Saturday, December 25, 2004

The New Orleans Mayor's Race is On ...

From today's Times Picayune:
With little more than a year to go before the 2006 election, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has yet to draw a serious competitor. But that doesn't mean he's not arming for a fight...

Susan Howell, a political scientist at the University of New Orleans, said the mayor's recent comments could be an attempt to hype the race early to assist building both financial and logistical support. But at the same time, he may be correct in saying that potential candidates are playing coy while they size up the political landscape.

"At this stage, there is a lot of posturing going on, and potential candidates and the mayor are playing an expectations game," Howell said. "It's hard to take seriously what people say right now, since all involved are trying to put a spin on the situation."
So we're in the Spin cycle. What's to spin? How has Nagin done?

In my view he has been solid, doing what has to be done, but a bit timid on a few issues. The residency requirement for police comes immediately to mind. The S&WB privatization drive ran out of steam. Relations with the Council are not such that a bold agenda could be undertaken. Nagin has put little effort into helping the School Board out of their problems.

Still, passing the bond issue was a vote of confidence that this time the money will be spent properly. The U.S. Attorney's anti-corruption activities generate some of that confidence. Some of that confidence is undermined by the City's crime rate, and the jury is still out on the performance of the Police Department.

Let's hear what you think.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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