Monday, November 24, 2008

Jackie Clarkson: Niceties Necessary

Not enough has been done to make fun of our City Council President.

Much of the impetus for this hard-charging petition effort is our City Council's failure to act as an equal branch of government to Mayor Nagin's executive. After this piece by Frank Donze featuring liberal quotations from several angry Councilors, our representatives went right back to in-fighting over how to proceed in parsing the ridiculous crime camera contract the very next day. That week of course culminated with Council members snapping at each other over some pretty basic and appropriate criticism of Sanitation Director Veronica White.

At the time, I highlighted my favorite quote from the original Donze article (emphasis mine of course).

"I am fed up. Nothing has to take this long, " said Council President Jackie Clarkson. "Something is really wrong. So little is getting done, I can't get a handle on this."

I found that funny because usually Jackie Clarkson is so on top of things. Normally, when the administration isn't delivering, Jackie pushes back hard, right?

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As the NOAH scandal emerged, it was Jackie Clarkson who stood in support of the Mayor.

Then when the Mayor stood in front of Council regarding the matter, Jackie Clarkson proudly sat in silence, determined not to ask a single question.

More recently of course, as citizens were railing for Council to confront the Mayor and win concessions on issues of transparency and accountability, it was Jackie that negotiated another ridiculous detente with the Mayor over fancy French Quarter dinner. Did she secure dismissals or demotions for incompetent department heads that have lost the trust of the public? No. Did she secure the free flow of information between the administration and Council? According to the Times-Picayune today, apparently not.

Instead, Jackie Clarkson and the Mayor worked together on creating a protocol for more quickly silencing human expression that breaks from the atmosphere of friendship and good cheer that is so effectively steering the city toward the golden gates of recovery.

And not a moment to soon!

Last Friday, the public might have actually had an opportunity to present their displeasure to City Council directly. But thanks to Council's new found commitment to tranquility, Lower Mid City was given all of 60 seconds to defend its right to exist.

Councilwoman Clarkson's new protocols were so effective that she didn't even need to be there to enforce them.

Does the President of City Council really need to be there to listen to the Mayor's office and the Recovery Director present their 2009 budgets anyway? I mean, those are just minor departments and budget hearings only happen once a year anyway. So it couldn't have been important. I don't begrudge her one bit for skipping out.

She had an award luncheon to attend.

There's a photograph I'd like to reproduce for you, but doing so without permission would cause major legal problems for me.

What does every good blogger want during this holiday season?

Repeat after me kids: An 11x14 print of that photograph of Councilwoman Clarkson in her trademark red/pink suit thing mounted on stretched canvas.

Mom and Dad, it's only $180!

And we're talking about the real article too:


"Our photos are taken by experienced photojournalists and come with a signed Certificate of Authenticity (at no extra charge), documenting their exceptional value."


And the emphasis there is NOT mine.

Accept no imitators.

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Someone should put together a list of quotes from Jackie Clarkson related to her endless quest to unearth congeniality.

It doesn't matter how many relevant investigations of the administration get in her way, there will be taxpayer-funded friendship dinners and luncheons!

Finally. The change New Orleans has been waiting for.

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Does Clarkson believe that if Council gets along with the Mayor, the people of New Orleans will get along with each other?

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