Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Definition of Oxymoron - LA Ethics Board

It should come as no surprise to many of you that I've long had issues with the Louisiana State Ethics Board and their practice of imposing fees for late filing of forms rather than smacking elected officials who game the system and use campaign funds to finance their personal lifestyles (which should be the mandate of the ethics board).

Admittedly, because I like to think that I am a fairly logical person, I have many issues with the Ethics Board, from their campaign finance software that candidates are required to use which contains more bugs than New Orleans during cockroach season and which cones with no instructions or support (need help? hire an accountant to prepare the forms for you) to arcane rules that truly make no sense (if you raise less than $5,000 in campaign contributions you can file on paper however if you loan your campaign your own money you MUST file electronically) to the fact that the Ethics Board has one true mission - raise money to pay salaries by imposing late fees instead of truly monitoring campaign contributions and expenses.

In essence, the Ethics Board is designed to make it as difficult and cumbersome as possible for a true "citizen" candidate to run for office.

But really, what do you expect from a State Board, formed by elected officials, stacked with current and former elected officials and their appointees, governed by legislators, and funded solely by fees that they can collect.

Of course, if a candidate is fined they can appeal. But, the appeals process is stacked against everyday folks too. For one, you must trek to Baton Rouge for a weekday hearing. Since many citizen candidates must work, this is difficult. At the hearing, you are given a few scant minutes to plead your case. Sometimes your late fee is reduced, rarely it is eliminated, and often the Appeals Board says, "Screw you - pay up."

Now, when a candidate is dinged with a late fee, should he ever run for office again, you can bet his opponent will harp on that at every opportunity, particularly if their campaign is managed by Greg Buisson.

Despite the clear fact that a LATE FEE is NOT an "Ethics Violation", that doesn't stop folks from exaggerating the truth on an unsuspecting public.

My run ins with the Ethics Board have all been regarding the late filing of forms.

 I have never committed a "true" ethics violation;

- never spent campaign money on fancy automobiles or Saints/LSU boxes like State Senator John Alario;

- never spent campaign money on bottles of water, gasoline or slushies for my kids like JP Councilman Ben Zahn;

- never accepted free advertising from an NGO that I approved funding for (Ben Zahn, again);

- never spent campaign money on holiday gifts in February (a Valentine's Day Present for his wife or a certain "special" someone in the French Quarter?) or tens of thousands on Mardi Gras Beads and Krewe dues or spent $1,500 on a lavish meal at New Orleans restaurants like the Name-Changer-In-Chief. Kenner Mayor and candidate for Parish President Mike Yenni;

- never accepted tens of thousands in PAC money over the annual limit like State Senator Danny Martiny;

- never accepted $20k in one day from a video poker operator using multiple front companies and then deny that I ever met him like JP Councilwoman Cynthia Sheng. (FYI, everyone who EVER donated to my campaigns, whether it was $10 or a max donation, received a phone call, a note or some personal contact from me expressing my gratitude for their support).

Shouldn't each of those be 'Ethics' violations and result in an investigation and, at least, fines from the Ethics Board?

In fact, none of the above has ever resulted in any investigations, fines or sanctions by the Ethics Board.

No, the Ethics Board is too busy chasing late fees.

About a week or so ago I received yet another letter from the Ethics Board giving me 30 days to pay a $2,000 Late Fee. I'm sure that if I don't, you will read about it in the Times-Picayune so, I'll save you trouble of forking over your hard-earned dollars to read about little old me.

After my failed Mayoral campaign in 2014, my final campaign report showed that I wrote off the money that I loaned my campaign and I had a balance in my account of $12.67.. Don't know how that happened. I could have lied and put in a fake expense of $12.67 for postage, gas, or Slushies for my kids (if I had some), but I just wanted the process over, so I submitted the form.

Writing off old debt is a common practice. I surely wasn't going to hold fundraisers to pay myself back or seek donations. No, it was my money, I risked it and I lost. So what?

The next day, I went to Capital One Bank after checking the sofa cushions and laundry for loose change to come up with $2.33 to deposit so I could cover the $15 service charge and close my account.

According to the Ethics Board, I was required to file a form this year showing that I loaned myself the $2.33.


Pretty funny right? It has cost them more money in certified letters than the $2.33 I scrounged up to close my account and they are fining me $2,000.

This week, the Ethics Board took action against another "Citizen" candidate, banning Scarlett Alaniz from running against the aforementioned Slushie King, Ben Zahn. It seems that Scarlett owed $700 or so in late fees from a previous campaign. When you "qualify" for office you are asked to attest to several questions: do you owe the Ethics Boards any fines? have you paid your taxes? etc.

In my mind, the whole process of "Qualifying" as a candidate in Louisiana is bogus anyway. Who decreed that you needed to pay a fee to run for office? Why do I need to attest to the payment of taxes on a piece of paper? Shouldn't the voters decide whether paying taxes 'qualifies' me, rather than a piece of paper and a political board?

Of course, the Ethics Board has taken no action against JP Councilman Chris Roberts and probably won't despite Roberts failure to file taxes for several years and only filing them on the day he qualified.

Has the Ethics Board asked to see the date/time stamp on Roberts' receipt and matched that to the time he filed his candidacy papers to see if it was legal or not?

Just one citizen wondering. To be honest, I really could care less whether Roberts filed his taxes or some politically-connected judge ruled that, since he was owed a refund anyway, Roberts gets a pass.

That's for the voters to decide and if they deem Roberts "qualified", who am I to judge?

But, I do think that it's patently unfair that Scarlett, who is my longtime friend and has done great work for years in the Kenner community, got kicked off the ballot for paying late fees too late.

No candidate should ever be excluded from the political process over late fees paid to an Ethics Board that has no clue what the word "Ethics" means.

When the US was formed, there was a poll tax. Only property or livestock owners who paid an annual tax could vote. This was designed to exclude non-property owners, people of color and poor whites from the voting process.

Despite the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, which gave non-property owners who were male and black males the right to vote, many states, including Louisiana, continued the arcane practice of the Poll Tax.

It took a Populist like Huey Long to get the Poll Tax repealed in Louisiana.

For all intent and purposes, isn't a "Qualifying" Fee to be on the ballot and run for political office akin to a Poll Tax?

The qualifying fee is a financial impediment to everyday citizens running for office. But, that's why it's here - to keep elected officials and the chosen few in power while locking true citizen candidates out of the process.

Similarly, the Ethics Board, with it's arcane forms, ridiculous regulations, and focus on collecting late fees rather than investigating ethics violations and enforcing punishment on those who abuse the system, is designed to keep those in power and exclude those who don't have time to educate themselves on the Ethics Board's chicanery or who choose to forgo paying an accountant to file the forms.

Do you buy yard signs or pay an accountant to file forms?

For me, that was an easy answer. Of course, I've also been dinged for late fees.

So, while the Name-Changer-In-Chief Mike Yenni spends other people's money on $1,500 dinners and the Ben Zahn's of the political world figure out how they can charge their campaign accounts for more than 3 meals a day, I will be looking under my sofa cushions for loose change for gas money to trek to Baton Rouge when the Ethics Board files a law suit to collect $2,000 over my neglect to report $2.33.

Don't you just love Louisiana politics?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

LaBruzzo’s “Surprise”

NOTE: For the record, I have known John LaBruzzo for easily 10+ years. I have campaigned for him and contributed to his prior campaigns. I’ve known Conrad Appel for some time as well, although I have never campaigned for him or contributed to him. I’ve also known Polly Thomas for many years and campaigned for her and contributed to her in the past. So, now you know.

Ok, now that the obligatory disclosures are out of the way, I have some explaining to do. I know it’s been awhile since my last post. Needed a little break and wanted to stop the rumors that I would be running for something this October (although I can’t believe y’all let Cynthia Sheng get appointed to Council-At-Large without an opponent – shame on you…).

Yeah, it seems like every time I criticize someone, some folks crawl out from under their rocks and claim that I’m attacking them personally because I want their job. Now, some of you are going to believe what you want to believe but, trust me, NOTHING, NOTHING could be further from the truth.

I am critical of elected officials, and folks not elected as well, when I think they are wrong on an issue or, in the case of Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni, wrong on MOST issues.

But more about the fake Conservative Republican Family Values Name Changer-In-Chief later, today we are talking about John LaBruzzo.

Many political insiders were surprised when the former State Rep decided against seeking the JP Council seat that he had announced for and instead qualified for the 9th District Senate seat held by incumbent Conrad Appel.

Appel won a runoff against Polly Thomas, who also qualified for the Senate seat, in 2008 to serve the remainder of now Congressman Steve Scalise’s term. Appel was re-elected in 2011 without opposition.

To be fair, I think Conrad Appel is a very nice man with a nice family. He and his wife have always been very cordial to me. When I’ve had a question about an issue or a position, Conrad has always returned my call or gone on the radio with me, even when he knew I was on the opposite side. You have to respect that – most elected officials duck and cover when their assistants tell them I’m on the phone or dodge my emails.

Unfortunately, I haven’t contacted Senator Appel very much in the 7 years that he’s been in the State Senate and therein lies the issue. If I’m calling legislators in Cenla more than I’m calling a Jefferson Parish State Senator, especially a Republican (and, no, John Alario is as much a Republican as Mike Yenni – sorry for bringing up the Fake Conservative Republican Family Values Name Changer-In-Chief again, but it’s true and I just can't stop myself from continuing to point out hypocrisy) that’s a problem.

The fact is, in 7 years, aside from being Pro-Business and quiet as a mouse as Louisiana’s budget has increased (definitely not a Conservative trait - by the way, have I mentioned lately how Kenner's budget has increased and government grown despite the people of Kenner not approving Yenni's plan to double property taxes? ) and being on the wrong side of Common Core, I can’t point to anything substantive that Appel has done.

Perhaps that’s not a fair commentary. Maybe it’s a good thing that we don’t hear more from our state legislators. Maybe Senator Appel went to Baton Rouge in 2008 and said, “You know, I agree with that Walt Bennetti guy that we already have too many damn laws so I’m not going to propose any new ones.”

Nah, I don’t think he said that either.And he has proposed bills and gotten them passed. Can't tell you what they accomplished though.

On the flip side however, you know John LaBruzzo has put his name on several controversial issues. Now, whether that was by design to make a name for himself or whether he actually believes his ideas are best for Louisiana, is not for me to say.

But, let's look at a couple instances where LaBruzzo and Appel are on opposite sides: 

Should people receiving government assistance who aren’t working be drug tested? Yeah, I think so. They would be drug tested if they were employed.

Should there be harsher criminal penalties for violent offenders? No debate from me.

Should the Federal and State Governments get out of the education business and anything related to 
Common Core be repealed? Absolutely.

Those three issues are state issues and they are John LaBruzzo’s issues. He couldn’t tackle any of those if he was on the Jefferson Parish Council.

So, was I surprised when LaBruzzo qualified to run for State Senate against a Republican who isn’t really Conservative and is on the wrong side of a major issue like Common Core? Not at all, in fact, I was scratching my head when LaBruzzo said he was running for Parish Council.

And, to be honest, when it comes to John LaBruzzo, not much could surprise me.

Running against an incumbent like Appel and a very well-known fellow Republican like Polly Thomas is no easy task. Thomas was barely defeated by Appel in 2008 and has been active in the Republican Party and community groups since then.

But, if anyone is up for a fight it is John LaBruzzo and I wouldn’t bet against him.

Buckle up residents of Senate District 9 – it’s going to be an interesting 6 weeks.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Kenner’s Dreaded 4-Headed Political Imbecillus Rears It’s Ugly Head

Like a Phoenix that continues rising from the ashes, Kenner’s Dreaded 4-Headed Political Imbecillus of Mayor Mike Yenni, Councilwoman-At-Large Maria DeFrancesch, District 4 Councilman Lenny Cline and JP Councilman Ben Zahn continue to provide great material for yours truly.

There are times when I honestly believe that the amount of eggs used to produce these 4 clowns is more than their combined IQs.

While St. Bernard Parish struggles to determine the cause of the brain-eating amoeba infiltrating their water supply, I'm wondering why no one is asking Veolia to test the water at 1801 Williams Blvd.

As for Little Ben Zahn, well, he's still walking in circles down the Yellow Brick Road trying to figure out if he asks the Wizard whether to give him the gift of height or a brain.

Sorry Ben, the Wiz says you can't have either.

Or good looks and a personality so I guess you're really out of luck.

To the surprise of no one, these 4 also share the same political consultant – Greg Buisson. Yes, he helped them all get elected/appointed but c’mon, you should also service your clients when it’s not election time or, in the case of these 4, keep them away from microphones.

Unless, of course, you don’t mind me writing about them on a regular basis.


Yes, Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni is the King of the Kenner Political Imbeciles.

I know you're shocked...

While his past ignominies (attempting to double property taxes, tripling sewerage fees, taking on the largest debt in Kenner’s history without voter approval, among other things) certainly qualify Yenni for the continued top spot, what he said this week adds more distance between him and his equally contemptuous challengers.

At the annual State of the City Address, which used to occur in December but was moved last year to just before the election (imagine that, right?) and was moved again to be closer to another election (why are we not surprised?), Yenni claimed that Kenner is “one of America’s great success stories”.


Now, before you jump down my throat please know that I’ve lived in Kenner for 14 years. Despite opportunities to move to other cities (although, according to Greg Buisson, I’ve lived in every American city already), I choose to live in Kenner. Despite its lack of Million Dollar Bike Paths to Nowhere, the horrible inconvenience of trying to dodge traffic while trying to cross the street at Williams and Vets, and the fact that retail businesses continue to leave Kenner like our money has the plague, I like living here.

So, how can a city with over ½ of its net worth tied up in long-term debt for generations as the Mayor attempts to push through even more debt to pay off his political contributors; with a mall that looks like a ghost town on most days; with a nearly vacant shopping center across from the mall (yeah, I know, there’s a new home store, so make sure you shop Kenner First as you give your money to a Texas Retailer right Mikey?); with more commercial blight than the whole of Jefferson Parish; and a Mayor who couldn’t even serve 1 year of his 4-year term before he decided that he deserved a promotion, be a “great success story”?

And, if it is a “great success story”, why aren’t we giving back the 2033 Plan Debt that Yenni incurred without your approval?

We don’t need it right? We’re already a “great success story”!

Even The Times-Picayune pointed out in the first paragraph that Yenni’s speech was “thin on examples of that (Yenni’s “ambitious”) agenda.

There are times when I actually believe the folks at The T-P laugh almost as hard as I do when they hear Mikey’s bs.

Yenni also addressed Kenner’s windfall of $9.3 Million from the BP oil spill settlement.

"Imagine how those funds will be put to good use as we reshape Kenner for generations to come," Yenni said. He gave no hint of his administration's plans for the money.

Of course he didn’t – he hasn’t spoken to his political contributors yet to divvy up the booty.

Ben Myers also pointed out yet another example of why Yenni leads the Imbecile Parade:

"Laketown will revolutionize the way we use Lake Pontchartrain," Yenni said.

Can you please explain to me how a mix of retail, restaurants, lodging and residences, will “revolutionize the way we use Lake Pontrchartrain”? Don’t most folks use the Lake to fish, boat or some other recreational use? Didn’t Kenner just spend millions to rebuild the pier so folks could fish?

Who writes this stuff for Yenni? Yes, you guessed it – Greg Buisson.

While I could go on all day about Yenni and his ace strategist Greggo, let’s move on to Imbecile #2, who also happens to be a client of Buisson (in fact, according to his campaign reports he’s still paying off the win bonus from his victory over me in 2011, and still charging almost every meal he eats to his campaign contributors), the one and only man who sued me twice (and lost both times)


Just as Kenner received a nice chunk of BP money (and will squander it on graft and projects that won’t do anything meaningful for Kenner), Jefferson Parish got a massive amount from the BP oil spill settlement - $53 Million! Of course, that’s before attorney’s get their cut.

And how is JP spending this windfall? Coastal restoration? Additional storm protection? Our portion of Pump to the River funding? Money to combat erosion at Grand Isle?

Of course not.

The unlicensed florist, Ben Zahn, wants to use a chunk of the one-time money to give 5% raises to Parish employees. Of course, Zahn doesn’t know how much the raises will cost, or how the parish will pay for the increased salaries next year, or the year after, or any year, but why let simple math get in the way, right Ben?

Repeat after me – Non-recurring (one-time) money should NEVER be used for recurring (every year) expenses (like salaries).

According to Little Ben and the aformentioned Ben Myers on,

The BP money is not "dedicated to coastal restoration, but in fact sales tax reimbursements." Jefferson Parish residents are therefore "entitled to have their infrastructure and capital improvement needs addressed, and our employees given a raise," Zahn said.

Maybe it isn’t “dedicated” but it should be.

Should JP employees get pay raises? Of course, if there’s money available.

But, not THIS money.

5 years after the BP oil spill, Grand Isle’s beaches (which, of course, isn’t in Zahn’s District), still have tar balls that wash up on shore.

But hey, if there’s any money left after the pay raises, Zahn wants it to go to the District Councilmen for projects. Let the Councilman who represents Grand Isle use his money for the beaches while Zahn and others pump their cuts into more projects that benefit…wait for it…their political contributors.

Hey, it takes money to get elected. And, of course, you have to pay Greggo and the Buissonettes.

Moving on to Imbecile #3…


If it weren’t for the Zahn BP comments, Kenner District 4 Councilman Lenny Cline might be nipping at Mike Yenni’s heels.


Of course Lenny, if you keep opening your mouth at Council meetings and to reporters, you just might surpass your hero Mikey.

In discussing a proposal for a new apartment complex at the site of the old movie theater in The Esplanade mall’s parking area, Cline said,

"I don't have any negative or positive thoughts on the project until I see all the evidence," Cline said. "I want to know what's going there and why, and what quality of units will be there."

So, you’re telling us that there’s a major residential project being proposed for your District and you “Want to know what’s going on there and why”?

Talk about being on the ball, doing your homework and representing your District! 

Yeah, and a couple of weeks back when I wrote “Will Someone Please Poke Lenny Cline and Wake Him Up?” one reader actually called me to say that perhaps I was a little hard on poor Lenny.

Now, before you get all excited Lenny and wet your pants, that person WASN’T a resident of District 4.

He was also sadly mistaken.

 As I’ve said repeatedly Lenny, I will stop shooting when you stop giving me the bullets.

So for being so completely ignorant of laws, rules, how to rank proposals and not knowing what’s going on with a major project that has already made it all the way to the Planning Commission (which has a member appointed by Lenny), Councilman Cline continues his streak of appearances.

Which brings us to the #4 Kenner Political Imbecile, and also a client of Greg Buisson,


While the Kenner City Council was discussing a new retail development at Joe Yenni and Williams, Councilwoman-at-Large and Kenner’s Slumlord-In-Chief DeFrancesch questioned whether the developer had discussed his plans with the residents of the nearby Beachview Heights neighborhood.

The developer, Jody Grass, mentioned that he was expecting direction from the Council.

A clearly agitated Mike Yenni jumped in saying that District 3 Councilman Keith Reynaud had discussed the project at a Beachview Heights Civic Association meeting.

How Yenni knew that off the top of his feeble brain, is shocking.

Did you hear that? That was the sound of my mind being blown!

Not putting it past Reynaud or saying that he didn’t advise the Civic Association, just wondering how Yenni knew and was quicker to pipe up than Reynaud himself.

As usual, DeFrancesch tried to backpedal for fear of upsetting the Yenni but not before Reynaud complained of “personal attacks”.

DeFrancesch claimed that "We don't do personal attacks here ... sorry that's not acceptable."

No, the Council reserves the personal attacks for private citizens like yours truly, right Lenny?

It’s all good though because I have several things that Mike Yenni and his “Consensus Team” don’t including:

1). Intelligence

2). An IQ significantly above 30 (or whatever number they give you just for signing your name).

3). The ability to speak and write the English language

4). A sharp wit.

5). A blog that ties everything together and allows me to entertain you, and myself, on a regular basis.

But really, what are you laughing at? Many of you voted for these folks.

Fortunately, many more of you didn't. But, that's another post. 

Happy Friday peeps!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Kenner Getting $9.3m From BP; Pigs Lining Up At Yenni’s Trough

I don't trust the government
I don't trust myself
What's a boy gonna do? 
  - - - The Editors "A Ton of Love"

During the last mayoral campaign, Drew Broach from hosted a mayoral debate. One of the questions was, “What would you do if Kenner had a revenue windfall?”

Mr. Broach described a hypothetical $20m windfall.

It is probably a surprise to no one that I said, that if I were elected I would use the money for infrastructure and to cut Kenner’s debt by accelerating payments.

It is also no surprise that Mike Yenni said he would spend it.

Well Kenner, that hypothetical windfall is upon us in the form of $9.3m in BP blood money.

And, Mike Yenni and his “Consensus Team” are already concocting ways to spend it.

In fact, at the last Council meeting, Councilwoman-At-Large, and Kenner’s Slumlord-In-Chief, Maria DeFrancesch thanked the attorney who negotiated the settlement and looked gleeful at the prospect of  “all the wonderful projects it would pay for.”

Excuse me? Doesn’t Kenner have enough projects (and no, not YOUR kind of projects Maria) like Rivertown, Laketown, the 2033 Plan, et al?

Mike Yenni took on the largest debt in Kenner’s history without voter approval (and is borrowing more, again without voter approval) for a mishmash of projects including an almost $1m bike path to nowhere, and we need more projects?

Kenner can’t even complete the ones Yenni has planned and the people of Kenner have had no accounting of which projects are being funded and by how much, what the status of the projects are, and when they will be completed. 

And yet, Kenner's Police Department has not increased manpower; Kenner's Fire Department is woefully underfunded and undermanned and the national standard of 4-men-on-a-truck is still a pipedream for Kenner (as is a Class 1 Fire Rating, despite the imbecilic mumblings of Chief John Hellmers);  the City is privatizing playgrounds (yeah, that will bring in young families); and sewerage still backs up into the homes of Kenner residents whenever there's a heavy rain - but we do have the largest debt load in Kenner's history! 

Way to go Mikey!

Since none of the 2033 projects were vetted or approved by the people of Kenner, it’s no surprise that we don’t know what the status is either right? Or how much regional, state and federal funding has been acquired and what is happening with the money that was budgeted for those projects funded by other revenue sources.

We also don’t know why those other revenue sources weren’t tapped BEFORE borrowing money, accruing additional interest, and tying up a chunk of Kenner’s sales tax revenue through 2033.

Yeah, and I cost the City $2m. Go back to sleep Councilman Cline. Someone will nudge you the next time you’re required to rate contractors.  

Now, I’m not one to look the proverbial gift horse in the also proverbial mouth, but, with Kenner attempting to borrow another $15m for sewerage projects (some of which are not necessary), why not apply the BP money to those projects and borrow less money?  

Or, as I suggested in the debate, apply it to the 2033 debt?

Those are rhetorical questions. Because you’re reading this, unless your name is Cline,DeFranchesh, Sigur or Yenni (who probably has someone read it to him. I know, I should use smaller words), I’m making the assumption that you are reasonably intelligent and you already know the answer:

Contracts for Political Contributors.

No folks, that sound you hear is not an air raid siren - it's the sound of Mike Yenni's pigs, I mean Campaign Contributors,  cuing up at the pay for play taxpayer trough at 1801 Williams Blvd. 

Oink. Oink.

While I do enjoy a good Pulled Pork sandwich from time to time, these pigs at City Hall seem particularly fat and probably wouldn't even make good Cracklin material.

Ever wonder why EVERYTHING in Kenner must be initiated NOW – it's in the event that the people of Jefferson Parish get the wool pulled over their eyes like their Kenner brethren and Yenni is elected Parish President.Of course, projects won’t be finished on Yenni's watch but every last peso will be borrowed, budgeted, committed and, essentially, spent, NOW.

The people of Kenner don’t know where the 1st dollar of the 2033 Plan has gone (except for debt service), we’re borrowing more money for more unnecessary sewerage projects (a building to house generators? Really?), and we’re getting $9.3m dropped in our laps.

Is that money going into the “Rainy Day Fund”? Being used to pay down debt?

Of course not.

At the mayoral debate, Drew Broach asked a hypothetical question that happened to become factual.

Here’s some hypothetical questions: What happens to Kenner’s sales tax revenue if The Esplanade closes and Wal-Mart decides to move from West Esplanade to a new Metairie location? What if Ronnie Lamarque and Best Chevrolet determine that the grass might be greener in Metairie? What if nothing ever materializes regarding Laketown other than a drawing of a giant ferris wheel that was scammed from a London photograph?  What if Rivertown continues to languish? What if the airport flyover ramps at Loyola hurt Loyola Avenue and other area businesses (as I predicted could happen)? What if, God forbid, there’s another Katrina or other devastating disaster?

Now, I don't want go all doom and gloom on you and rain on your Saturday but, what if ALL of those things happen?

Those things, and more, could happen before the debt is paid from the  2033 Plan and the proposed additional sewerage bonds.

Why is Mike Yenni tying the hands of future mayors, councils, and the people of Kenner in his manic search for more contracts for his friends?Why borrow and spend and borrow more without your approval?

And, if you’re reading this, why are you letting them and why aren’t you outraged and calling his office and telling his “Consensus Team” to stop spending money they don’t have? 

 Mike Yenni - 468-7206
***Maria DeFrancesch (At Large) - 468-7247
***Keith Conley (At Large) - 468-7252
Gregory Carroll (District 1) - 468-7253
***Mike Sigur (2) - 468-7248
***Keith Reynaud (3) - 468-7249
***Lenny Cline (4) - 468-7251 (Note: If you talk to Lenny, please speak slowly and use small words)
***Dominick Impastato (5) - 468-7250

*** - A member of Yenni's "Consensus Team" (Now you know why I like and respect Councilman Carroll).

I know. I know. You wanted Cell numbers. Maybe next time.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Lenny Cline Swings For The Fences And (No Surprise) Misses - Badly

When I was a teenager and into my 20s, there was a Major League Baseball player named Dave Kingman. He stood 6’6” and was nicknamed “King Kong” Kingman and “Sky King” for his towering home runs.

The problem with Kingman was, he either hit a home run or he struck out. There was no middle ground. In fact, when he retired he was 4th all-time in strikeouts.

During his career, Kingman hit 442 home runs but he struck out 1,816 times.

Even the casual baseball fan knows that Home Runs = Good but Strikeouts = Bad.

A few weeks back, I wrote about Kenner District 4 Councilman Lenny Cline and his struggles with ordinances and resolutions.

In that post, I wrote:

If you need proof that having a piece of paper hanging on your wall and a law degree is not a sign of intelligent life, you need only look at Kenner District 4 Councilman Lenny Cline.

I followed that post with another opus about Lenny and his foibles, this time regarding the audit contract that was the subject of some controversy and a “Special” Council meeting,

Still don’t know, other than Keith Reynaud walking out, what was so “Special” about the meeting.

In any event, it seems that, after a year on the Council, poor Lenny didn’t know how to properly score applying firms.

I guess Lenny would rather live in the ignorant bliss of his own world than ask a Councilmember for assistance.

I wonder how he is at driving directions.

Why I bet Lenny needs to have someone program the GPS to find his way to the Council Chambers.

I don’t know if Lenny got tired of my pointing out his foibles or if someone pointed at him and laughed as he was trying to make his way through the self-checkout at Wal-Mart, or if someone urinated on his Wheaties while his back was turned, but, for whatever reason, at last night’s Kenner City Council meeting Lenny decided to step up to the plate and take a few swings at me.

In between confusing “definition” with “deposition” multiple times (isn’t the guy an Attorney?), Councilman Cline repeated the tired and factually incorrect Yenni/Buisson Propaganda that my lawsuit to force the City to have a voter referendum before taking on the largest debt in Kenner’s history cost the city $2 Million dollars.

That line has been debunked so many times I can recite the inaccuracies in my sleep.

To rehash for those new readers, as anyone who paid attention knows, the timeline and the math for the Yenni/Buisson Propaganda doesn’t work. It is not possible, since before the bonds could be sold they needed to be approved by the Council and the lawsuit and the appeal period weren’t finished when the Council voted to approve, lawsuit challenging the sale cost the City of Kenner…wait for it…NOTHING. 


Cline continued with his pitch for the new sewerage debt showing that he has a keen grasp of Common Core Math (and the obvious) when he declared:

“The interest rate is .95%. .95% is less than 1 percent.”

Whoa…calm down there Lenny. You’re getting ahead of yourself and you’re confusing us with the 
highfalutin Math.


Then, for the cherry on top of the Lenny Cline Sundae (extra nuts on top please), Lenny decided to call me out again by name.

“I hope we don’t have any further citizens blocking our way like Mr. Bennetti.”  

So, Lenny Cline decides that it’s ok to call out a private citizen at a public, televised Council meeting for exercising his constitutional and state given rights.

How did this guy pass the bar with such a pathetic grasp of the Constitution and our legal process?

And, calling out a private citizen, well, that’s just in poor taste especially when you weren’t even an embryo in the Yenni/Buisson machine when the lawsuit was filed and, even if you were on the Council, you probably wouldn’t have understood the lawsuit anyway.

Too much legalese. 

So for calling out a private citizen at a public Council meeting, that’s


Now, to be fair, I’m sure that Councilman Cline scanned the Council Chambers to ensure that I wasn’t in the room when he called me out.

I mean, why would he call me out if I was actually there. I might blow on him too hard and knock him over, perhaps even mess up his Lou Reed/Phil Spector hair style. Lenny, you don't need to look like a rock star or eccentric, murdering record producer. Claude the Barber cuts my hair and does just fine. 

Besides, if Councilman Cline really wanted a piece of me, he could just ask his boy Mayor Yenni. I'm sure one of his assistants still has my cell number, several councilmembers do too Lenny, and it hasn't changed in 14 years. 

I’m also certain that, given the way he was holding a paper while attempting to read (I told you not to multi-task Lenny) that someone (probably the aforementioned ace Yenni Political Strategist Greg Buisson) wrote it for me.

Since Cline is a member of Yenni’s “Consensus Team”, he is used to taking orders and being told what to say.

Did I mention that, earlier in the meeting when the Council was discussing removing the residency requirement for taxi drivers, that in Cline’s comments he said he was against removing the residency requirement and then voted in favor of removing it? 

Perhaps that Common Core Math fried his brain. Yeah, Lenny, little ole me cost the big, bad City of Kenner $2 Million. What planet are you from? 


Oh wait a second. Lenny’s already on the bench sitting next to Dave Kingman.

NOTE TO LENNY: You’ve been around long enough to know who I am. If not, I’m sure Buisson or someone has told you that if you’re going to come after me, you better bring it

The only thing you brought last night Lenny, was more fodder for me and more ignorant, inane comments from you. 

You proved once again that you are the Kenner Council’s Village Idiot.

Next time, slip Buisson a few bucks like the political whore that he is and have him write some better material. I hear he’s a cheap date so $10 should do the trick.

Otherwise, take that weak garbage back home with you before I tell my realtor to look for a home in Chateau. 

Maybe I can get a free house like Mike.

On second thought, probably not. I’m not in anyone’s pocket.