Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Think You Can Forget It

Not real thrilled about the sources of the campaign coffers for aspirant District Attorneys Leon Cannizzaro and Ralph Capitelli. Look at this from the T-P, kudos to Frank Donze and Laura Maggi. (sorry for the long excerpt)

All four candidates for district attorney are Democrats. But Cannizzaro has received support from several prominent Republican donors.

For example, the reports show that real estate developer Joe Canizaro; his wife, Sue Ellen; and companies they own have given Cannizzaro a total of $25,000. Phyllis Taylor and her company, Taylor Energy, contributed a total of $10,000. Edward Diefenthal, the chief executive officer of Southern Holdings Inc., and his wife, Nancy, each gave $5,000. Companies owned by Lockport shipbuilder Donald "Boysie" Bollinger have anted up a total of $5,000, and former U.S. Rep. Bob Livingston, now a Washington lobbyist, gave $1,000.

Joe Canizaro and Bollinger have been two of President Bush's most prolific Louisiana financial supporters.


Other notable Cannizzaro financial backers include businessman and failed gubernatorial candidate John Georges and his wife, Dethel, for a total of $10,000; former Jefferson Parish District Attorney Jack Capella, $5,000; movie theater operator T.G. Solomon, $5,000; and personal injury lawyer Morris Bart, $2,500.

Cannizzaro also received a total of $30,000 in contributions from St. Bernard Parish developer Joseph Georgusis and members of his family.

Among the big-name backers who individually made $5,000 contributions to Capitelli are Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, defense attorneys Pat Fanning and Ralph Whalen, and Edward and Nancy Diefenthal.

Other noteworthy names on Capitelli's donor list are St. Tammany District Attorney Walter Reed, $3,500; lawyer and former legislator Henry Braden IV, $2,500; New Orleans Business Council leader Jay Lapeyre, real estate developer Roger Ogden and lawyers Rob Couhig and Darleen Jacobs, $2,000 each; New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, businessmen Robert Boh and Frank Stewart, and banker Ashton Ryan, $1,000 each; and former U.S. Attorney Harry Rosenberg and restaurateur Ralph Brennan, $500 each.

I don't really like this at all. WCBF has not yet made an endorsement in this race but this has me feeling pretty queasy about pulling the lever for either of these two gentleman. Such a huge percentage of Judge Cannizzaro's campaign is being bankrolled by a single social network.

Our next DA must Must MUST be committed to fairly prosecuting white collar criminals in politics and in commerce. How can I trust either of these two guys? Cannizzaro's list is especially nausiating.

Jason Williams has almost entirely funded his own campaign, save for one $5,000 check from his father-in-law, former Mayor Sidney Barthelemy. Barely objectionable.

We'll have to learn more about him...

Linda Bizzarro has no friends?


cjnola said...

As for Cannizzaro- the list you give is only a small portion of the almost 500,000 he has raised. The TP and you neglected to note all the other donations mostly from individuals who want change for the city. It is unfair to pick and choose which donors you will name and then decide based on a few that you have a problem with the candidate. Cannizzaro has always been a democrat, he has bipartisan appeal because people know he is the only candidate who can do the job of DA. he understands that violent criminals need to be put away but he also has real plans to turn around substance abusers and juveniles on the wrong path. He also has plans to work witht he mentally ill involved in the CJ system and to protect battered women and their children. don't base your decision on headlines see the whole picture, Cannizzaro can bring the city together and have us all work to positive change

E said...

Yes, cjnola, it would appear you're a fan of Mr. Cannizzaro's.

Campaign finance is extremely relevant because it speaks to public trust.

If you're argument is that Cannizarro's contributions from GNORs and industrial barons are diluted because he has raised close to $500,000, I'd advise you to look at the math. The names in the Times-Picayune article I excerpt have contributed nearly $100,000 by themselves! That's one fifth of Cannizzaro's total campaign coffers, so it is fully reasonable to question whether or not Cannizzaro can be counted on for impartiality in matters involving the prosecution of white collar crimes connected to the business interests of the monopoly men responsible for his election.

cjnola said...

You clearly have no knowledge of who Cannizzaro is as a person if you think he would have a problem prosecuting anyone who violates the law, white collar ot not. Cannizzaro comes from a strong hard working blue collar background. Like any candidate this campaign requires money to get the word out and combat lies and blatant misrepresentations by other candidates. The other 4/5 of his contributions are from hard working people who gave what they could because they know he is our only hope for real chnage and to fix all of the problems with the DA's office. He has real concrete plans based on experience and best practices.His court record speaks for itself in both CDC and the 4th circuit. The same people who contributed were't happy with every decision he made and they know he will be tough in the future but regardless of our politics we have to bind together behind the one candidate who can actually do the job and do it right and that person is clearly Leon Cannizzaro.Do what's right, we have to get past party lines.

E said...

That's all well and good but the bottom line is that the problem at the DA's office are both administrative AND IDEOLOGICAL. I believe you when you say Cannizzaro is capable of fixing some of the administrative issues, in fact I have no doubt that his qualified for that. My issues go beyond his "qualifications," I question his worldview - his grasp of basic sociology. Is he looking to end catch-and-release? Is he looking to decriminalize simple possession? Does he understand the ways that the operation of the local criminal justice system exacerbates crime? What are his plans to move us away from that? Supporting drug courts is all well and good, but the time to take a stand for drug courts was 15 years ago! Everyone supports drug courts. What's the next step that Mr. Cannizarro plans to take?

E said...

And I have questions about his Republican donors because they tend to be ideologically opposed to progressive criminal justice reform.

cjnola said...

Cannizzaro is the only candidate with plans to divert substance abusers and the mentally ill from jail directly after arrest well before first appearance. Since he publically stated this on Tuesday the other candidates may begin to parrot him (again). He did stand for drug courts more than 15 yrs ago and still does. Not everyone supports drug courts, Capitelli in his own manifesto states that specialty courts are escape hatches for criminals. Cannizzaro will expand the programming and Capitelli will curtail it back to the Connick days where cherry picking was the name of the game. Cannizzaro has the endorsement of Gusman which will allow him to actually enact his diversion plan. Without the sheriff it can't work. Cannizzaro plans to have screeners meet with all arrestees to determine who can be diverted and those that can be released pretrial vs. dangerous violent people who need to stay in.He knows that diversion of low level non violent offenders will allow prosecurtors to focus on the real criminals. He also plans to begin real work with juvenile offenders this will change the dynamic of our city for yrs to come. This population has been ignored for too long. he plans to involve family and the communtity to create real change in these kids lives.