Daily Archives: April 7, 2006

FORUM FOLLIES WEDNESDAY EDITION: THE TUSSLE AT TOURO

Fri, 07 Apr 2006 05:32:07

The subject header is an exaggeration. Yeah I know it’s a first for this blog. I usually serve up the facts straight up a la Quentin Brown. One could actually call it the decorum forum but that’s a dull title y’all. As you may have noticed I’m more interested in the bits before and after the forum than the forum itself. If you want to know the candidates positions on the issues read their web sites. Besides it’s my fricking blog…

Before we left for the forum the doorbell rang. I thought it was Harvard Boy with a Stacy Head sign to plant in the garden but it was Sheriff Zitler instead. He brought us some of his new signs as well as lapel and bumper stickers. They were hot off the presses so hot that I had a blue ink schmeer on my hands. I felt like a human bagel.

We got to Touro Synagogue at around 6:15 for the 7PM event. We arrived at the same time as Dr. A’s  overqualified sign waver Debbie. They made an excellent team; keeping the candidates on their toes and preventing another Quentin Brown coup d’forum. Power to the timekeepers was the theme of the evening; not as uplifting as power to the people but eminently more practical. We’re concerned about global warming so we wanted to cut down on the hot air in the sanctuary…

Forum organizer Ed McGinnis was there supervising everything. Ed is a crisp corporate type who runs a very tight ship. I’m not enamored of going to meetings but Ed believes in keeping things brief. I dig brevity y’all; except of course when it comes to blogging…

The candidates started rolling in early. I was cornered by Rebecca Landry. It turned out that her father was a close friend and supporter of my former boss and political role model Congressman X. We traded stories for several minutes but then I reminded her that she needed to talk to people she didn’t already know. She protested: “But you’re more interesting.” Rebecca is seriously deluded y’all. Either that or she knows some pretty dull people…

After I left Rebecca I went outside to help Bob Julie and Amy with the door. Our goal was to let the riff raff in: we succeeded. Julie who is the unofficial publicist for this blog told more people about it. Aw shucks Julie. I hope you’re not expecting any pay offs. My dee-duct box is missing. Unless that is I get my swag from Jeff and Marc of roofing fame. Ya hear me Jeff?

My most interesting pre-forum encounter was with the incumbent Renee Gill-Pratfall. It was the first time that we’d ever spoken for more than 48 seconds. We didn’t talk politics and to my surprise I found her to be a pleasant woman. Shane Landry has been telling me that Renee is a good person who is a bad councilwoman but I was skeptical. I found out that he’s right.  Shane is irritating that way. Renee is a symptom of our political maladies in Debrisville not the disease itself which is machine politics as personified by Dollar Bill Jefferson. Dollar Bill is Renee’s opposite: a good Congressman but as a person… no comment.

After my close encounter with RGP Shep and Ann Zitler pulled up in front of the temple. I went over to see if they needed any help: Shep is 88. He assured me that he didn’t need any help getting up the stairs. I watched him carefully but he did okay. He’s a very proud man. As always he inquired about my health. It’s his stock question for me: he also called me young fella. I was tingly all over. It’s why I like old people they think I’m young…

Shep is a remarkable man. Like other Holocaust survivors I’ve met Shep is very cheerful. After the forum Dr. A and I talked about Shep with the Landrys and Truehills. Rebecca whose family was also touched by the same evil said: “I think that when you’ve been through hell nothing else ever seems as bad.” Yeah you right Becky. Shep’s amazing story is online at Survivors.org.

I walked back inside and found the Duplantier camp looking at the podium. Bettye Duplantier was relieved to see that Quentin The Menace would be seated next to Shane and not her husband Michael.  Shane has yet to meet the person that he couldn’t get along with. I’m living breathing proof of that: he even likes me. I asked Bettye if she was getting any sleep and she smiled shrugged and said: “Not until election day. Then we’ll take a day off and get ready for the run-off.” Michael has an excellent chance to make the run-off. Until recently I thought that Gill-Pratfall would make it but her heart just doesn’t seem to be in it this time. But I’m no oracle: anybody who tells you that they know what’s going to happen on April 22nd is arrogant foolish or wasted…

The forum itself ran smoothly. My friend and neighbor Linda Walker ran the show with a firm but courteous hand. Quentin’s attempts to take control were rebuffed. I also think that Quentin was inhibited by sitting at a table in the temple’s sanctuary. At one point he said: “I’m not gonna curse tonight. I got in trouble for that but this is somebody’s house of worship. I don’t mess with nobody’s God.” Jehovah officially thanks you Quentin. I’m sure that Allah Krishna Buddha and L Ron do too…

The District B candidates are overall an exceptionally good group. They know their stuff and on some questions even Gill-Pratfall did well. As I predicted Stacy Head *did* perform better than on Monday night; she’s a type A person and we were well-organized. But frankly all the candidates performed well. I know that’s wishy washy but it’s true. The truth is sometimes equivocal.

Back to Quentin the Menace. One Quentin highlight was his hurricane evacuation plan. He informed us that he’ll evacuate everyone even if he has to commandeer a bus and pick you up at your house. The plan is simple but direct. Quentin specializes in directness. No B-S No More. Straight up.

When it came time for questions from the audience your not so humble blogger queued up. It was a question my fellow organizers rejected but it’s an important topic: smoking in bars night clubs eateries etc. I asked the candidates if they’d support a California/New York City style smoking ban. I insisted that they answer yes or no; straight up. I couldn’t resist teasing Stacy Head because she usually objects to yes or no questions. Stacy smiled at me and kissed me on the cheek after the forum so I guess I didn’t throw her for much of a loop. Too bad: loop throwing is what I do best…

The candidates did indeed answer me straight up. Michael Duplantier smiled and wagged his finger at me because I threw them a curve ball. The only candidate to say NO was my new buddy Shane Landry. His wife gave him a hard time for that after the debate. His defense was lame: “I’m a libertarian.” Me too Shane but I need to be liberated from second hand smoke. I also want my night life back: I rarely go to music clubs any more because I cannot stand the smoke. I always wind up being next to some pischer with a fat malodorous cigar and a bad attitude. Move your ass buddy…

After probing the panel of candidates I sat with Miranda Truehill in the front row. (I hate sitting in the front row but I like Miranda enough to look like a nerd.) She was gleeful: “Thanks for asking that question. Marshall’s been talking about that all over town.” I knew I liked Marshall. The incumbent also liked the question; to give her credit she has tried to pass a city ordinance banning smoking in public places. The restaurant lobby killed the bill. Damn am I going soft? Nah I just hate inhaling other people’s fumes that much…<hack cough hack>

There was much milling about after the forum.  I was really pleased as were the candidates. The candidates all left the forum feeling that they’d be treated fairly. I patted myself on the back and then schmoozed. I love to schmooze y’all. I do have a weakness for people who are willing to run for office and the spouses who are willing to put up with it. We actually have a good choice in this race which is a novel thing indeed here in Debrisville.

Reform as well as oak pollen is in the air this Spring. A chance to change things for the better is nothing to sneeze at either. Don’t let it slip away. It’s time to throw the bums rascals whatever the hell you wanna call ’em out. Bye bye Gill-Pratfall. Get outta town 7 Dwarfs. Au Revoir Jay Batty. Sayonara C Ray. Toodle-pip gentle readers.