Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Politics Of Hypocrisy Is Alive And Well On The West Bank

“A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.”
-          Adlai Stevenson

When a TV commercial comes on for the Gretna Heritage Festival, I immediately reach for the remote to change the channel. If I don’t get to the remote in time, and I’m forced to watch and listen to the commercial, I vomit a little in my mouth.

Now before you throw me your excess Prilosec, it’s not “acid reflux” and I have nothing against the Festival or the predominantly good people of Gretna. In fact, Gretna is tied for 2nd on the list of my favorite cities in Jefferson Parish.

No, I object to the commercials because they are nothing more than an opportunity for an elected official to show his mug on TV and try to corrupt something that should be a family-oriented civic event promoting the virtues of Gretna.

To me, those virtues do not include seeing the faces of Jefferson Parish Councilman-At-Large Chris Roberts, fellow Councilman Ricky Templet, and State Senator David Heitmeier, among others, flash across my 42” Samsung in all of their High Definition Ignominy.

It’s not bad enough that after all these years, Jefferson Parish tax dollars still help subsidize the event, but I don’t feel the need to pay for what are essentially campaign ads with tax dollars.

Sorry Councilman Roberts but you get enough free TV time just by complaining about everything Parish President John Young does.

These elected officials should be working behind the scenes – not splashing themselves all over the TV under the guise of welcoming us all to Gretna and enticing us to visit.

Of course, it is incredulous for me to suggest that a politician wouldn’t take advantage of an opportunity for self-aggrandizement.

It’s their reason for being.

“The most difficult choice a politician must ever make is whether to be a hypocrite or a liar.”

This morning, Andrea Shaw at Nola.com had an article about a letter sent out by the aforementioned State Senator Heitmeier (D) in which he described legislation that he and RINO State Rep. Bryan Adams would sponsor legislation that would dismiss collection efforts against alleged violators of the CCC toll who had 20 of fewer violations.

An “amnesty” program to collect the alleged toll violations ends today.

Of course, both the letter to constituents and the Nola.com article fail to mention that Heitmeier and Adams supported the extension of the CCC toll for another 20 years. In fact, where it not for former Fire Chief Adams, the bill authorizing the extension of the toll never would have been approved.

So, a leading proponent of the toll and the puppet who is arguably most responsible for almost saddling us with another 20 years of tolls for a paid-for bridge and money that they could misappropriate on projects throughout the state, now want to come riding in like the Cavalry to defend the honor of those who have received those pesky, and possibly illegal, fine notices.

Rather than proposing a bill to dismiss collection efforts, why didn’t this hypocritical pair propose a law to dismiss the process entirely? Don’t these legislators realize that the statute of limitations on a misdemeanor is 1 year and many people received notices of violations that go back several years?

Of course, if the CCC toll was in reality a “tax” as some at the DOTD allege, instead of a “user fee”, the state has up to 3 years to collect. So they still want you to cough up that $1 or $.40 (if you had a toll tag) for your alleged violation in 2010.

Obviously, no one at the state level recognizes the sheer idiocy of mailing a $.40 check with a $.46 stamp, let alone the cost of mailing the violation and the cost of processing the "fine". 

The larger question is: How does it feel to know that you’ve really been paying a “tax” for all these years each time that you crossed the CCC and Heitmeier, Adams, and others wanted you to keep paying that “tax” for another 20 years?

I wonder if it’s too late to amend my 2010 State Income Tax return?

Maybe Heitmeier and Adams can propose a new law for all of us to demand a refund from the state for our overpayment of taxes.

Somehow, I don’t think that is on their radar.

Unless, of course, these two think they can capture a vote or two from unsuspecting residents.