October 14, 2005

WaPo: World to end tomorrow; women and minorities to be hardest hit

Well Katrina relief has gotten down to the nuts and bolts of rebuilding Louisiana's system of patronage, graft, and voting chicanery. The central concern? Ray Nagin has to run for reelection in February, and the Democratic Party of Louisiana is desperate that they are going to let this slip between their fingers:

Less than two months after Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, leaving much of New Orleans and surrounding areas unlivable, Louisiana officials are beginning to grapple with the bewildering new political landscape. The storms and resultant flooding caused more than 1 million residents to flee their homes, many for far-flung destinations from which they may never return. ...

The unprecedented population shift is likely to have its first political impact in New Orleans, where Mayor C. Ray Nagin, who captured 44 percent of the black vote in 2002, and other municipal officials are facing a February election. ...

That reality has left some Democrats concerned that the party could lose its tenuous grip on power. Both Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's 2003 election win and Sen. Mary Landrieu's 2002 reelection victory came with margins of fewer than 60,000 votes, which included overwhelming support from African Americans.

"All of that's gone. So you are going to have a restructuring," said state Sen. Derrick Shepherd (D-New Orleans), a member of the elections task force.

"We are concerned that there are both a land grab and a power grab going on," said Theodore M. Shaw, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. "If there is not a significant return of black residents to New Orleans in the near future, at what time will there be an attempt to redistrict?"

And here I thought patronage, graft, and electoral chicanery were our specialities? The answer of course coming from Louisiana politicos is to spend FEMA money advertising the election.

Posted by Steve at October 14, 2005 08:30 AM | TrackBack

Obviously the evil Republicans, probably it was Rove, decided to keep Blacks from returning to N.O. The obvious solution is to have the military take them back. Force may be needed, but that's only because the evil Rethuglicans have brainwashed the masses into thinking that other parts of the country, not ruled, er controlled, er governed by Democrats are actually nice places to live, with less corrupt police and politicians. Curse you Rove.

Posted by: rbj at October 14, 2005 07:32 PM

New Orleans has had enough of the bumbling they should send the message in the voting booth and send nagin far far away

Posted by: spurwing plover at October 17, 2005 02:52 PM