Sunday, October 23, 2016

Henry Shane and The Advocate Want To Crown Ben Zahn Kenner’s Next Mayor. Here’s Why YOU Shouldn’t Let Them

Jefferson Parish’s largest apartment owner, Henry Shane, is at it again trying to force his anointed candidate, Ben Zahn, down the throats of Kenner voters.

Shane, an ardent supporter of former Kenner Mayor and current Jefferson Parish Sexual Predator-In-Chief Mike Yenni, has leaked another fake political poll to The Advocate days before early voting begins in an attempt to diminish support for the four Kenner Mayoral candidates not named “Ben Zahn”.

This is the second poll that has been commissioned by Shane and leaked to the media. Both showed Zahn significantly ahead of any challengers.

In the first poll, Shane had the poll ask about Yenni’s approval rating. Curiously, he left that question out of this poll.

But, I think we all know the answer to that one.

As was the case in the first leaked poll, despite Shane’s public support of Zahn, Lil Ben claimed to not have any prior knowledge of the poll.

I believe that as much as I believe that Mike Yenni only sexted one teenage boy.

The fact is, Henry Shane wants Ben Zahn to be Kenner’s next Mayor – not because it is what is best for Kenner, but because it is best for Henry Shane and Shane will do whatever it takes (including leaking a poll or putting out a fake poll) if it helps Henry Shane.

Condiser Shane’s participation in Yenni’s vaunted Economic Development Committee.

Did Shane use his influence to recruit businesses to Kenner? No.

Did Shane work to provide new, high-paying jobs for Kenner? No.

Well, what DID Shane and the Committee do? Come up with a list of dubious projects that created massive debt for Kenner.

And, oh yeah, Shane donated a bunch of art strewn across Kenner’s medians.

And, why would Shane clean out his garage and “donate” art to Kenner? Because Shane received huge tax breaks for the inflated value placed on the art.

Did the people of Kenner commission any of the artwork that now adorns our roadways? No.

Did the people of Kenner have any say in the artwork or where it was placed? Again, no.

Kenner got Henry Shane’s castoffs and, according to Shane, the people of Kenner should be thankful that they did.

In addition to being “grateful”, Kenner taxpayers also are stuck with bills for maintaining and insuring the artwork and maintaining the grounds around the artwork.

Mike Yenni sure did a great job negotiating that deal, didn’t he?

So, why is Henry Shane pushing Ben Zahn?

Because Ben Zahn is “Mike Yenni Lite”.
Before the past few weeks, Lil Ben probably would have thought that was a compliment.

There’s an old story about a runner who is so far behind that he can’t see any of the other runners. The fact is that he’s so far behind he actually thinks he’s ahead.

That’s Ben Zahn.

As I mentioned, this is the 2nd poll that Shane has commissioned, and leaked to the press, that supported Zahn.

Since the two polls (if legitimate) would have cost several thousand dollars, didn’t Shane violate Louisiana campaign finance restrictions of $2,500 per election cycle for Mayor?


Now why wouldn’t The Advocate query Shane on that?

Shoddy Journalism and Poor Judgement

For it’s part, I’m incredibly disappointed at The Advocate. Why would they possibly print an article about a poll that was paid for by a private individual?

If The Advocate secured a reputable Polling Firm and paid for the company to survey Kenner, great, run an article. But to print and quote a poll that done by an individual where The Advocate has not independently verified the validity of the poll is mindboggling.

And. to publish the results of a non-independent poll just 2 days before early voting begins shows very poor judgement.

The Case AGAINST Ben Zahn

If you’ve read this blog before, you undoubtedly know that I’m not Ben Zahn’s biggest fan. In fact, I’m no fan at all.

But, rather than discuss personal feelings, let’s discuss facts.

When I called on the Louisiana Attorney General and the State Ethics Board to investigate Zahn in 2011 regarding Zahn’s involvement in the Kenner Convention & Visitor’s Bureau scandal, Zahn sued me twice (and lost). Zahn wanted to stop me from exposing his involvement. He didn’t sue me to stop me from slandering him, because what I wrote was the truth.

No, Zahn wanted to silence me because he didn’t want YOU to know the truth about his dirty dealing and his own lies.

As a member of the Kenner City Council, and the Council’s appointee to the KCVB Board, Zahn advertised and received material benefits from the KCVB. In addition, Zahn voted to appropriate tax dollars to the KCVB, a clear conflict of interst.

Later, when I ran against Zahn for JP Council, Zahn found a new career as a professional liar.

Zahn did whatever he could in an attempt to ruin my reputation. Zahn also enlisted other members of the JP Political Machine including former Kenner Mayor and JP Councilman Louis Congemi and former Assessor Lawrence Chehardy, to repeat those lies in multiple robocalls to Kenner voters.

Look, I knew when I decided to run for office that Zahn (and Mike Yenni) would take their shots at me.

But, there is no reason to fabricate lies.

If you want to say that I’m a bad person, fine. If you want to say that I’m too opinionated, that’s ok too. In fact, if you want to say almost anything that is your opinion, I have no problem. I spout my opinions much more than many folks would like me to.

You are entitled to your opinion. Even if your name is Ben Zahn.

You aren’t however, entitled to pass off lies as facts, and enlist others in your dirty schemes.

The Choice For Kenner Mayor

If you truly believe that an unlicensed florist who lived off his diabled father’s floral license; who has lied to the public, the media and several government entities; and who has never run any business or even a department of government with 1/50th the budget of the City of Kenner; who supported Mike Yenni’s plan to DOUBLE your property taxes while closing playgrounds in minority neighborhoods in an act of political retribution  is the best and most qualified candidate for Kenner Mayor, great – vote for Ben Zahn.

But, before you do, ask yourself this:

What has Ben Zahn done for Kenner?

In 2011, when I campaigned against Zahn, I highlighted three areas where I thought Kenner was being unjustly charged by Jefferson Parish: the LaFreniere Park tax, the 911 tax and the disproportionate amount Kenner paid for bus service.

I said that, if elected, I would work to get Kenner it’s fair share of these fees.

While I knew Jefferson Parish wouldn’t willingly give up Millions of Dollars in revenue, I said that I would push for Kenner to receive a 50% share to start and gradually increase from there.

At the time, Kenner residents paid about $750,000 annually in 911 taxes on their cell phone bills to Jefferson Parish, despite the fact that Kenner has its own 911 call center and doesn’t’ use JP’s.

Also, Kenner significantly overpaid for bus service.

In addition, Kenner residents still pay a monthly fee on their water bill dedicated to LaFreniere Park, despite Kenner having its own parks and recreation. This fee continues to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for JP that Kenner could use to maintain our own parks and fund recreation programs (rather than close or sell playgrounds as Yenni proposed, and Zahn supported).

Combined, even if only 50% of these fees/taxes were returned to Kenner, the City would receive between $1-2 Million annually to fund public safety, infrastructure or quality of life items.

After I lost, I continued to press the JP Council and then-President John Young for Kenner to receive it’s fair share.

In almost 5 years on the Parish Council, Zahn secured a one time increase in to defray a small portion of Kenner’s bus service cost.

Would I have been successful in getting Kenner’s fair share? Who knows?

But, I would have fought for Kenner/

Ben Zahn has proven time and again that he cares about two things:

Ben Zahn and his campaign contributors.

Ben Zahn, like Mike Yenni and Henry Shane, doesn’t care about you.

They don’t even care about Kenner.

The City of Kenner is a means to an end for them. They reap financial benefits and increase their power and influence on the backs of Kenner residents.

Don’t believe the fancy mail pieces or the rhetoric written and produced by Greg Buisson, the campaign manager of Ben Zahn (and Mike Yenni)..

Before you cast your vote for Mayor, ask yourself – what has this person actually done for Kenner?

If you answer truthfully, you can’t possibly vote for Ben Zahn.

Unless your name is Henry Shane. 

I should probably stop now before Ben tries to sue me again for telling the truth.