Sunday, July 15, 2018

Kenner City Council and State Rep Find A Way Around State Law

At Thursday’s Kenner City Council meeting, the Council approved naming the Kenner Police Department Complex after former KPD Chief and current Causeway Police Chief Nick Congemi. I said “current Causeway Police Chief” because Congemi is very much alive.
I know what you’re thinking: isn’t there a law saying that buildings (like postage stamps) can only be named after dead people?
Yes, there is such a law.
However, when you’re an elected official you quickly learn that there are exceptions and exemptions for every law if you just do your research and pass another law.
Former Kenner City Councilman and current D92 State Rep Joe Stagni authored HB 205 in the past Regular Session. The bill authorized the City of Kenner to name the Kenner Police Department Headquarters after Congemi.
As with most local bills, the bill passed 83-0 in the House and 32-0 in the Senate. State legislators normally vote “FOR” such local bills because they don’t want their own local bills defeated.
Look, my issue isn’t with Nick Congemi who did some good things as Kenner Police Chief, although he did many things that I disagree with too and I am vehemently opposed to him continuing to feed at the public trough as a grossly overpaid Police Chief of a Police Department that is a “Police Department” in name only.
No, my issue is with exceptions to laws.
If you don’t like a law or if it doesn’t adequately reflect the views of residents, it should be repealed. There should never be exceptions to a law that favor one city or, in this case, one person. Period.
Laws are, or should be, designed for the PUBLIC benefit.
In a conversation, State Rep Stagni told me that during the 2017 Legislative Session, several bills were put forth by legislators to get around this same state law and honor folks that were still living by naming buildings after them.
Had I known about those exemptions last year and in prior years, I certainly would have written about them too.
And, while the fact that there were other exemptions in prior years may be true, that doesn’t make it right.
The bottom line is: we are a nation of laws, not a nation of exceptions and exemptions.
Are there existing state laws that should be repealed? Of course.
Isn’t it a legislator’s job to repeal antiquated laws rather than find loopholes and file additional laws to allow for exceptions and exemptions? Well, I think you know my answer to that one.
Isn’t a legislator’s job to discuss and debate laws that impact the “common good” rather than one city, one business or one person? You probably already know my answer to that one too.
No legislator or legislative body should pick winners and losers. That’s not what we elected them to do.
When he was a Kenner City Councilman and as he is now as a State Representative, Joe Stagni has always done his homework, researched the issues and been responsive to his constituents. I can’t compare him to other State Reps because I don’t know but, while he was on the Kenner City Council I don’t think that any Councilman could claim that they outworked or out-researched him.
For the record, he was my councilman for 8 years and we often spoke about issues. Compare that to my former Councilman in Kenner's District 2 who, to this day, has not replied to an email or returned a call regarding an issue in District 2 or the City of Kenner.
Now, I am not inferring that Rep Stagni is not doing his job or not voting on difficult issues and making hard decisions. Has he cast every vote in agreement with me? Of course not. But, he has always listened and tried to explain the rationale behind his vote, whether we agreed or not.
But, when a Legislative Body whose primary role is to discuss, debate and approve a state budget, can’t accomplish that seemingly simple task within a Regular Session and needs 3 “not-so” Special Sessions to pass House Bill #1, filing, debating and discussing bills and finding exceptions and exemptions to state law seems like it should be last on the list of priorities for our State Legislature.
Again, if you don’t like a law, whether you’re a legislator or a citizen like me, work to get the law repealed.
That’s the American way.
There’s nothing “Right” about finding exemptions and exceptions.
And, there’s nothing “Right” about honoring someone who is still eating from the public trough.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Zahn, Kenner Council Want JP School Board To Keep Yenni Ban

Like many of you, I was outraged when reports surfaced that Jefferson Parish’s Sexual Predator-in-Chief Mike Yenni was lobbying members of the Jefferson Parish School Board to lift their ban on Yenni’s attendance at any Jefferson Parish Public School and event including sporting events and festivals. 
While I had heard rumors, no one would confirm those rumors and, as I’m sure you know, the Sexual Predator-in-Chief and I aren’t on regular speaking terms. 
To briefly recap, after the reports of Yenni’s “inappropriate” sexting with a 17-year-old high school boy, at the November 1st, 2016 meeting of the JP School Board, a resolution banning Yenni from School Board property and events, authored by Sandy Denapolis-Bosarge (whose district includes a chunk of Kenner), passed unanimously.
Evidently, Yenni thinks that the ban has gone on long enough. If the ban is not removed, Yenni claims that he will sue the School Board. He even threatened Ms. Denapolis-Bosarge claiming that he had a large campaign account that could fund the lawsuit.
This, of course, is typical Mike Yenni – using other people’s money to fund his bad decisions and causing more embarrassment for Jefferson Parish residents. 
Thankfully, the JP School Board has stayed resolute in continuing the Yenni Ban.
Now, Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn and the Kenner City Council have a resolution that will be heard at Thursday’s Kenner City Council meeting that voices their support of the JP School Board continuing the Yenni Ban. 
Item 13-A on the Council Agenda says:
“A resolution urging the Jefferson Parish School Board maintain its ban on Michael S. Yenni from school facilities and school events including sports contests and festivals.
Whereas, it was recently reported in The Times-Picayune on June 8, 2018 that Michael S. Yenni has requested that the ban be removed, and, 
Whereas, the Mayor of the City of Kenner, E. Ben Zahn III, and the Kenner Council wish to express their support for the Jefferson Parish School Board ban to continue.”
This show of support for the JP School Board by Mayor Zahn and the Kenner City Council is a great idea but, only if it is also followed through with actions. 
As the time lag from the sexting reports has grown, and the time period before the next Jefferson Parish President elections occurs decreases, Yenni has become emboldened. 
The Sexual Predator-in-Chief, with his delusional mind, actually believes that he can be re-elected. Yenni has held fundraisers, appeared at Jefferson Parish playgrounds touting his ‘achievements’, and continues making public appearances. 
Recently, both Mayor Zahn and, no surprise, Jefferson Parish Councilman Dominick Impastato, along with other elected officials, were seen with Yenni at several Jefferson Parish playgrounds.
Now, I understand politics and the persistent need for elected officials to appear in photo ops, but Yenni shouldn’t be anywhere near a playground (or anyplace where children are) and elected officials like Zahn and Impastato should have the common sense to distance themselves from these type of made up “events”.
Yenni also popped up at Kenner’s Lundi Gras Celebration.
According to Mayor Zahn, Yenni was not invited and just showed up.
Yenni also “just showed up” at the opening of Kenner’s Christmas Village and at Zahn’s State of the City Address. 
Yes, at least for now, as Parish President Yenni has the right to “just show up” at a community event. Having the "right" to do something and the common sense to not do something are vastly different things however.
Zahn and other elected officials also have the right to call Yenni out, not acknowledge his unwanted, inappropriate appearance at events and shun him.
A resolution showing your support of a continued ban by another political body is a good move but only if it is also followed up with actions. 
Jefferson Parish’s Sexual Predator-in-Chief should be told by Zahn and other elected officials that he is persona non grata at all Kenner events and particularly events where children are present. 
I’ve said this before, Words Without Actions Are Lies
So are resolutions without actions. 
The JP School Board passed their resolution banning Yenni and has thus far followed that up with actions. 
Mayor Zahn and other elected officials need to follow the JP School Board’s lead and follow up their words (and resolutions) with actions. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Kenner D1 Council Candidate Has Questionable Past

In the Bible, Jesus said, "He that is without sin can cast the first stone."

Well, I'm here to tell you that I certainly am NOT without sin.

And, I've made my share of mistakes.

In fact, I've made plenty of mistakes in my life and, when I ran for office, many of those mistakes were thrown back in my face.

It didn't matter that I owned successful companies or that I ran a division of a company that generated $56 Million a year in revenue (which, at the time, was an amount larger than the city budget of Kenner).

No, my opponents repeatedly exaggerated my failures.

Yes, I got divorced (in 1986, by the way). I married too young (yes, 24 was too young for me and, yes, 19 was too young for her). But, so what?

Yes, not every business that I ever started was a success. Again, so what? At least I tried (which is more than can be said for our current Sexual Predator-In-Chief Mike Yenni).

Yes, I had some IRS issues.

And, I've made other mistakes too.

Look, I get it. That's politics.

But, since I was dragged through the mud, I've always tried to hold candidates and elected officials to a higher standard.

I don't care about sexual misconduct (unless it involves children and, yes, a 40-year-old married father stalking a 17-year-old BOY and suggesting that engage in a homosexual threesome with another teenage BOY is crossing the line).

I don't care if someone has had a failed business or two in their past. Again, the only people that succeed at everything are the ones who never try anything.

I DO care if a candidate or elected official has been arrested or if they've filed for personal bankruptcy (unless there were extenuating circumstances).

I can say that, knock on wood, I've never been arrested and, despite incredible medical bills related to my leg, I've never filed for bankruptcy (personal or business). I've never failed a drug test and I could easily pass a government security clearance.

I tell you all of this because I'm going to throw some big stones at David Weathersby, a candidate for Kenner City Council in District 1 in Saturday's runoff election (yes, this is the only election on the ballot in Kenner Saturday).

And, I don't take any pleasure in that but, these stones need to be thrown.

Compared to David Weathersby, even with all of my mistakes, I may be a candidate for Sainthood (and not just in my late mother's eyes).

In the past 10 years, David Weathersby has been arrested on multiple occasions on charges including Domestic Violence, Possession of Schedule 1 Narcotics, DWI, Felony Issuance of Worthless Checks, Simple Battery/Theft, Multiple Driving with a Suspended License, and Negligent Operation of a Vehicle.

During an hour long, rambling conversation, instead of acting contrite and admitting his mistakes, Weathersby feigned ignorance and even played the race card.

Weathersby had no idea about the Worthless Check charge, even though it occurred in 2013.

Weathersby didn't know anything about the Simple Battery/Theft arrest that happened in 2016. According to Weathersby, I "must have my facts wrong".

When I asked Mr. Weathersby about the driving arrests (DWI, Suspended License, etc.), Weathersby tried to turn the tables on me.

"You ever heard of racial profiling?", Weathersby asked.

Now, I will admit that I've never been the victim of "racial profiling" and I will even admit that I believe that "racial profiling" does exist even in 2018.

But, when you've been arrested 21 times in at least 4 different Parishes for Driving with a Suspended License, the odds are that not all of them were by members of Law Enforcement engaged in "racial profiling".

And, if you've been pulled over 21 times, I think that says more about your poor driving than it does "racial profiling".

So, the people of District 1 have a potential City Councilman with multiple arrests, a violent history of Domestic Abuse and Battery, a history of writing bad checks, and who doesn't even have a Driver's License.

And, that's not even the worst thing about David Weathersby's candidacy.

No, the fact is that David Weathersby isn't even a resident of District 1.

On Weathersby's campaign web site he claims to be a Kenner native but the address Weathersby listed on his election qualifying form as his "residence" isn't a "residence" at all.

On forms filed with the State Ethics Board, Weathersby lists 617 Webster Street as his "residence". He also lists 619 Webster Street as his "residence".

If you do a Google search on 617 or 619 Webster Street in Kenner, it is listed as "Bible Way Holiness Church".

But, it's also listed as "Brotherhood Way Contractor".

And "David Enterprises".

If you scroll further on Google you'll see that 617 and 619 Webster Street are really the addresses of a  church. According to The Knot, a wedding was held there in February (by the way, no one bought the Bride and Groom the Oster Blender or Bread Maker that they registered for - what's wrong with people today? You take the time to pick out things for your bridal registry and your guests can't even get you a blender and a bread maker. Those are KITCHEN ESSENTIALS people!).

So, whether 617 or 619 Webster Street is a church or a contractor's office (or both), I think it's safe to say that, unless he sleeps on a cot or in a church pew, 617 or 619 Webster Street IS NOT David Weathersby's "residence".

In fact, many people say that David Weathersby isn't even a resident of Kenner and just someone put in the election by people that disagree with Gregory Carroll on some issues. I'd ask to see David Weathersby's Driver's License for proof of his address but, he doesn't have one. .

In court documents, Weathersby lists several addresses in Tangipahoa and St. Charles Parishes as his home address. 

Searching "David Weathersby" on Facebook was just as fruitless.

There are multiple profiles for "David Weathersby" listing different cities as his residence.

Now, I'm no expert on facial recognition but several of those profiles seem to be of the same David Weathersby that claims to be a "lifelong Kenner resident" but clearly isn't. But one of the "David Weathersby's" lists Albany, LA as his home city.

And, if that weren't enough, Weathersby has Federal Income Tax issues - as in, he hasn't filed his taxes for years).

Weathersby is too young for Social Security and clearly not disabled, so he has to have some income right?

So, let's summarize: In the election for Kenner District 1 Councilman, voters have 2 choices:

Door #1 - Gregory Carroll. A lifelong resident of District 1, who is raising his family in District 1 and has fought hard during his time on the Council for the people of District 1. When Mike Yenni tried to close Lincoln Manor Playground, Gregory Carroll led the fight to keep it open. When Mike Yenni tried to double property taxes, Gregory Carroll stood up and said, "NO!" When the Levee Board wanted to buy streets in South Kenner and limit access to historic cemeteries, Gregory Carroll led the fight to stop them. Whenever the people of District 1 have needed a leader, Gregory Carroll has been there fighting for the people of District 1 and Kenner.

Door #2 - A man with multiple arrests and a violent past. Someone who doesn't pay their taxes and doesn't even bother to file a tax return. Someone who can't even legally drive, lists a church as his "residence" and has no track record of doing anything to benefit the people of District 1 or the City of Kenner.

Weathersby's "platform" consists of telling anyone that will listen that he will shake things up at Armstrong International Airport and make sure that the bulk of the work done at the new Airport Terminal will be given to minorities in District 1. Of course, he doesn't tell you that the airport contracts have already been given out, Kenner doesn't own the airport and the Councilman from District 1 isn't on the Aviation Authority Board.

Of course, the Kenner District 1 Councilman is welcome to attend Aviation Board meetings (they are open to the public).

Unfortunately for David Weathersby, unless he likes to walk, the only way he will get to the Aviation Board meetings legally is if he calls Uber.

But, since Weathersby can't legally drive, Kenner taxpayers will save by not having to pay the auto allowance we give our Council members.

In 2009, when Councilman Carroll was elected to fill the unexpired term of current Judge Mark Johnson, his runoff opponent was also someone who didn't live in District 1.

Thankfully, the voters in District 1 saw through the political shenanigans and voted for Councilman Carroll.

Hopefully, they will see through David Weathersby's political shenanigans Saturday.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Fortunato Funneled Over $56k From Campaign To Son's Company

If it seems like almost every day there is a new ethical issue with JP Sheriff Candidate Johnny Fortunato, you would be correct.
 As if handing out free food on Public School property; being the “Keynote Speaker” at a Senior Party paid for with tax dollars courtesy of JP District 3 Councilman Mark Spears; hiring Greg Buisson, a man who routinely advises his clients to skirt State Ethics rules; Fortunato’s support for Jefferson Parish’s Sexual Predator-in-Chief Mike Yenni, or having a wife who is a political appointee of Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn – despite not living in Kenner weren't enough, now comes the revelation that Fortunato has funneled over $56,000 from his campaign account to a Texas-based business owned by Fortunato’s son.
And, while none of these things is technically illegal, ALL raise questions about the judgement and ethics of candidate, particularly a candidate that wants to become Jefferson Parish’s Top Lawman.
Normally, I never post about a candidate’s family. However, when that candidate brings his family into the campaign, all bets are off.
According to the Louisiana Ethics Administration reports, through 2/24 Fortunato has spent over $56,000 with Wrap Stars, a Texas company owned by his son, Johnny Fortunato Jr.
The $56,000 represents about 35% of the total amount of campaign contributions that the Fortunato Campaign has received.
Allegedly, the $56,000 was for “Signs” and “Magnets”.
Or, it could be a Father trying to help his Son.
Johnny Fortunato Jr. is a former JPSO Deputy and was terminated by the JPSO. After running afoul of the law here, Fortunato Jr. moved to Texas and started his business.
Again, I don’t like writing about candidate’s families but, since Fortunato is running for JP Sheriff and his son was terminated from the JPSO, I think that is a valid point to make.
The point is, there are dozens of local companies that could have provided the Fortunato campaign with “Signs” and “Magnets” but instead of using one of them, Fortunato CHOSE to use his son’s out-of-state company.
Since the JP Sheriff is also responsible for the collection of taxes in the Parish, why wouldn't Fortunato BUY LOCAL and contribute to the local economy and our tax base?
Just as Fortunato CHOSE to announce on WDSU that Mike Yenni shouldn’t have resigned after Yenni’s sexting scandal was revealed and that Fortunato, as Sheriff of Jefferson Parish, would support Yenni’s re-election bid in 2019, Fortunato CHOSE to funnel money to his son's Texas company instead of BUYING LOCAL.
As I’ve said, spending money with your son’s business and using campaign dollars (other people’s money) isn’t illegal.
But it sure raises a lot of unnecessary questions.  

Monday, March 12, 2018

Fortunato: As Sheriff I Would Support Yenni’s Re-Election

Since he entered the JP Sheriff’s race, I have discussed Johnny Fortunato’s choice of Greg Buisson as his Campaign Manager.
Fortunato certainly has the right to choose anyone as his Campaign Manager and, given his track record at least, Buisson has certainly run many winning campaigns.
Buisson has also worked with many of Metro NOLA’s most unscrupulous and criminal elected officials including former JP President Aaron Broussard, ex-St. Tammany Coroner Peter Galvin and many others.
Along the way, Buisson has used his influence with the politicians that he has helped get elected to enrich himself and extend his greedy tentacles into several organizations that receive tax funding funneled to them (and authorized) by those same Buisson clients. In my mind, this is a classic example of a conflict of interest but Buisson’s clients keep finding ways to shovel more money his way while our State Ethics Board looks the other way.
Current Orleans Parish Councilman-At-Large and former State Rep. Helena Moreno even granted Buisson's daughter a scholarship to Tulane, despite the fact the Buisson didn't live in her district and other students may have been more deserving.
Unfortunately, I can’t turn a blind eye.
As Buisson is already the longtime Campaign Manager of Jefferson Parish’s Sexual Predator-in-Chief Mike Yenni, 4 Jefferson Parish Councilmen, the Mayor of Kenner Ben Zahn and several Kenner City Councilmen, along with Buisson’s relationships with groups that receive Parish and Kenner funding like the Jefferson Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and numerous other groups, I questioned whether it wise to also let Buisson have access to the vast resources of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
I also speculated about what type of relationship a Sheriff Fortunato would have with a disgraced Parish President like Mike Yenni.
Now, in Fortunato’s own words, we can put that speculation to rest.
 During last night’s WDSU Hot Seat, Travers Mackel asked Fortunato and Interim Sheriff Joe Lopinto two interesting questions regarding Yenni and both candidates gave opposite responses.
“Q: Should Mike Yenni have resigned after his scandal with a teen male about a year and half ago?
Fortunato: NO
Lopinto: Yes
Q: If elected Sheriff, would you support Mike Yenni in the 2019 election cycle for re-election?
Lopinto: No
Fortunato: Yes (looks to the side, possibly seeking Buisson’s approval)” 

In the recent Jefferson Parish District 4 Council race between Dominick Impastato and State Senator Danny Martiny, Impastato (also represented by Buisson) was able to deceive the voters into believing that he was not supported by Yenni and did not and would not support and enable Yenni.
As we found out after he was elected to the JP Council , Impastato has always sided with whatever Mike Yenni wants just as he did when Dominick sat on the Kenner City Council.
I have already chronicled Impastato’s long ties with Yenni. Impastato owes his political career to Mike Yenni and Team Buisson.
Unfortunately for Fortunato, his own words won’t allow him to deceive the public as Impastato did.
In his opening statement, Lopinto said, “I’m Sheriff Joe Lopinto. I want to let the public know who I am.”
Last night we also learned who Johnny Fortunato is – and who his friends are.

Sorry Johnny. We already have too many Yenni-enablers like Impastato in Parish Government and running the City of Kenner.
We don’t need a Sheriff that enables and supports a Sexual Predator too.

Friday, March 9, 2018

JP Councilman Spears Used Tax Dollars To Promote Sheriff Candidate Fortunato

As if passing out free food at a Public School to buy votes wasn’t brazen enough, now Jefferson Parish Sheriff candidate Johnny Fortunato is using tax dollars courtesy of JP District 3 Councilman Mark Spears to buy the votes and support of Senior Citizens.
Yesterday (3/8), Spears held a party for Senior Citizens at the Alario Center on the West Bank. Spears has held “Senior Parties” in the past although usually at Christmas. These parties feature Spears passing out gift cards and presents provided by area businesses as door prizes to attendees.
It’s just like the old scam of providing hot dogs and drinks (along with a “Sample Ballot”) as you drive voters to the polls and “casually” mentioning that the hot dogs came from a politician.
Many businesses have complained about the “Annual Spears Shakedown” and the fact that many gift cards “just happen” to end up in the pockets of Spears’ family and friends. Of course, no business owner will go on the record to confirm these allegations for fear of retaliation from Spears or JP Government.
Now Spears has taken his Senior Parties to a whole new political level by featuring  Fortunato as the “Keynote Speaker” at yesterday’s event.
The problem is Spears pays for these parties not from his own pocket or his campaign account. This party (which essentially was a Fortunato Campaign Rally with gift cards and other door prizes) was paid for by YOU – the taxpayers of Jefferson Parish.
Two resolutions authored and authorized by Spears appeared on the Council Addendum Agenda at the February 21st meeting and call for the payment of a total of $13,774 to Messina’s Catering to provide the food for the party/campaign rally.
That’s $13,774 of YOUR TAX DOLLARS.
It’s not the first time that Spears, who has ties to Fortunato’s Campaign Manager Greg Buisson, has used YOUR TAX DOLLARS to promote Fortunato’s candidacy.
In December, Spears allocated $50,000 from his District Account (again – YOUR TAX DOLLARS) to a Christmas Parade promoted by the New Orleans-based NOMTOC Carnival Krewe. The parade was held December 9th in Marrero. Fortunato, along with his wife, former TV talking head and current City of Kenner Deputy CAO Kriss Fairbairn Fortunato, rode in the parade passing out Christmas presents like a modern day Santa Clause.
I wonder how many businesses were involved in the shakedown so Fortunato could hand out toys on a parade route.
Kriss Fortunato is a political appointee of Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn. Zahn is also a client of Buisson, Buisson's clients also include Jefferson Parish’s Sexual Predator-in-Chief Mike Yenni, and several JP and Kenner Councilmen.
Look, if you want to hold a “Senior Party” or a Parade or any other event that is politically related, use your own money or even your campaign money and report it on your campaign finance report.  Isn’t that why we have a State Ethics Board?
But, don’t use Taxpayer Dollars to further your political career, help other candidates or as a conduit  to funnel money to a Campaign Manager (Yes, Greg Buisson, I’m talking about you).
Because, if you do, you know I’m going to have to write about it.
And I know you don't want that..

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Zahn Playing Politics With Kenner Hispanics (Again)

Just a few months after Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn pulled the rug (and the funding) out from under the feet of Kenner’s Hispanic Community by reallocating money that was pledged to rebuild the Hispanic Resource Center, Zahn is back to his old tricks using Kenner’s Hispanic Community as a pawn in his political game.
Since he can’t use the Hispanic Resource Center as a tool, this time Zahn is using a festival.
At issue is the Kenner Hispanic Summer Fest.
For the past 7 years, the Kenner Hispanic Summer Fest has occurred during the Summer (makes sense, right?). Last year, it was June 10th and 11th.
So, this year, you would logically think that the 8th Annual Kenner Hispanic Summer Fest would occur during June, July or August, right?
This year, for some unexplained reason (which we will attempt to decipher in a minute), the Kenner Hispanic Summer Fest has changed its name to the Kenner Hispanic Fest and occurs…wait for it…this weekend – in March.
Why would you change a successful 7 year festival that was a Summer highlight and even included the word “Summer” in its name until now?
The answer dear readers is simple:
The 1st Kenner Hispanic Fest “just happens” to be held this Saturday, March 10th and 11th. Curiously, Saturday is the first day of early voting for the March 24th primary in which Zahn and other fellow members of the Buisson Machine, including Kenner Councilman-At-Large candidate Kristi McKinney and JP Sheriff candidate Johnny Fortunato are on the ballot along with current Kenner District 4 Councilman Lenny “Mumbles” Cline (who is in a heated battle with George Branigan).
While it is the 1st “Kenner Hispanic Fest”, the Zahn Administration led by Cultural Diversity Director Rafael Saddy (who, I'm told, just happens to be one of the promoters of the Fest) is trying to pull the wool over Kenner Hispanic’s eyes again by promoting it as the “8th Annual Kenner Hispanic Fest”.
The problem is – it isn’t the “8th Annual Kenner Hispanic Fest” since the first 7 were called “Kenner Hispanic Summer Fest”.
So, why the games and the date and name changes?
Like I said, it’s purely political.
The 1st “Kenner Hispanic Fest” will give Zahn and his fellow Buisson Minions another opportunity to get in front of a large crowd, press the flesh and try to get some votes. Of course, other candidates not affiliated with Buisson (or endorsed by Zahn as McKinney, Fortunato and Cline are) will be told that “No Politics Are Allowed” at the Fest.
But, the same rules won’t apply to the Buisson Team.
I’m certain that Zahn will be up on the stage and probably introduce McKinney and Fortunato, at least. If he’s smart, he won’t introduce Cline (and he certainly won’t hand Cline the microphone and ask him to say a few words. A few words from Lenny could take all day).
Even if current Kenner Councilman-At-Large Maria DeFrancesch (McKinney’s opponent) attends, I seriously doubt that she will be invited on stage and introduced to the crowd. After all, DeFrancesch along with outgoing District 3 Councilman Keith Reynaud were the only members of the Kenner City Council who raised objections to Zahn pulling the HRC funding.
Zahn certainly wouldn’t want to promote DeFrancesch to a crowd of Hispanics when she was against Zahn’s reallocation of the HRC funding. In fact, DeFrancesch stood up for the Kenner Hispanic Community more than Zahn’s hand-picked “Cultural Diversity Coordinator” Saddy or the politically-appointed HRC Director.
In addition, there is little doubt that Zahn/McKinney/Fortunato signs and volunteers wearing campaign t-shirts will be strategically milling through the crowd, along with vehicles with more campaign signs parked near the entrance and in the Laketown parking lots.
I bet there won’t be any t-shirt wearing DeFrancesch volunteers in the crowd.
No Branigan or Sheriff Joe Lopinto volunteers either and surely no volunteers for Zahn’s opponents Dona Reynaud (the wife of the other Councilman who stood up for the HRC) and Al Morella.
So, instead of celebrating Kenner’s Hispanic community, the 1st Kenner Hispanic Fest is just another political stunt that the Buisson Team of Zahn, McKinney, Fortunato and Cline can use to their advantage.
But, when they use free food as a means to garner votes, are you really surprised that Mayor Zahn and the Buisson Minions would use an event with a few thousand potential voters for their own selfish means?
For those wondering, that was a rhetorical question.
I do have a couple of unanswered questions though:
1). Is Kenner’s biggest sellout, I mean, Cultural Diversity Coordinator Saddy, who thought so much of Kenner Hispanic Community that he didn’t say a word when Zahn pulled the HRC funding (and its future), making any side money from his “promotion” of the Fest in addition to his City of Kenner paycheck? This is a major question since the City of Kenner is one of the primary sponsors of the event. 
2). Is the Campaign Manager for Zahn, McKinney, Fortunato and Cline, Greg Buisson, pocketing any cash from the Fest?
If you go this weekend, I hope everyone enjoys the 1st Kenner Hispanic Fest. But, don’t look for there to be a 2nd Annual Fest, at least not in March 2019. No, my guess is that in June 2019 we will be celebrating the 10th Annual Kenner Summer Hispanic Fest.
Just do me a favor: please make sure you loudly boo any politicians on stage.
Except Maria DeFrancesch, that is, assuming Zahn would actually allow her on stage.
Councilwoman DeFrancesch deserves your applause - and your vote.