Friday, July 07, 2006

"Being incredibly selfish is not a criminal act unto itself"

Nevertheless, Jim Bernazzani, special agent in charge of the FBI's New Orleans office, added that he's still going to investigate Renee Gill Pratt and matters related to the donation of vehicles to the City of New Orleans which ended up in the possession of non-governmental organizations.

If it's front page news, does it still merit blogger attention?

I don't know, but I'll keep blogging about this until Renee Gill Pratt is tarred and feathered.

Is my reaction harsh? If you think so, consider how many billions of dollars in aid to Louisiana her selfishness might cost.

There may be no more corruption and ineptitude in Louisiana than in other places, but we're getting all the attention right now, and we need to be squeaky clean.

Besides, what the hell could she be thinking? Her actions display nothing but contempt for the citizens of New Orleans and the well-being of the city.

The fact that she wasn't alone among councilmembers in giving away vehicles to friends ought to send a signal to every New Orleanian that WE NEED ETHICS REFORM NOW!!!

The Times-Picayune story also detailed the following particulars in the "cargate" affair:

  • DaimlerChrysler gave Renee Gill Pratt specific verbal and written instructions that the 20 donated vehicles were "were for the exclusive use of public agencies or government units, such as police and fire departments."

  • Batt gave one vehicle to the Lakeview Crime Prevention District and the other to the Audubon Nature Institute. Both are "quasi-government" agencies which have their own revenue streams.

  • Sapir was trying to donate vehicles to two groups in which he had close personal ties: Friends of NORD, and Victims and Citizens Against Crime.

  • Clarkson gave vehicles to two churches in her district.

  • Thomas said that he had planned to donate vehicles to the Harmony Center and the Council on Aging.

  • Council President Oliver Thomas and members Cynthia Hedge-Morrell and Cynthia Willard-Lewis, didn't say what their combined six vehicles have been used for in recent months (but you'd think that if they were honest, they should have been able to answer which agency they gave them to since the city had such a great need).

  • The council unanimously voted on Thursday to have the city attorney's office review the disposition of donated vehicles and city funds, but ironically, the same city attorney's office approved the Gill Pratt vehicle transfers.

  • At-Large Councilman Oliver Thomas actually said that some of the vehicles might be returned to the nonprofit groups that have been using them. Has he been smoking crack and watching soap operas all day on the public dole?

New Orleans is not alone in the affair:
  • Gretna gave a donated vehicle to a non-governmental agency too.

  • A truck donated to Kenner is being used by Mayor Ed Muniz's chief of staff, Mike Yenni, who said it would be eventually be retrofitted as an emergency vehicle (When? When you're finished using it?).

  • St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis has been using a black, 2006 Dodge 1500 donated by DaimlerChrysler.

A bit of positive news: U.S. Rep. Bobby Jindal (R-Kenner) properly assigned 20 Dodges and another 15 Fords to government agencies.

It looks like the only three people with clean records on the City Council so far are the four new members: Shelley Midura, Stacy Head, James Carter, and Arnie Fielkow.

Oliver Thomas said a couple of weeks ago that he would wait a couple more weeks before revisiting Midura's attempt to finally implement a law that's been on the books for 11 years to create an Ethics Review Board and an independent Office of Inspector General.

Well Oliver -- it's been a couple of weeks now. How about today?!!

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At 7/07/2006 02:10:00 PM, Blogger G Bitch said...

This got me spitting mad, too. All the bastards should be run out of town. They clearly thought it was business as usual--2 for them and none for us. If i see Renee Gill Pratt, I swear I might knock her ass down......(feeling more bitch than g)

At 7/07/2006 04:04:00 PM, Blogger bayoustjohndavid said...

Seems like there was a lot more than a few cars involved. The rent deal might not have involved any laws that the FBI can look into, but it's the kind of thing that costs the city a lot more.

Hate to be so cynical,but I think it's only going to lead to new laws about freebies and nothing about spending. At least, that's all that will happen if that's where the outrage stays focused. So, yeah, it does still merit blogger attention.

At 7/07/2006 05:09:00 PM, Anonymous Karen said...

Front page of the Times P does not mean the story is being told. Now that I have a full time unpaid job as Citizen Snoop I say "Balls to the Walls'...was that rude? Keep blogging about Renee till we see her washing floors at Angola

At 7/07/2006 08:20:00 PM, Blogger TravelingMermaid said...

Excellent post!

At 7/07/2006 09:09:00 PM, Anonymous adrastos said...

You're not the only who plans to pound this issue, my friend. Beating up on Gill-Pratfall is always a pleasure.
Did you make the blogger do? I got home at 8:30 whupped from the road.

At 7/08/2006 06:09:00 AM, Blogger G Bitch said...

Gill-Pratt is not the only demon here--Batt, Sapir, the Cynthias were also involved. I'm surprised no one has slammed her for saying it was God's will she got to drive that car.

At 7/08/2006 01:09:00 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Yeah g bitch. Give her a kick in the ribs for me when her ass is in the gutter. I did the God reference in an earlier post.

The same goes for the two Cynthias, Batt and Sapir, Clarkson, and yes, Thomas.

I'd have callouses on my fingers if I wrote about everything that gets me worked up David -- yeah, this is just scratching the surface. There are the "millions" in donations to charities that were reported as well.

Orange ought to match her atrocious lipstick, Karen.

Nope -- I didn't do the do, Peter. Fridays are difficult for me.


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