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Who's at fault for probloems in Louisiana ?

by Mac McMullen / April 9, 2006 4:07 AM PDT

In the late 1990s, the state's school systems ranked dead last in the nation in the number of computers per student (1 per 88), and Louisiana has the nation's second-highest percentage of adults who never finished high school. By the state's own measure, 47% of the public schools in New Orleans rank as "academically unacceptable."

These government failures are not merely a matter of incompetence. Louisiana and New Orleans have a long, well-known reputation for corruption: as former Congressman Billy Tauzin once put it, "half of Louisiana is under water and the other half is under indictment."

That's putting it mildly. Adjusted for population size, the state ranks third in the number of elected officials convicted of crimes (Mississippi is No. 1). Recent scandals include the conviction of 14 state judges and an FBI raid on the business and personal files of a Louisiana congressman.

In 1991, a notoriously corrupt Democrat named Edwin Edwards ran for governor against Republican David Duke, a former head of the Ku Klux Klan. Edwards, whose winning campaign included bumper stickers saying "Elect the Crook," is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for taking bribes from casino owners. Duke recently completed his own prison term for tax fraud.

The rot included the New Orleans Police Department, which in the 1990s had the dubious distinction of being the nation's most corrupt police force and the least effective: the city had the highest murder rate in America. More than 50 officers were eventually convicted of crimes including murder, rape and robbery; two are currently on Death Row.

Ten billion dollars are about to pass into the sticky hands of politicians in the No. 1 and No. 3 most corrupt states in America.

"New Orleans has a Democrat Mayor, a Democrat City Council, and a Democrat Chief of Police. Louisiana has a Democrat Governor, a Democrat Lt. Governor, a Democrat Attorney General; 24 of 39 Louisiana State Senators are Democrat, 67 of 105 Louisiana State House Representatives are Democrat, there's a Democrat Representative in the House from New Orleans, and one of two U. S. Senators is a Democrat."


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And to think that fine
by John Robie / April 9, 2006 4:37 AM PDT

state of Louisiana used to produce 'Hadacol' which cured all illnesses, but apparently some Democrat politicians, took a little too much.

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The stuff seems to have quite a bit of history
by Dragon / April 10, 2006 4:47 AM PDT
In reply to: And to think that fine

Lot of corruption involved, too, but I guess that comment is a little gratuitous... Happy
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Louisiana has a long reputation....
by Josh K / April 9, 2006 11:36 PM PDT

....for corruption and illiteracy. But it's very easy to blame it on Democrats. There are plenty of other states with Democratic leadership where you don't see this sort of thing.

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yea.. Louisiana has a ''long'' reputation..
by kmarchal / April 9, 2006 11:46 PM PDT

Huey P. Long the suis generis...

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LOL, inadvertent pun on my part!!
by Josh K / April 10, 2006 12:44 AM PDT

"Blaze" was a pretty good movie though.


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Ah....but his legacy still
by John Robie / April 10, 2006 1:18 AM PDT

lives on noting the many old bridges still in use with his name on the entrance steel beam, even one each across the Mississippi in New Orleans and Baton Rouge are still in use.

Remember as a kid traveling on Highway 90 when its surface was partially standard shell/crushed shell. Huey P. won votes by starting a paving project mixing concret with shell dust. Boy, that didn't last, as the concret started buckling after several years.

He had a real con man approach to getting votes, and people loved him back then (before TV). He would answer the telephone with "this is the Kingfish"...he liked to call himself after the character on Amos 'n' Andy radio show. He would say, "every man a king, but no one wears a crown"...."I'm a small fish here in Washington, but I'm the Kingfish to the folks down in Louisiana."

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mixing concret with shell dust
by kmarchal / April 11, 2006 12:15 AM PDT

the process used from shell dredging put a real hurt on pontchartrain

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True story...I was stationed/TDY at Camp Polk, LA for....
by Jack Ammann / April 11, 2006 2:16 AM PDT

...Operation Sagebrush and one of our soldiers got beat up in Leesville by the city police. The next day the Commanding General put the whole city of Leesville and DeRidder Off Limits...LOL. Straightened 'em right up. But they remained off limits for the duration of that Comanding General's tenure at Camp Polk. Louisana got a real taste of the power of a Commanding General Officer.

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So, perhaps it's time for adult supervision there;
by Paul C / April 10, 2006 6:37 AM PDT

and do you really think that people like Kathy Blanco and Ray Nagin are up to that job?

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Like 'em or not.....
by Josh K / April 10, 2006 6:44 AM PDT

...those people are in because they were voted in (assuming the elections weren't rigged somehow). Under what authority would/can you impose ''adult supervision'' over elected officials who may be incompetent but haven't been convicted of any crimes (or even charged AFAIK)?

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And the Federal Government ...
by Evie / April 10, 2006 8:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Like 'em or not.....

... aka the TAXPAYER, has a right to decide not to give them any more money. Let the locals figure out that if they want help from outside they need to elect competent and credible leaders.

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I can't help but remember, Josh...
by J. Vega / April 10, 2006 7:46 AM PDT

Josh, I can't help but remember a story that my father told me about growing up in the Depression in NOLA. My grandfather had managed to get a job with the city, and once my father went with him to pick up his weekly pay. Times were hard and he was glad to get the pay. My father told me that right next to the pay table was a table staffed by the Democratic Party organization. Right after my grandfather got his pay envelope he had to go to that table and give a portion of his pay to them. I asked if he was a Democrat, and my father said that he was not. Being young and innocent I asked him why he gave them a part of his pay, as he wasn't one of their members and the little money he made wasn't enough. My father explained to me that if he hadn't made that "donation" he would have lost his job, and he had a wife and 5 kids to feed.

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by Mac McMullen / April 10, 2006 8:08 AM PDT

...biological or political family, is alive and well yet today, in more cities than anyone would care to admit.

Every once in a while something leaks out, but is hushed up very quickly.

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You didn't have...
by J. Vega / April 10, 2006 8:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Nepotism.........

In the case I mentioned, you didn't have to be related to anybody, just give the proper party their "cut".

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by dirtyrich / April 10, 2006 10:32 AM PDT
In reply to: You didn't have...

how else are they goign to raise money? It's not like union members are required to support the Democratic Party through their dues or anything... oh wait, they are.
The Democratic Party - support them or, well, you don't have a choice.

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Sounds like the "Bosses" in MO and NY
by Josh K / April 10, 2006 11:07 PM PDT

I read the McCullough book about Truman, which went into great detail about the political "machine" in Missouri and how it helped his career get started.

And of course there's the legendary Boss Tweed from New York City. Bloomberg had the Board of Education moved into the building Tweed used to work out of as part of his effort to clean that body up. He felt that the surroundings would serve as a heads-up.

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And the corrupt mindset isn't limited to their politicians
by Josh K / April 11, 2006 2:28 AM PDT

The police in NO have been notoriously corrupt forever. My BIL is in private security and at a client's request, he deployed a team to protect a building in NO after Katrina. Two of his guys were shaken down for over $800 in cash by two NO police officers. Fortunately for the victims (and unfortunately for the two cops), they had the entire incident on videotape.

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