Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Kingfishery and Kingcakery: Mayor Ray Nagin and a Lapse of Ethics - Black Democratic Mayor of New Orleans not only crosses party lines, but also engages in questionable uses of public funds in doing so:

Tuesday November 18, 2003

By Frank Donze
Staff writer

Did Mayor Ray Nagin step over an ethical line by using City Hall's Web site to post a copy of his endorsement speech for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bobby Jindal and a subsequent letter explaining his decision to cross party lines?

Nagin's staff doesn't think so.

But a reading of the state law addressing how tax dollars can be spent on politicking appears to raise questions.

The applicable section of the Constitution says "no public funds shall be used to urge any elector to vote for or against any candidate or proposition, or be appropriated to a candidate or political organization."

Nagin spokesman Patrick Evans says nowhere in the speech or the letter did the mayor tell anyone to vote for Jindal, who lost to Democrat Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco in Saturday's runoff.
"So many people were asking about the mayor's decision-making process, posting it on the Web was just an efficient way to disseminate that information," Evans said.

But if the mayor never said, "Vote for Bobby," the message he gave in his Nov. 3 speech was unmistakable. Throughout it, Nagin heaped praise on Jindal, citing his "intelligence and credentials" and his "track record of accomplishments and success."

"This is what I found," Nagin wrote: "Kathleen Blanco has no specific plan for improving the future of New Orleans. She had no plan for Charity Hospital, where I was born. However, I was very impressed with the details and thought that went into Bobby Jindal's blueprint for New Orleans and Louisiana."

Nagin staffers said the message was directed to members of African-American church groups, traditional Nagin supporters and citizens who contacted the administration with questions about the endorsement.

A copy of the letter appeared on the city's Web site about 10 days ago and remained there Monday.
Original story linked here. And I thought Nagin was supposed to be rooting out this kind of corrupt behavior.

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