Sunday, February 20, 2005

Is there a Mayor’s race going on?

With just less than a year to go before the 2006 mayoral primary, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has $855,000 in the bank, according to campaign disclosure reports posted recently. T-P reports that political observers say the mayor's war chest, including $786,000 raised last year, is large enough to discourage potential challengers, but not large enough to assure Nagin of a cakewalk next year.

Incumbent mayors tend to enjoy distinct advantages when it comes to winning re-election. In fact, an incumbent New Orleans mayor has not lost a bid for re-election since 1946, when Robert Maestri was defeated by Chep Morrison. Maestri had already been in office 10 years at the time. Since the passage of the 1954 city charter, mayors have been limited to two consecutive terms in office.

Unseating an incumbent mayor is "extremely difficult unless the mayor is an obvious failure and there's a major decline in the city," said University of New Orleans professor of political science Susan Howell. (In the interest of full disclosure, I am quoting my wife here.) "The whole system is geared to re-elect the mayor, because everyone who has a contract at City Hall is beholden to the mayor," Howell said. "It's to their advantage that the mayor is re-elected."

Nagin's list of contributors shows that the old system is alive and well. The 498 people and firms that gave to his campaign in 2004 include dozens of companies that do business with City Hall, ranging from trash haulers to engineering, legal, insurance and construction firms.

Nagin has said he expects to have serious challengers, but so far, only two candidates have come forward: activist and former state Rep. Leo Watermeier and WWNO-FM announcer James Arey. Handicappers see both as longshots. Whether bigger names jump into the race remains to be seen, but they had better get it started.

What do you see happening?

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jbv's Competitive Edge 

6 Comments:

Blogger oyster said...

Nagin will roll-- easily.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw Watermeier and Arey working the room at a recent function in MidCity... Have no idea about W's budget for a semi-serious campaign, but Arey has name recognition and the PJ's Coffee warchest behind him (his mother is Phyllis Jordan, P.J. herself).

1:38 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

As a college student who is VERY involved in New Orleans politics...I sincerely hope that Nagin DOES NOT run or win the 2006 election. He has done NOTHING to aid the Black community in New Orleans except run his mouth about things that he "will do.” He has helped more businesses and contractors further disable the growing African-American community. Instead of trying to raise the wages that are paid by hospitality workers, he should've tried to enhance the city's education budget in order to implement self-growth programs in our public schools. These children have no self-esteem and no self-respect because they look to their left and they see poverty, look to their right and they see poverty. But then when they go into the real world and see people spending they money they've worked for, they want it and have NO idea of how to get it. They have not been taught or have ever seen people working honest jobs to get what they want. They witness crime and poverty and that's all they know. The city needs a leader who understands why crime exists. Crime doesn't exist because people are bad. Crime exists because people don't know. They don't know any better except to steal for what they want and fight when they feel as though they have been "wronged.” In order to try and lower the crime rates, our city and educational system needs to make it their goal to educate the young ones (because in 20 years or maybe even 10, they will be the ones doing the killing) about problem solving skills and furthering education. But what a lot of people don't know is that...our current educational system is set up to create the "modern-day slaves". It's set up to create future criminals, because if it were not, then all schools would be equal. All students would be taught at the same levels. Vygotsky's sociocultural theory of mentoring says that all students need to be taught that there is a future out there for them as future doctors and lawyers. Values as this are instilled in people, they just didn't think of these things when they got to college. No, these things are taught to them from birth. Erikson (Psychosocial Stages of Personality Development) says that from the ages of six to about eleven children need to be reassured that they can compete with the rest of the world. This is when their inferiority is developed. During this time as well, deductive reasoning and abstract thought Piaget, Cognitive Theory) abilities need to be exercised in order to develop full formal operational thinking. In order be an effective mayor, we need someone who knows the future. Not only does he/she need to know how to handle the already adult-aged persons of the community but how to help develop the younger population in order to create an operational future New Orleans. Our African-American youth is declining in mental capability and in population. It all links back to education and resources that are available to these children. Forget about the parents, a school-aged person spends more awake time at school than away from school. They spend more time in the streets than not in their households. It starts at home, but it ends in the streets. Therefore make the streets and the schools a safe place, and then we won't have anything to worry about in the future because the now-children will be the then-adults and the then-adults will know how to raise their children. But we can't change 40-year old mothers and their thinking. We can't change a 16 yr old male who has already been in jail twice. But we can make a difference in the 5 yr old's life that has only been in the world five years and needs to be steered in the right direction. And Ray Nagin and his buddy Eddie Compass are not the right ones to help this city. I can’t tell you now who it is, but it’s definitely NOT them.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a TV viewers observations re: Katrina mess, I feel the Mayor sat on his ass until that mass of people without cars was trapped. He could have utilized school buses, city transportation, etc. to start evacuating at the same time many others left to safety. Now, everyone else is blamed but him. He shouldn't be mayor.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Rich Molumby said...

I have an Entr site/blog. It pretty much covers making large amounts of money on the web.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

2:48 AM  
Anonymous Ronald A. Kreger III said...

New Orleans needs to get some young blood in office. I am a student at UNO and am a politics major. Mayor Nagin didnt do what he was supposed to do in a time of crisis and he should be replaced. I am only 19 years old and I probally know more about government than he does, maybe I should run for mayor of our great city.

5:30 PM  

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