Thursday, April 06, 2006

Local Political Races

On the mixed-feelings front (which I guess refers to most politics), we haven't heard much from Kimberly Williamson Butler lately. Although I enjoy ridiculousness as much as anyone, we don't need that kind of publicity these days, so that's a good thing.

For mayor, I'm torn so far. I'm one of the few people I know who doesn't hate Nagin. I voted for him in the primary and runoff last time, and I've generally thought he runs things ok. He's been a charismatic, attractive representative for the city with a head for business, and that served us ok in the relatively good times when our main concerns were the worst schools, streets, and crime rates in the country. Now I think we may need to move on, but I haven't ruled out voting for him again. I think the city is better off with an African American mayor, although if anything Nagin has pandered to Whites too much.

I've always liked Mitch Landrieu, and if I had to vote today, it'd be for him. He made a great impression on me many years ago when he was (I think) a state rep. I watched as he discussed how we have to think long-term and that sometimes taxes do good things. I remember thinking how refreshing it was to hear a politician say something potentially unpopular and not apologize for it. Although we can't say that he's brought tons of new industry to the state as Lt. Gov, he's done an admirable job and seems to work hard hitting the pavement. Plus he really supports my employer and our people. In the limited interactions I've had with him have been pleasant, and he strikes me as an honest, real person. I wish he'd lose the hair plugs, but that's a pretty minor concern.

The other person I might vote for is Virginia Boulet. She's sharp and has a plan for free health care, which could do a lot to alleviate poverty and to attract employers. I don't know how she can pull off, but I never know enough to examine the numbers on candidates' plans, which is why I have to go by trust in many cases. I doubt she'll pull it off. She may be a bit too smart and not smooth enough to get elected, but she's someone you'd love to see in a support role if she can't get the job.

I'm likewise unsure about city council. I'm in district A, and I support the sentiments of the Anybody But Batt brigade. I wouldn't vote for that guy if he was the only person on the ballot. But, for whom to vote? My current inclination is Shelley Midura, but not for many sophisticated reasons. She was an early declared opponent, is the only proclaimed Dem in the race, and some other people I respect are supporting her. But I'll keep an open mind til someone really hits me.