Sorry if it seems like selling out and cutting political deals is becoming a theme of this blog. But, it is what it is.
If you missed my post about Kenner Political Appointee Stephen Petit, the obvious deal he cut and the fact that he now wants to engage in political activity, despite 70% of Kenner voters saying that political appointees should not be involved in politics, click here.
Two years ago, I left the Republican Party. Or, more correctly, the Republican Party left me.
I joined the Republican Party as soon as I was able to vote because I firmly believed in smaller government, less government involvement in our lives and lower taxes. Add that to the fact that I am staunchly Pro-Life and against entitlements, and becoming a Reagan Republican was an easy choice.
The problem is, it is really hard to be a true Conservative Republican.
Conservative Republicans are going extinct.
Just look around.
Mike Yenni a Conservative Republican? Yeah, his propaganda team at the Third Buisson Reich are great at fooling many of you. But, sorry Mikey, Conservative Republicans (at least by my definition) don’t try to double property taxes, take on added debt, and grow government.
Newell Normand a Conservative Republican? Not even close. Newell Normand is one of the most egotistical, power hungry men I’ve ever met.
In fact, I dare you to find a true Conservative Republican anywhere in Jefferson Parish or Kenner government. Despite the vast majority of our elected officials being labeled “Republican”, they wear that moniker simply to get elected and re-elected.
Truth be told, the most fiscally Conservative member of the Kenner City Council is District 1 Councilman Gregory Carroll.
Carroll is a Democrat.
When Ronald Reagan was around, he touted his famous “11th Commandmant” – thou shalt not speak poorly of fellow Republicans.
And that’s how I believed it was, or should be.
You debate candidates on issues, not personal attacks.
I don’t care about the rumors regarding Mike Yenni’s lifestyle or his choices (other than the fact that he attempts to portray himself in a vastly different light). When I ran against Yenni I wanted to beat him because I thought his policies were bad for Kenner.
Same as when I ran against Ben Zahn for Parish Council. I firmly believed that Ben Zahn accomplished little during his time on the Kenner City Council, was severely ethically challenged, and didn’t deserve a promotion to another office that he was not qualified for.
Sadly, as Zahn’s record has proven, I was correct. Aside from siphoning off tourism dollars for some decorative lights on a couple block stretch of West Esplanade and ceding half of Lafreniere Park to the legacy of Al Copeland, I can’t tell you what Zahn has accomplished during his stint on the JP Council.
And, I pay attention so I’m certain many of you couldn’t list Zahn’s “accomplishments” either.
Has he worked to reduce the size of JP Government? Has he reduced taxes? Has he strengthened ethics in JP? Has he reversed Kenner’s overfunding of the bus line, the 911 Call Center or extracted Kenner taxpayers from continuing to pay for Lafreniere Park?
If you answered “Yes” to any of those questions, you’re not paying attention.
Which brings us back to Sell-Out Lawrence Chehardy.
The former longtime Assessor, who was anointed to the position by his father, retired in 2010 amid the biggest political scandal in JP’s history.
At the time, many speculated that Chehardy cut a deal – provide information on alleged wrongdoing and resign gracefully.
I asked Chehardy myself and he claimed that he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Chehardy was Assessor for over 30 years and, to this date, people consider him to have been a “great” Assessor.
But, what did he accomplish?
Sure, he fought for the Homestead Exemption (who wouldn’t), but he never got it increased.
Did Chehardy modernize the Assessor’s office, make it state-of-the-art befitting the State’s 2nd most populous parish, properly staff it and give us the most accurate assessments possible? Obviously not since incoming-Assessor Tom Capella immediately asked for a huge budgetincrease.
Did Chehardy make assessments transparent? Again, obviously not. When Capella, who was a Chehardy ally, campaigned, one of his platforms was to take politics out of the assessment process.
So, an understaffed, not technologically updated office where assessments were politically based.
Still think Chehardy was a “great” Assessor?
Since his ‘retirement’, Chehardy has grown his law practice, started a political blog, and still stayed involved in politics.
Chehardy spoke at both of Yenni’s Kenner Mayoral inaugurations. He was the Chairman of Yenni’s Streamlining Budget Committee, which accomplished nothing. What Committee calls a press conference and releases a report before its members have even read it or approved the contents and the report contains suggestions that were not discussed in any of the Committee meetings?
When I ran against Zahn in 2011, a year and a half after his ‘retirement’, Chehardy issued a venomous, libelous automated robocall against me.
And, he wasn’t the only “Republican” to attempt to disparage my character and falsely accuse of things in an attempt to help Zahn and Yenni defeat me.
“He lived in 30 cities in last 20 years.” Yeah, I still love that one, especially when you consider that I’ve lived in Kenner for 16 years. Must be Common Core math.
I guess Chehardy never read Reagan's Commandments.
This Fall, Chehardy was extremely vocal in his criticism of fellow Republican David Vitter during Vitter’s run for Governor. Chehardy publicly crossed party lines (as did Newell Normand and others) and endorsed John Bel Edwards.
Now, it’s no secret that Chehardy has hated Vitter throughout the years but to publicly support a Democrat, especially a Democrat like Bel Edwards, raised eyebrows.
At least I'm in good company - Chehardy hates me and David Vitter.
To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with voting for someone that belongs to a different political party than you or supporting a friend. But, it’s one thing to support a fake Republican like Mike Yenni, but to endorse Bel Edwards should have gotten Chehardy kicked out of the Republican Club for good.
Well, now we are beginning to see what Chehardy reaped for his aligning himself with Bel Edwards.
After his election, Bel Edwards immediately appointed Chehardy to a committee to advise Bel Edwards on the budget.
Now, Chehardy has received another appointment, this time as Chairman of the Louisiana Tax Commission which oversees Assessors across the state. Chehardy will also be responsible for reviewing assessment appeals in 9 parishes including Jefferson.
To the Baton Rouge Advocate, Chehardy disavowed any quid-pro-quo for his endorsement of Bel Edwards.
Chehardy said Monday there “absolutely was not” any arrangement or expectation that he’d land the commission appointment in exchange for endorsing Edwards, who was sworn in to replace Gov. Bobby Jindal on Jan. 11. He said his new role is simply “the next step up” from a job he performed for more than three decades in Jefferson.
Ah, ok. So much for ‘retirement’ and needing to spend time with your family.
What’s that line? Fool me once, shame on you – fool me twice shame on me…
Mr. Chehardy, you fooled us big time when your old man handed you the Assessor’s job.
Yep, politics as usual in Louisiana.
But, just be honest for once.
We KNOW you cut a deal. Just admit it. This is Louisiana – it happens every day.
Stop thinking that we are stupid.
Ok, some of us are stupid – but most of us aren’t, despite what you and other politicians seem to think.
But, the kicker to all of this is we, as taxpayers, have no idea what Chehardy will be paid. Is it a full-time job? Will he leave his law firm? If he is paid more than the median average salary for Louisiana residents, he should make it his full-time job.
The Edwards administration could not immediately provide information about what Chehardy’ssalary as commission chairman will be.
Fool me once, shame on you – fool me twice, shame on me – fool me three times…
Yeah, I guess we are stupid.
You got over on us 30+ years ago and you’re still getting over on us.
Now that's a legacy to be proud of.