSawThat:

xxx mp3 one xxx- please listen to this tape first xxx sources tell wst that this is rich dupree explaining what he had told a town talk reporter about greg aymond's termination. notice that mr.dupree said he lacked confidence in mr.aymond's ability to handle waterworks matters and that his vote had nothing to do with the (town of ball, louisiana, mayor) roy hebron matter. this is from the waterworks district 3 board meeting of tuesday, 27 july 2004. xxx mp3 two xxx- please listen to this tape last xxx this audio file is from a telephone conversation between greg aymond and rich dupree held on wednesday, 14 july 2004, immediately after the water works district 3 board meeting in which the board voted 6-3 to terminate aymond's service as the waterworks attorney of 16 years. notice in this conversation, rich dupree states that greg aymond was fired as a result of the roy hebron matter and that mr. dupree offers to let mr. aymond continue handling all ongoing litigation.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 by Blogger

Defeat William Jefferson! Vote Karen Carter! Those of us in Central Louisiana may not be in the same Congressional district as our friends in the 2nd. (We're represented by Rodney Alexander. Remember him? The guy whose page got creeped out by Mark Foley, the guy whose secretary was pen pals with convicted murderer Scott Peterson, the guy whose chief of staff, Royal, is now being sued for sexual harassment... and all of this came to light only two months before the election. Yeah, that's our Congressman!). But even those of us in Central Louisiana have a limit to what our leaders can get away with (and still expect to be re-elected). Consider, say, $90,000 in cash in a Congressman's freezer as a metaphor for that line. It doesn't matter how it got there, and it doesn't matter how Jefferson intends to eventually explain it all away: When the feds find 90K in your freezer (after you've been accused of taking a $100,000 bribe), you shouldn't even consider making a run for Congress. I'm certain Karen Carter is more qualified than Jefferson for Congress. Why? One reason: No one has ever found $90,000 in cash in her freezer. Daniel T. Smith tells a good story:

Last weekend, Matt Stoller of MyDD called on 100 people to donate $100 a piece, and when they received 11K plus dollars they decided to hire a man named Tim Tagaris, who covered the Ned Lamont race for MyDD, and send him to NOLA for the next thee weeks to follow the La-02 runoff. www.mydd.com/story/2006/11/15/154230/71 In the comments of MyDD's announcement, they put forth an open invitation for people to contribute blog names of New Orleans activists (I signed up to MyDD to plug the Roy election victory and your blog, btw). It's an interesting list, and here's the motherload: thinknola.com/wiki/New_Orleans_bloggers Anyway, Oyster over at YourRightHandThief (a nicely written progressive NOLA blog) in his most recent entry titled "MyDD: Moral Ghostbusters" (I couldn't find a permalink), has some interesting opinions about Stoller/MyDD's portrayal of Landrieu as a "moral ghost" and MyDD's decision to send Tagaris to NOLA. In the first comment blogger Adrastos (.blog-city) calls Tagaris a "carpetblogger." righthandthief.blogspot.com Tagaris actually left a comment of his own on the thread, and it's really conciliatory and he immediately won the support of Oyster's readers (no small feat in the blogosphere). He seems extremely motivated, and in spite of his benefactor and previous jobs he is not directly attached to the Carter campaign. Here's his first segment, which has okay comments as well, the highlight (lowlight?) being a picture of a Katrinacorpse. www.mydd.com/story/2006/11/16/195119/10 I'm sorry to give you so much to look at all at once, since you have more than you can handle with one city already, but this is all going to be irrelevant after December 9. I thought you'd be interested because this actually represents the national blogging community refocusing on New Orleans, and an example of how bloggers are not simply a bunch of computer potatoes. There are real projects that bridge the gap between the virtual and the visceral. It is also informing my opinion of Landrieu (Oyster at YRHT defends her pretty well, and he has the same reservations that we do, i.e. Holy Joe, and with the upcoming coastal oil revenue sharing proposal she and Blanco are going to be in the spotlight a bit more over the next two months). It's also interesting that Tagaris seems to completely understand the importance of engaging a community through it's bloggers, especially considering that his medium is professional internet journalism as well.
Read more: MyDD.com The Legal Woes of William Jefferson William Jefferson Filmed Taking Cash PS: Yesterday, RightHandThief Said Jacques Roy is a Rising Democratic Star.

by Blogger

Initial Dispatch from the Roy Transition Team Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jacques Roy and his transition team gathered at the Bolton Avenue Community Center to begin work on laying out a foundation of ideas and plans for the next four years. Mr. Roy spoke for approximately forty-five minutes, instructing team members on their duties and his vision of smart growth (or community-based planning) for Alexandria. Urban planner Pat Moore, who will advise the Mayor-elect on Vision, gave a twenty-minute presentation on smart growth principles and what he called "growing buffalo food" (which, he explained, are ways in which a community can bolster its ability to attract and keep jobs). The team then broke into committees and subcommittees. I can only speak for the discussions we had in two subcommittees to which I was assigned, housing and community development. The initial findings of the community development subcommittee were that Alexandria needs to better market itself and its cultural and artistic communities and events. Additionally, I believe (and I've said this before on the blog) that we need to improve our amphitheater. The subcommittee discussed, among other things, ways in which we can diversify and increase the conventions we hold, city-wide events like Quein' on the Red and Third Street block parties, and utilizing public access television to share regularly updated information about upcoming events in the city. The housing committee recognized the dearth of affordable housing in Alexandria and developed several strategies for dealing with this problem. (All of which will be explained as the ideas become more fleshed out). The initial summary conclusion of the housing subcommittee says it best:

"The biggest housing issue for purposes of quality of life is the lack of affordable housing. This stems in part from the high percentage of residents living below the poverty line. It should also be noted that the last public housing project was built 30 years ago."
If you have any questions or suggestions for housing or community development, please feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, November 19, 2006 by Blogger

Roy Transition Team Set to Meet This Afternoon Seventy-plus members of Mayor-elect Jacques Roy's transition team will be meeting for the first time later today. Roy is expected to speak for about an hour, laying out his vision for Alexandria and instructing transition team members on their duties. Specifically, Jacques Roy will be asking team members to consider:

· Community-based planning

· How to articulate a vision and who is passionate in our city to achieve it

· Promoting an image for the city, and overcoming the limitations to that image

· How to best create and sustain numerous partnerships and collaborations

· What would division and department heads like to see different

· What resources are missing

Saturday, November 18, 2006 by Blogger

Tonight! All the Way from Portland, Oregon (By Way of Rhode Island)... Monstrous! With Opening Act the Tim Turner Band the Frosty Factory, 10PM More on Monstrous: THE Rock n' Roll Band "MONSTROUS" are Three brothers from Rhode Island, Led Gethway -Guitar & vocals - Ken Gethway -Bass & Vocals - Alex Gethway - Drums & vocals . The brothers have been playing and stock piling songs over the last 10 years. Now in their 20's they have been travling around the country in a big white candy truck playing shows , parties and writing their next record . Monstrous just made a studio record of 15 songs , intitled " MOTHER NATURES SLAVES " for release on September 19th 2006 on the New York City label MONSTROUS has just signed with (Howler Records.)

Friday, November 17, 2006 by Blogger

Lee Horne for Governor Campaign Releases Music Video
(Yes, a music video). Dear Libertarians, Huh? Sincerely and Seriously, Lamar PS: It sounds like the musical group, Lil' Nuke, basically admits during the course of the commercial that gubernatorial candidate Lee Horne gave them anything that needed for their studio, free of charge. From the music video: "We done tried Democrats and Republicans. We never tried Libertarians.... Why not try something new?"

Thursday, November 16, 2006 by Blogger

Open Thread: What Suggestions Do You Have for the Transition Team?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 by Blogger

Roy Names More People to Transition Team, Creates Subcommittees Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jacques Roy added several more members to his transition team and organized subcommittees to evaluate and analyze specifically assigned tasks. Among those named include Barbara Brister, Jeff Hall, Von Jennings, Horatio Isadore, Carol White, and Cindy Cespiva. Two key advisers were also chosen, urban planner Pat Moore, who will report on Vision, and Bill Hess, who will report on Economic Development . In addition, Mr. Roy also organized subcommittees; these committees include but are not limited to Community Development, Housing, Education, Recreation, Children, Community Health, and Workforce Development.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 by Blogger

Jacques Roy Announces Transition Team; Mayor Clarence Fields of Pineville to Head Executive Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO ALL MEDIA

November 14, 2006

The transition blueprint is born of my campaign commitments to inclusive, controlled growth of our City. The organization will operate with a funneling effect, but also with a built-in check in the committee structure and use of key experts. We want a free agent group who can ensure that “groupthink” does not set in to foreclose other ideas—to get the most ideas and then separate from those the best ideas.

The mega-committees or spheres of inquiry shown below will be asked to organize themselves according to those persons best suited for more specific areas of inquiry. Overall, the committee structure will answer certain questions about the state of our community, and then compile, organize, and forward that information to the executive transition team, which in turn will use the information to assess delivery of governmental services by the City’s divisions—including whether divisions need re-organization or creation. Clarence Fields has graciously opted to chair the executive group; I am thankful for his leadership across the river and participation now to aid us and ultimately our region.

The spheres represent the macro-components of “smart” growth. Under each sphere, specific issues will be addressed, which may serve useful for organizational purposes by the committees; however, the committees may organize as each desires through its membership.

These issues include consideration of: planning, transportation, economic development, housing, community development, and natural resource development. To smartly grow and preserve what we have, Alexandria should protect its unique sense of community and identity (and further develop a thematic draw, such as its healthcare primacy in the region); preserve and capitalize on natural, infrastructural, and cultural resources (like our river, interstate system, and central location); fairly and inclusively distribute the costs and benefits of our numerous new developments (to reflect our demographics and equitably “grow” our town to avoid sprawl when appropriate); expand the choices for transportation, employment and housing (through mixed-use and other less-thought-of opportunities); value long-range, regional considerations of sustainability instead of immediate gratification (or what will work to make growth more diverse and not subject to deep fluctuations in our local economy and business community); and promote public health and healthful communities (better time spent by our youth after school with positive activities as well as physical health for our community by promoting quality of life initiatives and our hospital complexes).

The committee compositions are reflective of this City, and include some of our “best and brightest.” The goal of transition is to identify problem areas and allow the incoming administration to get a “snapshot” of government through the “fresh” eyes of caring community leaders—but not necessarily to move committed employees out of service. Ultimately, the central mission is to have the current city managers transition the new mayor into office. This administration seeks to identify avenues to revitalize and build our community better—locally and regionally.

Thank you for your support and patience.

--Jacques M. Roy, November 14, 2006

    QUALITY OF LIFE, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

    & COMMUNITY HEALTH

1. Victor Kirk

2. Lamar White

3. Graves Theus

4. Lee Gwinn

5. Reverend Larry Turner

6. Bart Jones, P.T.

7. Les Glankler

8. Todd Drury, M.D.

9. A.C. Buchanan

10. Reverend Dan O’Connor

11. Booker T. Booze, Jr.

12. Robert Leavines

13. Robert Bussey

14. Stephen Wright

Eight positions unfilled or unconfirmed

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INFRASTRUCTURE

1. Byron Salazar 1. Chad Juneau

2. David Pugh 2. Glenda Fitzpatrick

3. __________ 3. ______________

4. Martin Johnson 4. Sam Sansing

5. __________ 5. ______________

6. Joe Fuller 6. Rob Ratcliff

7. Jason Gamlin 7. Brandon Monceaux

8. Nancy Stich 8. Jo Betty Sterkx

9. Cliff Mollor 9. Kevin Switzer

10. George Robertson 10. ______________

11. Brent Caplan 11. Jay Lynch

EDUCATION, RECREATION & CHILDREN

1. ______________

2. Rodessa Metoyer

3. Gary Jones

4. ______________

5. Thelma Baker

6. Kristy Flynn

7. Greg Gormanous

8. Tim Tharpe

9. Rodney Jones

10. ______________

11. Paul Dauzat

12. Herbert Dixon

13. Stephanie Goodrich

14. Wally Fall

15. ____________

The mega-committees will work with the transition team to identify how well divisions are meeting their missions and if missions need redefining or retooling. Additionally, this interaction will consider:

  • Community-based planning
  • How to articulate a vision and who is passionate in our city to achieve it
  • Promoting an image for the city, and overcoming the limitations to that image
  • How to best create and sustain numerous partnerships and collaborations
  • What would division and department heads like to see different
  • What resources are missing

There will be a committee known as the Personal Advisory Committee to the Mayor-Elect:

This committee is composed of personal advisors to the mayor-elect, who were instrumental in the campaign. The committee will not serve in a formal transition capacity, but will interact directly with the executive team. This committee will cease to exist December 3, 2006, and is in place to help with the day-to-day activity of transition for the mayor-elect. The membership will be:

John Flynn, Chris Roy, Sr., Chris Roy, Jr., Deborah Randolph, Thomas Antoon, Larry Accosta, Mike Johnson, W. Jay Luneau and Mark Brown

The personal advisory committee and executive transition committee will have key advisors regarding the spheres. Those persons are experts in relevant fields of inquiry:

QUALITY OF LIFE: Johnie Varnado

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: ________________

INFRASTRUCTURE: Thomas David

EDUCATION: Kay Michiels

VISION: ________________

The executive or functioning committee for transition, and the actual body which will interface with the personal advisory group and the administration, is the Executive Transition Committee to the Current Administration:

Clarence Fields (chairperson of Committee), Richard Rozanski (Vice-Chair of Committee), Jacqueline Whittle (secretary of committee), Charles “Chuck” Johnson, William Allen, “Willie” Spears, Tammi Salazar, Ed Larvadain, III, Linda Dyess Stewart, Randy Gilchrist, and Rob Antoon

This committee will meet with the chairpersons from the “sphere” committees and present information, after consultation with the key advisors, to the mayor-elect. During this process, important staff decisions will also be made after consideration of the credentials for the positions requiring filling by the mayor. This committee will cease to exist December 3, 2006.

by Blogger

The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper

  • Jacques Roy To Release Names of Transition Team Later Today (Expected to be around 50-60 members, not 30).
  • Hotel Bentley Deal Looks Legitimate. Really. But They're Pushing Back the Closing Date. Source: The Town Talk Online.
  • James Baker III and Daddy Bush Puts Little Georgie in Time-Out. Source: Newsweek.
  • Trent Lott Wants to Make a Comeback. Source: Everyone.

by Blogger

Part Three of Three: What the Roy/Brewer Run-Off Teaches Us About Alexandria In today's Town Talk, Jodie Belgard writes about how Jacques Roy inspired her to feel more engaged in the political process and how he reached out and included young people who would otherwise never be involved in a political race. Jodie witnessed something at the Roy victory party she was surprised to see: throngs of young people all celebrating a new spirit of leadership. But, as I have mentioned before, Roy ran on a platform of true inclusiveness, and for him, it meant more than just rallying young people; it meant traveling all across the city and getting everyone motivated for a change. One prominent supporter of the Brewer campaign wrote an article of endorsement in a citywide Brewer mail-out (which was distributed in gas stations and grocery stores) about the need for getting out the vote in his neighborhood, Charles Park. When I read the article, I must admit: I was disappointed. The mayor's race wasn't simply about ONE neighborhood, and it seemed to me at least that any attempt to specifically target a neighborhood like Charles Park-- while ignoring other parts of the city-- was a strategy designed to embolden one group of people in one neighborhood to determine our city's leadership. This is not to suggest that Mrs. Brewer didn't attend events in South Alexandria. She did. And I have personally heard her speak about the need for infrastructure improvements throughout our community. But during the last few weeks of the campaign, it became evident that her campaign hoped to drastically increase voter turn-out in specific parts of the city-- and I think we all know what areas those are and why it was perceived as politically advantageous for Mrs. Brewer to embark on this strategy. However, this election taught us that in order to win an election in Alexandria, one must be willing to motivate citizens throughout the entire community. That means canvassing in the Sonia Quarters, Acadian Village, Martin Park, and Charles Park. It's more than just attending social events; one must be willing to literally walk door-to-door and ask people for their vote. For me, one of the biggest surprises of the mayoral election wasn't the margin of victory; it was the immense turn-out in precincts that have historically voted in lower numbers. Mr. Roy could have won 60/40 if he had only focused on traditionally white neighborhoods, but that was not the mission of his campaign. Inclusiveness means bringing everyone to the table; it means paying attention to the needs and hopes of people from all walks of life. And as we look forward to the next four years, we must remember that Jacques Roy wasn't elected by just one group of people from one or two neighborhoods; he was elected by the entire community.

Monday, November 13, 2006 by Blogger

Part Two of Three: What the Roy/Brewer Run-Off Teaches Us About Alexandria Both Delores Brewer and Jacques Roy spoke frequently about a concept known as "smart growth." Mrs. Brewer stated that the city had already been engaging in smart growth for years, but that's not quite accurate. Smart growth is an umbrella term that encompasses many aspects of the ways in which a City develops and expands, and it relies on forward-thinking, research-based analysis of growth patterns and demographic trends. During the past decade, Alexandria has been steadily expanding, but the ways in which our city has grown may present problems for the future. Although the expansion of Versailles and the developments occurring down Highway 28-West are exciting, this growth must be tempered with appropriate agreements with developers in order to ensure that the growth isn't an isolated off-shoot, but a vibrant part of our community, one in which all Alexandrians can enjoy and utilize. Mr. Roy often mentioned the fact that during the past forty years, Alexandria has nearly tripled in size, but its population has remained stagnant. This is due, in part, to the reigning paradigm of suburban sprawl, but it's also due to the fact that Alexandria has enabled developers to build subdivisions right on the fringes of our city limits, without making the case for annexation. In other words, developers have been able to avoid paying city taxes (and have used this as a selling point for their clients) while, on some occasions, they have used certain city services (i.e. sewage). This hardly seems fair for the average taxpayer. And it is one of the reasons Alexandria's population painfully hovers at 48,000- 49,000 people. If Alexandria finds creative ways to bolster its population by making the case for annexation to residents who live in subdivisions right in the middle of the city (yet somehow outside of the city limits), we may be able to boost our population to 50,000 people overnight, and once that occurs, Alexandria becomes eligible for all sorts of federal entitlement grants-- grants that can transform our city in a number of positive ways. When urban planners speak about in-fill, particularly in a city as disjointed as Alexandria, they're not just talking about building new construction in already-developed areas, they are also talking about using the powers of annexation (which are unfortunately limited in Louisiana) to effectively control and manage our city's growth. But again, smart growth isn't just about in-full; it's about making a community more livable. It's about finding solutions to traffic problems, public transportation, garbage pick-up, sewage, utilities, fire and police coverage, and access to resources. Smart growth was always the foundation of Mr. Roy's campaign, and during the next four years, he will be faced with the challenge of articulating and executing his message, stewarding a paradigm shift on how Alexandria understands itself.

by Blogger

Part One of Three: What the Roy/Brewer Run-Off Teaches Us About Alexandria When Jacques Roy officially announced his candidacy for mayor, more than 200 people, primarily young professionals and their families, showed up to his office on Martin Luther King Jr Drive to hear him speak about his vision for Alexandria's future. But despite the enthusiasm and the high turn-out, critics dismissed Roy's chances, claiming (correctly) that young people do not historically vote in higher numbers and that the winning candidate would be the one who could best speak to the needs of older Alexandrians. They felt that Roy must have just been positioning himself for another race, that it was too little too late. But Jacques Roy understood something that others didn't: Young people were interested. Despite all of the positive changes affected during Randolph's twenty years, young Alexandrians are still leaving in droves. For many, the educational and employment opportunities in larger cities are simply too good to ignore, and for others, Alexandria is too provincial, too quaint, and too complacent. But for those of us who have stayed or returned to Alexandria, there is a growing frustration and a sense that we can become a better place to live, if we only work together. To be fair, young Alexandrians worked in the campaigns of all seven mayoral candidates, but only Jacques Roy understood how to best motivate young people; in part, because he belongs to the same generation, but also because Jacques Roy specifically reached out to young people. He didn't just ask for their vote; he asked for their help. Behind the closed doors of the Roy campaign, there were between forty and fifty young Alexandrians, each working in a unique role. They canvassed in every single neighborhood in the city. They encouraged Mr. Roy to speak at block parties, concerts, and coffee shops-- gathering places for those whose voices are not frequently heard or respected in the political process. And the message they sent was clear: We need a leader who recognizes that in a growing city, there must be more opportunities for young people. They must not be cut off from the discussions, because they are, in fact, the future of our city. This is, in part, what I meant when I discussed how Mr. Roy created a movement. By motivating young Alexandrians to become a part of this process, Mr. Roy excited people from all walks of life; they saw the positive energy behind his campaign and voted in droves. (Mr. Roy actually received more votes than Ned Randolph did during his final election four years ago). It will be important to parlay this energy into real, tangible results. But for now, we should recognize this movement for what it is: A clear statement in support of proactive, intelligent leadership, leadership that reaches across racial and political lines, leadership that is committed to growing our community, and leadership that believes it is possible for Alexandria to become a business and entertainment hub for the entire state.

Friday, November 10, 2006 by Blogger

The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper

  • Some Iraqis want Saddam's execution to be broadcast on television. American news media pretends to be confused and offended.
  • Check this out. Someone left this link on the blog. Feedback graphs on positive and negative campaign commercials during the 2006 Senate race.
  • Mark your calendars: Inauguration set for December 4th, 12 Noon, Downtown Riverfront Center.
  • Bill Cosby settles confidential sexual harassment lawsuit. Source: Law.com
  • Lincoln Chaffee considers leaving the GOP.
  • New Secretary of Defense Bob Gates is more of a Bush 41 Republican than a Bush 43 Republican. Source: "Rave Reviews for Bob Gates," Red State.
  • Louisiana Congressional Delegation is pretty happy about the Rumsfeld resignation. Source: The BR Advocate.

Thursday, November 09, 2006 by Blogger

Hindsight is 20/20: What Republican Campaign Tactics Teach Us About the State of American Democracy. In 1970, a nineteen-year-old Karl Rove played a little prank on the campaign of Alan Dixon, who was running for State Treasurer of Illinois. Rove used a fake name, walked into Dixon's campaign office, and stole 1,000 sheets of paper with the Dixon letterhead. The young Rove then used the stationary to print a flier promising "free beer, free food, girls, and a good time for nothing" and dispersed the flier to homeless shelters and rock concerts. To some, this may seem like a harmless juvenile prank, but to others, this is the very first example of the Rovian political strategy. During the past fifteen years, Americans have become very familiar with the Rove strategy, and his model for victory, in one form or another, has been executed by countless campaigns across the country. The Rove strategy relies on targeted fear and deception, and it is anchored by deep pockets and a network of loosely-formed political action committees. Often, journalists and political analysts overstate Rove's singular influence; what Rove has provided is simply a formula, a blueprint, and a method. Rove led, and others followed by example. The formula is quite elementary: Target voters who can be manipulated, and paint your opponent, through both official and unofficial channels, as morally and ethically bankrupt. In Texas, Rove helped George W. Bush win the governor's race by alleging that the late Ann Richards was a lesbian (which she was not). He helped win the South Carolina primary for George W. Bush by spreading the rumor that McCain had a "black baby." And during the last Presidential election, he found a group of Vietnam veterans who were willing to speak out against Kerry, formed a political action committee, funded the whole enterprise through a Houston real estate developer, and taped a series of powerful commercials, claiming that Kerry hadn't actually served with distinction. None of these veterans actually served with Kerry, but they still said they had. (In truth, they were simply acting out on an old grudge against Kerry). Rove famously courted the evangelical vote, and many of his most defamatory and misleading campaign attacks were carried out from the pulpit. (It's important to note that all the while, behind closed doors, Rove and others insulted and disparaged the very evangelicals they were courting). What we witnessed on Tuesday was not simply the end of the Republican majority in Congress; we also witnessed the end of Rovian political strategy. Quite simply, Americans are tired of negative campaigning, particularly when the negativity is so transparent in its objectives. During the last election, Republicans pulled out every play in the Rove play book: race-baiting, fear-mongering, and outright divisiveness. It is one thing to campaign on the issues, and it is quite another to scare people into voting (or not voting) based on deception. Republicans may fairly take issue with the Democratic tax plan, and Democrats may also fairly question Republicans on the Iraq War. But when campaigns only appeal to our lowest common denominator, when they preach fear and not hope, when they claim an exclusive hold on morality and God, and when they use our airwaves to spread vitriol, we must stand up, regardless of our party affiliation. Last Tuesday, Americans did just that. We should all be thankful that there is now a check against the unfettered spending, the misguided war policies, and the culture of corruption that exists any time one party is allowed to rule unopposed. We should also recognize that the Republicans had actually done a fantastic job of fooling Americans into thinking that our country was more conservative than it actually is and that the only way to move forward is by addressing the needs and concerns of the Great American Middle. During the last election, Democrats received between 25%- 33% of the evangelical vote, a clear sign of the shifting winds. Next: What the Roy/Brewer Run-off Teaches Us About Alexandria.

by Blogger

The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper

  • Roy Supporters Currently Planning Inauguration Events. For some perspective, twenty years ago, Mayor Randolph's inauguration included a church service, the swearing-in, the lighting of the Christmas tree, and, of course, a black tie affair.
  • Britney's filing for divorce, y'all.
  • George Allen concedes; both the House and the Senate are now controlled by the Democrats for the first time in twelve years.
  • Rummy's out, Rush is relieved he doesn't have to keep lying.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006 by Blogger

Q:Who Broke the Rumsfeld Resignation Story? A: Comedy Central's Blog!

by Blogger

Yesterday, Jacques Roy easily won the Alexandria Mayoral Election, capturing over 76% of the vote against opponent Delores Brewer. I will be offering a detailed precinct-by-precinct analysis later. Last night, I had the privilege of introducing our new mayor to the throngs of supporters (estimated between 500-600 people) who gathered at the Holiday Inn. Here's what I said (if I had Jacques's speech, I'd post it too):

Three months ago, a young lawyer named Jacques Roy announced his intentions to run for mayor of Alexandria. It was a daunting task in a crowded field of seven candidates-- one of whom had already raised over $100,000, a huge amount for such a small city. This election, as has been said frequently, was one of, if not the most important election in our city's history. It was an election of enthusiasm and ideas. It was an election about holding government accountable. It was an election about our future. What we've witnessed tonight is not merely a single victory for a single candidate; it is representative of a huge movement of people- black and white, young and old, Democrat and Republican, a movement of positivity and energy and vigor, a movement created by people committed to the future of our great city, and a movement that I believe will exist for many years to come. It is with great pride and honor that I introduce to you Alexandria's new mayor, Jacques Roy.
(I didn't stick to the script, but this is what I MEANT to say. Short and sweet). For now, let's talk about what's next.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 by Blogger

Click here to watch the election unfold. CenLamar will return to its regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

Monday, November 06, 2006 by Blogger

Open Thread: The Mayor's Race

by Blogger

President Bush Rallying Up the BaseThe Heartland Yawns.

by Blogger

The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper

  • Cheney going hunting on Election Day. This will be the first time he's gone huntin' since he shot that guy in the face. Source: Washington Post.
  • Has anyone noticed that this is one of the nastiest campaign seasons in our history? Check out this mail-out on Wonkette.
  • Completely insane Katherine Harris prays to bring the hearts and minds of our Jewish brothers and sisters into alignment. Did I mention she's running for Senate? Source: TBO.
  • Sunday's news: Saddam Hussein sentenced to death. The Saints improve to 6-2.
  • Democrats look poised to retake Congress. Republicans are still trying to figure out how to react to all of these gay sex scandals.
  • Listen to KSYL's TalkBack Live and try to guess the identity of the caller at 5 minutes. Check out KSYL.

Sunday, November 05, 2006 by Blogger

Once Again, Vote Roy for Mayor! Jacques Roy says there is a new excitement in the air here in Alexandria. He's right. During the past three months, Alexandrians have discussed our shared future, and nowhere has this conversation been more detailed and more passionate than right here in the blogosphere. We've offered a play-by-play analysis of this election. Before the primary election, we unpacked the candidacies of all seven contenders, and collectively, we asked, "Who makes the most sense? Who will bring a renewed energy and hope to City Hall? Who is most capable of standing up to entrenched interests? Who can steward Alexandria through this great period of growth?" And the consensus, insofar as I can tell, is that Jacques Roy, a thirty-six-year old lawyer, represents our best hope. Until now, I have remained silent about the type of campaign that Roy's opponent, Delores Brewer, has been waging. I have directed readers to the facts about the commercials and mail-outs, but I have offered no analysis. I once believed that Mrs. Brewer wanted to be mayor for the right reasons. I am no longer so certain. The Town Talk likened Mrs. Brewer's campaign to a "grim theater of reckless advertising and personal attacks." But it is more than that. It is premised on divisiveness, deception, and outright lies. Two of Mrs. Brewer's television commercials have been covered nationally, not for their inventiveness but because they represent everything that is wrong about political campaigning. One of the nation's most influential blogs, My Left Wing, had this to say about Mrs. Brewer's infamous rape ad:

Although Brewer and her Republican handlers from Baton Rouge vehemently deny it, Brewer patently conflates her rapist and her Democratic opponent, Jacques Roy, in the television spot: therein she claims both of them have attacked her; both of their "attacks" required her to regroup and rebuild her "strength" and "integrity;" and both, the ad implies, have "disrespected" the community. The parallel structures it erects cannot be more pellucid. And she has admitted it, although she refuses to apologize to those whose experience of rape and molestation she exploited in order to tape a commercial whose bathetic and sanctimonious message ranks it one of the most offensive and cynical political advertisements in Louisiana history (bold mine).
My Left Wing and others have also offered thorough analysis of Brewer's press conference and the notorious "pig" commercial, painting both as part of an old-time Southern strategy for victory, relying on subtle stereotypes and innuendo. On November 7, I hope that we will all resist this message. We will see it for what it truly is: a campaign engineered on lies and fear, a campaign that has indeed resorted to the unfortunately named "Southern Strategy" for victory. Mr. Roy has done our community a big favor by refusing to respond to these commercials. However offensive they may be, Jacques Roy has rendered them unimportant. Why? Because when Jacques Roy said he would not engage in negative campaigning during the run-off, he meant it. He kept his word. And by keeping his word, Jacques Roy has shown that he is above such superfluous and inflammatory attacks. I can personally attest that Mr. Roy has been campaigning in all parts of our city, not simply in the precincts that carry the most Democrat voters. He has shared his message of inclusive, smart growth with anyone willing to listen, and he has parlayed the excitement of this election into a cohesive movement that will likely exist for years to come. He has given all of us-- black and white, Democrat and Republican, young and old-- someone and something to believe in. Mr. Roy has demonstrated that he is truly in touch with the needs and expectations of our community. Last week, when Mrs. Brewer asked Mr. Roy on KSYL radio to explain "smart growth," he offered a five minute in-depth analysis: Smart growth isn't simply about in-fill; it's much more. Mr. Roy does his homework, and his experience in law will serve our community well, as we become something bigger and better than a quaint city on a river. Please do not be complacent. Cast your vote on November 7 for real change. Please vote for Jacques Roy.

http://southernstudies.org/facingsouth/2006/11/hurricane-survivors-protest-louisianas.asp WeSawThat had an interesting conspiracy theory about the feds forcing Blanco's hand to pick ICF, as about half of their directors used to be in national security. Other than one other person speculating ICF probably greased hands in Washington and BR to get the contract ( http://bayoustjohndavid.blogspot.com/2006/11/jefferson-has-very-devastating-ads.html [bottom comment]. On the other hand, most other things I've read suggest the contract was just a bad choice. It's been pointed out that they do a lot of work for other states and for the federal government, and picked, ironically, for their speed in cutting checks. In the WeSawThat post, John Kennedy discusses that he thought the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency was a better choice. http://wesawthat.blogspot.com/2006/11/secy-john-kennedy-on-lra-road-home.html Interestingly enough, RedState has passed along a rumor that Kennedy is considering switching parties to run against Mary in '08 as a Republican. http://www.redstate.com/stories/elections/2008/senate_2008 Mary is considered one of the most endangered Democratic Senators in 08, for reasons you more than well know. The Senate will probably not go GOP because of the map, which negates Lieberman's party-switching threats. Many have linked her re-eletion to the success or failure of the Oil Revenue legislation. That's a big one, and interesting. I'd say this Oyster post serves as a nice primer, with an excellent dialectic resulting in a sort of consensus in the comments. Solid link: http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/10/citybiz-jindal-stubbornly-resisted.html The idea is that the House bill, which is pretty radical, would allow any state that wanted to drill off their coast for substantial federal revenue sharing and give LA a lot of cash right away. The Senate Bill, which passed with only 25 dissenters (mostly envi-Democrats), is less environmentally offensive but wouldn't give LA any real cash for a decade I think (I did read one interesting idea about putting bonds against the future income, or something). [It smells like Jindal might be trying to pull an Arlen Specter. Two amendments related to the Military Commissions Act were up for discussion in the Senate. I don't remember the exact details but Specter had promised the Dems that he would put the vote to a less-radical compromise provision striking the habeus corpus denial. My memory is bad, but the idea is that at the last minute he went with the more radical proposal that he knew would fail, but that covered him when it came to looking like he wanted to protect habeus corpus. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/senate/2/votes/255/ ] By supporting a radical bill that is a big time punch-in-the-face huge score for Louisiana comes across as being extremely noble and daring of Jindal. However, he's not a fool and he must know that it won't work. He's not pushing for compromise with the Senate Bill. I'm rusty on the process but if the House Bill is voted on and not the Senate Bill then Bobby can claim that he was a valiant hardliner, and it was the fault of the Dems in the Senate that nothing got passed. He looks good in the end, but really if he had actually compromised something could have gotten done. It's a good way to make an issue to sink Mary with in 08, who he'd probably go up against if he loses the Governor's Mansion. This is from Mary's website: "This letter by an influential group of House Republicans is yet another signal that a consensus is emerging that the best course of action is to pass the Domenici-Landrieu bill that does so much for Louisiana, the Gulf Coast and the nation. Now is not the time to overreach with an all-coast drilling plan that cannot pass. It is the time for our coalition of supporters -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- to come together and pass this vital legislation." And speaking of reelections, there's Mary's support of Joe. Besides the fact that they are both conservative Dems, and the fact that national politics have almost no play in Louisiana state politics, it's notable that Mary supported him. It took 42 minutes for Lieberman's committee to confirm Michael Brown to his position, and when the shit hit the fan Joe's excuse was that Brownie had lied on his resume, which of course was discovered only later by checking his references of all things. http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/10/mary-mary-quite-contrary.html Moreover, here's Lieberman on the Senate Bill: I cannot vote for an enterprise that falsely suggests we can drill our way out of this energy crisis and that willfully ignores bipartisan solutions to our oil addiction, said Lieberman. This bill is a wasted opportunity and a disservice to the American people. This was taken from the comments (which provide excellent analysis) of: http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/11/political-notes.html It makes sense that Mary wants to be beholden to Joe, who the media has erroneously made out as the most important senator ever (Unity08 is an organization that is trying to get a McCain/Lieberman independent presidential ticket... yikes!). I seriously doubt Joe is going to investigate much of Katrina. Thank God we have Henry Waxman. Update: I just read on her website (landrieu.senate.gov) that on November 14th she was selected to serve on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Gov't Affairs. Surprise surprise. And speaking again of reelections, the Road Home (not to mention the storm) has tied an anchor around Blanco's neck. Jindal is rockin the cashboat hard, and as you know he won with 88% to his house district. I bring this up here to point out this survey, on another conservative blog (spare yourself and don't read the comments), http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1741066/posts which gives Jindal 52% to Blanco's 20%. A poll this far out is not informative in the least, but they did also include Vitter and Mitch, both who pulled 9%. I read on a blog and then heard independently from a close friend that some want Blanco to step out of the reelection bid to make way for Mitch for Gov. I also found a new online petition asking him to run, but basically no one had signed it (Google "Mitch Landrieu for Governor" if you care). I kind of like this idea, but who knows. A lot think he's damaged goods after Nagin beat him (oops), but Blanco is looking a lot like Lyndon Johnson in 1968 if you ask me. It doesn't seem to me like Mitch has been doing that kind of campaigning, but Blanco has. Consider her budget surplus ideas (insurance rebates, salary raises), which people are calling an attempt to buy votes. Most pragmatists say that this money, as it is not a recurring source of income, should be spent on infrastructure, especially roads for the oil industry or improving the transit from NOLA and BR for hurricane evacuation. The end of this recent Oyster post is a little heartening, though he makes it pretty clear that the 109th Congress is not going to vote on the Oil Revenue sharing proposal: http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/11/one-last-gop-insult-to-la-will-dems.html And the record of Mary's Senatorial votes, where you can see when she went against her party: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/l000550/key-votes/ Questions for Our Senator: 1) Is there any way to make use of the Oil Revenue money immediately? What kind of projects (more specific than just "coastal/hurricane protection") will it be used for? 2) Is it over for Blanco? Will Mitch try to step it up? 3) What's up with Lieberman? 4) What is the real problem with the Road Home Program? Is there actually a problem at all, or are people just being impatient? Is there anything fishy about the ICF contract? 5) What's up with her support of the Iraq War, and more importantly, her support of Military Commissions and the Patriot Act? 6) Why did she go against her party after the hurricane to support the bankruptcy bill? http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/senate/1/votes/44/ 7) What is her opinion of Jim Webb's assertion that there is a class war going on in America with respect to the shift in health, financial, and vocational security risk from employers to employees? 8) Does the state Democratic Party care at all about a progressive movement in Louisiana? Does one even exist? Are Louisiana Democrats committed to the political center in order to reflect their electorate to insure reelection? 9) Is the populist political legacy of the Longs still applicable to Louisiana today? 10) What's up with the catfish? 11) Is Alexandria in a unique position to serve Southern Louisiana due to it's location as the first real city north of the Hurricane Zone? Or are we fooling ourselves? 12) What do you think of Harry Truman's statement (paraphrased) that when the Democrats run a Republican against the Republican, the Republican will always win?|W|P|116490440203992703|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/29/2006 10:57:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Open Thread: What Businesses (And Types of Businesses) Do We Need in Alexandria?|W|P|116487014915215984|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/29/2006 12:02:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Honoring Mayor Ned Randolph Yesterday night, the City of Alexandria held a series of events, culminating in a banquet at the Riverfront Center featuring Governor Kathleen Blanco, honoring Mayor Ned Randolph. And this reminded me: When I was a kid, every Sunday morning at church, we used to sit right behind the mayor. My brother, sister, and I thought it was pretty cool because after the service ended we got to shake the mayor's hand. As a child, I considered him to be a shy and humble person, someone genuine. I didn't really know what a mayor did, but I knew he was important. And he is. During the past four months, we've been discussing the problems facing Alexandria and how to solve those problems. I hope that this discussion does not obscure the truth: Alexandria suffers from growing pains. When considering the accomplishments of Mayor Randolph, it is impossible to recognize Alexandria without him: A successful plan for England Air Park, a state-of-the-art airport, I-49, a 4-year LSUA, the Port of Alexandria, hospital expansions, the Alexandria Aces, numerous subdivision developments, and Union Tank Car. Alexandria, it has been said, is poised for tremendous growth, and we owe much of this to the leadership of Mayor Randolph. In less than a week, Mayor Randolph will serve his last day as Mayor of Alexandria. Many things have changed in twenty years. And thankfully, we are all better off because of these changes. Certainly, there is a lot left to accomplish, but our future accomplishments will be built on the successes of a shy, humble, yet important man who dedicated most of his professional career toward public service. Thank you Ned Randolph.|W|P|116479013307035431|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/28/2006 10:46:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Dispatch from the Roy Transition Team Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jacques Roy's transition team met for four hours at the Riverfront Center and attempted to produce a list of priorities, which will be analyzed by members of Roy's Executive Transition Committee. The Executive Transition Committee is chaired by Pineville Mayor Clarence Fields. Fields and others will review and prioritize recommendations made by several transition committees and subcommittees, including Community Development, Infrastructure, Housing, Community Health, Healthy Communities, Recreation, Economic Development, Children, Workforce Development, and Education. During the first Executive Transition meeting, community leaders and key advisers presented their reports on Alexandria's top priorities. Several advisers expressed, among other things, the need for a city grant writer and public relations department, marketing our downtown, increasing the police force, an effective and comprehensive city-wide marketing plan, and increasing opportunities for workforce education. The Economic Development Committee made several recommendations concerning affordable housing and the need for a consolidated Mayor's Office of Economic Development. Secondarily, the committee also suggested wireless Internet access in parts of the City and in following with the models of Lafayette and Austin, laying down fiber-optics cable throughout the City. Mayor-elect Roy reaffirmed the need for inclusive and smart growth throughout the meeting. When Key Adviser Bill Hess noted that South Alexandria is a retail and restaurant "desert," Roy stated that South Alexandria cannot afford to be neglected. He explained that the lack of basic services in South Alexandria (such as a nearby ATM, a fast food restaurant, or a post office) is a burden to many residents and that smart growth must be a plan that includes all parts of Alexandria. I was in the Community Development Committee, and our number one priority was creating a comprehensive city-wide marketing plan. So: Later: An Effective and Comprehensive Marketing Plan for Alexandria (And What It Would Mean)|W|P|116478545901934915|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/28/2006 04:30:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Town Talk: The Trees Versus the Forest Throughout the past two weeks, the Town Talk has been in a fit over the Alexandria City Government's refusal to release the details of a report analyzing leaks at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center. Today, they published an editorial instructing Mayor-elect Jacques Roy to release the report once he assumes office on December 4th, claiming that in doing so, Roy will be keeping his promise of government transparency. According to City Attorney Kelvin Sanders and Mayor-elect Roy (both of whom have read the report), the report contains sensitive information that may need to be used in potential future litigation. Releasing the information to the public, before the City has had an opportunity to build and present its case, may put the City at a strategic disadvantage. And considering it is the obligation of the City to collect any potential damages owed to taxpayers, it follows that prematurely sharing critical information and the "mental impressions" of an expert, would put taxpayers at a disadvantage as well. But the Town Talk is not having any of it. The fact that Roy has read parts of this report, they argue, means that the public also has the right to read it-- because Roy hasn't yet taken office, they claim, he's still a private citizen. I'm not sure who the Town Talk relied on for legal advice, but it seems they're a little confused. (And I have on good word that this misconception will be cleared up in the very near future). Let's think about this on a very basic level: Next November, Americans will be electing a new President. Between November 2007 and January 2008, our next President-elect will be thoroughly briefed on a host of confidential and proprietary issues, including, among other things, security and emergency management procedures. Would the Town Talk argue that our next President-elect should not be able to review confidential information unless said information was declassified and made public beforehand? Certainly not. The President-elect, like our Mayor-elect, is, in fact, a public official, and even though the hyphenated "elect" follows his title, it's still an official title. To further exercise their bully pulpit, the Town Talk claims that by not releasing the report, Mayor-elect Roy would be breaking his promise of "transparency," and they direct readers to his website, where they may find information on Roy's positions concerning government accountability and transparency. The notion of transparency, as was mentioned numerous times by numerous people throughout the campaign, means that government should be held accountable for their decisions. It means that back room consulting contracts must be brought into the public light. It means that the public has a right to know how the government is spending their tax dollars. It means the government has an obligation to operate ethically. It does not mean, however, that the Town Talk has the right to print sensitive information that may be used in litigation. That is precisely why Louisiana has an exception to public records requests. Perhaps this exception has been used loosely in the past, but in this case, it seems that the City Attorney, the Mayor, and the Mayor-elect (all of whom have degrees in law) are acting judiciously, believing that, based on the information they have read and analyzed, it would compromise the City's ability to pursue litigation if the full report was leaked (pardon the pun). It is healthy and necessary to continually question whether or not the government is acting in the best interest of the public, but in this instance, the Town Talk has attempted to pursue a story without considering the consequences.|W|P|116476546296802624|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/26/2006 09:31:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Boyce Mayor Julius Patrick Killed in Automobile Accident on I-10 Longtime Boyce Mayor Julius Patrick was killed earlier today in a traffic accident on Interstate 10. The Town Talk describes the details:
That collision sent the Toyota across the median, where it clipped a Saab in the westbound lane. The Toyota then crashed head-on into Patrick's vehicle. Patrick was pronounced dead at the scene by the Ascension Parish coroner, reads the report. The driver of the Nissan Maxima left the scene and State Police are searching for that driver and the vehicle. The driver of the Toyota 4Runner, Alona M. Williams, 20, of Baton Rouge, sustained serious injuries and was airlifted by Acadian AirMed to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, the Troop A report stated. The driver of the Saab, Scott M. Gilbert, 27, of Houston, Texas, sustained minor injuries and was not taken to a hospital for treatment. State Police said the Maxima has Louisiana license plate OTE 951. State Police Troop A is asking that anyone with information call (225) 754-8500.
Mayor Patrick was recently reelected after a tough campaign against Ernie Johnson. |W|P|116460575555120683|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/26/2006 12:43:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Roy: Preparing Comprehensive Plan for Alexandria According to Mayor-elect Jacques Roy, suggestions from his seventy-plus member transition team will be used in writing an extensive and comprehensive plan for Alexandria's future. Roy expects a preliminary plan to be completed within the next two weeks but states that a final draft won't be ready for at least six months. "I think people will be surprised about the amount of material produced by the transition team, its interfacing with city officials (who have been very candid), and the preliminary compartmentalization of the issues," Roy said. "The model we used has been very effective, and like the campaign, was borne of the ideas of Alexandrians. Although a comprehensive 'findings' document is far off, a 100-day plan with executive style summaries will be released shortly." Roy believes it will be important to share the plan with the entire community and has suggested holding town hall meetings, open to the public, in which audience members will be able to ask questions and offer suggestions to the new mayor and his administration. Roy's transition team is composed of volunteers, many of whom have been working throughout the Thanksgiving holidays, compiling information and writing reports on specifically-assigned subjects.|W|P|116457456157961407|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/24/2006 11:08:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|New York Times: Cities Compete for Coolness In Order To Attract Young Professionals Shaila Dewan wrote an interesting piece in today's New York Times about the pressing desire for American cities to attract young people in order to ensure sustained growth. Why? From the article:
These measures reflect a hard demographic reality: Baby boomers are retiring and the number of young adults is declining. By 2012, the work force will be losing more than two workers for every one it gains....

Cities have long competed over job growth, struggling to revive their downtowns and improve their image. But the latest population trends have forced them to fight for college-educated 25- to 34-year-olds, a demographic group increasingly viewed as the key to an economic future.

Mobile but not flighty, fresh but technologically savvy, “the young and restless,” as demographers call them, are at their most desirable age, particularly because their chances of relocating drop precipitously when they turn 35. Cities that do not attract them now will be hurting in a decade.

So how do cities attract young people?

Well, look to the examples of Portland, Austin, and Atlanta. They retain young people by appealing to the "cool factor."
Still, what works in one city will not work in others, Mr. Cortright said, and not all young people are looking for the same things. He cites Portland’s bike paths, which many point to as an amenity that has helped the city attract young people.

“I think that confuses a result with a cause,” Mr. Cortright said. Portland happened to have a group who wanted concessions for cyclists and was able to get them, he said.

“The real issue was, is your city open to a set of ideas from young people, and their wish to realize their dream or objective in your city,” he said. “You could go out and build bike paths, but if that’s not what your young people want, it’s not going to work.”

|W|P|116443917997928761|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/23/2006 11:06:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Observations and Unsolicited Opinions on Alexandria's Housing Problem Recently, the Town Talk reported that Central Louisiana's real estate market is outperforming national trends by a significant margin. Although new high-end residential construction is definitely a growth sector in Central Louisiana, I disagree with the contention that our real estate market is healthy and stable, particularly Alexandria's market. Indeed, the reason that our real estate market appears to be so strong is because affordable housing is simply too expensive to construct. The proliferation of high-end developments, while exciting, actually belies a major problem: the lack of affordable housing in our community. During the mayoral election, several community activists expressed support for a plan of in-fill revitalization; that is, encouraging investors and developers to tackle large-scale renovation projects on homes located in blighted areas-- as a way of solving the affordable housing problem. It's a good idea, and we definitely have a problem. The median household income in Alexandria is a little more than half of the national average, which means that the average family in Alexandria cannot afford the average home. An affordable home in Alexandria is actually priced and valued correctly; the problem is that it is still prohibitively expensive for the average family. The average family in Alexandria, based on the federal government's definition of affordable housing, should be able to afford a home priced between $80,000- $110,000. Unfortunately, there is a significant dearth of homes in this price range in our real estate market. During the past twelve months (according to our local MLS), only 48 three bedroom, 1,500-square foot homes sold in Alexandria; that is an average of four homes per month, a staggeringly low number when one considers the number of people who have moved into Alexandria during the past twelve months. And this just scratches at the surface. We're only looking at the "average" family. Consider the fact that approximately 40% of people in the Alexandria region live from 50% to 150% below the poverty line. This precludes them from even considering buying a home. If Alexandria's growth follows the current trend, new neighborhoods will only include high-end housing. It's simply too expensive for builders to justify affordable housing construction, unless it's subsidized by the government. This will create stratification and segregation. The average taxpayer will be paying for new infrastructure for subdivisions they will never be able to enjoy. While I understand that in-fill redevelopment is essential at solving a short-term problem (with the added benefit of improving blighted neighborhoods), we must be thinking ahead. We must envision what Alexandria will look like in twenty years, as we expand and as certain areas of town become developed due to added infrastructure. We must ensure that our growth is not lopsided, that it incorporates a mix of developments, and that it encourages affordable housing. Currently, I believe Alexandria may be over-saturating itself with high-end developments, and as a result of this over-saturation, we may be over-extending ourselves as well.|W|P|116435330688254610|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/23/2006 09:14:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|CenLamar Featured in Virtuocity Apparently, all the fuss we've been making about smart growth here in Alexandria has been picked up by a national website on sustainable communities and "human-friendly development," Virtuocity.com. From Virtuocity:

The recent election has inspired the author to contemplate the implications of the public’s choice, just as this local example resonates with a nationwide situation. Alexandria, says Mr. White, is a prime example of suburban sprawl, as the town has tripled in size while the population remains constant—a problem that could be partially solved by annexing the surrounding neighborhoods that currently remain outside of the city’s zoning laws and tax liability.

|W|P|116434560310863960|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/23/2006 11:18:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Lifted from EPSN by way of Wonkette: What's the Best Part of Thanksgiving?
No big surprises here: Louisianans love their food, Oklahomans love their football, and Floridians are in the process of a recount.|W|P|116430969218055596|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/23/2006 10:32:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Vote for Jindal! Win a Free Apple Computer! Recently, the Louisiana Republican Party has been touting their clever pro-Jindal, anti-Blanco website, www.dontblamemeivotedforjindal.com. In today's Town Talk, James Quinn, a director for the Louisiana GOP, wrote an opinion piece about the website, claiming that it chronicles Blanco's "weakly blunders" and ineptitude. I have no problem with a political party setting up a website, complete with embarrassing photos of one's opponent (which is about as substantive as this website is). That's what democracy is all about! But here's the kicker: In order to lure people to the embarrassing photos...err.. information, the Louisiana GOP is promoting a TV ad contest in which contestants have the chance to win a FREE APPLE COMPUTER! Woo hoo! Ball's in your court, Kathleen. I suggest the Dems offer something even better... like a FREE CAR! Happy Thanksgiving.|W|P|116430792204698629|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/22/2006 02:08:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Tonight at the Frosty Factory: A Dazed Jam Session Featuring Dale Le Boeuf, Zach Rhea, and Derek Ashcraft, 9PM Influences include Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Thelonius Monk, and Les Claypool.|W|P|116423352522156771|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/22/2006 01:02:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|CenLamar Endorses: Talk of the Town: The Rise of Alexandria, Louisiana, and the Daily Town Talk Hurry up! There's only one in stock on Amazon.com! Or just order it directly from LSU. Book Description (Anyone care to draw some parallels?): As the sleepy courthouse town of Alexandria, Louisiana, began to recover from the devastation and trauma of the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Daily Town Talk appeared. Nicknamed "Alexandria’s postage stamp paper" by a rival publication, the Town Talk aimed to be "the best daily outside of New Orleans" and became one of the most successful regional newspapers of its kind. It quickly championed urban rejuvenation and envisioned Alexandria as the "Future Great" city of the state, if not the entire South. Fredrick M. Spletstoser tells the story of the paper’s first sixty years and of the town’s triumphs and setbacks during that same time. An unpretentious country journal, the "Town Talk" would become in the second half of the twentieth century a pioneer in newspaper technology under the leadership of Joe D. Smith, one of the most respected names in American journalism.

Though Alexandria did not evolve into the grand and glittering metropolis dreamed of, it was not for lack of effort. The Town Talk and the family who published it were among the city’s most optimistic champions. The newspaper was inextricably bound up with—and often directly behind—transformations in Alexandria’s urban landscape, the development of municipal services and education, efforts to attract industry and cultivate trade, and the stimulation of surrounding agribusiness.

In chronicling Alexandria’s past, Spletstoser examines the construction, timber, and railroad booms that occurred across the turn of the century, the large and enduring military presence in central Louisiana, and the impact of Huey P. Long’s political career. Along the way, he narrates colorful stories culled from the "Town Talk"’s pages and describes the fascinating family members who published the paper during this entire period.

Among the most important institutions in the South after the Civil War, small-town newspapers recorded the feelings and desires of the vast majority of the common people. Talk of the Town illustrates the role provincial journalism played in the planning and expansion of towns throughout the country as it relates the engrossing social, cultural, economic, and political history of one southern place and the people who lived there.|W|P|116423011153260156|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/22/2006 08:32:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|WeSawThat Posts Controversial Audio Recordings of Rich Dupree and Greg Aymond From WeSawThat:
xxx mp3 one xxx- please listen to this tape first xxx sources tell wst that this is rich dupree explaining what he had told a town talk reporter about greg aymond's termination. notice that mr.dupree said he lacked confidence in mr.aymond's ability to handle waterworks matters and that his vote had nothing to do with the (town of ball, louisiana, mayor) roy hebron matter. this is from the waterworks district 3 board meeting of tuesday, 27 july 2004. xxx mp3 two xxx- please listen to this tape last xxx this audio file is from a telephone conversation between greg aymond and rich dupree held on wednesday, 14 july 2004, immediately after the water works district 3 board meeting in which the board voted 6-3 to terminate aymond's service as the waterworks attorney of 16 years. notice in this conversation, rich dupree states that greg aymond was fired as a result of the roy hebron matter and that mr. dupree offers to let mr. aymond continue handling all ongoing litigation.
|W|P|116421342563280520|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/21/2006 11:36:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Defeat William Jefferson! Vote Karen Carter! Those of us in Central Louisiana may not be in the same Congressional district as our friends in the 2nd. (We're represented by Rodney Alexander. Remember him? The guy whose page got creeped out by Mark Foley, the guy whose secretary was pen pals with convicted murderer Scott Peterson, the guy whose chief of staff, Royal, is now being sued for sexual harassment... and all of this came to light only two months before the election. Yeah, that's our Congressman!). But even those of us in Central Louisiana have a limit to what our leaders can get away with (and still expect to be re-elected). Consider, say, $90,000 in cash in a Congressman's freezer as a metaphor for that line. It doesn't matter how it got there, and it doesn't matter how Jefferson intends to eventually explain it all away: When the feds find 90K in your freezer (after you've been accused of taking a $100,000 bribe), you shouldn't even consider making a run for Congress. I'm certain Karen Carter is more qualified than Jefferson for Congress. Why? One reason: No one has ever found $90,000 in cash in her freezer. Daniel T. Smith tells a good story:
Last weekend, Matt Stoller of MyDD called on 100 people to donate $100 a piece, and when they received 11K plus dollars they decided to hire a man named Tim Tagaris, who covered the Ned Lamont race for MyDD, and send him to NOLA for the next thee weeks to follow the La-02 runoff. www.mydd.com/story/2006/11/15/154230/71 In the comments of MyDD's announcement, they put forth an open invitation for people to contribute blog names of New Orleans activists (I signed up to MyDD to plug the Roy election victory and your blog, btw). It's an interesting list, and here's the motherload: thinknola.com/wiki/New_Orleans_bloggers Anyway, Oyster over at YourRightHandThief (a nicely written progressive NOLA blog) in his most recent entry titled "MyDD: Moral Ghostbusters" (I couldn't find a permalink), has some interesting opinions about Stoller/MyDD's portrayal of Landrieu as a "moral ghost" and MyDD's decision to send Tagaris to NOLA. In the first comment blogger Adrastos (.blog-city) calls Tagaris a "carpetblogger." righthandthief.blogspot.com Tagaris actually left a comment of his own on the thread, and it's really conciliatory and he immediately won the support of Oyster's readers (no small feat in the blogosphere). He seems extremely motivated, and in spite of his benefactor and previous jobs he is not directly attached to the Carter campaign. Here's his first segment, which has okay comments as well, the highlight (lowlight?) being a picture of a Katrinacorpse. www.mydd.com/story/2006/11/16/195119/10 I'm sorry to give you so much to look at all at once, since you have more than you can handle with one city already, but this is all going to be irrelevant after December 9. I thought you'd be interested because this actually represents the national blogging community refocusing on New Orleans, and an example of how bloggers are not simply a bunch of computer potatoes. There are real projects that bridge the gap between the virtual and the visceral. It is also informing my opinion of Landrieu (Oyster at YRHT defends her pretty well, and he has the same reservations that we do, i.e. Holy Joe, and with the upcoming coastal oil revenue sharing proposal she and Blanco are going to be in the spotlight a bit more over the next two months). It's also interesting that Tagaris seems to completely understand the importance of engaging a community through it's bloggers, especially considering that his medium is professional internet journalism as well.
Read more: MyDD.com The Legal Woes of William Jefferson William Jefferson Filmed Taking Cash PS: Yesterday, RightHandThief Said Jacques Roy is a Rising Democratic Star.|W|P|116413931229442002|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/21/2006 07:43:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Initial Dispatch from the Roy Transition Team Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jacques Roy and his transition team gathered at the Bolton Avenue Community Center to begin work on laying out a foundation of ideas and plans for the next four years. Mr. Roy spoke for approximately forty-five minutes, instructing team members on their duties and his vision of smart growth (or community-based planning) for Alexandria. Urban planner Pat Moore, who will advise the Mayor-elect on Vision, gave a twenty-minute presentation on smart growth principles and what he called "growing buffalo food" (which, he explained, are ways in which a community can bolster its ability to attract and keep jobs). The team then broke into committees and subcommittees. I can only speak for the discussions we had in two subcommittees to which I was assigned, housing and community development. The initial findings of the community development subcommittee were that Alexandria needs to better market itself and its cultural and artistic communities and events. Additionally, I believe (and I've said this before on the blog) that we need to improve our amphitheater. The subcommittee discussed, among other things, ways in which we can diversify and increase the conventions we hold, city-wide events like Quein' on the Red and Third Street block parties, and utilizing public access television to share regularly updated information about upcoming events in the city. The housing committee recognized the dearth of affordable housing in Alexandria and developed several strategies for dealing with this problem. (All of which will be explained as the ideas become more fleshed out). The initial summary conclusion of the housing subcommittee says it best:
"The biggest housing issue for purposes of quality of life is the lack of affordable housing. This stems in part from the high percentage of residents living below the poverty line. It should also be noted that the last public housing project was built 30 years ago."
If you have any questions or suggestions for housing or community development, please feel free to leave a comment.|W|P|116412467903630420|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/19/2006 11:07:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Roy Transition Team Set to Meet This Afternoon Seventy-plus members of Mayor-elect Jacques Roy's transition team will be meeting for the first time later today. Roy is expected to speak for about an hour, laying out his vision for Alexandria and instructing transition team members on their duties. Specifically, Jacques Roy will be asking team members to consider:

· Community-based planning

· How to articulate a vision and who is passionate in our city to achieve it

· Promoting an image for the city, and overcoming the limitations to that image

· How to best create and sustain numerous partnerships and collaborations

· What would division and department heads like to see different

· What resources are missing

|W|P|116400690155182804|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/18/2006 11:38:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Tonight! All the Way from Portland, Oregon (By Way of Rhode Island)... Monstrous! With Opening Act the Tim Turner Band the Frosty Factory, 10PM More on Monstrous: THE Rock n' Roll Band "MONSTROUS" are Three brothers from Rhode Island, Led Gethway -Guitar & vocals - Ken Gethway -Bass & Vocals - Alex Gethway - Drums & vocals . The brothers have been playing and stock piling songs over the last 10 years. Now in their 20's they have been travling around the country in a big white candy truck playing shows , parties and writing their next record . Monstrous just made a studio record of 15 songs , intitled " MOTHER NATURES SLAVES " for release on September 19th 2006 on the New York City label MONSTROUS has just signed with (Howler Records.)|W|P|116387915741559812|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/17/2006 12:47:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Lee Horne for Governor Campaign Releases Music Video
(Yes, a music video). Dear Libertarians, Huh? Sincerely and Seriously, Lamar PS: It sounds like the musical group, Lil' Nuke, basically admits during the course of the commercial that gubernatorial candidate Lee Horne gave them anything that needed for their studio, free of charge. From the music video: "We done tried Democrats and Republicans. We never tried Libertarians.... Why not try something new?"|W|P|116375326676564056|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/16/2006 10:33:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Open Thread: What Suggestions Do You Have for the Transition Team?
|W|P|116374531132608516|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/15/2006 10:48:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Roy Names More People to Transition Team, Creates Subcommittees Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jacques Roy added several more members to his transition team and organized subcommittees to evaluate and analyze specifically assigned tasks. Among those named include Barbara Brister, Jeff Hall, Von Jennings, Horatio Isadore, Carol White, and Cindy Cespiva. Two key advisers were also chosen, urban planner Pat Moore, who will report on Vision, and Bill Hess, who will report on Economic Development . In addition, Mr. Roy also organized subcommittees; these committees include but are not limited to Community Development, Housing, Education, Recreation, Children, Community Health, and Workforce Development.|W|P|116366055510712168|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/14/2006 05:42:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Jacques Roy Announces Transition Team; Mayor Clarence Fields of Pineville to Head Executive Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO ALL MEDIA

November 14, 2006

The transition blueprint is born of my campaign commitments to inclusive, controlled growth of our City. The organization will operate with a funneling effect, but also with a built-in check in the committee structure and use of key experts. We want a free agent group who can ensure that “groupthink” does not set in to foreclose other ideas—to get the most ideas and then separate from those the best ideas.

The mega-committees or spheres of inquiry shown below will be asked to organize themselves according to those persons best suited for more specific areas of inquiry. Overall, the committee structure will answer certain questions about the state of our community, and then compile, organize, and forward that information to the executive transition team, which in turn will use the information to assess delivery of governmental services by the City’s divisions—including whether divisions need re-organization or creation. Clarence Fields has graciously opted to chair the executive group; I am thankful for his leadership across the river and participation now to aid us and ultimately our region.

The spheres represent the macro-components of “smart” growth. Under each sphere, specific issues will be addressed, which may serve useful for organizational purposes by the committees; however, the committees may organize as each desires through its membership.

These issues include consideration of: planning, transportation, economic development, housing, community development, and natural resource development. To smartly grow and preserve what we have, Alexandria should protect its unique sense of community and identity (and further develop a thematic draw, such as its healthcare primacy in the region); preserve and capitalize on natural, infrastructural, and cultural resources (like our river, interstate system, and central location); fairly and inclusively distribute the costs and benefits of our numerous new developments (to reflect our demographics and equitably “grow” our town to avoid sprawl when appropriate); expand the choices for transportation, employment and housing (through mixed-use and other less-thought-of opportunities); value long-range, regional considerations of sustainability instead of immediate gratification (or what will work to make growth more diverse and not subject to deep fluctuations in our local economy and business community); and promote public health and healthful communities (better time spent by our youth after school with positive activities as well as physical health for our community by promoting quality of life initiatives and our hospital complexes).

The committee compositions are reflective of this City, and include some of our “best and brightest.” The goal of transition is to identify problem areas and allow the incoming administration to get a “snapshot” of government through the “fresh” eyes of caring community leaders—but not necessarily to move committed employees out of service. Ultimately, the central mission is to have the current city managers transition the new mayor into office. This administration seeks to identify avenues to revitalize and build our community better—locally and regionally.

Thank you for your support and patience.

--Jacques M. Roy, November 14, 2006

    QUALITY OF LIFE, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

    & COMMUNITY HEALTH

1. Victor Kirk

2. Lamar White

3. Graves Theus

4. Lee Gwinn

5. Reverend Larry Turner

6. Bart Jones, P.T.

7. Les Glankler

8. Todd Drury, M.D.

9. A.C. Buchanan

10. Reverend Dan O’Connor

11. Booker T. Booze, Jr.

12. Robert Leavines

13. Robert Bussey

14. Stephen Wright

Eight positions unfilled or unconfirmed

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INFRASTRUCTURE

1. Byron Salazar 1. Chad Juneau

2. David Pugh 2. Glenda Fitzpatrick

3. __________ 3. ______________

4. Martin Johnson 4. Sam Sansing

5. __________ 5. ______________

6. Joe Fuller 6. Rob Ratcliff

7. Jason Gamlin 7. Brandon Monceaux

8. Nancy Stich 8. Jo Betty Sterkx

9. Cliff Mollor 9. Kevin Switzer

10. George Robertson 10. ______________

11. Brent Caplan 11. Jay Lynch

EDUCATION, RECREATION & CHILDREN

1. ______________

2. Rodessa Metoyer

3. Gary Jones

4. ______________

5. Thelma Baker

6. Kristy Flynn

7. Greg Gormanous

8. Tim Tharpe

9. Rodney Jones

10. ______________

11. Paul Dauzat

12. Herbert Dixon

13. Stephanie Goodrich

14. Wally Fall

15. ____________

The mega-committees will work with the transition team to identify how well divisions are meeting their missions and if missions need redefining or retooling. Additionally, this interaction will consider:

  • Community-based planning
  • How to articulate a vision and who is passionate in our city to achieve it
  • Promoting an image for the city, and overcoming the limitations to that image
  • How to best create and sustain numerous partnerships and collaborations
  • What would division and department heads like to see different
  • What resources are missing

There will be a committee known as the Personal Advisory Committee to the Mayor-Elect:

This committee is composed of personal advisors to the mayor-elect, who were instrumental in the campaign. The committee will not serve in a formal transition capacity, but will interact directly with the executive team. This committee will cease to exist December 3, 2006, and is in place to help with the day-to-day activity of transition for the mayor-elect. The membership will be:

John Flynn, Chris Roy, Sr., Chris Roy, Jr., Deborah Randolph, Thomas Antoon, Larry Accosta, Mike Johnson, W. Jay Luneau and Mark Brown

The personal advisory committee and executive transition committee will have key advisors regarding the spheres. Those persons are experts in relevant fields of inquiry:

QUALITY OF LIFE: Johnie Varnado

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: ________________

INFRASTRUCTURE: Thomas David

EDUCATION: Kay Michiels

VISION: ________________

The executive or functioning committee for transition, and the actual body which will interface with the personal advisory group and the administration, is the Executive Transition Committee to the Current Administration:

Clarence Fields (chairperson of Committee), Richard Rozanski (Vice-Chair of Committee), Jacqueline Whittle (secretary of committee), Charles “Chuck” Johnson, William Allen, “Willie” Spears, Tammi Salazar, Ed Larvadain, III, Linda Dyess Stewart, Randy Gilchrist, and Rob Antoon

This committee will meet with the chairpersons from the “sphere” committees and present information, after consultation with the key advisors, to the mayor-elect. During this process, important staff decisions will also be made after consideration of the credentials for the positions requiring filling by the mayor. This committee will cease to exist December 3, 2006.

|W|P|116355505328124790|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/14/2006 01:17:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper
  • Jacques Roy To Release Names of Transition Team Later Today (Expected to be around 50-60 members, not 30).
  • Hotel Bentley Deal Looks Legitimate. Really. But They're Pushing Back the Closing Date. Source: The Town Talk Online.
  • James Baker III and Daddy Bush Puts Little Georgie in Time-Out. Source: Newsweek.
  • Trent Lott Wants to Make a Comeback. Source: Everyone.
|W|P|116353947431889880|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/14/2006 11:27:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Part Three of Three: What the Roy/Brewer Run-Off Teaches Us About Alexandria In today's Town Talk, Jodie Belgard writes about how Jacques Roy inspired her to feel more engaged in the political process and how he reached out and included young people who would otherwise never be involved in a political race. Jodie witnessed something at the Roy victory party she was surprised to see: throngs of young people all celebrating a new spirit of leadership. But, as I have mentioned before, Roy ran on a platform of true inclusiveness, and for him, it meant more than just rallying young people; it meant traveling all across the city and getting everyone motivated for a change. One prominent supporter of the Brewer campaign wrote an article of endorsement in a citywide Brewer mail-out (which was distributed in gas stations and grocery stores) about the need for getting out the vote in his neighborhood, Charles Park. When I read the article, I must admit: I was disappointed. The mayor's race wasn't simply about ONE neighborhood, and it seemed to me at least that any attempt to specifically target a neighborhood like Charles Park-- while ignoring other parts of the city-- was a strategy designed to embolden one group of people in one neighborhood to determine our city's leadership. This is not to suggest that Mrs. Brewer didn't attend events in South Alexandria. She did. And I have personally heard her speak about the need for infrastructure improvements throughout our community. But during the last few weeks of the campaign, it became evident that her campaign hoped to drastically increase voter turn-out in specific parts of the city-- and I think we all know what areas those are and why it was perceived as politically advantageous for Mrs. Brewer to embark on this strategy. However, this election taught us that in order to win an election in Alexandria, one must be willing to motivate citizens throughout the entire community. That means canvassing in the Sonia Quarters, Acadian Village, Martin Park, and Charles Park. It's more than just attending social events; one must be willing to literally walk door-to-door and ask people for their vote. For me, one of the biggest surprises of the mayoral election wasn't the margin of victory; it was the immense turn-out in precincts that have historically voted in lower numbers. Mr. Roy could have won 60/40 if he had only focused on traditionally white neighborhoods, but that was not the mission of his campaign. Inclusiveness means bringing everyone to the table; it means paying attention to the needs and hopes of people from all walks of life. And as we look forward to the next four years, we must remember that Jacques Roy wasn't elected by just one group of people from one or two neighborhoods; he was elected by the entire community.|W|P|116353440711858979|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/13/2006 02:55:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Part Two of Three: What the Roy/Brewer Run-Off Teaches Us About Alexandria Both Delores Brewer and Jacques Roy spoke frequently about a concept known as "smart growth." Mrs. Brewer stated that the city had already been engaging in smart growth for years, but that's not quite accurate. Smart growth is an umbrella term that encompasses many aspects of the ways in which a City develops and expands, and it relies on forward-thinking, research-based analysis of growth patterns and demographic trends. During the past decade, Alexandria has been steadily expanding, but the ways in which our city has grown may present problems for the future. Although the expansion of Versailles and the developments occurring down Highway 28-West are exciting, this growth must be tempered with appropriate agreements with developers in order to ensure that the growth isn't an isolated off-shoot, but a vibrant part of our community, one in which all Alexandrians can enjoy and utilize. Mr. Roy often mentioned the fact that during the past forty years, Alexandria has nearly tripled in size, but its population has remained stagnant. This is due, in part, to the reigning paradigm of suburban sprawl, but it's also due to the fact that Alexandria has enabled developers to build subdivisions right on the fringes of our city limits, without making the case for annexation. In other words, developers have been able to avoid paying city taxes (and have used this as a selling point for their clients) while, on some occasions, they have used certain city services (i.e. sewage). This hardly seems fair for the average taxpayer. And it is one of the reasons Alexandria's population painfully hovers at 48,000- 49,000 people. If Alexandria finds creative ways to bolster its population by making the case for annexation to residents who live in subdivisions right in the middle of the city (yet somehow outside of the city limits), we may be able to boost our population to 50,000 people overnight, and once that occurs, Alexandria becomes eligible for all sorts of federal entitlement grants-- grants that can transform our city in a number of positive ways. When urban planners speak about in-fill, particularly in a city as disjointed as Alexandria, they're not just talking about building new construction in already-developed areas, they are also talking about using the powers of annexation (which are unfortunately limited in Louisiana) to effectively control and manage our city's growth. But again, smart growth isn't just about in-full; it's about making a community more livable. It's about finding solutions to traffic problems, public transportation, garbage pick-up, sewage, utilities, fire and police coverage, and access to resources. Smart growth was always the foundation of Mr. Roy's campaign, and during the next four years, he will be faced with the challenge of articulating and executing his message, stewarding a paradigm shift on how Alexandria understands itself.|W|P|116346095920383489|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/13/2006 10:36:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Part One of Three: What the Roy/Brewer Run-Off Teaches Us About Alexandria When Jacques Roy officially announced his candidacy for mayor, more than 200 people, primarily young professionals and their families, showed up to his office on Martin Luther King Jr Drive to hear him speak about his vision for Alexandria's future. But despite the enthusiasm and the high turn-out, critics dismissed Roy's chances, claiming (correctly) that young people do not historically vote in higher numbers and that the winning candidate would be the one who could best speak to the needs of older Alexandrians. They felt that Roy must have just been positioning himself for another race, that it was too little too late. But Jacques Roy understood something that others didn't: Young people were interested. Despite all of the positive changes affected during Randolph's twenty years, young Alexandrians are still leaving in droves. For many, the educational and employment opportunities in larger cities are simply too good to ignore, and for others, Alexandria is too provincial, too quaint, and too complacent. But for those of us who have stayed or returned to Alexandria, there is a growing frustration and a sense that we can become a better place to live, if we only work together. To be fair, young Alexandrians worked in the campaigns of all seven mayoral candidates, but only Jacques Roy understood how to best motivate young people; in part, because he belongs to the same generation, but also because Jacques Roy specifically reached out to young people. He didn't just ask for their vote; he asked for their help. Behind the closed doors of the Roy campaign, there were between forty and fifty young Alexandrians, each working in a unique role. They canvassed in every single neighborhood in the city. They encouraged Mr. Roy to speak at block parties, concerts, and coffee shops-- gathering places for those whose voices are not frequently heard or respected in the political process. And the message they sent was clear: We need a leader who recognizes that in a growing city, there must be more opportunities for young people. They must not be cut off from the discussions, because they are, in fact, the future of our city. This is, in part, what I meant when I discussed how Mr. Roy created a movement. By motivating young Alexandrians to become a part of this process, Mr. Roy excited people from all walks of life; they saw the positive energy behind his campaign and voted in droves. (Mr. Roy actually received more votes than Ned Randolph did during his final election four years ago). It will be important to parlay this energy into real, tangible results. But for now, we should recognize this movement for what it is: A clear statement in support of proactive, intelligent leadership, leadership that reaches across racial and political lines, leadership that is committed to growing our community, and leadership that believes it is possible for Alexandria to become a business and entertainment hub for the entire state.|W|P|116345436006089825|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/10/2006 10:47:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper
  • Some Iraqis want Saddam's execution to be broadcast on television. American news media pretends to be confused and offended.
  • Check this out. Someone left this link on the blog. Feedback graphs on positive and negative campaign commercials during the 2006 Senate race.
  • Mark your calendars: Inauguration set for December 4th, 12 Noon, Downtown Riverfront Center.
  • Bill Cosby settles confidential sexual harassment lawsuit. Source: Law.com
  • Lincoln Chaffee considers leaving the GOP.
  • New Secretary of Defense Bob Gates is more of a Bush 41 Republican than a Bush 43 Republican. Source: "Rave Reviews for Bob Gates," Red State.
  • Louisiana Congressional Delegation is pretty happy about the Rumsfeld resignation. Source: The BR Advocate.
|W|P|116318515087346508|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/09/2006 12:56:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Hindsight is 20/20: What Republican Campaign Tactics Teach Us About the State of American Democracy. In 1970, a nineteen-year-old Karl Rove played a little prank on the campaign of Alan Dixon, who was running for State Treasurer of Illinois. Rove used a fake name, walked into Dixon's campaign office, and stole 1,000 sheets of paper with the Dixon letterhead. The young Rove then used the stationary to print a flier promising "free beer, free food, girls, and a good time for nothing" and dispersed the flier to homeless shelters and rock concerts. To some, this may seem like a harmless juvenile prank, but to others, this is the very first example of the Rovian political strategy. During the past fifteen years, Americans have become very familiar with the Rove strategy, and his model for victory, in one form or another, has been executed by countless campaigns across the country. The Rove strategy relies on targeted fear and deception, and it is anchored by deep pockets and a network of loosely-formed political action committees. Often, journalists and political analysts overstate Rove's singular influence; what Rove has provided is simply a formula, a blueprint, and a method. Rove led, and others followed by example. The formula is quite elementary: Target voters who can be manipulated, and paint your opponent, through both official and unofficial channels, as morally and ethically bankrupt. In Texas, Rove helped George W. Bush win the governor's race by alleging that the late Ann Richards was a lesbian (which she was not). He helped win the South Carolina primary for George W. Bush by spreading the rumor that McCain had a "black baby." And during the last Presidential election, he found a group of Vietnam veterans who were willing to speak out against Kerry, formed a political action committee, funded the whole enterprise through a Houston real estate developer, and taped a series of powerful commercials, claiming that Kerry hadn't actually served with distinction. None of these veterans actually served with Kerry, but they still said they had. (In truth, they were simply acting out on an old grudge against Kerry). Rove famously courted the evangelical vote, and many of his most defamatory and misleading campaign attacks were carried out from the pulpit. (It's important to note that all the while, behind closed doors, Rove and others insulted and disparaged the very evangelicals they were courting). What we witnessed on Tuesday was not simply the end of the Republican majority in Congress; we also witnessed the end of Rovian political strategy. Quite simply, Americans are tired of negative campaigning, particularly when the negativity is so transparent in its objectives. During the last election, Republicans pulled out every play in the Rove play book: race-baiting, fear-mongering, and outright divisiveness. It is one thing to campaign on the issues, and it is quite another to scare people into voting (or not voting) based on deception. Republicans may fairly take issue with the Democratic tax plan, and Democrats may also fairly question Republicans on the Iraq War. But when campaigns only appeal to our lowest common denominator, when they preach fear and not hope, when they claim an exclusive hold on morality and God, and when they use our airwaves to spread vitriol, we must stand up, regardless of our party affiliation. Last Tuesday, Americans did just that. We should all be thankful that there is now a check against the unfettered spending, the misguided war policies, and the culture of corruption that exists any time one party is allowed to rule unopposed. We should also recognize that the Republicans had actually done a fantastic job of fooling Americans into thinking that our country was more conservative than it actually is and that the only way to move forward is by addressing the needs and concerns of the Great American Middle. During the last election, Democrats received between 25%- 33% of the evangelical vote, a clear sign of the shifting winds. Next: What the Roy/Brewer Run-off Teaches Us About Alexandria.|W|P|116311354629290867|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/09/2006 12:44:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper
  • Roy Supporters Currently Planning Inauguration Events. For some perspective, twenty years ago, Mayor Randolph's inauguration included a church service, the swearing-in, the lighting of the Christmas tree, and, of course, a black tie affair.
  • Britney's filing for divorce, y'all.
  • George Allen concedes; both the House and the Senate are now controlled by the Democrats for the first time in twelve years.
  • Rummy's out, Rush is relieved he doesn't have to keep lying.
|W|P|116310532508629142|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/08/2006 06:30:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Q:Who Broke the Rumsfeld Resignation Story? A: Comedy Central's Blog! |W|P|116303948053707152|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/08/2006 02:01:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Yesterday, Jacques Roy easily won the Alexandria Mayoral Election, capturing over 76% of the vote against opponent Delores Brewer. I will be offering a detailed precinct-by-precinct analysis later. Last night, I had the privilege of introducing our new mayor to the throngs of supporters (estimated between 500-600 people) who gathered at the Holiday Inn. Here's what I said (if I had Jacques's speech, I'd post it too):
Three months ago, a young lawyer named Jacques Roy announced his intentions to run for mayor of Alexandria. It was a daunting task in a crowded field of seven candidates-- one of whom had already raised over $100,000, a huge amount for such a small city. This election, as has been said frequently, was one of, if not the most important election in our city's history. It was an election of enthusiasm and ideas. It was an election about holding government accountable. It was an election about our future. What we've witnessed tonight is not merely a single victory for a single candidate; it is representative of a huge movement of people- black and white, young and old, Democrat and Republican, a movement of positivity and energy and vigor, a movement created by people committed to the future of our great city, and a movement that I believe will exist for many years to come. It is with great pride and honor that I introduce to you Alexandria's new mayor, Jacques Roy.
(I didn't stick to the script, but this is what I MEANT to say. Short and sweet). For now, let's talk about what's next.|W|P|116298056062137653|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/07/2006 10:48:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Click here to watch the election unfold. CenLamar will return to its regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.
|W|P|116292553939808439|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/06/2006 06:02:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Open Thread: The Mayor's Race|W|P|116286500770058793|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/06/2006 12:32:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
President Bush Rallying Up the BaseThe Heartland Yawns.
|W|P|116284529230331793|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/06/2006 11:11:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper
  • Cheney going hunting on Election Day. This will be the first time he's gone huntin' since he shot that guy in the face. Source: Washington Post.
  • Has anyone noticed that this is one of the nastiest campaign seasons in our history? Check out this mail-out on Wonkette.
  • Completely insane Katherine Harris prays to bring the hearts and minds of our Jewish brothers and sisters into alignment. Did I mention she's running for Senate? Source: TBO.
  • Sunday's news: Saddam Hussein sentenced to death. The Saints improve to 6-2.
  • Democrats look poised to retake Congress. Republicans are still trying to figure out how to react to all of these gay sex scandals.
  • Listen to KSYL's TalkBack Live and try to guess the identity of the caller at 5 minutes. Check out KSYL.
|W|P|116284100209586448|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/05/2006 09:01:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Once Again, Vote Roy for Mayor! Jacques Roy says there is a new excitement in the air here in Alexandria. He's right. During the past three months, Alexandrians have discussed our shared future, and nowhere has this conversation been more detailed and more passionate than right here in the blogosphere. We've offered a play-by-play analysis of this election. Before the primary election, we unpacked the candidacies of all seven contenders, and collectively, we asked, "Who makes the most sense? Who will bring a renewed energy and hope to City Hall? Who is most capable of standing up to entrenched interests? Who can steward Alexandria through this great period of growth?" And the consensus, insofar as I can tell, is that Jacques Roy, a thirty-six-year old lawyer, represents our best hope. Until now, I have remained silent about the type of campaign that Roy's opponent, Delores Brewer, has been waging. I have directed readers to the facts about the commercials and mail-outs, but I have offered no analysis. I once believed that Mrs. Brewer wanted to be mayor for the right reasons. I am no longer so certain. The Town Talk likened Mrs. Brewer's campaign to a "grim theater of reckless advertising and personal attacks." But it is more than that. It is premised on divisiveness, deception, and outright lies. Two of Mrs. Brewer's television commercials have been covered nationally, not for their inventiveness but because they represent everything that is wrong about political campaigning. One of the nation's most influential blogs, My Left Wing, had this to say about Mrs. Brewer's infamous rape ad:
Although Brewer and her Republican handlers from Baton Rouge vehemently deny it, Brewer patently conflates her rapist and her Democratic opponent, Jacques Roy, in the television spot: therein she claims both of them have attacked her; both of their "attacks" required her to regroup and rebuild her "strength" and "integrity;" and both, the ad implies, have "disrespected" the community. The parallel structures it erects cannot be more pellucid. And she has admitted it, although she refuses to apologize to those whose experience of rape and molestation she exploited in order to tape a commercial whose bathetic and sanctimonious message ranks it one of the most offensive and cynical political advertisements in Louisiana history (bold mine).
My Left Wing and others have also offered thorough analysis of Brewer's press conference and the notorious "pig" commercial, painting both as part of an old-time Southern strategy for victory, relying on subtle stereotypes and innuendo. On November 7, I hope that we will all resist this message. We will see it for what it truly is: a campaign engineered on lies and fear, a campaign that has indeed resorted to the unfortunately named "Southern Strategy" for victory. Mr. Roy has done our community a big favor by refusing to respond to these commercials. However offensive they may be, Jacques Roy has rendered them unimportant. Why? Because when Jacques Roy said he would not engage in negative campaigning during the run-off, he meant it. He kept his word. And by keeping his word, Jacques Roy has shown that he is above such superfluous and inflammatory attacks. I can personally attest that Mr. Roy has been campaigning in all parts of our city, not simply in the precincts that carry the most Democrat voters. He has shared his message of inclusive, smart growth with anyone willing to listen, and he has parlayed the excitement of this election into a cohesive movement that will likely exist for years to come. He has given all of us-- black and white, Democrat and Republican, young and old-- someone and something to believe in. Mr. Roy has demonstrated that he is truly in touch with the needs and expectations of our community. Last week, when Mrs. Brewer asked Mr. Roy on KSYL radio to explain "smart growth," he offered a five minute in-depth analysis: Smart growth isn't simply about in-fill; it's much more. Mr. Roy does his homework, and his experience in law will serve our community well, as we become something bigger and better than a quaint city on a river. Please do not be complacent. Cast your vote on November 7 for real change. Please vote for Jacques Roy.|W|P|116278931053815802|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com--> http://southernstudies.org/facingsouth/2006/11/hurricane-survivors-protest-louisianas.asp WeSawThat had an interesting conspiracy theory about the feds forcing Blanco's hand to pick ICF, as about half of their directors used to be in national security. Other than one other person speculating ICF probably greased hands in Washington and BR to get the contract ( http://bayoustjohndavid.blogspot.com/2006/11/jefferson-has-very-devastating-ads.html [bottom comment]. On the other hand, most other things I've read suggest the contract was just a bad choice. It's been pointed out that they do a lot of work for other states and for the federal government, and picked, ironically, for their speed in cutting checks. In the WeSawThat post, John Kennedy discusses that he thought the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency was a better choice. http://wesawthat.blogspot.com/2006/11/secy-john-kennedy-on-lra-road-home.html Interestingly enough, RedState has passed along a rumor that Kennedy is considering switching parties to run against Mary in '08 as a Republican. http://www.redstate.com/stories/elections/2008/senate_2008 Mary is considered one of the most endangered Democratic Senators in 08, for reasons you more than well know. The Senate will probably not go GOP because of the map, which negates Lieberman's party-switching threats. Many have linked her re-eletion to the success or failure of the Oil Revenue legislation. That's a big one, and interesting. I'd say this Oyster post serves as a nice primer, with an excellent dialectic resulting in a sort of consensus in the comments. Solid link: http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/10/citybiz-jindal-stubbornly-resisted.html The idea is that the House bill, which is pretty radical, would allow any state that wanted to drill off their coast for substantial federal revenue sharing and give LA a lot of cash right away. The Senate Bill, which passed with only 25 dissenters (mostly envi-Democrats), is less environmentally offensive but wouldn't give LA any real cash for a decade I think (I did read one interesting idea about putting bonds against the future income, or something). [It smells like Jindal might be trying to pull an Arlen Specter. Two amendments related to the Military Commissions Act were up for discussion in the Senate. I don't remember the exact details but Specter had promised the Dems that he would put the vote to a less-radical compromise provision striking the habeus corpus denial. My memory is bad, but the idea is that at the last minute he went with the more radical proposal that he knew would fail, but that covered him when it came to looking like he wanted to protect habeus corpus. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/senate/2/votes/255/ ] By supporting a radical bill that is a big time punch-in-the-face huge score for Louisiana comes across as being extremely noble and daring of Jindal. However, he's not a fool and he must know that it won't work. He's not pushing for compromise with the Senate Bill. I'm rusty on the process but if the House Bill is voted on and not the Senate Bill then Bobby can claim that he was a valiant hardliner, and it was the fault of the Dems in the Senate that nothing got passed. He looks good in the end, but really if he had actually compromised something could have gotten done. It's a good way to make an issue to sink Mary with in 08, who he'd probably go up against if he loses the Governor's Mansion. This is from Mary's website: "This letter by an influential group of House Republicans is yet another signal that a consensus is emerging that the best course of action is to pass the Domenici-Landrieu bill that does so much for Louisiana, the Gulf Coast and the nation. Now is not the time to overreach with an all-coast drilling plan that cannot pass. It is the time for our coalition of supporters -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- to come together and pass this vital legislation." And speaking of reelections, there's Mary's support of Joe. Besides the fact that they are both conservative Dems, and the fact that national politics have almost no play in Louisiana state politics, it's notable that Mary supported him. It took 42 minutes for Lieberman's committee to confirm Michael Brown to his position, and when the shit hit the fan Joe's excuse was that Brownie had lied on his resume, which of course was discovered only later by checking his references of all things. http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/10/mary-mary-quite-contrary.html Moreover, here's Lieberman on the Senate Bill: I cannot vote for an enterprise that falsely suggests we can drill our way out of this energy crisis and that willfully ignores bipartisan solutions to our oil addiction, said Lieberman. This bill is a wasted opportunity and a disservice to the American people. This was taken from the comments (which provide excellent analysis) of: http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/11/political-notes.html It makes sense that Mary wants to be beholden to Joe, who the media has erroneously made out as the most important senator ever (Unity08 is an organization that is trying to get a McCain/Lieberman independent presidential ticket... yikes!). I seriously doubt Joe is going to investigate much of Katrina. Thank God we have Henry Waxman. Update: I just read on her website (landrieu.senate.gov) that on November 14th she was selected to serve on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Gov't Affairs. Surprise surprise. And speaking again of reelections, the Road Home (not to mention the storm) has tied an anchor around Blanco's neck. Jindal is rockin the cashboat hard, and as you know he won with 88% to his house district. I bring this up here to point out this survey, on another conservative blog (spare yourself and don't read the comments), http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1741066/posts which gives Jindal 52% to Blanco's 20%. A poll this far out is not informative in the least, but they did also include Vitter and Mitch, both who pulled 9%. I read on a blog and then heard independently from a close friend that some want Blanco to step out of the reelection bid to make way for Mitch for Gov. I also found a new online petition asking him to run, but basically no one had signed it (Google "Mitch Landrieu for Governor" if you care). I kind of like this idea, but who knows. A lot think he's damaged goods after Nagin beat him (oops), but Blanco is looking a lot like Lyndon Johnson in 1968 if you ask me. It doesn't seem to me like Mitch has been doing that kind of campaigning, but Blanco has. Consider her budget surplus ideas (insurance rebates, salary raises), which people are calling an attempt to buy votes. Most pragmatists say that this money, as it is not a recurring source of income, should be spent on infrastructure, especially roads for the oil industry or improving the transit from NOLA and BR for hurricane evacuation. The end of this recent Oyster post is a little heartening, though he makes it pretty clear that the 109th Congress is not going to vote on the Oil Revenue sharing proposal: http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/11/one-last-gop-insult-to-la-will-dems.html And the record of Mary's Senatorial votes, where you can see when she went against her party: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/l000550/key-votes/ Questions for Our Senator: 1) Is there any way to make use of the Oil Revenue money immediately? What kind of projects (more specific than just "coastal/hurricane protection") will it be used for? 2) Is it over for Blanco? Will Mitch try to step it up? 3) What's up with Lieberman? 4) What is the real problem with the Road Home Program? Is there actually a problem at all, or are people just being impatient? Is there anything fishy about the ICF contract? 5) What's up with her support of the Iraq War, and more importantly, her support of Military Commissions and the Patriot Act? 6) Why did she go against her party after the hurricane to support the bankruptcy bill? http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/senate/1/votes/44/ 7) What is her opinion of Jim Webb's assertion that there is a class war going on in America with respect to the shift in health, financial, and vocational security risk from employers to employees? 8) Does the state Democratic Party care at all about a progressive movement in Louisiana? Does one even exist? Are Louisiana Democrats committed to the political center in order to reflect their electorate to insure reelection? 9) Is the populist political legacy of the Longs still applicable to Louisiana today? 10) What's up with the catfish? 11) Is Alexandria in a unique position to serve Southern Louisiana due to it's location as the first real city north of the Hurricane Zone? Or are we fooling ourselves? 12) What do you think of Harry Truman's statement (paraphrased) that when the Democrats run a Republican against the Republican, the Republican will always win?|W|P|116490440203992703|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/29/2006 10:57:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Open Thread: What Businesses (And Types of Businesses) Do We Need in Alexandria?|W|P|116487014915215984|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/29/2006 12:02:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Honoring Mayor Ned Randolph Yesterday night, the City of Alexandria held a series of events, culminating in a banquet at the Riverfront Center featuring Governor Kathleen Blanco, honoring Mayor Ned Randolph. And this reminded me: When I was a kid, every Sunday morning at church, we used to sit right behind the mayor. My brother, sister, and I thought it was pretty cool because after the service ended we got to shake the mayor's hand. As a child, I considered him to be a shy and humble person, someone genuine. I didn't really know what a mayor did, but I knew he was important. And he is. During the past four months, we've been discussing the problems facing Alexandria and how to solve those problems. I hope that this discussion does not obscure the truth: Alexandria suffers from growing pains. When considering the accomplishments of Mayor Randolph, it is impossible to recognize Alexandria without him: A successful plan for England Air Park, a state-of-the-art airport, I-49, a 4-year LSUA, the Port of Alexandria, hospital expansions, the Alexandria Aces, numerous subdivision developments, and Union Tank Car. Alexandria, it has been said, is poised for tremendous growth, and we owe much of this to the leadership of Mayor Randolph. In less than a week, Mayor Randolph will serve his last day as Mayor of Alexandria. Many things have changed in twenty years. And thankfully, we are all better off because of these changes. Certainly, there is a lot left to accomplish, but our future accomplishments will be built on the successes of a shy, humble, yet important man who dedicated most of his professional career toward public service. Thank you Ned Randolph.|W|P|116479013307035431|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/28/2006 10:46:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Dispatch from the Roy Transition Team Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jacques Roy's transition team met for four hours at the Riverfront Center and attempted to produce a list of priorities, which will be analyzed by members of Roy's Executive Transition Committee. The Executive Transition Committee is chaired by Pineville Mayor Clarence Fields. Fields and others will review and prioritize recommendations made by several transition committees and subcommittees, including Community Development, Infrastructure, Housing, Community Health, Healthy Communities, Recreation, Economic Development, Children, Workforce Development, and Education. During the first Executive Transition meeting, community leaders and key advisers presented their reports on Alexandria's top priorities. Several advisers expressed, among other things, the need for a city grant writer and public relations department, marketing our downtown, increasing the police force, an effective and comprehensive city-wide marketing plan, and increasing opportunities for workforce education. The Economic Development Committee made several recommendations concerning affordable housing and the need for a consolidated Mayor's Office of Economic Development. Secondarily, the committee also suggested wireless Internet access in parts of the City and in following with the models of Lafayette and Austin, laying down fiber-optics cable throughout the City. Mayor-elect Roy reaffirmed the need for inclusive and smart growth throughout the meeting. When Key Adviser Bill Hess noted that South Alexandria is a retail and restaurant "desert," Roy stated that South Alexandria cannot afford to be neglected. He explained that the lack of basic services in South Alexandria (such as a nearby ATM, a fast food restaurant, or a post office) is a burden to many residents and that smart growth must be a plan that includes all parts of Alexandria. I was in the Community Development Committee, and our number one priority was creating a comprehensive city-wide marketing plan. So: Later: An Effective and Comprehensive Marketing Plan for Alexandria (And What It Would Mean)|W|P|116478545901934915|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/28/2006 04:30:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Town Talk: The Trees Versus the Forest Throughout the past two weeks, the Town Talk has been in a fit over the Alexandria City Government's refusal to release the details of a report analyzing leaks at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center. Today, they published an editorial instructing Mayor-elect Jacques Roy to release the report once he assumes office on December 4th, claiming that in doing so, Roy will be keeping his promise of government transparency. According to City Attorney Kelvin Sanders and Mayor-elect Roy (both of whom have read the report), the report contains sensitive information that may need to be used in potential future litigation. Releasing the information to the public, before the City has had an opportunity to build and present its case, may put the City at a strategic disadvantage. And considering it is the obligation of the City to collect any potential damages owed to taxpayers, it follows that prematurely sharing critical information and the "mental impressions" of an expert, would put taxpayers at a disadvantage as well. But the Town Talk is not having any of it. The fact that Roy has read parts of this report, they argue, means that the public also has the right to read it-- because Roy hasn't yet taken office, they claim, he's still a private citizen. I'm not sure who the Town Talk relied on for legal advice, but it seems they're a little confused. (And I have on good word that this misconception will be cleared up in the very near future). Let's think about this on a very basic level: Next November, Americans will be electing a new President. Between November 2007 and January 2008, our next President-elect will be thoroughly briefed on a host of confidential and proprietary issues, including, among other things, security and emergency management procedures. Would the Town Talk argue that our next President-elect should not be able to review confidential information unless said information was declassified and made public beforehand? Certainly not. The President-elect, like our Mayor-elect, is, in fact, a public official, and even though the hyphenated "elect" follows his title, it's still an official title. To further exercise their bully pulpit, the Town Talk claims that by not releasing the report, Mayor-elect Roy would be breaking his promise of "transparency," and they direct readers to his website, where they may find information on Roy's positions concerning government accountability and transparency. The notion of transparency, as was mentioned numerous times by numerous people throughout the campaign, means that government should be held accountable for their decisions. It means that back room consulting contracts must be brought into the public light. It means that the public has a right to know how the government is spending their tax dollars. It means the government has an obligation to operate ethically. It does not mean, however, that the Town Talk has the right to print sensitive information that may be used in litigation. That is precisely why Louisiana has an exception to public records requests. Perhaps this exception has been used loosely in the past, but in this case, it seems that the City Attorney, the Mayor, and the Mayor-elect (all of whom have degrees in law) are acting judiciously, believing that, based on the information they have read and analyzed, it would compromise the City's ability to pursue litigation if the full report was leaked (pardon the pun). It is healthy and necessary to continually question whether or not the government is acting in the best interest of the public, but in this instance, the Town Talk has attempted to pursue a story without considering the consequences.|W|P|116476546296802624|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/26/2006 09:31:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Boyce Mayor Julius Patrick Killed in Automobile Accident on I-10 Longtime Boyce Mayor Julius Patrick was killed earlier today in a traffic accident on Interstate 10. The Town Talk describes the details:
That collision sent the Toyota across the median, where it clipped a Saab in the westbound lane. The Toyota then crashed head-on into Patrick's vehicle. Patrick was pronounced dead at the scene by the Ascension Parish coroner, reads the report. The driver of the Nissan Maxima left the scene and State Police are searching for that driver and the vehicle. The driver of the Toyota 4Runner, Alona M. Williams, 20, of Baton Rouge, sustained serious injuries and was airlifted by Acadian AirMed to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, the Troop A report stated. The driver of the Saab, Scott M. Gilbert, 27, of Houston, Texas, sustained minor injuries and was not taken to a hospital for treatment. State Police said the Maxima has Louisiana license plate OTE 951. State Police Troop A is asking that anyone with information call (225) 754-8500.
Mayor Patrick was recently reelected after a tough campaign against Ernie Johnson. |W|P|116460575555120683|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/26/2006 12:43:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Roy: Preparing Comprehensive Plan for Alexandria According to Mayor-elect Jacques Roy, suggestions from his seventy-plus member transition team will be used in writing an extensive and comprehensive plan for Alexandria's future. Roy expects a preliminary plan to be completed within the next two weeks but states that a final draft won't be ready for at least six months. "I think people will be surprised about the amount of material produced by the transition team, its interfacing with city officials (who have been very candid), and the preliminary compartmentalization of the issues," Roy said. "The model we used has been very effective, and like the campaign, was borne of the ideas of Alexandrians. Although a comprehensive 'findings' document is far off, a 100-day plan with executive style summaries will be released shortly." Roy believes it will be important to share the plan with the entire community and has suggested holding town hall meetings, open to the public, in which audience members will be able to ask questions and offer suggestions to the new mayor and his administration. Roy's transition team is composed of volunteers, many of whom have been working throughout the Thanksgiving holidays, compiling information and writing reports on specifically-assigned subjects.|W|P|116457456157961407|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/24/2006 11:08:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|New York Times: Cities Compete for Coolness In Order To Attract Young Professionals Shaila Dewan wrote an interesting piece in today's New York Times about the pressing desire for American cities to attract young people in order to ensure sustained growth. Why? From the article:
These measures reflect a hard demographic reality: Baby boomers are retiring and the number of young adults is declining. By 2012, the work force will be losing more than two workers for every one it gains....

Cities have long competed over job growth, struggling to revive their downtowns and improve their image. But the latest population trends have forced them to fight for college-educated 25- to 34-year-olds, a demographic group increasingly viewed as the key to an economic future.

Mobile but not flighty, fresh but technologically savvy, “the young and restless,” as demographers call them, are at their most desirable age, particularly because their chances of relocating drop precipitously when they turn 35. Cities that do not attract them now will be hurting in a decade.

So how do cities attract young people?

Well, look to the examples of Portland, Austin, and Atlanta. They retain young people by appealing to the "cool factor."
Still, what works in one city will not work in others, Mr. Cortright said, and not all young people are looking for the same things. He cites Portland’s bike paths, which many point to as an amenity that has helped the city attract young people.

“I think that confuses a result with a cause,” Mr. Cortright said. Portland happened to have a group who wanted concessions for cyclists and was able to get them, he said.

“The real issue was, is your city open to a set of ideas from young people, and their wish to realize their dream or objective in your city,” he said. “You could go out and build bike paths, but if that’s not what your young people want, it’s not going to work.”

|W|P|116443917997928761|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/23/2006 11:06:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Observations and Unsolicited Opinions on Alexandria's Housing Problem Recently, the Town Talk reported that Central Louisiana's real estate market is outperforming national trends by a significant margin. Although new high-end residential construction is definitely a growth sector in Central Louisiana, I disagree with the contention that our real estate market is healthy and stable, particularly Alexandria's market. Indeed, the reason that our real estate market appears to be so strong is because affordable housing is simply too expensive to construct. The proliferation of high-end developments, while exciting, actually belies a major problem: the lack of affordable housing in our community. During the mayoral election, several community activists expressed support for a plan of in-fill revitalization; that is, encouraging investors and developers to tackle large-scale renovation projects on homes located in blighted areas-- as a way of solving the affordable housing problem. It's a good idea, and we definitely have a problem. The median household income in Alexandria is a little more than half of the national average, which means that the average family in Alexandria cannot afford the average home. An affordable home in Alexandria is actually priced and valued correctly; the problem is that it is still prohibitively expensive for the average family. The average family in Alexandria, based on the federal government's definition of affordable housing, should be able to afford a home priced between $80,000- $110,000. Unfortunately, there is a significant dearth of homes in this price range in our real estate market. During the past twelve months (according to our local MLS), only 48 three bedroom, 1,500-square foot homes sold in Alexandria; that is an average of four homes per month, a staggeringly low number when one considers the number of people who have moved into Alexandria during the past twelve months. And this just scratches at the surface. We're only looking at the "average" family. Consider the fact that approximately 40% of people in the Alexandria region live from 50% to 150% below the poverty line. This precludes them from even considering buying a home. If Alexandria's growth follows the current trend, new neighborhoods will only include high-end housing. It's simply too expensive for builders to justify affordable housing construction, unless it's subsidized by the government. This will create stratification and segregation. The average taxpayer will be paying for new infrastructure for subdivisions they will never be able to enjoy. While I understand that in-fill redevelopment is essential at solving a short-term problem (with the added benefit of improving blighted neighborhoods), we must be thinking ahead. We must envision what Alexandria will look like in twenty years, as we expand and as certain areas of town become developed due to added infrastructure. We must ensure that our growth is not lopsided, that it incorporates a mix of developments, and that it encourages affordable housing. Currently, I believe Alexandria may be over-saturating itself with high-end developments, and as a result of this over-saturation, we may be over-extending ourselves as well.|W|P|116435330688254610|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/23/2006 09:14:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|CenLamar Featured in Virtuocity Apparently, all the fuss we've been making about smart growth here in Alexandria has been picked up by a national website on sustainable communities and "human-friendly development," Virtuocity.com. From Virtuocity:

The recent election has inspired the author to contemplate the implications of the public’s choice, just as this local example resonates with a nationwide situation. Alexandria, says Mr. White, is a prime example of suburban sprawl, as the town has tripled in size while the population remains constant—a problem that could be partially solved by annexing the surrounding neighborhoods that currently remain outside of the city’s zoning laws and tax liability.

|W|P|116434560310863960|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/23/2006 11:18:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Lifted from EPSN by way of Wonkette: What's the Best Part of Thanksgiving?
No big surprises here: Louisianans love their food, Oklahomans love their football, and Floridians are in the process of a recount.|W|P|116430969218055596|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/23/2006 10:32:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Vote for Jindal! Win a Free Apple Computer! Recently, the Louisiana Republican Party has been touting their clever pro-Jindal, anti-Blanco website, www.dontblamemeivotedforjindal.com. In today's Town Talk, James Quinn, a director for the Louisiana GOP, wrote an opinion piece about the website, claiming that it chronicles Blanco's "weakly blunders" and ineptitude. I have no problem with a political party setting up a website, complete with embarrassing photos of one's opponent (which is about as substantive as this website is). That's what democracy is all about! But here's the kicker: In order to lure people to the embarrassing photos...err.. information, the Louisiana GOP is promoting a TV ad contest in which contestants have the chance to win a FREE APPLE COMPUTER! Woo hoo! Ball's in your court, Kathleen. I suggest the Dems offer something even better... like a FREE CAR! Happy Thanksgiving.|W|P|116430792204698629|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/22/2006 02:08:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Tonight at the Frosty Factory: A Dazed Jam Session Featuring Dale Le Boeuf, Zach Rhea, and Derek Ashcraft, 9PM Influences include Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Thelonius Monk, and Les Claypool.|W|P|116423352522156771|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/22/2006 01:02:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|CenLamar Endorses: Talk of the Town: The Rise of Alexandria, Louisiana, and the Daily Town Talk Hurry up! There's only one in stock on Amazon.com! Or just order it directly from LSU. Book Description (Anyone care to draw some parallels?): As the sleepy courthouse town of Alexandria, Louisiana, began to recover from the devastation and trauma of the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Daily Town Talk appeared. Nicknamed "Alexandria’s postage stamp paper" by a rival publication, the Town Talk aimed to be "the best daily outside of New Orleans" and became one of the most successful regional newspapers of its kind. It quickly championed urban rejuvenation and envisioned Alexandria as the "Future Great" city of the state, if not the entire South. Fredrick M. Spletstoser tells the story of the paper’s first sixty years and of the town’s triumphs and setbacks during that same time. An unpretentious country journal, the "Town Talk" would become in the second half of the twentieth century a pioneer in newspaper technology under the leadership of Joe D. Smith, one of the most respected names in American journalism.

Though Alexandria did not evolve into the grand and glittering metropolis dreamed of, it was not for lack of effort. The Town Talk and the family who published it were among the city’s most optimistic champions. The newspaper was inextricably bound up with—and often directly behind—transformations in Alexandria’s urban landscape, the development of municipal services and education, efforts to attract industry and cultivate trade, and the stimulation of surrounding agribusiness.

In chronicling Alexandria’s past, Spletstoser examines the construction, timber, and railroad booms that occurred across the turn of the century, the large and enduring military presence in central Louisiana, and the impact of Huey P. Long’s political career. Along the way, he narrates colorful stories culled from the "Town Talk"’s pages and describes the fascinating family members who published the paper during this entire period.

Among the most important institutions in the South after the Civil War, small-town newspapers recorded the feelings and desires of the vast majority of the common people. Talk of the Town illustrates the role provincial journalism played in the planning and expansion of towns throughout the country as it relates the engrossing social, cultural, economic, and political history of one southern place and the people who lived there.|W|P|116423011153260156|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/22/2006 08:32:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|WeSawThat Posts Controversial Audio Recordings of Rich Dupree and Greg Aymond From WeSawThat:
xxx mp3 one xxx- please listen to this tape first xxx sources tell wst that this is rich dupree explaining what he had told a town talk reporter about greg aymond's termination. notice that mr.dupree said he lacked confidence in mr.aymond's ability to handle waterworks matters and that his vote had nothing to do with the (town of ball, louisiana, mayor) roy hebron matter. this is from the waterworks district 3 board meeting of tuesday, 27 july 2004. xxx mp3 two xxx- please listen to this tape last xxx this audio file is from a telephone conversation between greg aymond and rich dupree held on wednesday, 14 july 2004, immediately after the water works district 3 board meeting in which the board voted 6-3 to terminate aymond's service as the waterworks attorney of 16 years. notice in this conversation, rich dupree states that greg aymond was fired as a result of the roy hebron matter and that mr. dupree offers to let mr. aymond continue handling all ongoing litigation.
|W|P|116421342563280520|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/21/2006 11:36:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Defeat William Jefferson! Vote Karen Carter! Those of us in Central Louisiana may not be in the same Congressional district as our friends in the 2nd. (We're represented by Rodney Alexander. Remember him? The guy whose page got creeped out by Mark Foley, the guy whose secretary was pen pals with convicted murderer Scott Peterson, the guy whose chief of staff, Royal, is now being sued for sexual harassment... and all of this came to light only two months before the election. Yeah, that's our Congressman!). But even those of us in Central Louisiana have a limit to what our leaders can get away with (and still expect to be re-elected). Consider, say, $90,000 in cash in a Congressman's freezer as a metaphor for that line. It doesn't matter how it got there, and it doesn't matter how Jefferson intends to eventually explain it all away: When the feds find 90K in your freezer (after you've been accused of taking a $100,000 bribe), you shouldn't even consider making a run for Congress. I'm certain Karen Carter is more qualified than Jefferson for Congress. Why? One reason: No one has ever found $90,000 in cash in her freezer. Daniel T. Smith tells a good story:
Last weekend, Matt Stoller of MyDD called on 100 people to donate $100 a piece, and when they received 11K plus dollars they decided to hire a man named Tim Tagaris, who covered the Ned Lamont race for MyDD, and send him to NOLA for the next thee weeks to follow the La-02 runoff. www.mydd.com/story/2006/11/15/154230/71 In the comments of MyDD's announcement, they put forth an open invitation for people to contribute blog names of New Orleans activists (I signed up to MyDD to plug the Roy election victory and your blog, btw). It's an interesting list, and here's the motherload: thinknola.com/wiki/New_Orleans_bloggers Anyway, Oyster over at YourRightHandThief (a nicely written progressive NOLA blog) in his most recent entry titled "MyDD: Moral Ghostbusters" (I couldn't find a permalink), has some interesting opinions about Stoller/MyDD's portrayal of Landrieu as a "moral ghost" and MyDD's decision to send Tagaris to NOLA. In the first comment blogger Adrastos (.blog-city) calls Tagaris a "carpetblogger." righthandthief.blogspot.com Tagaris actually left a comment of his own on the thread, and it's really conciliatory and he immediately won the support of Oyster's readers (no small feat in the blogosphere). He seems extremely motivated, and in spite of his benefactor and previous jobs he is not directly attached to the Carter campaign. Here's his first segment, which has okay comments as well, the highlight (lowlight?) being a picture of a Katrinacorpse. www.mydd.com/story/2006/11/16/195119/10 I'm sorry to give you so much to look at all at once, since you have more than you can handle with one city already, but this is all going to be irrelevant after December 9. I thought you'd be interested because this actually represents the national blogging community refocusing on New Orleans, and an example of how bloggers are not simply a bunch of computer potatoes. There are real projects that bridge the gap between the virtual and the visceral. It is also informing my opinion of Landrieu (Oyster at YRHT defends her pretty well, and he has the same reservations that we do, i.e. Holy Joe, and with the upcoming coastal oil revenue sharing proposal she and Blanco are going to be in the spotlight a bit more over the next two months). It's also interesting that Tagaris seems to completely understand the importance of engaging a community through it's bloggers, especially considering that his medium is professional internet journalism as well.
Read more: MyDD.com The Legal Woes of William Jefferson William Jefferson Filmed Taking Cash PS: Yesterday, RightHandThief Said Jacques Roy is a Rising Democratic Star.|W|P|116413931229442002|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/21/2006 07:43:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Initial Dispatch from the Roy Transition Team Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jacques Roy and his transition team gathered at the Bolton Avenue Community Center to begin work on laying out a foundation of ideas and plans for the next four years. Mr. Roy spoke for approximately forty-five minutes, instructing team members on their duties and his vision of smart growth (or community-based planning) for Alexandria. Urban planner Pat Moore, who will advise the Mayor-elect on Vision, gave a twenty-minute presentation on smart growth principles and what he called "growing buffalo food" (which, he explained, are ways in which a community can bolster its ability to attract and keep jobs). The team then broke into committees and subcommittees. I can only speak for the discussions we had in two subcommittees to which I was assigned, housing and community development. The initial findings of the community development subcommittee were that Alexandria needs to better market itself and its cultural and artistic communities and events. Additionally, I believe (and I've said this before on the blog) that we need to improve our amphitheater. The subcommittee discussed, among other things, ways in which we can diversify and increase the conventions we hold, city-wide events like Quein' on the Red and Third Street block parties, and utilizing public access television to share regularly updated information about upcoming events in the city. The housing committee recognized the dearth of affordable housing in Alexandria and developed several strategies for dealing with this problem. (All of which will be explained as the ideas become more fleshed out). The initial summary conclusion of the housing subcommittee says it best:
"The biggest housing issue for purposes of quality of life is the lack of affordable housing. This stems in part from the high percentage of residents living below the poverty line. It should also be noted that the last public housing project was built 30 years ago."
If you have any questions or suggestions for housing or community development, please feel free to leave a comment.|W|P|116412467903630420|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/19/2006 11:07:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Roy Transition Team Set to Meet This Afternoon Seventy-plus members of Mayor-elect Jacques Roy's transition team will be meeting for the first time later today. Roy is expected to speak for about an hour, laying out his vision for Alexandria and instructing transition team members on their duties. Specifically, Jacques Roy will be asking team members to consider:

· Community-based planning

· How to articulate a vision and who is passionate in our city to achieve it

· Promoting an image for the city, and overcoming the limitations to that image

· How to best create and sustain numerous partnerships and collaborations

· What would division and department heads like to see different

· What resources are missing

|W|P|116400690155182804|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/18/2006 11:38:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Tonight! All the Way from Portland, Oregon (By Way of Rhode Island)... Monstrous! With Opening Act the Tim Turner Band the Frosty Factory, 10PM More on Monstrous: THE Rock n' Roll Band "MONSTROUS" are Three brothers from Rhode Island, Led Gethway -Guitar & vocals - Ken Gethway -Bass & Vocals - Alex Gethway - Drums & vocals . The brothers have been playing and stock piling songs over the last 10 years. Now in their 20's they have been travling around the country in a big white candy truck playing shows , parties and writing their next record . Monstrous just made a studio record of 15 songs , intitled " MOTHER NATURES SLAVES " for release on September 19th 2006 on the New York City label MONSTROUS has just signed with (Howler Records.)|W|P|116387915741559812|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/17/2006 12:47:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Lee Horne for Governor Campaign Releases Music Video
(Yes, a music video). Dear Libertarians, Huh? Sincerely and Seriously, Lamar PS: It sounds like the musical group, Lil' Nuke, basically admits during the course of the commercial that gubernatorial candidate Lee Horne gave them anything that needed for their studio, free of charge. From the music video: "We done tried Democrats and Republicans. We never tried Libertarians.... Why not try something new?"|W|P|116375326676564056|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/16/2006 10:33:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Open Thread: What Suggestions Do You Have for the Transition Team?
|W|P|116374531132608516|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/15/2006 10:48:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Roy Names More People to Transition Team, Creates Subcommittees Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jacques Roy added several more members to his transition team and organized subcommittees to evaluate and analyze specifically assigned tasks. Among those named include Barbara Brister, Jeff Hall, Von Jennings, Horatio Isadore, Carol White, and Cindy Cespiva. Two key advisers were also chosen, urban planner Pat Moore, who will report on Vision, and Bill Hess, who will report on Economic Development . In addition, Mr. Roy also organized subcommittees; these committees include but are not limited to Community Development, Housing, Education, Recreation, Children, Community Health, and Workforce Development.|W|P|116366055510712168|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/14/2006 05:42:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Jacques Roy Announces Transition Team; Mayor Clarence Fields of Pineville to Head Executive Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO ALL MEDIA

November 14, 2006

The transition blueprint is born of my campaign commitments to inclusive, controlled growth of our City. The organization will operate with a funneling effect, but also with a built-in check in the committee structure and use of key experts. We want a free agent group who can ensure that “groupthink” does not set in to foreclose other ideas—to get the most ideas and then separate from those the best ideas.

The mega-committees or spheres of inquiry shown below will be asked to organize themselves according to those persons best suited for more specific areas of inquiry. Overall, the committee structure will answer certain questions about the state of our community, and then compile, organize, and forward that information to the executive transition team, which in turn will use the information to assess delivery of governmental services by the City’s divisions—including whether divisions need re-organization or creation. Clarence Fields has graciously opted to chair the executive group; I am thankful for his leadership across the river and participation now to aid us and ultimately our region.

The spheres represent the macro-components of “smart” growth. Under each sphere, specific issues will be addressed, which may serve useful for organizational purposes by the committees; however, the committees may organize as each desires through its membership.

These issues include consideration of: planning, transportation, economic development, housing, community development, and natural resource development. To smartly grow and preserve what we have, Alexandria should protect its unique sense of community and identity (and further develop a thematic draw, such as its healthcare primacy in the region); preserve and capitalize on natural, infrastructural, and cultural resources (like our river, interstate system, and central location); fairly and inclusively distribute the costs and benefits of our numerous new developments (to reflect our demographics and equitably “grow” our town to avoid sprawl when appropriate); expand the choices for transportation, employment and housing (through mixed-use and other less-thought-of opportunities); value long-range, regional considerations of sustainability instead of immediate gratification (or what will work to make growth more diverse and not subject to deep fluctuations in our local economy and business community); and promote public health and healthful communities (better time spent by our youth after school with positive activities as well as physical health for our community by promoting quality of life initiatives and our hospital complexes).

The committee compositions are reflective of this City, and include some of our “best and brightest.” The goal of transition is to identify problem areas and allow the incoming administration to get a “snapshot” of government through the “fresh” eyes of caring community leaders—but not necessarily to move committed employees out of service. Ultimately, the central mission is to have the current city managers transition the new mayor into office. This administration seeks to identify avenues to revitalize and build our community better—locally and regionally.

Thank you for your support and patience.

--Jacques M. Roy, November 14, 2006

    QUALITY OF LIFE, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

    & COMMUNITY HEALTH

1. Victor Kirk

2. Lamar White

3. Graves Theus

4. Lee Gwinn

5. Reverend Larry Turner

6. Bart Jones, P.T.

7. Les Glankler

8. Todd Drury, M.D.

9. A.C. Buchanan

10. Reverend Dan O’Connor

11. Booker T. Booze, Jr.

12. Robert Leavines

13. Robert Bussey

14. Stephen Wright

Eight positions unfilled or unconfirmed

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INFRASTRUCTURE

1. Byron Salazar 1. Chad Juneau

2. David Pugh 2. Glenda Fitzpatrick

3. __________ 3. ______________

4. Martin Johnson 4. Sam Sansing

5. __________ 5. ______________

6. Joe Fuller 6. Rob Ratcliff

7. Jason Gamlin 7. Brandon Monceaux

8. Nancy Stich 8. Jo Betty Sterkx

9. Cliff Mollor 9. Kevin Switzer

10. George Robertson 10. ______________

11. Brent Caplan 11. Jay Lynch

EDUCATION, RECREATION & CHILDREN

1. ______________

2. Rodessa Metoyer

3. Gary Jones

4. ______________

5. Thelma Baker

6. Kristy Flynn

7. Greg Gormanous

8. Tim Tharpe

9. Rodney Jones

10. ______________

11. Paul Dauzat

12. Herbert Dixon

13. Stephanie Goodrich

14. Wally Fall

15. ____________

The mega-committees will work with the transition team to identify how well divisions are meeting their missions and if missions need redefining or retooling. Additionally, this interaction will consider:

  • Community-based planning
  • How to articulate a vision and who is passionate in our city to achieve it
  • Promoting an image for the city, and overcoming the limitations to that image
  • How to best create and sustain numerous partnerships and collaborations
  • What would division and department heads like to see different
  • What resources are missing

There will be a committee known as the Personal Advisory Committee to the Mayor-Elect:

This committee is composed of personal advisors to the mayor-elect, who were instrumental in the campaign. The committee will not serve in a formal transition capacity, but will interact directly with the executive team. This committee will cease to exist December 3, 2006, and is in place to help with the day-to-day activity of transition for the mayor-elect. The membership will be:

John Flynn, Chris Roy, Sr., Chris Roy, Jr., Deborah Randolph, Thomas Antoon, Larry Accosta, Mike Johnson, W. Jay Luneau and Mark Brown

The personal advisory committee and executive transition committee will have key advisors regarding the spheres. Those persons are experts in relevant fields of inquiry:

QUALITY OF LIFE: Johnie Varnado

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: ________________

INFRASTRUCTURE: Thomas David

EDUCATION: Kay Michiels

VISION: ________________

The executive or functioning committee for transition, and the actual body which will interface with the personal advisory group and the administration, is the Executive Transition Committee to the Current Administration:

Clarence Fields (chairperson of Committee), Richard Rozanski (Vice-Chair of Committee), Jacqueline Whittle (secretary of committee), Charles “Chuck” Johnson, William Allen, “Willie” Spears, Tammi Salazar, Ed Larvadain, III, Linda Dyess Stewart, Randy Gilchrist, and Rob Antoon

This committee will meet with the chairpersons from the “sphere” committees and present information, after consultation with the key advisors, to the mayor-elect. During this process, important staff decisions will also be made after consideration of the credentials for the positions requiring filling by the mayor. This committee will cease to exist December 3, 2006.

|W|P|116355505328124790|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/14/2006 01:17:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper
  • Jacques Roy To Release Names of Transition Team Later Today (Expected to be around 50-60 members, not 30).
  • Hotel Bentley Deal Looks Legitimate. Really. But They're Pushing Back the Closing Date. Source: The Town Talk Online.
  • James Baker III and Daddy Bush Puts Little Georgie in Time-Out. Source: Newsweek.
  • Trent Lott Wants to Make a Comeback. Source: Everyone.
|W|P|116353947431889880|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/14/2006 11:27:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Part Three of Three: What the Roy/Brewer Run-Off Teaches Us About Alexandria In today's Town Talk, Jodie Belgard writes about how Jacques Roy inspired her to feel more engaged in the political process and how he reached out and included young people who would otherwise never be involved in a political race. Jodie witnessed something at the Roy victory party she was surprised to see: throngs of young people all celebrating a new spirit of leadership. But, as I have mentioned before, Roy ran on a platform of true inclusiveness, and for him, it meant more than just rallying young people; it meant traveling all across the city and getting everyone motivated for a change. One prominent supporter of the Brewer campaign wrote an article of endorsement in a citywide Brewer mail-out (which was distributed in gas stations and grocery stores) about the need for getting out the vote in his neighborhood, Charles Park. When I read the article, I must admit: I was disappointed. The mayor's race wasn't simply about ONE neighborhood, and it seemed to me at least that any attempt to specifically target a neighborhood like Charles Park-- while ignoring other parts of the city-- was a strategy designed to embolden one group of people in one neighborhood to determine our city's leadership. This is not to suggest that Mrs. Brewer didn't attend events in South Alexandria. She did. And I have personally heard her speak about the need for infrastructure improvements throughout our community. But during the last few weeks of the campaign, it became evident that her campaign hoped to drastically increase voter turn-out in specific parts of the city-- and I think we all know what areas those are and why it was perceived as politically advantageous for Mrs. Brewer to embark on this strategy. However, this election taught us that in order to win an election in Alexandria, one must be willing to motivate citizens throughout the entire community. That means canvassing in the Sonia Quarters, Acadian Village, Martin Park, and Charles Park. It's more than just attending social events; one must be willing to literally walk door-to-door and ask people for their vote. For me, one of the biggest surprises of the mayoral election wasn't the margin of victory; it was the immense turn-out in precincts that have historically voted in lower numbers. Mr. Roy could have won 60/40 if he had only focused on traditionally white neighborhoods, but that was not the mission of his campaign. Inclusiveness means bringing everyone to the table; it means paying attention to the needs and hopes of people from all walks of life. And as we look forward to the next four years, we must remember that Jacques Roy wasn't elected by just one group of people from one or two neighborhoods; he was elected by the entire community.|W|P|116353440711858979|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/13/2006 02:55:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Part Two of Three: What the Roy/Brewer Run-Off Teaches Us About Alexandria Both Delores Brewer and Jacques Roy spoke frequently about a concept known as "smart growth." Mrs. Brewer stated that the city had already been engaging in smart growth for years, but that's not quite accurate. Smart growth is an umbrella term that encompasses many aspects of the ways in which a City develops and expands, and it relies on forward-thinking, research-based analysis of growth patterns and demographic trends. During the past decade, Alexandria has been steadily expanding, but the ways in which our city has grown may present problems for the future. Although the expansion of Versailles and the developments occurring down Highway 28-West are exciting, this growth must be tempered with appropriate agreements with developers in order to ensure that the growth isn't an isolated off-shoot, but a vibrant part of our community, one in which all Alexandrians can enjoy and utilize. Mr. Roy often mentioned the fact that during the past forty years, Alexandria has nearly tripled in size, but its population has remained stagnant. This is due, in part, to the reigning paradigm of suburban sprawl, but it's also due to the fact that Alexandria has enabled developers to build subdivisions right on the fringes of our city limits, without making the case for annexation. In other words, developers have been able to avoid paying city taxes (and have used this as a selling point for their clients) while, on some occasions, they have used certain city services (i.e. sewage). This hardly seems fair for the average taxpayer. And it is one of the reasons Alexandria's population painfully hovers at 48,000- 49,000 people. If Alexandria finds creative ways to bolster its population by making the case for annexation to residents who live in subdivisions right in the middle of the city (yet somehow outside of the city limits), we may be able to boost our population to 50,000 people overnight, and once that occurs, Alexandria becomes eligible for all sorts of federal entitlement grants-- grants that can transform our city in a number of positive ways. When urban planners speak about in-fill, particularly in a city as disjointed as Alexandria, they're not just talking about building new construction in already-developed areas, they are also talking about using the powers of annexation (which are unfortunately limited in Louisiana) to effectively control and manage our city's growth. But again, smart growth isn't just about in-full; it's about making a community more livable. It's about finding solutions to traffic problems, public transportation, garbage pick-up, sewage, utilities, fire and police coverage, and access to resources. Smart growth was always the foundation of Mr. Roy's campaign, and during the next four years, he will be faced with the challenge of articulating and executing his message, stewarding a paradigm shift on how Alexandria understands itself.|W|P|116346095920383489|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/13/2006 10:36:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Part One of Three: What the Roy/Brewer Run-Off Teaches Us About Alexandria When Jacques Roy officially announced his candidacy for mayor, more than 200 people, primarily young professionals and their families, showed up to his office on Martin Luther King Jr Drive to hear him speak about his vision for Alexandria's future. But despite the enthusiasm and the high turn-out, critics dismissed Roy's chances, claiming (correctly) that young people do not historically vote in higher numbers and that the winning candidate would be the one who could best speak to the needs of older Alexandrians. They felt that Roy must have just been positioning himself for another race, that it was too little too late. But Jacques Roy understood something that others didn't: Young people were interested. Despite all of the positive changes affected during Randolph's twenty years, young Alexandrians are still leaving in droves. For many, the educational and employment opportunities in larger cities are simply too good to ignore, and for others, Alexandria is too provincial, too quaint, and too complacent. But for those of us who have stayed or returned to Alexandria, there is a growing frustration and a sense that we can become a better place to live, if we only work together. To be fair, young Alexandrians worked in the campaigns of all seven mayoral candidates, but only Jacques Roy understood how to best motivate young people; in part, because he belongs to the same generation, but also because Jacques Roy specifically reached out to young people. He didn't just ask for their vote; he asked for their help. Behind the closed doors of the Roy campaign, there were between forty and fifty young Alexandrians, each working in a unique role. They canvassed in every single neighborhood in the city. They encouraged Mr. Roy to speak at block parties, concerts, and coffee shops-- gathering places for those whose voices are not frequently heard or respected in the political process. And the message they sent was clear: We need a leader who recognizes that in a growing city, there must be more opportunities for young people. They must not be cut off from the discussions, because they are, in fact, the future of our city. This is, in part, what I meant when I discussed how Mr. Roy created a movement. By motivating young Alexandrians to become a part of this process, Mr. Roy excited people from all walks of life; they saw the positive energy behind his campaign and voted in droves. (Mr. Roy actually received more votes than Ned Randolph did during his final election four years ago). It will be important to parlay this energy into real, tangible results. But for now, we should recognize this movement for what it is: A clear statement in support of proactive, intelligent leadership, leadership that reaches across racial and political lines, leadership that is committed to growing our community, and leadership that believes it is possible for Alexandria to become a business and entertainment hub for the entire state.|W|P|116345436006089825|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/10/2006 10:47:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper
  • Some Iraqis want Saddam's execution to be broadcast on television. American news media pretends to be confused and offended.
  • Check this out. Someone left this link on the blog. Feedback graphs on positive and negative campaign commercials during the 2006 Senate race.
  • Mark your calendars: Inauguration set for December 4th, 12 Noon, Downtown Riverfront Center.
  • Bill Cosby settles confidential sexual harassment lawsuit. Source: Law.com
  • Lincoln Chaffee considers leaving the GOP.
  • New Secretary of Defense Bob Gates is more of a Bush 41 Republican than a Bush 43 Republican. Source: "Rave Reviews for Bob Gates," Red State.
  • Louisiana Congressional Delegation is pretty happy about the Rumsfeld resignation. Source: The BR Advocate.
|W|P|116318515087346508|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/09/2006 12:56:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Hindsight is 20/20: What Republican Campaign Tactics Teach Us About the State of American Democracy. In 1970, a nineteen-year-old Karl Rove played a little prank on the campaign of Alan Dixon, who was running for State Treasurer of Illinois. Rove used a fake name, walked into Dixon's campaign office, and stole 1,000 sheets of paper with the Dixon letterhead. The young Rove then used the stationary to print a flier promising "free beer, free food, girls, and a good time for nothing" and dispersed the flier to homeless shelters and rock concerts. To some, this may seem like a harmless juvenile prank, but to others, this is the very first example of the Rovian political strategy. During the past fifteen years, Americans have become very familiar with the Rove strategy, and his model for victory, in one form or another, has been executed by countless campaigns across the country. The Rove strategy relies on targeted fear and deception, and it is anchored by deep pockets and a network of loosely-formed political action committees. Often, journalists and political analysts overstate Rove's singular influence; what Rove has provided is simply a formula, a blueprint, and a method. Rove led, and others followed by example. The formula is quite elementary: Target voters who can be manipulated, and paint your opponent, through both official and unofficial channels, as morally and ethically bankrupt. In Texas, Rove helped George W. Bush win the governor's race by alleging that the late Ann Richards was a lesbian (which she was not). He helped win the South Carolina primary for George W. Bush by spreading the rumor that McCain had a "black baby." And during the last Presidential election, he found a group of Vietnam veterans who were willing to speak out against Kerry, formed a political action committee, funded the whole enterprise through a Houston real estate developer, and taped a series of powerful commercials, claiming that Kerry hadn't actually served with distinction. None of these veterans actually served with Kerry, but they still said they had. (In truth, they were simply acting out on an old grudge against Kerry). Rove famously courted the evangelical vote, and many of his most defamatory and misleading campaign attacks were carried out from the pulpit. (It's important to note that all the while, behind closed doors, Rove and others insulted and disparaged the very evangelicals they were courting). What we witnessed on Tuesday was not simply the end of the Republican majority in Congress; we also witnessed the end of Rovian political strategy. Quite simply, Americans are tired of negative campaigning, particularly when the negativity is so transparent in its objectives. During the last election, Republicans pulled out every play in the Rove play book: race-baiting, fear-mongering, and outright divisiveness. It is one thing to campaign on the issues, and it is quite another to scare people into voting (or not voting) based on deception. Republicans may fairly take issue with the Democratic tax plan, and Democrats may also fairly question Republicans on the Iraq War. But when campaigns only appeal to our lowest common denominator, when they preach fear and not hope, when they claim an exclusive hold on morality and God, and when they use our airwaves to spread vitriol, we must stand up, regardless of our party affiliation. Last Tuesday, Americans did just that. We should all be thankful that there is now a check against the unfettered spending, the misguided war policies, and the culture of corruption that exists any time one party is allowed to rule unopposed. We should also recognize that the Republicans had actually done a fantastic job of fooling Americans into thinking that our country was more conservative than it actually is and that the only way to move forward is by addressing the needs and concerns of the Great American Middle. During the last election, Democrats received between 25%- 33% of the evangelical vote, a clear sign of the shifting winds. Next: What the Roy/Brewer Run-off Teaches Us About Alexandria.|W|P|116311354629290867|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/09/2006 12:44:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper
  • Roy Supporters Currently Planning Inauguration Events. For some perspective, twenty years ago, Mayor Randolph's inauguration included a church service, the swearing-in, the lighting of the Christmas tree, and, of course, a black tie affair.
  • Britney's filing for divorce, y'all.
  • George Allen concedes; both the House and the Senate are now controlled by the Democrats for the first time in twelve years.
  • Rummy's out, Rush is relieved he doesn't have to keep lying.
|W|P|116310532508629142|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/08/2006 06:30:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Q:Who Broke the Rumsfeld Resignation Story? A: Comedy Central's Blog! |W|P|116303948053707152|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/08/2006 02:01:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Yesterday, Jacques Roy easily won the Alexandria Mayoral Election, capturing over 76% of the vote against opponent Delores Brewer. I will be offering a detailed precinct-by-precinct analysis later. Last night, I had the privilege of introducing our new mayor to the throngs of supporters (estimated between 500-600 people) who gathered at the Holiday Inn. Here's what I said (if I had Jacques's speech, I'd post it too):
Three months ago, a young lawyer named Jacques Roy announced his intentions to run for mayor of Alexandria. It was a daunting task in a crowded field of seven candidates-- one of whom had already raised over $100,000, a huge amount for such a small city. This election, as has been said frequently, was one of, if not the most important election in our city's history. It was an election of enthusiasm and ideas. It was an election about holding government accountable. It was an election about our future. What we've witnessed tonight is not merely a single victory for a single candidate; it is representative of a huge movement of people- black and white, young and old, Democrat and Republican, a movement of positivity and energy and vigor, a movement created by people committed to the future of our great city, and a movement that I believe will exist for many years to come. It is with great pride and honor that I introduce to you Alexandria's new mayor, Jacques Roy.
(I didn't stick to the script, but this is what I MEANT to say. Short and sweet). For now, let's talk about what's next.|W|P|116298056062137653|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/07/2006 10:48:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Click here to watch the election unfold. CenLamar will return to its regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.
|W|P|116292553939808439|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/06/2006 06:02:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Open Thread: The Mayor's Race|W|P|116286500770058793|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/06/2006 12:32:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
President Bush Rallying Up the BaseThe Heartland Yawns.
|W|P|116284529230331793|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/06/2006 11:11:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper
  • Cheney going hunting on Election Day. This will be the first time he's gone huntin' since he shot that guy in the face. Source: Washington Post.
  • Has anyone noticed that this is one of the nastiest campaign seasons in our history? Check out this mail-out on Wonkette.
  • Completely insane Katherine Harris prays to bring the hearts and minds of our Jewish brothers and sisters into alignment. Did I mention she's running for Senate? Source: TBO.
  • Sunday's news: Saddam Hussein sentenced to death. The Saints improve to 6-2.
  • Democrats look poised to retake Congress. Republicans are still trying to figure out how to react to all of these gay sex scandals.
  • Listen to KSYL's TalkBack Live and try to guess the identity of the caller at 5 minutes. Check out KSYL.
|W|P|116284100209586448|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/05/2006 09:01:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Once Again, Vote Roy for Mayor! Jacques Roy says there is a new excitement in the air here in Alexandria. He's right. During the past three months, Alexandrians have discussed our shared future, and nowhere has this conversation been more detailed and more passionate than right here in the blogosphere. We've offered a play-by-play analysis of this election. Before the primary election, we unpacked the candidacies of all seven contenders, and collectively, we asked, "Who makes the most sense? Who will bring a renewed energy and hope to City Hall? Who is most capable of standing up to entrenched interests? Who can steward Alexandria through this great period of growth?" And the consensus, insofar as I can tell, is that Jacques Roy, a thirty-six-year old lawyer, represents our best hope. Until now, I have remained silent about the type of campaign that Roy's opponent, Delores Brewer, has been waging. I have directed readers to the facts about the commercials and mail-outs, but I have offered no analysis. I once believed that Mrs. Brewer wanted to be mayor for the right reasons. I am no longer so certain. The Town Talk likened Mrs. Brewer's campaign to a "grim theater of reckless advertising and personal attacks." But it is more than that. It is premised on divisiveness, deception, and outright lies. Two of Mrs. Brewer's television commercials have been covered nationally, not for their inventiveness but because they represent everything that is wrong about political campaigning. One of the nation's most influential blogs, My Left Wing, had this to say about Mrs. Brewer's infamous rape ad:
Although Brewer and her Republican handlers from Baton Rouge vehemently deny it, Brewer patently conflates her rapist and her Democratic opponent, Jacques Roy, in the television spot: therein she claims both of them have attacked her; both of their "attacks" required her to regroup and rebuild her "strength" and "integrity;" and both, the ad implies, have "disrespected" the community. The parallel structures it erects cannot be more pellucid. And she has admitted it, although she refuses to apologize to those whose experience of rape and molestation she exploited in order to tape a commercial whose bathetic and sanctimonious message ranks it one of the most offensive and cynical political advertisements in Louisiana history (bold mine).
My Left Wing and others have also offered thorough analysis of Brewer's press conference and the notorious "pig" commercial, painting both as part of an old-time Southern strategy for victory, relying on subtle stereotypes and innuendo. On November 7, I hope that we will all resist this message. We will see it for what it truly is: a campaign engineered on lies and fear, a campaign that has indeed resorted to the unfortunately named "Southern Strategy" for victory. Mr. Roy has done our community a big favor by refusing to respond to these commercials. However offensive they may be, Jacques Roy has rendered them unimportant. Why? Because when Jacques Roy said he would not engage in negative campaigning during the run-off, he meant it. He kept his word. And by keeping his word, Jacques Roy has shown that he is above such superfluous and inflammatory attacks. I can personally attest that Mr. Roy has been campaigning in all parts of our city, not simply in the precincts that carry the most Democrat voters. He has shared his message of inclusive, smart growth with anyone willing to listen, and he has parlayed the excitement of this election into a cohesive movement that will likely exist for years to come. He has given all of us-- black and white, Democrat and Republican, young and old-- someone and something to believe in. Mr. Roy has demonstrated that he is truly in touch with the needs and expectations of our community. Last week, when Mrs. Brewer asked Mr. Roy on KSYL radio to explain "smart growth," he offered a five minute in-depth analysis: Smart growth isn't simply about in-fill; it's much more. Mr. Roy does his homework, and his experience in law will serve our community well, as we become something bigger and better than a quaint city on a river. Please do not be complacent. Cast your vote on November 7 for real change. Please vote for Jacques Roy.|W|P|116278931053815802|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com--> http://southernstudies.org/facingsouth/2006/11/hurricane-survivors-protest-louisianas.asp WeSawThat had an interesting conspiracy theory about the feds forcing Blanco's hand to pick ICF, as about half of their directors used to be in national security. Other than one other person speculating ICF probably greased hands in Washington and BR to get the contract ( http://bayoustjohndavid.blogspot.com/2006/11/jefferson-has-very-devastating-ads.html [bottom comment]. On the other hand, most other things I've read suggest the contract was just a bad choice. It's been pointed out that they do a lot of work for other states and for the federal government, and picked, ironically, for their speed in cutting checks. In the WeSawThat post, John Kennedy discusses that he thought the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency was a better choice. http://wesawthat.blogspot.com/2006/11/secy-john-kennedy-on-lra-road-home.html Interestingly enough, RedState has passed along a rumor that Kennedy is considering switching parties to run against Mary in '08 as a Republican. http://www.redstate.com/stories/elections/2008/senate_2008 Mary is considered one of the most endangered Democratic Senators in 08, for reasons you more than well know. The Senate will probably not go GOP because of the map, which negates Lieberman's party-switching threats. Many have linked her re-eletion to the success or failure of the Oil Revenue legislation. That's a big one, and interesting. I'd say this Oyster post serves as a nice primer, with an excellent dialectic resulting in a sort of consensus in the comments. Solid link: http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/10/citybiz-jindal-stubbornly-resisted.html The idea is that the House bill, which is pretty radical, would allow any state that wanted to drill off their coast for substantial federal revenue sharing and give LA a lot of cash right away. The Senate Bill, which passed with only 25 dissenters (mostly envi-Democrats), is less environmentally offensive but wouldn't give LA any real cash for a decade I think (I did read one interesting idea about putting bonds against the future income, or something). [It smells like Jindal might be trying to pull an Arlen Specter. Two amendments related to the Military Commissions Act were up for discussion in the Senate. I don't remember the exact details but Specter had promised the Dems that he would put the vote to a less-radical compromise provision striking the habeus corpus denial. My memory is bad, but the idea is that at the last minute he went with the more radical proposal that he knew would fail, but that covered him when it came to looking like he wanted to protect habeus corpus. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/senate/2/votes/255/ ] By supporting a radical bill that is a big time punch-in-the-face huge score for Louisiana comes across as being extremely noble and daring of Jindal. However, he's not a fool and he must know that it won't work. He's not pushing for compromise with the Senate Bill. I'm rusty on the process but if the House Bill is voted on and not the Senate Bill then Bobby can claim that he was a valiant hardliner, and it was the fault of the Dems in the Senate that nothing got passed. He looks good in the end, but really if he had actually compromised something could have gotten done. It's a good way to make an issue to sink Mary with in 08, who he'd probably go up against if he loses the Governor's Mansion. This is from Mary's website: "This letter by an influential group of House Republicans is yet another signal that a consensus is emerging that the best course of action is to pass the Domenici-Landrieu bill that does so much for Louisiana, the Gulf Coast and the nation. Now is not the time to overreach with an all-coast drilling plan that cannot pass. It is the time for our coalition of supporters -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- to come together and pass this vital legislation." And speaking of reelections, there's Mary's support of Joe. Besides the fact that they are both conservative Dems, and the fact that national politics have almost no play in Louisiana state politics, it's notable that Mary supported him. It took 42 minutes for Lieberman's committee to confirm Michael Brown to his position, and when the shit hit the fan Joe's excuse was that Brownie had lied on his resume, which of course was discovered only later by checking his references of all things. http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/10/mary-mary-quite-contrary.html Moreover, here's Lieberman on the Senate Bill: I cannot vote for an enterprise that falsely suggests we can drill our way out of this energy crisis and that willfully ignores bipartisan solutions to our oil addiction, said Lieberman. This bill is a wasted opportunity and a disservice to the American people. This was taken from the comments (which provide excellent analysis) of: http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/11/political-notes.html It makes sense that Mary wants to be beholden to Joe, who the media has erroneously made out as the most important senator ever (Unity08 is an organization that is trying to get a McCain/Lieberman independent presidential ticket... yikes!). I seriously doubt Joe is going to investigate much of Katrina. Thank God we have Henry Waxman. Update: I just read on her website (landrieu.senate.gov) that on November 14th she was selected to serve on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Gov't Affairs. Surprise surprise. And speaking again of reelections, the Road Home (not to mention the storm) has tied an anchor around Blanco's neck. Jindal is rockin the cashboat hard, and as you know he won with 88% to his house district. I bring this up here to point out this survey, on another conservative blog (spare yourself and don't read the comments), http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1741066/posts which gives Jindal 52% to Blanco's 20%. A poll this far out is not informative in the least, but they did also include Vitter and Mitch, both who pulled 9%. I read on a blog and then heard independently from a close friend that some want Blanco to step out of the reelection bid to make way for Mitch for Gov. I also found a new online petition asking him to run, but basically no one had signed it (Google "Mitch Landrieu for Governor" if you care). I kind of like this idea, but who knows. A lot think he's damaged goods after Nagin beat him (oops), but Blanco is looking a lot like Lyndon Johnson in 1968 if you ask me. It doesn't seem to me like Mitch has been doing that kind of campaigning, but Blanco has. Consider her budget surplus ideas (insurance rebates, salary raises), which people are calling an attempt to buy votes. Most pragmatists say that this money, as it is not a recurring source of income, should be spent on infrastructure, especially roads for the oil industry or improving the transit from NOLA and BR for hurricane evacuation. The end of this recent Oyster post is a little heartening, though he makes it pretty clear that the 109th Congress is not going to vote on the Oil Revenue sharing proposal: http://righthandthief.blogspot.com/2006/11/one-last-gop-insult-to-la-will-dems.html And the record of Mary's Senatorial votes, where you can see when she went against her party: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/l000550/key-votes/ Questions for Our Senator: 1) Is there any way to make use of the Oil Revenue money immediately? What kind of projects (more specific than just "coastal/hurricane protection") will it be used for? 2) Is it over for Blanco? Will Mitch try to step it up? 3) What's up with Lieberman? 4) What is the real problem with the Road Home Program? Is there actually a problem at all, or are people just being impatient? Is there anything fishy about the ICF contract? 5) What's up with her support of the Iraq War, and more importantly, her support of Military Commissions and the Patriot Act? 6) Why did she go against her party after the hurricane to support the bankruptcy bill? http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/senate/1/votes/44/ 7) What is her opinion of Jim Webb's assertion that there is a class war going on in America with respect to the shift in health, financial, and vocational security risk from employers to employees? 8) Does the state Democratic Party care at all about a progressive movement in Louisiana? Does one even exist? Are Louisiana Democrats committed to the political center in order to reflect their electorate to insure reelection? 9) Is the populist political legacy of the Longs still applicable to Louisiana today? 10) What's up with the catfish? 11) Is Alexandria in a unique position to serve Southern Louisiana due to it's location as the first real city north of the Hurricane Zone? Or are we fooling ourselves? 12) What do you think of Harry Truman's statement (paraphrased) that when the Democrats run a Republican against the Republican, the Republican will always win?|W|P|116490440203992703|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/29/2006 10:57:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Open Thread: What Businesses (And Types of Businesses) Do We Need in Alexandria?|W|P|116487014915215984|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/29/2006 12:02:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Honoring Mayor Ned Randolph Yesterday night, the City of Alexandria held a series of events, culminating in a banquet at the Riverfront Center featuring Governor Kathleen Blanco, honoring Mayor Ned Randolph. And this reminded me: When I was a kid, every Sunday morning at church, we used to sit right behind the mayor. My brother, sister, and I thought it was pretty cool because after the service ended we got to shake the mayor's hand. As a child, I considered him to be a shy and humble person, someone genuine. I didn't really know what a mayor did, but I knew he was important. And he is. During the past four months, we've been discussing the problems facing Alexandria and how to solve those problems. I hope that this discussion does not obscure the truth: Alexandria suffers from growing pains. When considering the accomplishments of Mayor Randolph, it is impossible to recognize Alexandria without him: A successful plan for England Air Park, a state-of-the-art airport, I-49, a 4-year LSUA, the Port of Alexandria, hospital expansions, the Alexandria Aces, numerous subdivision developments, and Union Tank Car. Alexandria, it has been said, is poised for tremendous growth, and we owe much of this to the leadership of Mayor Randolph. In less than a week, Mayor Randolph will serve his last day as Mayor of Alexandria. Many things have changed in twenty years. And thankfully, we are all better off because of these changes. Certainly, there is a lot left to accomplish, but our future accomplishments will be built on the successes of a shy, humble, yet important man who dedicated most of his professional career toward public service. Thank you Ned Randolph.|W|P|116479013307035431|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/28/2006 10:46:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Dispatch from the Roy Transition Team Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jacques Roy's transition team met for four hours at the Riverfront Center and attempted to produce a list of priorities, which will be analyzed by members of Roy's Executive Transition Committee. The Executive Transition Committee is chaired by Pineville Mayor Clarence Fields. Fields and others will review and prioritize recommendations made by several transition committees and subcommittees, including Community Development, Infrastructure, Housing, Community Health, Healthy Communities, Recreation, Economic Development, Children, Workforce Development, and Education. During the first Executive Transition meeting, community leaders and key advisers presented their reports on Alexandria's top priorities. Several advisers expressed, among other things, the need for a city grant writer and public relations department, marketing our downtown, increasing the police force, an effective and comprehensive city-wide marketing plan, and increasing opportunities for workforce education. The Economic Development Committee made several recommendations concerning affordable housing and the need for a consolidated Mayor's Office of Economic Development. Secondarily, the committee also suggested wireless Internet access in parts of the City and in following with the models of Lafayette and Austin, laying down fiber-optics cable throughout the City. Mayor-elect Roy reaffirmed the need for inclusive and smart growth throughout the meeting. When Key Adviser Bill Hess noted that South Alexandria is a retail and restaurant "desert," Roy stated that South Alexandria cannot afford to be neglected. He explained that the lack of basic services in South Alexandria (such as a nearby ATM, a fast food restaurant, or a post office) is a burden to many residents and that smart growth must be a plan that includes all parts of Alexandria. I was in the Community Development Committee, and our number one priority was creating a comprehensive city-wide marketing plan. So: Later: An Effective and Comprehensive Marketing Plan for Alexandria (And What It Would Mean)|W|P|116478545901934915|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/28/2006 04:30:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Town Talk: The Trees Versus the Forest Throughout the past two weeks, the Town Talk has been in a fit over the Alexandria City Government's refusal to release the details of a report analyzing leaks at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center. Today, they published an editorial instructing Mayor-elect Jacques Roy to release the report once he assumes office on December 4th, claiming that in doing so, Roy will be keeping his promise of government transparency. According to City Attorney Kelvin Sanders and Mayor-elect Roy (both of whom have read the report), the report contains sensitive information that may need to be used in potential future litigation. Releasing the information to the public, before the City has had an opportunity to build and present its case, may put the City at a strategic disadvantage. And considering it is the obligation of the City to collect any potential damages owed to taxpayers, it follows that prematurely sharing critical information and the "mental impressions" of an expert, would put taxpayers at a disadvantage as well. But the Town Talk is not having any of it. The fact that Roy has read parts of this report, they argue, means that the public also has the right to read it-- because Roy hasn't yet taken office, they claim, he's still a private citizen. I'm not sure who the Town Talk relied on for legal advice, but it seems they're a little confused. (And I have on good word that this misconception will be cleared up in the very near future). Let's think about this on a very basic level: Next November, Americans will be electing a new President. Between November 2007 and January 2008, our next President-elect will be thoroughly briefed on a host of confidential and proprietary issues, including, among other things, security and emergency management procedures. Would the Town Talk argue that our next President-elect should not be able to review confidential information unless said information was declassified and made public beforehand? Certainly not. The President-elect, like our Mayor-elect, is, in fact, a public official, and even though the hyphenated "elect" follows his title, it's still an official title. To further exercise their bully pulpit, the Town Talk claims that by not releasing the report, Mayor-elect Roy would be breaking his promise of "transparency," and they direct readers to his website, where they may find information on Roy's positions concerning government accountability and transparency. The notion of transparency, as was mentioned numerous times by numerous people throughout the campaign, means that government should be held accountable for their decisions. It means that back room consulting contracts must be brought into the public light. It means that the public has a right to know how the government is spending their tax dollars. It means the government has an obligation to operate ethically. It does not mean, however, that the Town Talk has the right to print sensitive information that may be used in litigation. That is precisely why Louisiana has an exception to public records requests. Perhaps this exception has been used loosely in the past, but in this case, it seems that the City Attorney, the Mayor, and the Mayor-elect (all of whom have degrees in law) are acting judiciously, believing that, based on the information they have read and analyzed, it would compromise the City's ability to pursue litigation if the full report was leaked (pardon the pun). It is healthy and necessary to continually question whether or not the government is acting in the best interest of the public, but in this instance, the Town Talk has attempted to pursue a story without considering the consequences.|W|P|116476546296802624|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/26/2006 09:31:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Boyce Mayor Julius Patrick Killed in Automobile Accident on I-10 Longtime Boyce Mayor Julius Patrick was killed earlier today in a traffic accident on Interstate 10. The Town Talk describes the details:
That collision sent the Toyota across the median, where it clipped a Saab in the westbound lane. The Toyota then crashed head-on into Patrick's vehicle. Patrick was pronounced dead at the scene by the Ascension Parish coroner, reads the report. The driver of the Nissan Maxima left the scene and State Police are searching for that driver and the vehicle. The driver of the Toyota 4Runner, Alona M. Williams, 20, of Baton Rouge, sustained serious injuries and was airlifted by Acadian AirMed to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, the Troop A report stated. The driver of the Saab, Scott M. Gilbert, 27, of Houston, Texas, sustained minor injuries and was not taken to a hospital for treatment. State Police said the Maxima has Louisiana license plate OTE 951. State Police Troop A is asking that anyone with information call (225) 754-8500.
Mayor Patrick was recently reelected after a tough campaign against Ernie Johnson. |W|P|116460575555120683|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/26/2006 12:43:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Roy: Preparing Comprehensive Plan for Alexandria According to Mayor-elect Jacques Roy, suggestions from his seventy-plus member transition team will be used in writing an extensive and comprehensive plan for Alexandria's future. Roy expects a preliminary plan to be completed within the next two weeks but states that a final draft won't be ready for at least six months. "I think people will be surprised about the amount of material produced by the transition team, its interfacing with city officials (who have been very candid), and the preliminary compartmentalization of the issues," Roy said. "The model we used has been very effective, and like the campaign, was borne of the ideas of Alexandrians. Although a comprehensive 'findings' document is far off, a 100-day plan with executive style summaries will be released shortly." Roy believes it will be important to share the plan with the entire community and has suggested holding town hall meetings, open to the public, in which audience members will be able to ask questions and offer suggestions to the new mayor and his administration. Roy's transition team is composed of volunteers, many of whom have been working throughout the Thanksgiving holidays, compiling information and writing reports on specifically-assigned subjects.|W|P|116457456157961407|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/24/2006 11:08:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|New York Times: Cities Compete for Coolness In Order To Attract Young Professionals Shaila Dewan wrote an interesting piece in today's New York Times about the pressing desire for American cities to attract young people in order to ensure sustained growth. Why? From the article:
These measures reflect a hard demographic reality: Baby boomers are retiring and the number of young adults is declining. By 2012, the work force will be losing more than two workers for every one it gains....

Cities have long competed over job growth, struggling to revive their downtowns and improve their image. But the latest population trends have forced them to fight for college-educated 25- to 34-year-olds, a demographic group increasingly viewed as the key to an economic future.

Mobile but not flighty, fresh but technologically savvy, “the young and restless,” as demographers call them, are at their most desirable age, particularly because their chances of relocating drop precipitously when they turn 35. Cities that do not attract them now will be hurting in a decade.

So how do cities attract young people?

Well, look to the examples of Portland, Austin, and Atlanta. They retain young people by appealing to the "cool factor."
Still, what works in one city will not work in others, Mr. Cortright said, and not all young people are looking for the same things. He cites Portland’s bike paths, which many point to as an amenity that has helped the city attract young people.

“I think that confuses a result with a cause,” Mr. Cortright said. Portland happened to have a group who wanted concessions for cyclists and was able to get them, he said.

“The real issue was, is your city open to a set of ideas from young people, and their wish to realize their dream or objective in your city,” he said. “You could go out and build bike paths, but if that’s not what your young people want, it’s not going to work.”

|W|P|116443917997928761|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/23/2006 11:06:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Observations and Unsolicited Opinions on Alexandria's Housing Problem Recently, the Town Talk reported that Central Louisiana's real estate market is outperforming national trends by a significant margin. Although new high-end residential construction is definitely a growth sector in Central Louisiana, I disagree with the contention that our real estate market is healthy and stable, particularly Alexandria's market. Indeed, the reason that our real estate market appears to be so strong is because affordable housing is simply too expensive to construct. The proliferation of high-end developments, while exciting, actually belies a major problem: the lack of affordable housing in our community. During the mayoral election, several community activists expressed support for a plan of in-fill revitalization; that is, encouraging investors and developers to tackle large-scale renovation projects on homes located in blighted areas-- as a way of solving the affordable housing problem. It's a good idea, and we definitely have a problem. The median household income in Alexandria is a little more than half of the national average, which means that the average family in Alexandria cannot afford the average home. An affordable home in Alexandria is actually priced and valued correctly; the problem is that it is still prohibitively expensive for the average family. The average family in Alexandria, based on the federal government's definition of affordable housing, should be able to afford a home priced between $80,000- $110,000. Unfortunately, there is a significant dearth of homes in this price range in our real estate market. During the past twelve months (according to our local MLS), only 48 three bedroom, 1,500-square foot homes sold in Alexandria; that is an average of four homes per month, a staggeringly low number when one considers the number of people who have moved into Alexandria during the past twelve months. And this just scratches at the surface. We're only looking at the "average" family. Consider the fact that approximately 40% of people in the Alexandria region live from 50% to 150% below the poverty line. This precludes them from even considering buying a home. If Alexandria's growth follows the current trend, new neighborhoods will only include high-end housing. It's simply too expensive for builders to justify affordable housing construction, unless it's subsidized by the government. This will create stratification and segregation. The average taxpayer will be paying for new infrastructure for subdivisions they will never be able to enjoy. While I understand that in-fill redevelopment is essential at solving a short-term problem (with the added benefit of improving blighted neighborhoods), we must be thinking ahead. We must envision what Alexandria will look like in twenty years, as we expand and as certain areas of town become developed due to added infrastructure. We must ensure that our growth is not lopsided, that it incorporates a mix of developments, and that it encourages affordable housing. Currently, I believe Alexandria may be over-saturating itself with high-end developments, and as a result of this over-saturation, we may be over-extending ourselves as well.|W|P|116435330688254610|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/23/2006 09:14:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|CenLamar Featured in Virtuocity Apparently, all the fuss we've been making about smart growth here in Alexandria has been picked up by a national website on sustainable communities and "human-friendly development," Virtuocity.com. From Virtuocity:

The recent election has inspired the author to contemplate the implications of the public’s choice, just as this local example resonates with a nationwide situation. Alexandria, says Mr. White, is a prime example of suburban sprawl, as the town has tripled in size while the population remains constant—a problem that could be partially solved by annexing the surrounding neighborhoods that currently remain outside of the city’s zoning laws and tax liability.

|W|P|116434560310863960|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/23/2006 11:18:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Lifted from EPSN by way of Wonkette: What's the Best Part of Thanksgiving?
No big surprises here: Louisianans love their food, Oklahomans love their football, and Floridians are in the process of a recount.|W|P|116430969218055596|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/23/2006 10:32:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Vote for Jindal! Win a Free Apple Computer! Recently, the Louisiana Republican Party has been touting their clever pro-Jindal, anti-Blanco website, www.dontblamemeivotedforjindal.com. In today's Town Talk, James Quinn, a director for the Louisiana GOP, wrote an opinion piece about the website, claiming that it chronicles Blanco's "weakly blunders" and ineptitude. I have no problem with a political party setting up a website, complete with embarrassing photos of one's opponent (which is about as substantive as this website is). That's what democracy is all about! But here's the kicker: In order to lure people to the embarrassing photos...err.. information, the Louisiana GOP is promoting a TV ad contest in which contestants have the chance to win a FREE APPLE COMPUTER! Woo hoo! Ball's in your court, Kathleen. I suggest the Dems offer something even better... like a FREE CAR! Happy Thanksgiving.|W|P|116430792204698629|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/22/2006 02:08:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Tonight at the Frosty Factory: A Dazed Jam Session Featuring Dale Le Boeuf, Zach Rhea, and Derek Ashcraft, 9PM Influences include Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Thelonius Monk, and Les Claypool.|W|P|116423352522156771|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/22/2006 01:02:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|CenLamar Endorses: Talk of the Town: The Rise of Alexandria, Louisiana, and the Daily Town Talk Hurry up! There's only one in stock on Amazon.com! Or just order it directly from LSU. Book Description (Anyone care to draw some parallels?): As the sleepy courthouse town of Alexandria, Louisiana, began to recover from the devastation and trauma of the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Daily Town Talk appeared. Nicknamed "Alexandria’s postage stamp paper" by a rival publication, the Town Talk aimed to be "the best daily outside of New Orleans" and became one of the most successful regional newspapers of its kind. It quickly championed urban rejuvenation and envisioned Alexandria as the "Future Great" city of the state, if not the entire South. Fredrick M. Spletstoser tells the story of the paper’s first sixty years and of the town’s triumphs and setbacks during that same time. An unpretentious country journal, the "Town Talk" would become in the second half of the twentieth century a pioneer in newspaper technology under the leadership of Joe D. Smith, one of the most respected names in American journalism.

Though Alexandria did not evolve into the grand and glittering metropolis dreamed of, it was not for lack of effort. The Town Talk and the family who published it were among the city’s most optimistic champions. The newspaper was inextricably bound up with—and often directly behind—transformations in Alexandria’s urban landscape, the development of municipal services and education, efforts to attract industry and cultivate trade, and the stimulation of surrounding agribusiness.

In chronicling Alexandria’s past, Spletstoser examines the construction, timber, and railroad booms that occurred across the turn of the century, the large and enduring military presence in central Louisiana, and the impact of Huey P. Long’s political career. Along the way, he narrates colorful stories culled from the "Town Talk"’s pages and describes the fascinating family members who published the paper during this entire period.

Among the most important institutions in the South after the Civil War, small-town newspapers recorded the feelings and desires of the vast majority of the common people. Talk of the Town illustrates the role provincial journalism played in the planning and expansion of towns throughout the country as it relates the engrossing social, cultural, economic, and political history of one southern place and the people who lived there.|W|P|116423011153260156|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/22/2006 08:32:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|WeSawThat Posts Controversial Audio Recordings of Rich Dupree and Greg Aymond From WeSawThat:
xxx mp3 one xxx- please listen to this tape first xxx sources tell wst that this is rich dupree explaining what he had told a town talk reporter about greg aymond's termination. notice that mr.dupree said he lacked confidence in mr.aymond's ability to handle waterworks matters and that his vote had nothing to do with the (town of ball, louisiana, mayor) roy hebron matter. this is from the waterworks district 3 board meeting of tuesday, 27 july 2004. xxx mp3 two xxx- please listen to this tape last xxx this audio file is from a telephone conversation between greg aymond and rich dupree held on wednesday, 14 july 2004, immediately after the water works district 3 board meeting in which the board voted 6-3 to terminate aymond's service as the waterworks attorney of 16 years. notice in this conversation, rich dupree states that greg aymond was fired as a result of the roy hebron matter and that mr. dupree offers to let mr. aymond continue handling all ongoing litigation.
|W|P|116421342563280520|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/21/2006 11:36:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Defeat William Jefferson! Vote Karen Carter! Those of us in Central Louisiana may not be in the same Congressional district as our friends in the 2nd. (We're represented by Rodney Alexander. Remember him? The guy whose page got creeped out by Mark Foley, the guy whose secretary was pen pals with convicted murderer Scott Peterson, the guy whose chief of staff, Royal, is now being sued for sexual harassment... and all of this came to light only two months before the election. Yeah, that's our Congressman!). But even those of us in Central Louisiana have a limit to what our leaders can get away with (and still expect to be re-elected). Consider, say, $90,000 in cash in a Congressman's freezer as a metaphor for that line. It doesn't matter how it got there, and it doesn't matter how Jefferson intends to eventually explain it all away: When the feds find 90K in your freezer (after you've been accused of taking a $100,000 bribe), you shouldn't even consider making a run for Congress. I'm certain Karen Carter is more qualified than Jefferson for Congress. Why? One reason: No one has ever found $90,000 in cash in her freezer. Daniel T. Smith tells a good story:
Last weekend, Matt Stoller of MyDD called on 100 people to donate $100 a piece, and when they received 11K plus dollars they decided to hire a man named Tim Tagaris, who covered the Ned Lamont race for MyDD, and send him to NOLA for the next thee weeks to follow the La-02 runoff. www.mydd.com/story/2006/11/15/154230/71 In the comments of MyDD's announcement, they put forth an open invitation for people to contribute blog names of New Orleans activists (I signed up to MyDD to plug the Roy election victory and your blog, btw). It's an interesting list, and here's the motherload: thinknola.com/wiki/New_Orleans_bloggers Anyway, Oyster over at YourRightHandThief (a nicely written progressive NOLA blog) in his most recent entry titled "MyDD: Moral Ghostbusters" (I couldn't find a permalink), has some interesting opinions about Stoller/MyDD's portrayal of Landrieu as a "moral ghost" and MyDD's decision to send Tagaris to NOLA. In the first comment blogger Adrastos (.blog-city) calls Tagaris a "carpetblogger." righthandthief.blogspot.com Tagaris actually left a comment of his own on the thread, and it's really conciliatory and he immediately won the support of Oyster's readers (no small feat in the blogosphere). He seems extremely motivated, and in spite of his benefactor and previous jobs he is not directly attached to the Carter campaign. Here's his first segment, which has okay comments as well, the highlight (lowlight?) being a picture of a Katrinacorpse. www.mydd.com/story/2006/11/16/195119/10 I'm sorry to give you so much to look at all at once, since you have more than you can handle with one city already, but this is all going to be irrelevant after December 9. I thought you'd be interested because this actually represents the national blogging community refocusing on New Orleans, and an example of how bloggers are not simply a bunch of computer potatoes. There are real projects that bridge the gap between the virtual and the visceral. It is also informing my opinion of Landrieu (Oyster at YRHT defends her pretty well, and he has the same reservations that we do, i.e. Holy Joe, and with the upcoming coastal oil revenue sharing proposal she and Blanco are going to be in the spotlight a bit more over the next two months). It's also interesting that Tagaris seems to completely understand the importance of engaging a community through it's bloggers, especially considering that his medium is professional internet journalism as well.
Read more: MyDD.com The Legal Woes of William Jefferson William Jefferson Filmed Taking Cash PS: Yesterday, RightHandThief Said Jacques Roy is a Rising Democratic Star.|W|P|116413931229442002|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/21/2006 07:43:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Initial Dispatch from the Roy Transition Team Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jacques Roy and his transition team gathered at the Bolton Avenue Community Center to begin work on laying out a foundation of ideas and plans for the next four years. Mr. Roy spoke for approximately forty-five minutes, instructing team members on their duties and his vision of smart growth (or community-based planning) for Alexandria. Urban planner Pat Moore, who will advise the Mayor-elect on Vision, gave a twenty-minute presentation on smart growth principles and what he called "growing buffalo food" (which, he explained, are ways in which a community can bolster its ability to attract and keep jobs). The team then broke into committees and subcommittees. I can only speak for the discussions we had in two subcommittees to which I was assigned, housing and community development. The initial findings of the community development subcommittee were that Alexandria needs to better market itself and its cultural and artistic communities and events. Additionally, I believe (and I've said this before on the blog) that we need to improve our amphitheater. The subcommittee discussed, among other things, ways in which we can diversify and increase the conventions we hold, city-wide events like Quein' on the Red and Third Street block parties, and utilizing public access television to share regularly updated information about upcoming events in the city. The housing committee recognized the dearth of affordable housing in Alexandria and developed several strategies for dealing with this problem. (All of which will be explained as the ideas become more fleshed out). The initial summary conclusion of the housing subcommittee says it best:
"The biggest housing issue for purposes of quality of life is the lack of affordable housing. This stems in part from the high percentage of residents living below the poverty line. It should also be noted that the last public housing project was built 30 years ago."
If you have any questions or suggestions for housing or community development, please feel free to leave a comment.|W|P|116412467903630420|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/19/2006 11:07:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Roy Transition Team Set to Meet This Afternoon Seventy-plus members of Mayor-elect Jacques Roy's transition team will be meeting for the first time later today. Roy is expected to speak for about an hour, laying out his vision for Alexandria and instructing transition team members on their duties. Specifically, Jacques Roy will be asking team members to consider:

· Community-based planning

· How to articulate a vision and who is passionate in our city to achieve it

· Promoting an image for the city, and overcoming the limitations to that image

· How to best create and sustain numerous partnerships and collaborations

· What would division and department heads like to see different

· What resources are missing

|W|P|116400690155182804|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/18/2006 11:38:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Tonight! All the Way from Portland, Oregon (By Way of Rhode Island)... Monstrous! With Opening Act the Tim Turner Band the Frosty Factory, 10PM More on Monstrous: THE Rock n' Roll Band "MONSTROUS" are Three brothers from Rhode Island, Led Gethway -Guitar & vocals - Ken Gethway -Bass & Vocals - Alex Gethway - Drums & vocals . The brothers have been playing and stock piling songs over the last 10 years. Now in their 20's they have been travling around the country in a big white candy truck playing shows , parties and writing their next record . Monstrous just made a studio record of 15 songs , intitled " MOTHER NATURES SLAVES " for release on September 19th 2006 on the New York City label MONSTROUS has just signed with (Howler Records.)|W|P|116387915741559812|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/17/2006 12:47:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Lee Horne for Governor Campaign Releases Music Video
(Yes, a music video). Dear Libertarians, Huh? Sincerely and Seriously, Lamar PS: It sounds like the musical group, Lil' Nuke, basically admits during the course of the commercial that gubernatorial candidate Lee Horne gave them anything that needed for their studio, free of charge. From the music video: "We done tried Democrats and Republicans. We never tried Libertarians.... Why not try something new?"|W|P|116375326676564056|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/16/2006 10:33:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Open Thread: What Suggestions Do You Have for the Transition Team?
|W|P|116374531132608516|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/15/2006 10:48:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Roy Names More People to Transition Team, Creates Subcommittees Yesterday, Mayor-elect Jacques Roy added several more members to his transition team and organized subcommittees to evaluate and analyze specifically assigned tasks. Among those named include Barbara Brister, Jeff Hall, Von Jennings, Horatio Isadore, Carol White, and Cindy Cespiva. Two key advisers were also chosen, urban planner Pat Moore, who will report on Vision, and Bill Hess, who will report on Economic Development . In addition, Mr. Roy also organized subcommittees; these committees include but are not limited to Community Development, Housing, Education, Recreation, Children, Community Health, and Workforce Development.|W|P|116366055510712168|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/14/2006 05:42:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Jacques Roy Announces Transition Team; Mayor Clarence Fields of Pineville to Head Executive Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO ALL MEDIA

November 14, 2006

The transition blueprint is born of my campaign commitments to inclusive, controlled growth of our City. The organization will operate with a funneling effect, but also with a built-in check in the committee structure and use of key experts. We want a free agent group who can ensure that “groupthink” does not set in to foreclose other ideas—to get the most ideas and then separate from those the best ideas.

The mega-committees or spheres of inquiry shown below will be asked to organize themselves according to those persons best suited for more specific areas of inquiry. Overall, the committee structure will answer certain questions about the state of our community, and then compile, organize, and forward that information to the executive transition team, which in turn will use the information to assess delivery of governmental services by the City’s divisions—including whether divisions need re-organization or creation. Clarence Fields has graciously opted to chair the executive group; I am thankful for his leadership across the river and participation now to aid us and ultimately our region.

The spheres represent the macro-components of “smart” growth. Under each sphere, specific issues will be addressed, which may serve useful for organizational purposes by the committees; however, the committees may organize as each desires through its membership.

These issues include consideration of: planning, transportation, economic development, housing, community development, and natural resource development. To smartly grow and preserve what we have, Alexandria should protect its unique sense of community and identity (and further develop a thematic draw, such as its healthcare primacy in the region); preserve and capitalize on natural, infrastructural, and cultural resources (like our river, interstate system, and central location); fairly and inclusively distribute the costs and benefits of our numerous new developments (to reflect our demographics and equitably “grow” our town to avoid sprawl when appropriate); expand the choices for transportation, employment and housing (through mixed-use and other less-thought-of opportunities); value long-range, regional considerations of sustainability instead of immediate gratification (or what will work to make growth more diverse and not subject to deep fluctuations in our local economy and business community); and promote public health and healthful communities (better time spent by our youth after school with positive activities as well as physical health for our community by promoting quality of life initiatives and our hospital complexes).

The committee compositions are reflective of this City, and include some of our “best and brightest.” The goal of transition is to identify problem areas and allow the incoming administration to get a “snapshot” of government through the “fresh” eyes of caring community leaders—but not necessarily to move committed employees out of service. Ultimately, the central mission is to have the current city managers transition the new mayor into office. This administration seeks to identify avenues to revitalize and build our community better—locally and regionally.

Thank you for your support and patience.

--Jacques M. Roy, November 14, 2006

    QUALITY OF LIFE, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

    & COMMUNITY HEALTH

1. Victor Kirk

2. Lamar White

3. Graves Theus

4. Lee Gwinn

5. Reverend Larry Turner

6. Bart Jones, P.T.

7. Les Glankler

8. Todd Drury, M.D.

9. A.C. Buchanan

10. Reverend Dan O’Connor

11. Booker T. Booze, Jr.

12. Robert Leavines

13. Robert Bussey

14. Stephen Wright

Eight positions unfilled or unconfirmed

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INFRASTRUCTURE

1. Byron Salazar 1. Chad Juneau

2. David Pugh 2. Glenda Fitzpatrick

3. __________ 3. ______________

4. Martin Johnson 4. Sam Sansing

5. __________ 5. ______________

6. Joe Fuller 6. Rob Ratcliff

7. Jason Gamlin 7. Brandon Monceaux

8. Nancy Stich 8. Jo Betty Sterkx

9. Cliff Mollor 9. Kevin Switzer

10. George Robertson 10. ______________

11. Brent Caplan 11. Jay Lynch

EDUCATION, RECREATION & CHILDREN

1. ______________

2. Rodessa Metoyer

3. Gary Jones

4. ______________

5. Thelma Baker

6. Kristy Flynn

7. Greg Gormanous

8. Tim Tharpe

9. Rodney Jones

10. ______________

11. Paul Dauzat

12. Herbert Dixon

13. Stephanie Goodrich

14. Wally Fall

15. ____________

The mega-committees will work with the transition team to identify how well divisions are meeting their missions and if missions need redefining or retooling. Additionally, this interaction will consider:

  • Community-based planning
  • How to articulate a vision and who is passionate in our city to achieve it
  • Promoting an image for the city, and overcoming the limitations to that image
  • How to best create and sustain numerous partnerships and collaborations
  • What would division and department heads like to see different
  • What resources are missing

There will be a committee known as the Personal Advisory Committee to the Mayor-Elect:

This committee is composed of personal advisors to the mayor-elect, who were instrumental in the campaign. The committee will not serve in a formal transition capacity, but will interact directly with the executive team. This committee will cease to exist December 3, 2006, and is in place to help with the day-to-day activity of transition for the mayor-elect. The membership will be:

John Flynn, Chris Roy, Sr., Chris Roy, Jr., Deborah Randolph, Thomas Antoon, Larry Accosta, Mike Johnson, W. Jay Luneau and Mark Brown

The personal advisory committee and executive transition committee will have key advisors regarding the spheres. Those persons are experts in relevant fields of inquiry:

QUALITY OF LIFE: Johnie Varnado

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: ________________

INFRASTRUCTURE: Thomas David

EDUCATION: Kay Michiels

VISION: ________________

The executive or functioning committee for transition, and the actual body which will interface with the personal advisory group and the administration, is the Executive Transition Committee to the Current Administration:

Clarence Fields (chairperson of Committee), Richard Rozanski (Vice-Chair of Committee), Jacqueline Whittle (secretary of committee), Charles “Chuck” Johnson, William Allen, “Willie” Spears, Tammi Salazar, Ed Larvadain, III, Linda Dyess Stewart, Randy Gilchrist, and Rob Antoon

This committee will meet with the chairpersons from the “sphere” committees and present information, after consultation with the key advisors, to the mayor-elect. During this process, important staff decisions will also be made after consideration of the credentials for the positions requiring filling by the mayor. This committee will cease to exist December 3, 2006.

|W|P|116355505328124790|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/14/2006 01:17:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper
  • Jacques Roy To Release Names of Transition Team Later Today (Expected to be around 50-60 members, not 30).
  • Hotel Bentley Deal Looks Legitimate. Really. But They're Pushing Back the Closing Date. Source: The Town Talk Online.
  • James Baker III and Daddy Bush Puts Little Georgie in Time-Out. Source: Newsweek.
  • Trent Lott Wants to Make a Comeback. Source: Everyone.
|W|P|116353947431889880|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/14/2006 11:27:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Part Three of Three: What the Roy/Brewer Run-Off Teaches Us About Alexandria In today's Town Talk, Jodie Belgard writes about how Jacques Roy inspired her to feel more engaged in the political process and how he reached out and included young people who would otherwise never be involved in a political race. Jodie witnessed something at the Roy victory party she was surprised to see: throngs of young people all celebrating a new spirit of leadership. But, as I have mentioned before, Roy ran on a platform of true inclusiveness, and for him, it meant more than just rallying young people; it meant traveling all across the city and getting everyone motivated for a change. One prominent supporter of the Brewer campaign wrote an article of endorsement in a citywide Brewer mail-out (which was distributed in gas stations and grocery stores) about the need for getting out the vote in his neighborhood, Charles Park. When I read the article, I must admit: I was disappointed. The mayor's race wasn't simply about ONE neighborhood, and it seemed to me at least that any attempt to specifically target a neighborhood like Charles Park-- while ignoring other parts of the city-- was a strategy designed to embolden one group of people in one neighborhood to determine our city's leadership. This is not to suggest that Mrs. Brewer didn't attend events in South Alexandria. She did. And I have personally heard her speak about the need for infrastructure improvements throughout our community. But during the last few weeks of the campaign, it became evident that her campaign hoped to drastically increase voter turn-out in specific parts of the city-- and I think we all know what areas those are and why it was perceived as politically advantageous for Mrs. Brewer to embark on this strategy. However, this election taught us that in order to win an election in Alexandria, one must be willing to motivate citizens throughout the entire community. That means canvassing in the Sonia Quarters, Acadian Village, Martin Park, and Charles Park. It's more than just attending social events; one must be willing to literally walk door-to-door and ask people for their vote. For me, one of the biggest surprises of the mayoral election wasn't the margin of victory; it was the immense turn-out in precincts that have historically voted in lower numbers. Mr. Roy could have won 60/40 if he had only focused on traditionally white neighborhoods, but that was not the mission of his campaign. Inclusiveness means bringing everyone to the table; it means paying attention to the needs and hopes of people from all walks of life. And as we look forward to the next four years, we must remember that Jacques Roy wasn't elected by just one group of people from one or two neighborhoods; he was elected by the entire community.|W|P|116353440711858979|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/13/2006 02:55:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Part Two of Three: What the Roy/Brewer Run-Off Teaches Us About Alexandria Both Delores Brewer and Jacques Roy spoke frequently about a concept known as "smart growth." Mrs. Brewer stated that the city had already been engaging in smart growth for years, but that's not quite accurate. Smart growth is an umbrella term that encompasses many aspects of the ways in which a City develops and expands, and it relies on forward-thinking, research-based analysis of growth patterns and demographic trends. During the past decade, Alexandria has been steadily expanding, but the ways in which our city has grown may present problems for the future. Although the expansion of Versailles and the developments occurring down Highway 28-West are exciting, this growth must be tempered with appropriate agreements with developers in order to ensure that the growth isn't an isolated off-shoot, but a vibrant part of our community, one in which all Alexandrians can enjoy and utilize. Mr. Roy often mentioned the fact that during the past forty years, Alexandria has nearly tripled in size, but its population has remained stagnant. This is due, in part, to the reigning paradigm of suburban sprawl, but it's also due to the fact that Alexandria has enabled developers to build subdivisions right on the fringes of our city limits, without making the case for annexation. In other words, developers have been able to avoid paying city taxes (and have used this as a selling point for their clients) while, on some occasions, they have used certain city services (i.e. sewage). This hardly seems fair for the average taxpayer. And it is one of the reasons Alexandria's population painfully hovers at 48,000- 49,000 people. If Alexandria finds creative ways to bolster its population by making the case for annexation to residents who live in subdivisions right in the middle of the city (yet somehow outside of the city limits), we may be able to boost our population to 50,000 people overnight, and once that occurs, Alexandria becomes eligible for all sorts of federal entitlement grants-- grants that can transform our city in a number of positive ways. When urban planners speak about in-fill, particularly in a city as disjointed as Alexandria, they're not just talking about building new construction in already-developed areas, they are also talking about using the powers of annexation (which are unfortunately limited in Louisiana) to effectively control and manage our city's growth. But again, smart growth isn't just about in-full; it's about making a community more livable. It's about finding solutions to traffic problems, public transportation, garbage pick-up, sewage, utilities, fire and police coverage, and access to resources. Smart growth was always the foundation of Mr. Roy's campaign, and during the next four years, he will be faced with the challenge of articulating and executing his message, stewarding a paradigm shift on how Alexandria understands itself.|W|P|116346095920383489|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/13/2006 10:36:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Part One of Three: What the Roy/Brewer Run-Off Teaches Us About Alexandria When Jacques Roy officially announced his candidacy for mayor, more than 200 people, primarily young professionals and their families, showed up to his office on Martin Luther King Jr Drive to hear him speak about his vision for Alexandria's future. But despite the enthusiasm and the high turn-out, critics dismissed Roy's chances, claiming (correctly) that young people do not historically vote in higher numbers and that the winning candidate would be the one who could best speak to the needs of older Alexandrians. They felt that Roy must have just been positioning himself for another race, that it was too little too late. But Jacques Roy understood something that others didn't: Young people were interested. Despite all of the positive changes affected during Randolph's twenty years, young Alexandrians are still leaving in droves. For many, the educational and employment opportunities in larger cities are simply too good to ignore, and for others, Alexandria is too provincial, too quaint, and too complacent. But for those of us who have stayed or returned to Alexandria, there is a growing frustration and a sense that we can become a better place to live, if we only work together. To be fair, young Alexandrians worked in the campaigns of all seven mayoral candidates, but only Jacques Roy understood how to best motivate young people; in part, because he belongs to the same generation, but also because Jacques Roy specifically reached out to young people. He didn't just ask for their vote; he asked for their help. Behind the closed doors of the Roy campaign, there were between forty and fifty young Alexandrians, each working in a unique role. They canvassed in every single neighborhood in the city. They encouraged Mr. Roy to speak at block parties, concerts, and coffee shops-- gathering places for those whose voices are not frequently heard or respected in the political process. And the message they sent was clear: We need a leader who recognizes that in a growing city, there must be more opportunities for young people. They must not be cut off from the discussions, because they are, in fact, the future of our city. This is, in part, what I meant when I discussed how Mr. Roy created a movement. By motivating young Alexandrians to become a part of this process, Mr. Roy excited people from all walks of life; they saw the positive energy behind his campaign and voted in droves. (Mr. Roy actually received more votes than Ned Randolph did during his final election four years ago). It will be important to parlay this energy into real, tangible results. But for now, we should recognize this movement for what it is: A clear statement in support of proactive, intelligent leadership, leadership that reaches across racial and political lines, leadership that is committed to growing our community, and leadership that believes it is possible for Alexandria to become a business and entertainment hub for the entire state.|W|P|116345436006089825|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/10/2006 10:47:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper
  • Some Iraqis want Saddam's execution to be broadcast on television. American news media pretends to be confused and offended.
  • Check this out. Someone left this link on the blog. Feedback graphs on positive and negative campaign commercials during the 2006 Senate race.
  • Mark your calendars: Inauguration set for December 4th, 12 Noon, Downtown Riverfront Center.
  • Bill Cosby settles confidential sexual harassment lawsuit. Source: Law.com
  • Lincoln Chaffee considers leaving the GOP.
  • New Secretary of Defense Bob Gates is more of a Bush 41 Republican than a Bush 43 Republican. Source: "Rave Reviews for Bob Gates," Red State.
  • Louisiana Congressional Delegation is pretty happy about the Rumsfeld resignation. Source: The BR Advocate.
|W|P|116318515087346508|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/09/2006 12:56:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Hindsight is 20/20: What Republican Campaign Tactics Teach Us About the State of American Democracy. In 1970, a nineteen-year-old Karl Rove played a little prank on the campaign of Alan Dixon, who was running for State Treasurer of Illinois. Rove used a fake name, walked into Dixon's campaign office, and stole 1,000 sheets of paper with the Dixon letterhead. The young Rove then used the stationary to print a flier promising "free beer, free food, girls, and a good time for nothing" and dispersed the flier to homeless shelters and rock concerts. To some, this may seem like a harmless juvenile prank, but to others, this is the very first example of the Rovian political strategy. During the past fifteen years, Americans have become very familiar with the Rove strategy, and his model for victory, in one form or another, has been executed by countless campaigns across the country. The Rove strategy relies on targeted fear and deception, and it is anchored by deep pockets and a network of loosely-formed political action committees. Often, journalists and political analysts overstate Rove's singular influence; what Rove has provided is simply a formula, a blueprint, and a method. Rove led, and others followed by example. The formula is quite elementary: Target voters who can be manipulated, and paint your opponent, through both official and unofficial channels, as morally and ethically bankrupt. In Texas, Rove helped George W. Bush win the governor's race by alleging that the late Ann Richards was a lesbian (which she was not). He helped win the South Carolina primary for George W. Bush by spreading the rumor that McCain had a "black baby." And during the last Presidential election, he found a group of Vietnam veterans who were willing to speak out against Kerry, formed a political action committee, funded the whole enterprise through a Houston real estate developer, and taped a series of powerful commercials, claiming that Kerry hadn't actually served with distinction. None of these veterans actually served with Kerry, but they still said they had. (In truth, they were simply acting out on an old grudge against Kerry). Rove famously courted the evangelical vote, and many of his most defamatory and misleading campaign attacks were carried out from the pulpit. (It's important to note that all the while, behind closed doors, Rove and others insulted and disparaged the very evangelicals they were courting). What we witnessed on Tuesday was not simply the end of the Republican majority in Congress; we also witnessed the end of Rovian political strategy. Quite simply, Americans are tired of negative campaigning, particularly when the negativity is so transparent in its objectives. During the last election, Republicans pulled out every play in the Rove play book: race-baiting, fear-mongering, and outright divisiveness. It is one thing to campaign on the issues, and it is quite another to scare people into voting (or not voting) based on deception. Republicans may fairly take issue with the Democratic tax plan, and Democrats may also fairly question Republicans on the Iraq War. But when campaigns only appeal to our lowest common denominator, when they preach fear and not hope, when they claim an exclusive hold on morality and God, and when they use our airwaves to spread vitriol, we must stand up, regardless of our party affiliation. Last Tuesday, Americans did just that. We should all be thankful that there is now a check against the unfettered spending, the misguided war policies, and the culture of corruption that exists any time one party is allowed to rule unopposed. We should also recognize that the Republicans had actually done a fantastic job of fooling Americans into thinking that our country was more conservative than it actually is and that the only way to move forward is by addressing the needs and concerns of the Great American Middle. During the last election, Democrats received between 25%- 33% of the evangelical vote, a clear sign of the shifting winds. Next: What the Roy/Brewer Run-off Teaches Us About Alexandria.|W|P|116311354629290867|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/09/2006 12:44:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper
  • Roy Supporters Currently Planning Inauguration Events. For some perspective, twenty years ago, Mayor Randolph's inauguration included a church service, the swearing-in, the lighting of the Christmas tree, and, of course, a black tie affair.
  • Britney's filing for divorce, y'all.
  • George Allen concedes; both the House and the Senate are now controlled by the Democrats for the first time in twelve years.
  • Rummy's out, Rush is relieved he doesn't have to keep lying.
|W|P|116310532508629142|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/08/2006 06:30:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Q:Who Broke the Rumsfeld Resignation Story? A: Comedy Central's Blog! |W|P|116303948053707152|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/08/2006 02:01:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Yesterday, Jacques Roy easily won the Alexandria Mayoral Election, capturing over 76% of the vote against opponent Delores Brewer. I will be offering a detailed precinct-by-precinct analysis later. Last night, I had the privilege of introducing our new mayor to the throngs of supporters (estimated between 500-600 people) who gathered at the Holiday Inn. Here's what I said (if I had Jacques's speech, I'd post it too):
Three months ago, a young lawyer named Jacques Roy announced his intentions to run for mayor of Alexandria. It was a daunting task in a crowded field of seven candidates-- one of whom had already raised over $100,000, a huge amount for such a small city. This election, as has been said frequently, was one of, if not the most important election in our city's history. It was an election of enthusiasm and ideas. It was an election about holding government accountable. It was an election about our future. What we've witnessed tonight is not merely a single victory for a single candidate; it is representative of a huge movement of people- black and white, young and old, Democrat and Republican, a movement of positivity and energy and vigor, a movement created by people committed to the future of our great city, and a movement that I believe will exist for many years to come. It is with great pride and honor that I introduce to you Alexandria's new mayor, Jacques Roy.
(I didn't stick to the script, but this is what I MEANT to say. Short and sweet). For now, let's talk about what's next.|W|P|116298056062137653|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/07/2006 10:48:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
Click here to watch the election unfold. CenLamar will return to its regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.
|W|P|116292553939808439|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/06/2006 06:02:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Open Thread: The Mayor's Race|W|P|116286500770058793|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/06/2006 12:32:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|
President Bush Rallying Up the BaseThe Heartland Yawns.
|W|P|116284529230331793|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/06/2006 11:11:00 AM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|The Daily Update: What You Can't Read in the Newspaper
  • Cheney going hunting on Election Day. This will be the first time he's gone huntin' since he shot that guy in the face. Source: Washington Post.
  • Has anyone noticed that this is one of the nastiest campaign seasons in our history? Check out this mail-out on Wonkette.
  • Completely insane Katherine Harris prays to bring the hearts and minds of our Jewish brothers and sisters into alignment. Did I mention she's running for Senate? Source: TBO.
  • Sunday's news: Saddam Hussein sentenced to death. The Saints improve to 6-2.
  • Democrats look poised to retake Congress. Republicans are still trying to figure out how to react to all of these gay sex scandals.
  • Listen to KSYL's TalkBack Live and try to guess the identity of the caller at 5 minutes. Check out KSYL.
|W|P|116284100209586448|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com11/05/2006 09:01:00 PM|W|P|Blogger|W|P|Once Again, Vote Roy for Mayor! Jacques Roy says there is a new excitement in the air here in Alexandria. He's right. During the past three months, Alexandrians have discussed our shared future, and nowhere has this conversation been more detailed and more passionate than right here in the blogosphere. We've offered a play-by-play analysis of this election. Before the primary election, we unpacked the candidacies of all seven contenders, and collectively, we asked, "Who makes the most sense? Who will bring a renewed energy and hope to City Hall? Who is most capable of standing up to entrenched interests? Who can steward Alexandria through this great period of growth?" And the consensus, insofar as I can tell, is that Jacques Roy, a thirty-six-year old lawyer, represents our best hope. Until now, I have remained silent about the type of campaign that Roy's opponent, Delores Brewer, has been waging. I have directed readers to the facts about the commercials and mail-outs, but I have offered no analysis. I once believed that Mrs. Brewer wanted to be mayor for the right reasons. I am no longer so certain. The Town Talk likened Mrs. Brewer's campaign to a "grim theater of reckless advertising and personal attacks." But it is more than that. It is premised on divisiveness, deception, and outright lies. Two of Mrs. Brewer's television commercials have been covered nationally, not for their inventiveness but because they represent everything that is wrong about political campaigning. One of the nation's most influential blogs, My Left Wing, had this to say about Mrs. Brewer's infamous rape ad:
Although Brewer and her Republican handlers from Baton Rouge vehemently deny it, Brewer patently conflates her rapist and her Democratic opponent, Jacques Roy, in the television spot: therein she claims both of them have attacked her; both of their "attacks" required her to regroup and rebuild her "strength" and "integrity;" and both, the ad implies, have "disrespected" the community. The parallel structures it erects cannot be more pellucid. And she has admitted it, although she refuses to apologize to those whose experience of rape and molestation she exploited in order to tape a commercial whose bathetic and sanctimonious message ranks it one of the most offensive and cynical political advertisements in Louisiana history (bold mine).
My Left Wing and others have also offered thorough analysis of Brewer's press conference and the notorious "pig" commercial, painting both as part of an old-time Southern strategy for victory, relying on subtle stereotypes and innuendo. On November 7, I hope that we will all resist this message. We will see it for what it truly is: a campaign engineered on lies and fear, a campaign that has indeed resorted to the unfortunately named "Southern Strategy" for victory. Mr. Roy has done our community a big favor by refusing to respond to these commercials. However offensive they may be, Jacques Roy has rendered them unimportant. Why? Because when Jacques Roy said he would not engage in negative campaigning during the run-off, he meant it. He kept his word. And by keeping his word, Jacques Roy has shown that he is above such superfluous and inflammatory attacks. I can personally attest that Mr. Roy has been campaigning in all parts of our city, not simply in the precincts that carry the most Democrat voters. He has shared his message of inclusive, smart growth with anyone willing to listen, and he has parlayed the excitement of this election into a cohesive movement that will likely exist for years to come. He has given all of us-- black and white, Democrat and Republican, young and old-- someone and something to believe in. Mr. Roy has demonstrated that he is truly in touch with the needs and expectations of our community. Last week, when Mrs. Brewer asked Mr. Roy on KSYL radio to explain "smart growth," he offered a five minute in-depth analysis: Smart growth isn't simply about in-fill; it's much more. Mr. Roy does his homework, and his experience in law will serve our community well, as we become something bigger and better than a quaint city on a river. Please do not be complacent. Cast your vote on November 7 for real change. Please vote for Jacques Roy.|W|P|116278931053815802|W|P||W|P|LamarW@gmail.com-->