Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'm Fighting Corruption, The Politicians are on the Run - hold on a sec, my phone's ringing

Yes, this is he.

Wait, I need to get on a plane to where?




The Great "Law and Order" Hope James Bernazzani has been shown to his new cubicle...

Very very suspicious. Or as an old Shreveport friend used to say, s-u-s-spicious!

Here's what we know:

James Bernazzani has been the head of the New Orleans FBI field office for the past three years. By most accounts, he don't take no guff. He's been indicting and intimidating choice cuts of the traditional machine faster than you can say Derrick Shepherd flank steak. Interestingly enough, Jeffrey the Astute took note of some extremely over-the-top grand standing at the press conference announcing that indictment. That was a few weeks ago on April 12th.

Then, a little later, we had a flurry of reports confirming that Bernazzani was entertaining the idea of running for mayor of our fair city. In some reports, "heavy hitters" or "prominent business leaders" apparently approached Bernazzani with promises of funds and support if he should decide to run. WDSU tracked Mr. Popular down within a few days and Bernazzani apparently personally confirmed his interest in the post. (A special shout-out to the AZ, who I think beat the ragsites to the punch.)

All this glad-handing and rumor amplifying piqued the interest of Bernazzani's boss in the District of Columbia, who clearly saw the conflict of interest and yanked Jamesie back to the ant colony. You see, there's something called the Hatch Act that prohibits FBI agents from engaging in political activity.

So is Bernazzani just an idiot? The abrupt relocation certainly appears to be an awkward way to kick off your campaign.

Jeffrey, in his immediate reaction, thinks that Bernazzani purposely seized on this opportunity to get off of his New Orleans post so that he could run in two years.

Oyster, on the other hand, sees another potential cause and effect pattern for this rearrangement at the local FBI office.

Bernazzani, as you may recall, had just announced that his office would be entering a crucial six month stretch in the fight against local corruption. Now that office has been turned over and the investigations must, at least temporarily, be on hold.

Read Oyster's post.

The ???omgisherunningformayor??? whisper campaign was clearly coordinated. That kind of stuff doesn't just show up in several locations over the course of a few days, it is put there on purpose.

Was that effort coordinated by Bernazzani himself or was it the bold idea of the "heavy hitters" that stoked Bernazzani's daydreams with promises of bags of money for his campaign?

Answering the question above would help answer the question below:

Does this abrupt and bizarre relocation do more to sandbag his legitimacy as a candidate than release him from legal restraints preventing him from doing so out in the open?

Either way, it's pretty clumsy. If Bernazzani wanted a to be a candidate out in the open so badly, he should have waited until after the summer to request a transfer or to resign. If our corrupt overlords wanted to undermine FBI investigations, they might have tried doing this BEFORE Bernazzani had cultivated an evidence-rich forest of file cabinets.

Though, the more I think about it, there are elections coming this fall, and any delay in the announcement of further indictments, any delay in the naming of names could certainly benefit someone's ambitions to become, remain, or install an elected official.

Shall we speculate?


Karen said...

This was pure theater, why I can not say..

mominem said...

I wonder if someone high up orchestrated this to preserve their own (not yet indited) rice bowl?

In any event is seems tailor made to fit Shepperd's (and others) claims of political prosecution.

Its also so dumb it must have been the Ron Foreman wing of the Uptown Krewe.

E said...

This one seems to have a lot of people confused. I'm assuming someone with juice is trying to follow up with Jimbo.