The Senond in our series of Kenner Mayoral Candidate Profiles.
When I think of Ben Zahn, I always chuckle as a I remember a grade school gag that was pulled on me once, and that I pulled many times on others. For my Louisiana friends, I have revamped ir, Instead if a Boudreaux/Thibodaux joke, it’s now a Boudreaux/Zahn joke.
Boudreaux: Thibodaux, how tall are you?
Zahn: 5’4”. Why?
Boudreaux: I didn’t know that they piled dung that high.
Now, I know what you’re thinking --- I was being generous with the 5’4” height on Ben Zahn.
Just trying to be nice.
Don’t worry though…it won’t become a habit.
But really, that’s what Ben Zahn is – a walking, talking, lying pile of dung.
Zahn will do anything, say anything and screw over anyone, except his BFF Mike “Kevin” Yenni, as long as he gets what he wants.
Let’s Make a Deal
While I have written about this before, it seems as good a time as any to discuss it again.
When I ran for office and when I helped friends like Col. Rob Maness (early in his first bid for US Senate) and Allen Leone (during his 2011 JP Accessor race), I was offered everything under the sun to get out of the elections or turn my back on my friends and support others.
But tgat;s not me,
I didn’t run for office to personally gain.
Since he is the favorite, many unlikely folks are supporting Zahn so they can get their 30 pieces of silver. People who in the past claimed that they wouldn’t walk into the same room as Zahn, are supporting his candidacy. Not because he has the best vision for Kenner or he’s a reformer (or even a real Republican). No, these folks cut deals for future gains for themselves.
Just drive around and see the signs in front of houses and businesses. If you go, “Hmmm”, chances are a deal was cut.
Watch who runs for office in 2018. If Zahn and Yenni are supporting them, chances are, they cut a deal.
It saddens me that people who I thought had integrity have now cast their lots with Zahn. They didn’t need to.
If you need to cut a deal with scumbags like Zahn and Yenni to get yourself elected or get a contract, you should reexamine your life choices.
In “Scarface”, Al Pacino said, “I only got two things in this world – my balls and my word. And I don’t break them for nobody.”
When you sell out and trade your integrity, you can’t get that back.
No one that sells their soul to the devil ever gets in to Heaven.
“The Annointed One”
Since his election to the Parish Council in 2011, plans have been in the works for his return to Kenner as Mayor. In fact, many speculated that he and Yenni would just swap seats at the appropriate time. Unfortunately for Jefferson Parish residents, John Young’s ill-fated attempt at Lt. Governor accelerated Yenni’s move and elevation.
Now, the Puppetmaster, Greg Buisson, is using the same Yenni tactics with Zahn.
Zahn is saying all the right things – “I want to reach out to everyone and work with everyone.”
Of course, it’s no surprise that he’s not saying that, or anything, to me.
Zahn also put out a campaign booklet, similar to Yenni’s, produced by the propaganda firm of Greg Buisson and Associates.
It’s a great gig for Buisson. Take money from candidates. Bill them more for production of broadcast commercials and direct mail pieces. Get a commission from radio and tv stations, print shops and mail houses and, if your candidate wins, get a win bonus for spending other people’s money.
Trust me – there is no bigger whore in Metro New Orleans than Greg Buisson.
By the way, I particaularly liked the two page photo of Zahn walking and holding a cell phone to his ear. I guess they were trying to prove that Zahn really can multitask.
Note to Ben: My 82-year-old mother has mastered the art of holding a cell phone to her ear. Unlike you, however, she has not mastered acting pompous and pretentious.
And, that’s a good thing.
Questions without Answers
As I’ve written extensively about Zahn, his lies and poor ethics, I’m not going to rehash everything again. If you’re curious, just go to the search box and enter Zahn. It will keep you busy for some time.
If you are a Zahn supporter, ask yourself these questions. If you come across a Zahn supporter trying to convert you (or offering you a deal), ask them these questions.
1). In 5 years on the JP Council, what has been Zahn ever done for Kenner? I can tell you what he’s done for Metairie – LaFreniere Park is improved; there is decorative lighting on West Esplanade, etc. But, what has he done for Kenner?
2). In 2011, one year after being reelected, Zahn quit his position to job hop to the JP Council. Now, one year after his reelection to the JP Council, he wants to job hop back to Kenner. How does quitting on your constituents twice qualify you for anything?
3). The criminal Aaron Broussard (a Democrat), gave Zahn (a Republican) over $50,000 from Broussard’s campaign account (other people’s money) for “Flowers”. Aside from being an unbelievable amount of flowers, why would a Democrat seek out an unlicensed Republican florist to do business with? Were Broussard and Zahn actually laundering campaign money? Why were many of the payments in even amounts ($50, $100, etc)? Was sales tax charged or did Broussard just round everything up?
4). Zahn, like Yenni, has spent tens of thousands of campaign dollars on meals, gifts, gift cards and other non-campaign related spending. If he is that callous and willing to spend other people’s money to enhance his own lifestyle, how can you trust you to spend YOUR tax dollars?
5). Considering that, the largest business Zahn has ever run has been a family-owned flower shop (and that he used his disabled, retired father’s floral license for years skirting the law), what exactly qualifies him to run a city with a $60 Million budget?
6). Speaking of the flower shop, why, as a member of the Kenner City Council, did Zahn seek and receive Parish contracts? Why would the Parish give a contract to an unlicensed business?
7). We all know about Ben’s role in the Kenner Convention and Visitor’s Bureau mess, but there are still unresolved questions including, why did Ben lie to Nola.com regarding the use of the name of his father’s business on the KCVB web site (Ben said that the name on the web site wasn’t used since 1999. However, the KCVB didn’t have a web site until years later.); why did Ben vote to authorize city funding for an NGO that, not only was he a member of but he was on the Boardl why did Ben sue me in an attempt to get me to stop talking (and writing) about his role in the KCVB (he lost btw); and why, after he lost his attempt to sue me, did he offer to pay a monetary settlement (from his campaign account of course – gotta spend other people’s money) but only after I (and CFBK) signed a “Confidentiality Agreement”?
I could keep going but I think you get the point.
The bottom line is, Ben Zahn isn’t qualified to run a two-person flower shop, let alone a city.
But, none of that matters if he gets enough people to sell their souls.