Daily Archives: May 10, 2006

C RAY: A FAILURE ON HIS OWN TERMS

Wed, 10 May 2006 20:06:54

C Ray was popular with most people in NOLA pre-K but I was one of those who already knew that the shiny headed emperor had no clothes. Cover up dude. C Ray’s well documented post-K flaws were all on display pre-K. His administration was arrogant and exclusionary long before he declared a state of emergency and assumed quasi-dictatorial powers. And C Ray is the worst kind of dictator: a weak one. He’s sort of our version of Tsar Nicholas the Last. That didn’t work out very well either…I see Greg Meffert as Rasputin only substituting technobabble for religiobabble.

C Ray ran as the idea man a breath of fresh air a reformer. His campaign and then his administration were chock-full-O ideas. Unfortunately none of them ever came to fruition. In fact few of his off the cuff ideas even reached the planning stages. C Ray doesn’t do details. Here’s a brief and probably incomplete list of C Ray’s ideas:

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He proposed selling the airport to private investors. Never happened.

> He supported privatizing the Sewerage & Water Company. Never happened. In this case it was a good thing.

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He pledged to build a new City Hall. Never happened.

> He proposed that the Mayor take over the city’s failing schools. Never happened. The state has done so instead.

> He promised to reduce the number of mayoral appointees. Never happened.

> He promised to see that the city Inspector General’s office was fully funded. Never happened. The office still lies dormant. If C Ray were serious about reform this would have been a priority. But he’d rather *talk* about reform than roll up his sleeves and do the things needed to achieve it.

> Immediately post-K he proposed turning Canal Street into a vast gambling corridor. He threw this idea out without any support and it died a quick and merciful death.

C Ray has indeed helped to clean up the city’s contracting process BUT it has been US Attorney Jim Letten who has led the way in cleaning house and kicking crony butt. As in all other things C Ray has largely laid back and lipped off. Maybe he should be a blogger that’s what we do. Now that I think of it C Ray’s tirade on Garland Robinette’s yak radio show in September was alarmingly Angry Ashley-like. Or is that esque?

I haven’t even gone into the litany of his post-K failures. I’ll get to those some time soon. I’m already exhausted from the pre-K list. One thing I will say is that those who want to give him a pass for his failures during and after the crisis should remember that the crisis is NOT over. We have rebuilding and another hurricane season to face. Do we really want to risk a repeat performance by C Ray? I certainly don’t.

Never forget that Mayor Nagin is now a national joke. He is a walking talking head shaving human punch line. And as long as he’s Mayor New Orleans will be a laughing stock. Forget the smokescreen and bullshit about the evils of the Landrieus and focus on the Mayor’s own dismal record.  Is he a bad man? Non. Is he a bad mayor? Mais oui.