If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.
- Nazi Propagandist Joseph Goebbels
Not content with merely lying to folks at a handful of candidate forums, in glossy mail pieces or in a complete misrepresentation of the “State of City” (really, I don’t know how people actually kept their lunch digested while listening and watching that drivel), Kenner Mayor Mike Maunoir/Yenni continues to perpetuate the myth that is “Mike Maunoir/Yenni – Government Strategist” with tv and radio ads written and produced by Jefferson Parish’s favorite political snake, Greg Buisson.
Wait, I retract that last statement. Calling Greg Buisson a snake is an affront to snakes everywhere.
And besides, snakes don't have pockets to put their ill-gotten gains or hands to put into our pockets to fleece us, as Buisson does on a daily basis.
When your entire life is a lie, as Maunoir/Yenni's is, and it unfolds before your own eyes, you actually start to believe the hype. We’ve seen it with professional athletes who have a great year and sign a huge contract, only to be cut the next the year. They believed the hype – and Mike Maunoir/Yenni believes the hype written by Buisson and crafted by Aaron Broussard.
Now, I’m not talking about the latest Maunoir-Buisson collaboration, yet. You know, the one where little Mikey Maunoir looks into the camera with the eyes of puppy dog who has just been disciplined for soiling the carpet for the 1,000th time and decries the bad, bad man Elton Lagasse is for reminding voters once again that Mike Yenni changed his name for political purposes and is a fraud.
The fact of the matter is that Mike Yenni is a glorified lab rat, a modern day Frankenstein, if you will, concocted by Aaron Broussard and thrust upon us by the greedy bastard that is Greg Buisson.
Now, before you think I’m getting carried away and play the “he hates Mike Maunoir/Yenni and will do anything to help Elton Lagasse” card, take a breath. Elton is far from perfect and if you’re a faithful reader of ClickJefferson.com (and, really, why wouldn’t you be a faithful reader?), Councilman Lagasse and I have had our disputes over the years.
Disagreements on issues aside, I respect Elton Lagasse. He has always been honest with me, never ducked a question or not returned a phone call. Elton Lagasse has more integrity in his left pinky toe than Mike Maunoir, Mike Yenni, or whatever his name is today, has in his entire body.
In fact, while he frequently calls me out and sometimes gets a little confused with the facts, Al Morella has more integrity than Maunoir/Yenni as well. At least Al has the intestinal fortitude to stand up at almost every Council meeting for his 3 minutes, and try to get answers. Al Morella has a backbone.
The people of Kenner and Jefferson Parish need more Al Morellas. Unfortunately for Al, we don’t need him as Parish President or Kenner Mayor. Of course, we don’t need someone with ZERO integrity like Mike Maunoir/Yenni in elected office either.
You don’t believe me? You actually believe that Mike Naunoir/Yenni has integrity? Well, over the next couple of weeks, we will continue to dig beyond the rhetoric and the puppy dog eyes, and post facts regarding the hoax that is Mike Maunoir/Yenni.
Think of ClickJefferson.com as your local version of “Mythbusters”.
Hopefully, the joke will not be on JP voters on October 24th.
We will have time to explore the name change in greater detail as we get closer (remember, this is only Part 1…) but first this…
MYTH #1 - YENNI “I’VE CUT $8.5 MILLION FROM KENNER’S BUDGET”
Why the media continues to allow campaign ads with whoppers like this included is beyond me. It’s no wonder the public trusts the media almost as much as it trusts Congress.
As I pointed out last year, and the year before, and the year before that, this statement is a complete and total LIE. But, as Goebbels said, “If you repeat a lie often enough…”
In 2010, Mike Maunoir/Yenni’s first year in office, the City of Kenner’s budget was $56.5 Million.
This year, in Mike Maunoir/Yenni’s fifth year in office, the City of Kenner’s budget is $60.4 Million – an INCREASE of almost $4 Million.
Now I know that Mike Maunoir/Yenni was a below average student but surely he took basic math somewhere.
So the budget increased by almost $4 Million. So what, you ask? And I agree with you. Pension costs are skyrocketing; insurance is increasing; costs are going up. But, tell the truth.
Let me put it to you another way: if it’s warmer than normal and you run your a/c constantly to cool your house, your electric bill will increase. When you get the next electric bill and learn that it doubled, do you take it to your boss and ask for a salary increase? No, you cut your grocery budget, cut back on Starbucks, or make some other sacrifice because you know that if you don’t pay that big electric bill, they will cut off your power.
While you may have temporarily “cut back”, you didn’t really cut your budget. Your income stayed the same as your expenses grew.
Maunoir/Yenni may have moved around $8.5 Million from some phantom budget, but the City of Kenner’s budget DID NOT DECREASE during his term in office. He has not done more with less, as Maunoir/Yenni and Buisson continue to imply with their semantic word games.
MYTH #2 - YENNI “I BALANCED THE BUDGET EVERY YEAR AS MAYOR”
Big deal. Isn’t that what you’re paid to do as Mayor?
And, the fact is, four out of the five years, the City of Kenner Budget was “balanced” by moving money from the the “Rainy Day Fund” and from the capital projects budget, not by cutting staff, programs or reducing the size of government, or doing “more with less” as you and I would need to if our expenses increased and our income didn’t.
I know, you think I have an axe to grind and some of you don’t believe anything negative about Maunoir/Yenni.
Would you believe it if it was in his own words?
In the Mayor’s letter to the Council regarding the 2015/2016 Budget, Yenni writes:
“The proposed 2015/2016 budget is being presented for your review and consideration. While revenues are showing improvement the budget continues to be a challenge. As you know over the past several years the City has had to use a portion of the fund balance and dedicate a portion of the City’s capital funds to operations to balance the budget.”
Meaning, rather than cut my political appointees, not give them raises or cut bloated City government, Maunoir/Yenni approved moving funds from street and sewerage projects and Kenner’s safety net, the fund balance, to pay for city operations.
Why not, right? Maunoir/Yenni took on the largest debt in Kenner’s history (without voter approval) to pay for his “wish list” of projects to pay back his political contributors and borrowed even more to pay for sewerage work (again, without voter approval due to a 1950’s law and more semantic word games).
So, what does this mean? It means that Kenner’s Fund Balance (the “Rainy Day Fund”), while slightly more than 10% of the increased budget, could be significantly larger had it not been raided annually by Maunoir/Yenni to “balance the budget” and Kenner is facing enormous debt for the next 20 years.
A portion of the fund balance, coupled with the $3.5 Million in Sales Taxes that annually go toward the new bond debt, could have been used on the capital projects contained in Yenni’s 2033 Plan, used to beef up Police and Fire personnel and equipment, used to enhance our Recreation Department, or any number of projects WITHOUT incurring the massive debt that Maunoir/Yenni incurred and is now attempting to bail out on to go spend JP’s money and rack up a mountain of debt in our parish.
What would Maunoir/Yenni do with JP’s share of the BP Oil Spill Settlement money? Would he agree with his little buddy Ben Zahn and devote a chunk to pay raises? Funnel more money to his campaign contributors? There’s no telling but, you can be certain that Maunoir/Yenni would spend it all and more before the first month of interest was paid.
To summarize, not only has Maunoir/Yenni depleted Kenner’s savings account, he maxed out Kenner’s credit cards too.
Just think what would have happened if Maunoir/Yenni had been allowed to double property taxes too.
Is that what a Conservative Republican does: Tax, borrow and spend, spend, spend? And now you know why I’m not a Republican anymore.
NEXT TIME – MORE LIES, I MEAN, MYTHS FROM THE MAUNIOR/BUISSON TEAM.