ERROL LABORDE: Notes From the Election
Anyone who contests Saturday’s election with a lawsuit is being close minded, divisive, blatantly political, mean spirited and totally unjust. Administratively, the election was a masterpiece. If someone did not know about the election or how to vote, either by mail or in person, it is because that person just did not care enough to pay attention. Secretary of State Al Ater,an interim appointee to that post ion, faced the fiasco of an incompetent Orleans Parish Clerk of Criminal Court’s office. (That office is given the responsibility of overseeing local elections in New Orleans.) Nevertheless, Ater did a masterful job in not only providing a well-run election but in covering all legal bases, no doubt to the disappointment of the law suit abusers. Not only was the election successfully administered, but it set a model for future voting. Multiple precinct locations such as that at Jesuit High School proved to be an efficient way to run elections while maximizing manpower.
Aside from that, I was fortunate to be part of the election night coverage on WGSO radio 990. During the course of the broadcast there were several memorable comments from winning candidates, including:
— Newly re-elected Civil Sheriff Paul Valteau saying that for the first time he was speaking publicly by saying that many of the problems that the city had in the wake of Katrina was due to, as Valteau described it, the Nagin administration lack of governmental knowledge.
— Newly reelected Councilmember Oliver Thomas, rejoicing in the moment but yet saddened by the death of his brother, Renaldo, a day earlier. His brother had always been part of his previous campaigns. Thomas also revealed that, aside from his political responsibilities, his duties to his immediate family have expanded now that his brother is gone.
— Newly reelected District D council member Cynthia Hedge Morrell revealing that she was spending the evening alone pacing in a court yard. Her husband, Arthur, was elsewhere counting the votes in his campaign for Clerk of Criminal Court. Arthur Morrell made it to the runoff so it was a good night for the family, if not a lonely one.
Democracy works in New Orleans and the agitators can go away, We can govern ourselves, and that is only the least of our challenges.
Just thinking about New Orleans.