All the way
Returning the city's Dodge Durango you donated to yourself Renee? I guess God didn't want you to have it after all.
Well, you know you wouldn't be able to use it in prison anyway.
By the way, Renee, since you're feeling so generous, how about returning all the taxpayer money you doled out to your friends and future employers? And the inflated rent. Go ahead. Set an example for your former
colleagues partners in crime on the City Council.
As for the rest of us, we still need a lot more sunshine on this kind of behavior.
Until we have ethics legislation at EVERY level of government, AND adequate attention to ENFORCEMENT, we'll continue to be ripped off by elected representatives.
Jan Moller reported in The Times-Picayune that the record(?) $27 billion state spending bill currently on Governor Blanco's desk contains $33.1 million in "special legislative projects."
Remarkably, included in that budget is a "$300,000 earmark for Care Unlimited, a New Orleans charity with close ties to former City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt and the family of U.S. Rep. William Jefferson."
Recall that Care Unlimited is the organization Renee Gill Pratt donated money and vehicles to, and which hired her after she was shit-canned by voters.
Also included in that budget is $9.9 million in "state aid to local entities."
State Treasurer John Kennedy is saying that Governor Blanco should use her line-item veto power to slash these kinds of projects.
Kennedy said Governor Blanco's pledge of oversight isn't enforceable because she hasn't allocated enough enforcement resources to the state treasurer's office.
Daniel Poulin got it right in his letter to The Times-Picayune last week:
Almost every state senator and representative has affiliations with non-profits that are supposedly in place to help better the lives of the sick, poor or otherwise less capable than the rest of us.
They transfer money to these non-profits through their slush funds and direct allocations from the state budget, and the media have looked the other way for years.
The organizations get little done but pass money around in the form of management jobs, vehicles and expense accounts. Investigate each and every legislator's slush, pet projects and non-profits, and you'll be giving us, the citizenry, the tools to end the slush, the direct payments and the waste of taxpayer money once and for all.
Ironically, if Kennedy is right that he can't enforce paper promises, we're going to have to rely even more on the very same press that Poulin criticized for looking the other way.
I'd like both a vigorous press and ethics laws with teeth.
We can't stop at Renee's Dodge Durango. We need to use this occasion to go all the way with ethics reform.
Maybe that's why God gave Renee a Durango.
Tags: Hurricane Katrina | Katrina | New Orleans | Louisiana | We Are Not OK | Renee Gill Pratt | Government Corruption | New Orleans Corruption | New Orleans City Council