of himself and of Louisiana.
As rumours swirl around the Big Easy about Ray Nagin's political aspirations faster than water trying to drain out of a claw-foot tub down in the Ninth Ward, lets look at what he can use to sell the voters of Louisiana on him as he ponders his gubernatorial run.
Two years after Katrina, total population in New Orleans is barely two-thirds the pre-Katrina level. In the Ninth Ward, barely 7% have returned to the poorest and hardest hist area of New Orleans.
In two years since Katrina, the crime and murder rate in New Orleans has skyrocketed. One judge has threatened the Orleans Parish DA with fines and jail time because of how sluggish the office is with getting cases to court. A newly formed unit has had three prosecutors resign in quick succession; this unit was created to deal with the surge in violent crime.
The New Orleans Police Department is still being supported by National Guard soldiers as the protesters who tried to take over HANO's office found out. What is interesting, according to New Orleans radio, is the National Guard is finally going to pull out and the NOPD has to talk to its union to see if they will agree on working 12 hour days to make up the shortfall in manpower. Meanwhile in a real war zone, the Iraqis, with US help, are churning out soldiers and police in droves.
I will happily note this little missive on Ray Nagin that someone else has to say:
"Statewide, Ray Nagin is dead in the water," said G. Pearson Cross, an assistant professor of politics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
This AP article is interesting in how it highlights the poles apart world view between the leaders of New Orleans and those of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. One is full of why haven't you done more during these two years while the other is full of thank you so much for how far we have come in two years.
Until Mayor Ray Nagin can get the various feuding elements of his own city on the same page and people like Stewart-Moore to move back; then he has no reason to run for governor. One Blanco in a century is enough.