Thursday, January 12, 2017

JP Council Denies Lyin’ Ben’s Big Buisson Payoff



Did you ever have one of those days?

You know the one.

You wake up in a fantastic mood knowing that it’s going to be a great day. The sun is shining. The birds are chirping.

Sure, you have to go to work but you know that your day looks great and you will get everything accomplished.

The stars are truly aligned in your favor.
Then, it all turns to mush.

For Lyin’ Ben Zahn, Wednesday was one of THOSE days.

Zahn, who delayed taking the oath of office as Kenner Mayor so that he could have one more JP Council meeting, his last JP Council meeting didn’t quite turn out as he planned.

I’m certain that, being the pompous ass that he is, Lyin’ Ben thought his last JP Council meeting would be a victory lap, an opportunity to funnel even more JP tax dollars to his campaign contributors and, of course, his campaign manager, the Minister of Propaganda Greg Buisson.

But, the best made plans seldom are.

To be fair, Lyin’ Ben did throw a lot of taxpayer money around. In fact, he probably did more for Kenner in one meeting than he has in the past five years on the council (and, I’m sure we will ALL be hearing about it next year when Lyin’ Ben runs for reelection).

Funding for Laketown; for the Italian Heritage Festival (run by his Campaign Manager’s former client Louis Congemi); money for Kenner’s City Park.

But, since the real reason for Lyin’ Ben’s last meeting was to author a big payoff for his campaign manager Greggo, Lyin’ Ben’s day was a failure.

Buisson, the campaign manager for Zahn, JP’s Sexual Predator-In-Chief Mike Yenni, and countless other area elected officials, sued Jefferson Parish and Councilman-At-Large Chris Roberts over an ordinance authored by Roberts to ban political operatives from receiving contracts with the parish.

Buisson claimed that the ordinance was targeted at him.

As you probably know, I could care less what Greg Buisson thinks, the Roberts ordinance was good for Jefferson Parish. If it hurt Buisson, that’s a win-win in my book.

Of course, settling or not settling the lawsuit is a crapshoot. JP tax payers may end up on the hook for more than $120k. Since it’s in Federal Court (instead of the 24th JDC), I think JP’s odds of winning are good.

In the end, the Council voted 5-2 against settling the lawsuit. Only fellow Buisson Acolyte Paul Johnston voted with Lyin’ Ben.

BTW, what happened to you, Paul Johnston?

I always thought you were a decent guy, even when we disagreed.

Now, you’re attacking citizens that speak out, going behind the backs of volunteer firefighters, and acting like Lyin’ Ben.

After the Aaron Broussard scandal, there was a groundswell of support for stronger ethics in Jefferson Parish and for all of Louisiana for that matter.

The Republican led state legislature, with the approval of then-Governor Bobby Jindal, offered some mild ethics reforms that they called “The Gold Standard” of governmental ethics.

As you know, they failed miserably.

The Republicans in state government actually weakened ethics for themselves and made the State Ethics Board a group of clerks sending out late notices instead of a strong compliance office.

You still have legislators like Kenner State Senator (and a candidate to replace Lyin’ Ben on the JP Council) Danny Martiny taking excess political contributions from PACs and other legislators and elected officials like Yenni and Zahn using campaign donations to enhance their personal lifestyles while the State Ethics Board gets paid to date and time stamp campaign filing forms rather than issue strong penalties to real violators.

In JP, Roberts and others on the Council, prodded by Margie Seemann and Margaret Baird, put forth some modest ethics proposals but none had the teeth to significantly improve ethics in JP government.

The Parish even brought in an Inspector General to add another layer of protection although the JP IG doesn’t monitor the Parish’s largest city (Kenner) and the Yenni Administration has done it’s best to provide obstacles to the IG.

Regardless of his motivation, the Roberts ordinance was a step in the right direction.

You shouldn’t have the campaign manager of elected officials also receiving parish contracts and using his influence to derive even more tax dollars from NGOs like the Jefferson Convention & Visitors Bureau, JEDCO, and many others that receive tax payer funding.

I mean really, what Councilman that wants to get reelected can refuse to help his campaign manager?

For the past several weeks, Lyin’ Ben has been working behind the scenes to push his fellow council members to settle the lawsuit with Buisson. The Council already scuttled the Roberts ordinance and backtracked on a Buisson contract for Mardi Gras parade stands.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Zahn offered an ordinance to settle and pay Buisson $120,000 of YOUR tax dollars for “legal fees”.

You don’t need to be a Rocket Scientist, or even an Unlicensed Florist, to know that some, if not all, of that $120k would have wound up in Buisson’s pocket.

Claiming that the Parish had already spent several hundred thousand dollars defending the lawsuit (why can’t our Parish Attorneys litigate again?), Lyin’ Ben claimed that it was a good deal.

Despite calls for those Councilmembers that had a previous relationship with Buisson to recuse themselves, Zahn relied on Parish Attorney Mike Power’s claim that, since Lyin’ Ben didn’t have a “current” contract with Buisson, he could vote on the settlement.

Buisson worked with Zahn during his Kenner Mayoral campaign. Buisson claimed that, despite having meetings with Lyin’ Ben to discuss Zahn’s inauguration and the mayoral transition, his “work” for Zahn ended when Zahn won the runoff.

Buisson claims that he was not paid for his meetings with Zahn after the runoff.

Right.

As everyone knows, whores don’t do anything for free.

And, in Metro New Orleans, there is no bigger whore than Greg Buisson.

When civic activist George Peterson took to the podium to discuss the Zahn conflict of interest, Zahn fired back asking if Peterson was an attorney.

No, George Peterson is not an attorney.

He’s not an Unlicensed Florist either.

Buisson himself took the podium to urge the council to settle.

After he was finished patting himself on the back as a champion of free speech, the man who complained about citizens making Public Records Requests, spoke to WDSU’s Travers Mackel.

“This is all about politics,” Buisson said.

And that’s the problem.

Look, if Greg Buisson wants to be the campaign manager for almost every elected official in Jefferson Parish, fine, go for it.

But, don’t use your relationships as a campaign manager to extract (or extort) tax dollars.

That’s not right.

And, if we had any ethics in Jefferson Parish, we wouldn’t be discussing this.

Of course, we wouldn’t have a Sexual Predator as Parish President and a pathological liar soon to be Kenner’s Mayor either.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Is Buisson The Real Reason For Lyin’ Ben’s Mayoral Delay?



If you’ve read ClickJefferson in the past, you know that I’ve said for years that with Mike Yenni nothing is ever as it seems.

Sadly, it’s taken a sexting scandal with a teenage boy to get some of you to believe me.

I don’t want to make any height jokes, but, perhaps it’s because he has lived in Mike Yenni’s shadow since it appears that with Lyin’ Ben Zahn, the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

No, there haven’t been any allegations of Lyin’ Ben and young boys, but, when it comes to deception and protecting the financial interests of the Minister of Propaganda Greg Buisson, Zahn and Yenni are identical.

In our last post, we discussed Lyin’ Ben’s ridiculous statement that he wanted to wait for his election as Kenner’s Mayor to be “certified” before he resigned his JP Council seat. Delaying his resignation would result in an Interim Councilman being appointed and seated for almost a full year before an elected Councilman could take over the remainder of Zahn’s unexpired term.

If Zahn would have resigned last week, an election could have been held in the Spring rather than next Winter.

At first glance, it appeared that Zahn wanted to approve an Interim Councilman to take his seat and have another friendly Pro-Yenni vote on the Council before allowing voters the right to choose his successor.

But, is that really the reason?

After my post, I received a few emails suggesting otherwise.

Could helping our old friend Greg Buisson be the true motivation behind Lyin’ Ben’s delay?

Let’s jump back to 2014.

After his defeat of the Pro-Buisson Machine candidate Louis Congemi, JP Councilman-At-Large Chris Roberts put forth an ordinance that would ban political campaign managers like Buisson from receiving funds from NGOs that received Parish funding.

As we’ve discussed in the past, Greg Buisson has his money grubbing paws in several lucrative Parish honeypots including JEDCO, the Jefferson Convention & Visitor’s Bureau; fairs and festivals like Family Gras; fishing rodeos; and Buisson also has the contract to put up Mardi Gras parade reviewing stands.

Buisson, not wanting to lose his multiple spots in the JP Tax Payer trough, cried “Foul!” and filed a lawsuit against Roberts and the Parish.

Buisson claimed that he was being singled out.

So what.

Roberts’ ordinance was long overdue.

Buisson has exerted his influence over those he has helped get elected and leveraged his relationships with elected officials to profit himself at our expense for years.

The Buisson Tax Payer Gravy Train should have ended long ago.

Instead, rather than do the honorable thing and recuse themselves from votes involving Buisson, those that Buisson has relationships with have continued to vote to approve tax dollars for Buisson-affiliated organizations.

And you wonder why Louisiana has a poor reputation when it comes to political ethics.

Recently, the spineless JP Council backtracked on the Roberts ordinance and allowed Buisson to keep his Mardi Gras stand contract.

The Council said that no other company bid on the contract.

What the Council should have done is secure multiple bids on the contract. Surely there are enough 

businesses out there that would have jumped at the chance to replace Buisson.

Why was there no outreach to minority or Disadvantaged Businesses?

Because Buisson has several members of the JP Council like Lyin’ Ben along with JP’s resident Sexual Predator-In-Chief Mike Yenni in place to protect him.

But let’s get back to the Buisson connection and Lyin’ Ben’s resignation delay.

Sources have told ClickJefferson that, behind the scenes and away from the TV cameras and the public, Lyin’ Ben has been pressing the Council to settle the Buisson lawsuit regarding the Roberts ordinance.

The settlement would involve a cash payment (from YOUR tax dollars) and payment for Buisson’s legal expenses.

We are told that Yenni has also been involved in discussions regarding the settlement amount which Yenni would approve.

And when is the JP Council scheduled to discuss the lawsuit settlement?

If you guessed at their next meeting, you would be correct.

Thus, Lyin’ Ben’s delay would mean that he will be in his Council high chair casting yet another vote to help line the pockets of Greg Buisson at OUR expense.

Of course, the Council may take up the lawsuit settlement in Executive Session which means we will never know which of Buisson’s Council lackeys will join Zahn in giving your money to Buisson. 


The fact is, regardless of whether it’s a public vote or a vote in Executive Session, anyone that has utilized the “services” of Greg Buisson and his company should recuse themselves from voting.

I know however, that it’s wishful thinking to believe that our elected officials are actually there to represent the best interests of the people of Jefferson Parish.

If all goes according to Lyin’ Ben’s plan, Greg Buisson gets richer (at YOUR expense) and Zahn helps his (and Yenni’s) campaign manager in the process.



Once again, everyone wins – except the tax payers of Jefferson Parish.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Not Yet Mayor, Lyin’ Ben Continues To Screw Kenner



As Mayor-Elect, you would think (or, at least, hope) that Lyin’ Ben Zahn actually cared about Kenner.

However, as I told you before the election, like his BFF, former Kenner Mayor and Current JP Sexual Predator-In-Chief Mike Yenni, Ben Zahn cares about one thing…Ben Zahn.

When Yenni was reelected as Kenner Mayor in the Spring of 2014, he immediately began his campaign to become Jefferson Parish President.

When he wasn’t trying to hook up and have sexual romps with teenage boys, Yenni was fundraising, making promises to contractors and neglecting the position that he was elected to.
Kenner went for a year and a half with an absentee Mayor looking for his next political job (and sexual conquest). 

After he was elected Parish President, rather than immediately resign his position as Mayor, Yenni waited until he was inaugurated as Parish President. This meant that, instead of a Spring election to fill the remainder of Yenni’s unexpired Mayoral term, the election would be delayed until November of 2016 and Kenner would have an unelected “Acting Mayor” for almost a full year.

So, an absentee Mayor campaigning for a year and half and then an “Acting Mayor” for another year.

Since the Kenner City Council President was elevated to “Acting Mayor”, in this case the ethically-challenged District 2 Councilman Mike Sigur, the residents of Kenner’s District 2 were essentially left without a Councilman and any representation on the City Council.

In addition, since Yenni tapped Kenner Councilman-At-Large Keith Conley for a position in JP government, an Interim Councilman was appointed to replace Conley. That appointee served almost a full year denying the entire City a duly-elected Councilman-At-Large.

As was the case with Yenni, after Yenni’s election to Parish President, Zahn immediately began his Kenner Mayoral campaign.

And, like Yenni, now that he has been elected, instead of resigning his position on the Jefferson Parish Council, Zahn is delaying his resignation and his delay will result in the election to fill Zahn’s unexpired term happening in October of 2017 instead of this Spring.

Zahn claims that it would be foolish for him to resign his seat on the JP Council before his election as Mayor is “certified”. Certification normally takes place within 10 days of the election.

Since Lyin’ Ben won by a 2-1 margin , his opponent, Kenner City Councilman Gregory Carroll isn’t calling for a vote recount, and there are no claims of Russian Hackers impacting this election, Zahn’s claims about certification are specious.

Due to Lyin’ Ben’s delaying tactic, JP District 4 will be without an elected representative on the JP Council for almost a full year.
 
 Not that Lyin’ Ben, as a JP Councilman for 5 years, did anything great for Kenner. In fact, Zahn did 1,000 times more for Metairie than he ever did for the City he will preside over next month – or whenever he gets around to it.

At least Metairie got some decorative lights on West Esplanade and LaFreniere Park got an Al Copeland statue for the pigeons to aim at.


Of course, the JP Council will appoint an Interim Councilman until voters can elect a replacement to fill the rest of Zahn’s JP Council term. The bad news is that, invariably, the Council just rubberstamps whomever the outgoing Councilman (Zahn) nominates.

Lyin’ Ben says that he will “interview” several candidates before making a decision on whom to nominate.
 
Yeah, that makes me fee much better.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Summarizing The Kenner Mayoral Election


Since Hurricane Katrina, Kenner voters have enjoyed a distinct contrast every four years in their Mayoral candidates. This election is no different.

Unlike the past campaigns however, this election does not feature all Republicans as the major, or leading, candidates.

Party affiliation though, is the easiest difference to discuss.

Republican (although in name only) Lyin’ Ben Zahn is attempting to hop from his position on the JP Council back to Kenner. This is the reverse of what Lyin’ Ben did in 2011, when he quit on his Kenner District 3 constituents to hop to the JP Council.

Zahn has the blessing of former Mayor and current JP Sexual Predator-In-Chief Mike Yenni. The two share campaign contributors, the campaign management of Minister of Propaganda Greg Buisson, and a penchant for spending other people’s money – both in the form of no-bid contracts for their contributors and in using their campaign funds to enrich their personal lifestyles.

Zahn’s top JP Council aide was also Yenni’s driver for the beginning of Yenni’s Mayoral stint before he too hopped to the JP Council.

Democratic Kenner City Councilman Gregory Carroll is Zahn’s runoff opponent.

Long considered the most fiscally Conservative member of the Kenner Council, Carroll represents District 1, a primarily minority district.

The two have differed on several major issues over the past 6 years.

Zahn supported Yenni’s plan to double Kenner property taxes. Carroll actively opposed Yenni’s plan.

Zahn supported tripling sewerage fees. Carroll opposed the drastic fee increase and preferred a more moderate increase.

Zahn supported Yenni’s plan to close playgrounds after his property tax scheme was soundly defeated by voters. Carroll opposed closing any playgrounds and offered other suggestions to balance the budget.

Zahn supported extending the Crescent City Connection tolls. Carroll opposed the toll extension.

While no longer a member of the Kenner Council, Zahn supported Yenni’s 2030 debt plan. Carroll opposed saddling our children and grandchildren with Tens of Millions in debt without voter approval.

While not in his JP Council district, Zahn supported Yenni’s plan to sell streets in Carroll’s Kenner Council district to the Levee Board. Since the street sale would have limited access to historic cemeteries, Carroll held several public meetings in his district and spoke out at the Levee Board’s meeting. He galvanized community support and the Levee Board backed off their plan and put forth a less invasive plan with more community involvement and input.

In Councilman Carroll you have a low tax, small government, fiscally conservative Democrat who is not beholden to the campaign contributors that have pushed their candidates up the ladder so that the campaign contributors can continue reaping the benefits of no-bid contracts and your tax dollars.

Zahn has approved Hundreds of Millions in no-bid contracts that have enriched his campaign contributors often to the detriment of the people he was elected to represent.

Councilman Carroll has worked to save you money and keep more money in your pocket. Lyin’ Ben thinks he can spend  your money better than you can.

The BP Oil Spill was a horrific, damaging event to our state and our parish. When Jefferson Parish settled with BP, rather than dedicate the funds to coastal restoration and improving our hurricane and flood protection, Lyin’ Ben wanted to use the bulk of the money for pay raises for parish employees and divide the remainder among the council districts so each could add to their council slush funds.

That fact alone should disqualify Lyin’ Ben from ever being in a position where he can have access to and spend tax dollars.

When you couple that with Zahn’s being on the wrong side of every major issue (taxes, fees, debt, the CCC Toll extension, playground closings, etc.), it’s easy to see why I am supporting Councilman Carroll for Mayor.

You should too.

The election is tomorrow (Saturday). You can vote for the same old politics as usual and keep Kenner run by Mike Yenni and Greg Buisson, or you can vote for a fiscally conservative man of integrity in Councilman Gregory Carroll.

It’s your choice Kenner – not the Political Machine’s, the campaign contributor’s or, thankfully, the Times-Picayune’s.

Your vote, your choice.

Please choose wisely.