Oh, were that it were true.
Those who resumed their lives in New Orleans joined hundreds of displaced residents and 20,000 absentee voters in the hopes of electing a new Mayor, City Council, Sheriff, and Clerk of Courts yesterday. The turnout was only down about 20% from what would be expected under normal circumstances, which was a surprise to many, and should (but probably won't) silence critics such as Jesse Jackson who accused "white" New Orleans of trying to "steal" the election. While most states have a primary, Louisiana has just one election unless no candidate manages to secure over 50% of the vote, in which case the top two contenders go head-to-head in a run-off election a month later. (As it turns out, Janis and I will have to absentee vote for the May 20th election that will finally decide who will be mayor for the next 4 years, since we will both be in Los Angeles on that day.)
What we did manage to do as a city is decide on who we will decide on, and those choices are Ray Nagin (who received 41,489 votes 38%) and Mitch Landrieu (who received 31,499 votes 29%). Regrettably, our new friend and now former mayoral candidate Johnny Adriani (114 votes) did not make it to the run off election. But thankfully, neither did Kimberly "Kimbo" Williamson-Butler (793 votes), Peggy Wilson (772 votes), or Tom Watson (1,264) all of whom would have (in my humble opinion) taken this city to new heights of governmental silliness and that's saying something for a town (and state) where governmental silliness is practically written into the state's constitution.
So with Carnival Season #2 behind us, we can now look forward to Carnival Season #3, where, for the next 30 days, we will be bombarded incessently with political commercials hoping no, begging for us to vote this way or that. It seems that all run-off elections turn into negative campaigns. Even the last Governor's race in which almost all the candidates seemed to take the high road and focus on their own strengths, rather than their opponent's weaknesses seemed to descend into mud-slinging toward the end. I'll keep tabs on it for you over the next four weeks. I am sure it will be interesting.
The weather has been unbeatable these past couple of days which is perfect for French Quarter Festival, the annual (and free) post-Easter warm up for Jazz Fest. A cold front came through the area on Friday, which lowered both the humidity and temperature (into the low 80's). These cold fronts will become fewer and fewer over the next few weeks as we come closer and closer to June 1st the offical start of hurricane season. So we are taking the opporunity to walk around the French Quarter and see the sites, enjoy the food, and revel in the music later today.
The neat thing about the French Quarter Festival (besides being free) is that they only feature local musicians. It is one of the only festivals during the year that you can get such a concentrated dose of local music without having to do a pub crawl. Here are some of this year's featured artists:
Don't you just love some of those band names?
As predicted, Kimbo took off the picture of Disneyland from her web site. Perhaps most amazing is that she actually came in 7th among the 23 people who ran for Mayor.
Ernie The Attorney had this to say about Kimbo:
Kimberly ("let's make New Orleans a laughing stock") Williamson Butler is the subject of this recent post by Wonkette. KWB's campaign slogan is 'The End of Politics As Usual.' Her campaign represents a terminus, for sure: it's the point at which reality completely disappears. I haven't seen very many of her yard signs in New Orleans. Perhaps they're all in Disneyland, which seems to be her campaign headquarters.
According to jimmhillmedia.com, one person allegedly called Kimbo's campaign (and actually spoke to Kimbo herself) to ask why she pictured herself in front of New Orleans Square at DisneyLand instead of the real New Orleans, and she had this to say:
Turns out it's an old graphic from a previous campaign site. She said she won that elelction and no one had ever noticed it (tribute to the Imagineers), or if they did, they hadn't brought it to her attention and she'd never noticed it either. She figures that the web designer must have done a "New Orleans" search on some stock photo site or DVD and pulled the first one that struck his fancy as a nice background without checking the details. Apparently it was put together for the first campaign, then resurrected and tweaked for this campaign). She also mentioned that she'd been thinking about changing the header or redesigning the site anyway because some of the Flash work has never worked properly, but the designer is no longer around and they don't have the password to get into it.
Well, that's her story anyway, but whoever PhotoShop-ed the graphic should have been more careful.
Anyway, she had a good sense of humor about it and said hopefully people will be more concerned about the content than the website design. I told her probably only Disney-philes (yep, I'm one) would notice it anyway, but I thought she should know about it and have a chance to correct it, since it is apparently being circulated. She thanked me for bringing it to her attention and I wished her luck on her campaign (though I suppose that's only because she's not running for office in my city).
Will Kimbo retire quietly and fade into the sunset, or will there be a sequel? Only time will tell.
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