17 April 2006

guest columnist chris williams orleans mayoral predictions

WST note: On Monday at 8:00 p.m. CDT, the top seven of the 23 candidates will face off in a nationally televised debate about their visions for the future of New Orleans. MSNBC's Chris Matthews and NBC affiliate WDSU's Norman Robinson will jointly moderate the one-hour debate, which will take place at WDSU's studio and will air live on WDSU and on MSNBC.
After so many emails after my first article on “We Saw That” I decided to get another one out soon. I am glad to see that people are excited to read my articles.

After much coverage, the New Orleans Mayor race will finally be decided on Saturday, April 22, 2006. I am getting a feeling Mitch Landrieu is losing ground and I will go as for as saying Landrieu could possibly not even make it into a runoff. First of all, he took heat when he ran a commercial in which he was “saving” people in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. It was obvious Mitch took advantage of people suffering in order to strengthen his political career. Unfortunately for Mitch, it backfired. Mayor Ray Nagin is going to be in the runoff, but who will battle it out to be the leader of New Orleans for the next four year? It will either be Ron Forman or Peggy Wilson. I think Ron Forman has the edge over Wilson. To further support my prediction, lets see who will be voting.

There will be the black lower class who will be taken to the polls throughout the state. Most of the evacuees will vote for Nagin but Landrieu will take away some of Nagin’s votes, however Nagin will still get enough from this group to push him into the runoff. Then there are the middle and upper class voters who are of both white and black. Nagin will carry the middle and upper class black voters, but Landrieu will take away some of these votes from Nagin; this only helps the other candidates. The group that will decide this race is the middle and upper class white voters. The middle and upper class voters of both races will go out and vote, but no matter how much the media tries to hide it, race will always be a factor in elections. The white middle and upper class voters will vote for a white candidate who shares their views. Although Forman is a democrat, he might appeal to enough conservative voters to put him ahead of Landrieu. However, Wilson will take away some of these votes from him, but since Forman is a Democrat he will pick up votes from the other groups (lower class whites and some middle class blacks) to give him the strength to beat Landrieu.

Robert Couhig could possibly be a sleeper in this race, but Wilson and Forman and Couhig will all be each other’s own worst enemy. However, all three will take away votes from Landrieu. If the Republican voters stick together, it will be enough to get either Wilson or Couhig in the runoff. In reality, I do not see a white female Republican winning a New Orleans Mayors race. I think the lack of leadership that Governor Blanco has shown will play a factor in some voters’ decision not to vote for a woman. Blanco has given female politicians a black eye, but hopefully voters will realize that Blanco’s lack of leadership had nothing to do with her being female. There are many male politicians who show lack of leadership and many female politicians who were born to be a leader. State Rep., Karen St. Germain, is an example of a female leader who has done a lot for her district. So it would be disappointing to see voters base their decision on sex.

This whole New Orleans election is a complex election for all candidates and with the voters spread throughout the United States, it will be interesting to see what will happen. There are so many factors in this race and it is possible that the unlikely will happen. Ray Nagin or Mitch Landrieu might not even make it into a runoff. With 24 (it might be 22 now) candidates pushing voters in a city that was nearly destroyed 7 months ago the unexpected will happen. I honestly think that the people are tired of the Landrieu’s so Mitch has lost some creditability and Ray Nagin lost the white vote when he made is Chocolate City comment so it will be a wild election day on Saturday. There is one thing to watch out for.

Citizens of New Orleans please be aware of one thing, CORRUPTION. With so many places to vote all around the state, only the candidates with a lot of money will be able to have people stationed at each voting location. One thing I learned when I ran for office was that it is important to have people watching what goes on, because other candidates will try anything they can to influence voters. Also, is there an “official” voters list? Who is to say that someone is not registered to vote? Did any voting records get destroyed during the hurricane? I know that this is a recipe for chaos.

My prediction: Ray Nagin and Ron Forman will be the top two candidates who will battle it out in a runoff. Ray Nagin will then have the upper hand, which will lead to a victory over Ron Forman, but it will be a close one.

One more add in: We all know Governor Blanco is behind the scenes in Mitch Landrieu’s campaign. Governor Blanco has a 36% approval rate. Governor Blanco will do more harm than good for ole Mitchie boy.

I want to thank all of you who read my articles and please continue to visit “We Saw That”. Look forward to more of my articles.

note: christopher "chris" williams follows and participates in louisiana politics from his lair at plaquemine (iberville parish) louisiana. williams looks forward to receiving your email at the following address:
**updated 8:13 pm cdt tuesday 18 april 2006**

I received an email that I just have to share with all of my readers. I want to thank “We Saw That” for allowing me to post this article, these guys do a heck of a job with their blog and to allow me to post means a lot to me. Here is the email.

Dear Mr. Williams:

I have two words, Chocolate City. You are supporting a guy who wants an all black city. What is wrong with you? I thought you were one of us? You seemed to be a die hard conservative and the last person I thought you would support would be Ray Nagin. You need a wake up call brother because we need the right color back in New Orleans. New Orleans needs to be “The Milky City” and as long as jokers like yourself support Ray Nagin, it will continue to become a dark chocolate city. Wake up Mr. Williams!

D. Bellot

Well D. Bellot, just because I think Ray Nagin will win doesn’t mean I support him and if I did support him I don’t need your approval. And who exactly is “one of us”? I am not from a certain group nor do I represent a certain culture, I try to reach out to everyone. And as for as the whole race thing goes, I can care less whether the mayor of New Orleans is white, black, or green I just want to see the best candidate win. It is rare that the best candidate wins in a Louisiana election, but I can assure you that I would rather see Ray win than see that fake chump Mitch Landrieu sink New Orleans the say way his father did. So D. Bellot please read the whole article before you start bashing me. Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back, thanks.