It took him nearly a week to write these dissertations – 3244 bitter words all summed up by the following, which isn’t a version of this song that I even care for, but it’s got the best insight as to Walt’s world view…. It ain’t my fault – did I do that?
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Now I know from first hand experience, losing an election sucks. Despite my vote totals in the loss, I had a legitimate person to blame – Joseph Berry. Despite that, I took my loss in stride, went on with my life and reached out to and then endorsed my opponent Barron Burmaster. Walt Bennetti couldn’t concede with even a touch of class. As usual, Walt has no one to blame but himself, but his responses illustrate his selfishness and his malice.
In his responses, Walt (his pathology compels him to bring up the Mayor, and as such) blames Yenni, Roger Villere, political consultants, the “political machine,” and (???) the Realtor’s association. Bitterness personified. These responses embody exactly why I was convinced that he would be a disaster as a mayor. Despite the LANDSLIDE that re-elected the Mayor, voted in Mr. Impastato by a similar mandate over Walt’s mentor Capitano, and carried the unopposed Maria Defranchech & Lenny Klein into office are all just woefully mistaken. Based on his musings, Walt believes that not only did the people not speak, the ones who did vote are somehow misguided and under the control of others and just don’t get that he’s the one true visionary & the very expert needed for the job. For me, he’s a naked man offering me his shirt, and who would want a mayor who’s response was to quit his party, pout, sulk and (attempt to ) scorch the earth when he didn’t get his way. A municipal executive needs to be able to work with a diverse group – Bennetti’s post about the endorsements shows a narcissistic bent and echoes a common theme, everything is someone else’s fault.
Below I’ll add my commentary in RED
Why, after 34 years, I am no longer a Republican
For my first post in 2 months and since my election loss, I thought it would be good to take a walk down memory lane. or a ride on the crazy train…..
When I was growing up in Erie, PA, wouldn’t that make you a northerner it seemed like EVERYONE was a Democrat. My mother and father were Democrats. My grandparents and all of my relatives were Dems. One of my aunts (on my mom’s side) was a Democratic Ward Chairman. Her “job” was to get out the Democratic vote and she was very good at it.
The Mayor of Erie at that time and all of the Councilmen were Democrats. In fact, my dad had a City job that was given to him by the Mayor. Unlike some political appointees, particularly in Kenner, my dad actually knew what he was doing.
About 80% of my hometown were Democrats and the other 20% were too afraid to go out at night.
However, in spite of everyone around me being a “D”, or perhaps because of it, I was drawn to the Republican Party.
My first (and, thankfully, only) brush with the law came when I was 11. I was “arrested” for putting “Nixon – Now More Than Ever” bumper stickers on cars that were parked in a grocery store parking lot. Of course, I didn’t realize that the automobile owners had to give their consent to have the bumper stickers put on their cars. (or advertisers must give their consent to have their names published in magazines…. BRLA anyone?)
After my dad and the powers that be (again, all Dems) intervened, my “punishment” was a few hours of elbow grease scraping off the bumper stickers and apologizing to several people that I didn’t know.
So, yes, I was a little overzealous in my “volunteering” for Richard Nixon’s 1972 presidential campaign.
When I turned 18, I couldn’t wait to register as a Republican. The first presidential campaign that I really volunteered on was Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign, and I cast my first presidential vote for Reagan that election.
Later, I volunteered on Reagan’s 1984 campaign, George H.W. Bush’s 1988 and 1992 campaigns, and the campaigns of George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. In fact, in 2004, I was a Precinct Captain for Bush/Cheney. My job, like my aunt’s decades before, was to get out the vote for W.
I’ve also volunteered or worked on numerous other Republican campaigns in addition to being the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and a Board Member of the Pelican State Pachyderm Club, a large Republican group. but now smaller thanks to your involvement
So, why did I become a Republican?
Quite simply, I bought into Ronald Reagan.
Even at 18, I wanted less government. I wanted lower taxes. I wanted government out of my life.
So, why after being a lifelong Republican did I change my party registration today to Libertarian? Well, to be honest, two things happened: Mike Yenni and Roger Villere. just a reminder, its somebody else’s fault!
As most of you know, Mike Yenni was re-elected as Mayor of Kenner. He beat me but, he is only indirectly responsible for my changing parties.
When the Jefferson Parish Republican Party endorsed Mike Yenni, I knew that the Republican Party that I signed up for in 1979 was not the Republican Party of 2014 that I wanted to be a part of. so I got mad and left the party
Oh sure, I had my doubts about John McCain and Mitt Romney, but, I could never bring myself to consider voting for an obvious Progressive like Barack Obama who sneered at every political ideal that I still clung to.
No, when the local Republican Party endorses Candidate Y, who tripled sewerage fees, tried to double property taxes, opposed Good Government Charter Changes that 70% of the voters approved, has grown government, and took on the largest debt in Kenner’s history without a vote of people over Candidate B (pretty clever, huh?no, not really), who opposed each of those things, either the Party doesn’t fit Candidate B or he doesn’t fit the Party. or Candidate B is a failed, flawed and bitter candidate who would be a trainwreck as an elected official?
I’m enough of a realist to know where I’m not wanted and, the Jefferson Parish Republican Party doesn’t want me or what I believe in. neither does Kenner, when are you leaving?
So, how does Roger Villere fit into this blog?
I’ve known Roger for many years even, at one time, considered him to be a friend. I’ve interviewed Roger on the radio, published his press releases on ClickJefferson.com, and supported his efforts as Party Chairman.
However, today Roger went off the deep end and there is no turning back.
By now, I’m sure that you’ve all read about Louisiana Congressman Vance McAllister and his episode(s) with a married staffer. McAllister is also married.
While I don’t condone McAllister’s actions, or the actions of the married staffer, that’s his personal life – it has nothing to do with him being a Congressman. and yet you want to bring up aspects of other people’s personal lives to suit your narrative…..
In that past, I defended Senator David Vitter, and other elected officials, read: Joe Stagni when they’ve made personal transgressions that were not directly related to their positions.
Again, I wasn’t condoning Sen. Vitter’s actions, or the actions of anyone. But, I didn’t believe then or now that Sen. Vitter, or any elected official, should resign because of a personal transgression. because you have so many personal transgressions…..
But, the same can’t be said for Roger Villere, the head of the Louisiana Republican Party.
In a statement, Villere said:
“The Republican Party of Louisiana calls on Vance McAllister to resign his seat in Congress. Mr. McAllister’s extreme hypocrisy is an example of why ordinary people are fed up with politics. A breach of trust of this magnitude can only be rectified by an immediate resignation. He has embarrassed our party, our state and the institution of Congress. A video showing him engaged in conduct unbecoming a member of Congress, on public time, in a public office, with one of his employees, was the focus of the national press for days. I call on Mr. McAllister to put the interests of his nation, state and party above his own and step aside.”What about the interests of the people who elected him?
Where was Roger Villere when David Vitter was caught up in a personal scandal? weren’t you just defending Vitter?
Where is Roger Villere now and why isn’t he telling David Vitter to NOT run for Governor?
When Villere refers to “McAllister’s extreme hypocrisy”, perhaps he should look at himself in the mirror because, while McAllister’s indiscretion may or may not blow away, Vitter’s hangs over him and our state like an Albatross and that Albatross will grow to gigantic proportions if Vitter is elected Governor of our state.
No, the fact of the matter is, Villere and the state Republican Party didn’t support Vance McAllister when he ran and now they smell blood in the water. If it wasn’t for this video, I’m sure the party would have found some other reason to turn on McAllister if he voted the wrong way or didn’t eat seafood on a Friday during Lent.
Did McAllister do something stupid? Of course, but, people do stupid things every day (Remember Mike Yenni trying to double property taxes?) and, as long as it’s not criminal, he should keep his seat.
The voters, and only the voters, of his Congressional District should determine whether or not Vance McAllister resigns or if he is re-elected, not the Chairman of a political party.
What Roger Villere and many in the Republican Party don’t understand is that the reason “why ordinary people are fed up with politics” is because of the hypocrisy of the two-parties.
What, besides being anti-abortion, does the Republican Party stand for? What happened to cutting the budget deficit, reducing government, lowering taxes? How can the Louisiana Republican Party be for “family values” when they want to bash someone who is not favored by the party, while supporting and defending David Vitter?
When I ran against Mike Yenni, I didn’t discuss the multitude of rumors about his personal life, the FBI investigation perhaps another MS blogger might want to weigh in on your krewe’s involvement with the most recent aspect of that? into his emails and texts (other than saying that the investigation is closed and we still haven’t been told the entire story by Yenni and the public hasn’t seen those emails and texts), or any other “sordid” tidbits that people told me. what about the sordid details of what people have told me about you? What about the facts of what I know about you? — I wanted to beat Yenni on this issues. So, how’s that working out for you?
As I said, I supported and defended David Vitter and I would do the same for Vance McAllister. I care about how he votes on issues, not his personal life. The Louisiana Republican Party should too.
And the Democrats? Well, they truly are the “entitlement” party. We all know what they stand for and, if you’re on the receiving end of those “entitlements”, you may be a Democrat. Clearly, I’m not going to be a part of that party either.
So, since we’ve clearly determined that I can no longer be a Republican (that is, if I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and not see a hypocrite looking back at me), and I also clearly cannot be a Democrat, why did I become a Libertarian?
Because, quite simply, Libertarians believe in less government and lower taxes and that, along with being Pro-Life, are at the core of my personal political philosophy.
Do I buy into everything that the Libertarians list in their party platform? Of course not. But, at their core, the Libertarian Party believes in personal accountability and personal liberty – and that is my core.
We live in America – the “land of opportunity”. Nowhere else on earth do people wake up with the opportunities that we have and that most of us take for granted. We can can do anything, be anything. We can dream big dreams and, if we work hard and it fits into God’s plan for us, we can achieve those dreams. That is, as long as government stays out of our way and we don’t hurt other people in the process.
That’s what I think Libertarian’s believe.
And that is why I am proud to be a Libertarian.
That is, if they’ll have a former “lifelong Republican”. till they figure out what a disturbing influence you will be…..
The Endorsement Game
When you’re running for public office, groups come out of the woodwork to conduct candidate forums – some to educate their members on you and the issues and some to endorse one candidate over another.
In this past election, Mike Yenni garnered every endorsement. This was not a surprise to me, as I honestly didn’t expect any group to endorse an upstart upstart? more like malcontent! over an incumbent.
However, what was interesting was the makeup of many of these groups and their obvious biases. Without sounding bitter, but you are, why try to hide it? I thought it might be interesting to take a look at these groups and their endorsement processes.
The Alliance For Good Government – The Alliance is a group of folks from varied backgrounds that comes out for every election and then disappears. They have no role in day-to-day government or acting as watchdogs for “good government”. I mean really, how much credibility can a “good government” group have that gave Kenner Councilwoman Maria DeFranchesch its “Legislator of the Year Award”? Remember, you heard it here first “Walt Bennetti hates women” In 8 years on the Kenner City Council, I can’t tell you one meaningful piece of legislation that has been authored by DeFranchesch let alone one that could be considered “good government”. so in an earlier post, you say you want less government, but you can’t think of any meaningful legislation?
The fact of the matter is, The Alliance is more of a marketing organization than an actual “good government” group. The primary focus of The Alliance is, does the candidate have the necessary funding to pay The Alliance the Thousands of Dollars necessary for The Alliance’s co-op advertising (that is run through a member’s company so that the member can receive the commission). jealous Mr. Faux Media Consultant?
When I went to The Alliance’s endorsement meeting, I thought “The best that I can hope for is that The Alliance doesn’t endorse anyone.” I knew The Alliance would never endorse an underfunded candidate like me but, how could a “good government” group even consider endorsing someone who tried to double property taxes and opposed good government charter changes that were approved by the voters of Kenner by 70-30% voting margins? someone should remind you that he won reelection over you by an even wider margin, with the very same voter base…, oh, wait, I just did!
So, considering that a city employee is a member of The Alliance and was allowed to participate in the endorsement vote, and that I was underfunded, no one wanted to give you any real money……. it was not a huge surprise that The Alliance endorsed Yenni.
The Jefferson Chamber PAC – The Jefferson Chamber PAC did invite me to speak however I was not available during the times they had available. your conflict kept you from being there, but to say that you wouldn’t have gone is disingenuous That being said, even if I would have been available, I wouldn’t have gone. The Chamber PAC consisted of several members of Yenni’s Economic Development Committee and campaign contributors. I knew that speaking to them would be a waste of time and, I learned afterward, that several other candidates in Kenner elections also didn’t think that speaking to the Chamber PAC would be a good use of their time. Phil, Schwertz, – birds of a feather…….
HISPAC – The Hispanic Political Action Committee is another ghost group that only comes out at elections. They represent no one sort of like you and are simply a money machine to funnel advertising to Hispanic media and attempt to act important. They are led by a member of Yenni’s Economic Development Committee who appeared in one of Yenni’s campaign videos.
After agreeing to meet on one date, the group’s head, Dr. Vinicio Madrigal, changed the date to the night of March 5th, the day that he knew I was having surgery and would be unavailable. if they weren’t going to endorse you as you say, why bother moving the meeting… remember, the date for your surgery changed too…… I asked Dr. Madrigal to provide me with a list of their Board Members so I could at least email them some information about why I was the better candidate to represent all of Kenner, and Dr. Madrigal ignored my request. That’s funny considering that he’s always quick to jump on Facebook to defend Yenni or criticize me.
What’s ironic is that, while the Yenni Administration has over 40 political appointees, only 1 is Hispanic (you will see those numbers again later). Since Kenner’s Hispanic population is almost 30%, a 40/1 ratio is hardly representative of Kenner’s Hispanic community. In addition, Yenni tried to close a playground that is used heavily by Hispanics, which I opposed. you would oppose throwing a drowning man getting a rope if Mike Yenni wanted to throw it to him…..
But, HISPAC got their 30 pieces of Silver from Yenni and endorsed him anyway. bitter over money? everybody is on the take? boards are made up of Yenni loyalists — surely it can’t be you?
GAMBIT – I wasn’t surprised when Clancy DuBos and Gambit endorsed Yenni. I was surprised that they didn’t even call me to discuss the election. At least when I ran in 2011, they tried to hit me up didn’t you sell advertising for your horrible publications? for some advertising money. bitter over money? everybody is on the take? boards are made up of Yenni loyalists — surely it can’t be you?
Louisiana Weekly – This one was truly puzzling to me. As with Hispanics, the Yenni Administration has 1 African-American political appointee, despite Kenner’s 25% African-American population. In addition, Yenni tried to close Lincoln Manor Playground, which is in a heavily African-American area, and I fought against the closing. Also, South Kenner has been crying out for years for a library and I offered a plan to convert the old Kenner High School to a library and computer resource center while Yenni wants to remodel the High School and turn it into city offices. people don’t really use library’s anymore you clod, they use the internet
But, the Louisiana Weekly Editorial Board never called me to discuss my campaign, my ideas or my pledge to represent ALL of Kenner.Christopher Tidmore did write a nice article about the campaign though. first off, because I did it in my election, I know that they send a questionnaire (which you responded to) and they have you in for an in person editorial interview. You even called Tidmore “your friend” in a facebook post announcing the article you liked. Now, in maligning this publication & gambit, you’ve opened up a new theme – “they didn’t call, didn’t write, didn’t invite me over!” It’s not the job of the candidate to wait for these calls, it’s the job of the candidate to go make his point known…
GNOR – Greater New Orleans Republicans scheduled their endorsement meeting at the same time as a forum at the MLK Resource Center in Lincoln Manor. After looking at the makeup of their board, I decided it would be better to listen to the concerns of District 1 residents than talk to a minor group of Republicans stacked with Yenni loyalists and operatives. blah, blah, blah, nobody likes me, deck stacked against me……
NOMAR – The New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors never called me to discuss the campaign which is surprising considering that Yenni’s plan to double property taxes would have had an adverse impact on property sales. more irony from a many who pays no property taxes, owns no property and doesn’t have a job…… and your plan to implode the Kenner economy might have some impact on why they didn’t call — or maybe since it’s a number of women they might have read my blog and known you’d be condescending.
NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – My favorite endorsement meeting was with Nola.com/The T-P. There, surrounded by people who I’m certain loathe people like me (bloggers!), no, I think they loathe you for other reasons….. it was a great joust. After discussing my leg injury, gotta get that sympathy factor rolling right? that’s the first lesson in con-man 101 the first question was, “Considering all of your health issues with your leg, why are you running for Mayor?” Off to a great start with that one…
I gave the Editorial Board a packet of articles and editorials where they (the Editorial Board) had criticized Yenni and his Administration and where one of their Editors actually called Yenni “a fibber”, but they barely glanced it.
The Editorial Board seemed more focused on my snarky (their word) comments to the Candidate Questionnaire you remember that Candidate Questionnaire, it tripped you up with your time in college – the same Florida college that is now missing from your bio….. that they send out to candidates seeking information.
Some sample questions and my answers:
Q: “What schools do your children attend? For each school note if it is a public or private school.”
A: “If I had children, I would never answer such a ridiculous, intrusive question.”
Q: “Have you ever been convicted of, pleaded no contest to or placed in a diversion program for a crime other than parking and minor traffic offenses? (Driving while intoxicated is NOT considered a minor offense.).”
A: “No. But I was made to stand in a corner once for attempting a bloodless coup against my Pre-K teacher. I wanted less nap time.”
Q: “Have you ever bought or sold illegal drugs?”
A: “And I’ve never exceeded the speed limit or rolled through a stop sign either.” but you have…
Q: “Have you ever lost a lawsuit?” yes, with the CIty, individually and as president of CFABK — let’s not forget when they took the building back in BRLA and you tried to extort rent (I know you don’t count that because you dodged service)
A: “No. But Ben Zahn lost 2 lawsuits to me. Make sure that you remember that when he runs for re-election.”
Finally, after 4 pages of such questions, they finally asked:
Q: “What are the five most important planks in your platform?”
Now, we’re finally getting somewhere…
In retrospect, were my responses “snarky”? Yeah, of course they were. They were meant to be tongue-in-cheek. They were absurd questions that had nothing to do with running for Mayor of Kenner. Who cares what schools anyone’s children attend unless they are running for school board and who would answer such a personal question? Do you think I would want the newspaper publishing where my children go to school or take a chance on that information being leaked to the wrong people? no one is under the bed Walt – I know you look before you go to sleep at night & again when you wake up…… Mike Yenni’s minions leave imanila envelopes taped to my door with “threatening” information. Please Walt, if someone ever left you a threatening note, we all know you’d break another couple of toes to get to a scanner and post it on the internet….. please! Do you actually think I would want them harassing my children at school?
The Editorial Board didn’t see the humor in my responses and didn’t see the obvious hypocrisy of them endorsing a candidate that they frequently criticized.or you don’t get the obvious irony of how these reporters fulfill their parent company’s need for “content” and write stores about you and Yenni and you misconstrue this for relevance and out of you delusion, run for office – funny and sad, but by all means, bite the only hand that keeps you marginally relevant.
But, it was a fun 15 minutes in the hot seat. That alone was worth the $450 “qualifying” fee.
Jefferson Parish Republican Executive Committee – I wrote yesterday about the Republican endorsement so, I won’t belabor the point here. But I will say that, as long as elected officials have a vote in the Parish endorsement, upstart candidates will never have a chance unless they are connected to Greg Buisson. And that is sad when you know that, regardless of your ideas, your platform or your background, I’m pretty sure your background had a role in this….. you just don’t want to acknowledge the issues in your background! you will never have an opportunity.
The Bottom Line – Most endorsements are worthless. However, their compound effect does sway some voters who see the momentum of one candidate and want to jump on the winning train.
Most of these groups are infiltrated with political operatives, supporters and contributors who’ve made up their minds before a candidate even opens his/her mouth. They, and the groups that they “represent”, already have an agenda. Whether it’s money or power or the mistaken belief that they have influence, they all have an agenda.
Did I lose the election because of endorsements? Absolutely not. true, you lost it on the issues and your lack of fitness to serve…. But, are the endorsements “objective”? Again, absolutely not.
It’s up to individuals to cut through the clutter and make up their own minds and everyone should hold whomever wins accountable.
Everyone should be involved in their government. Not just the 20% or so that voted. So when you hold up the tax referendum as a basis for your viewpoints, the electorate is valid, but when that same electorate elects a group of men (and women) you despise, they are worthy of your contempt……
Funny, sad and typical……