Friday, September 22, 2017

Zahn and Impastato's Campaign Manager Gets His "Taste" of Kenner Freedom Fest $$$

C'mon - you're not really surprised, are you?

In the Mafia, it's a tradition for everyone in a crew to "kick up" to their boss after they make a financial score. Their boss  kicks up to his boss, who ultimately kicks up to THE BOSS. By "kicking up", everyone gets a "taste" of the score.

In Kenner and Jefferson Parish, if there's money to be made, politicians find a way to "kick up" so Greg Buisson gets his "taste".

Buisson is the campaign manager/consultant for Jefferson Parish's Sexual Predator-In-Chief Mike Yenni, Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn, several JP Councilmen, Kenner Councilman and JP District 4 Council candidate Dominick Impastato, and Kenner Councilmen Lenny Cline and Mike Sigur. Buisson also worked on the council campaign of Councilman-At-Large Tom Willmott.

Buisson has his tentacles in a wide array of Jefferson Parish NGOs including the Jefferson Convention & Visitor's Bureau (JCVB). While Kenner Mayor, Mike Yenni shut down the Kenner Convention & Visitor's Bureau (KCVB) and, rather than finding a Kenner-centric organization to promote Kenner, Yenni shuffled off Kenner's Hotel/Motel tax dollars to the Buisson-controlled JCVB.

Buisson is involved in Family Gras, Uncle Sam Jam, Mardi Gras parade viewing stands and literally EV ERYTHING tourism-related in Southeast Louisiana.

So, it is to be expected that Ben Zahn and the "Buisson Boys" on the Kenner City Council, would find a way to get Buisson involved in the first Kenner Freedom Fest.

Although the Freedom Fest was held in Laketown, Zahn slyly got the Friends of Rivertown to act as his bag man so he could get his friends like Buisson involved without the need to put anything through the City of Kenner or it's bidding process - although there is no doubt that City of Kenner employees were involved in Freedom Fest. At a recent council meeting, Zahn complemented his Assistant in charge of Party Planning, Mary-Sharon Howland, for her work in soliciting sponsorship dollars.

According to a preliminary financial report, the Freedom Fest raised almost $131,000, the bulk of which came from Sponsor Fees ($83,500) and not including $50,000 from Jefferson Parish Interim District 4 Councilman Jack Rizzuto's district fund and almost $35,000 from the City of Kenner. That almost $85,000 is listed as "Reimbursements".

After "Reimbursing" JP and Kenner, Freedom Fest will eek out a meager profit of $7,000. Of course, the event wasn't designed to make money. But, by using tourism dollars you would hope that the City would generate some business to grow tourism.

Given the bands involved and the fact that the Freedom Fest was held on a holiday weekend, it is doubtful that anyone other than the bands themselves spent any time in a Kenner hotel.

Now, before you get the wrong idea, I think events like Freedom Fest are needed and should be promoted in the City, assuming the City has the funding. But, to say that Freedom Fest was a boon to Kenner tourism is a flat out lie.

Which makes the inclusion of Buisson all the more puzzling.

Despite telling The Advocate that he was paid $6,000 (and Zahn's attempts to "clarify the truth" at this past Council meeting), Buisson was actually paid $19,972.64 - almost $20,000, for his role in booking the bands and providing his advertising services. In addition to Buisson's "taste", almost $40,000 was paid to the performers.

According to Zahn and the representative from Friends of RIvertown, Buisson charged "only" 10% of the performer's booking fees, so he SHOULD have been paid less than $4,000.

As many of you know, I spent years in radio and still have many radio contacts. Radio stations across the country book emerging acts (like the three "National" acts that Buisson booked for Freedom Fest) that are routinely brought to town to play for nothing more than their expenses (generally traded out hotel rooms and catering).

Since New Orleans is home to three of the largest radio companies in America (iHeart, Cumulus and Entercom) and two of the three (iHeart and Cumulus) have Country Music stations, having a relationship with one of the radio companies (which would have also provided free advertising and promotion as well) could have resulted in Kenner saving the $40k in performance fees and the $20k paid to Buisson, which would have meant almost $60,000 in greater profit for the Friends of Rivertown (and, perhaps, next year they wouldn't need to charge $5 to park in the City-owned Pontchartrain Center Parking Lot).

But then, Zahn, Impastato and the rest of "Buisson Boys" wouldn't have been able to "kick up" to Don Buisson.

And, when it comes to Kenner and JP Politics, you MUST "kick up" to Don Buisson.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Impastato Lies About Council Endorsements

As if there weren't enough fake political endorsement groups put together by Jefferson Parish's Minister of Propaganda Greg Buisson, he is now using ads in the Kenner Star to lie to the public about endorsements for his client, Kenner District 5 Councilman and JP District 4 candidate Dominick Impastato.

Buisson's idol, the Nazi Propagandist Joseph Goebbels said, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

Since Dominick Impastato himself is repeating the lie, HE obviously believes it.

In a full page ad in Kenner Star featuring a message from our own pathological lying Mayor, and fellow Buisson client, Ben Zahn, the headline reads:

"Kenner's Mayor, a Majority of the Kenner City Council, Kenner's Chief of Police, and 100% of our elected Eastbank Jefferson Parish Councilmembers all agree that Dominick Impastato is our best choice for Councilman."

The problem is - that isn't true.

Let's dissect the lies.

"A Majority of the Kenner City Council" - If you include Impastato himself (and one hopes that HE is endorsing himself), there are 7 Council members. A "Majority" of 7 is 4.

If you don't count Impastato, and you really shouldn't, there are 6 Council members. Since 6 is an even number, a "Majority" is still 4.

District 2 Councilman Mike Sigur and District 4 Councilman Lenny Cline, both Buisson clients, have endorsed Impastato.

At-Large Councilwoman Maria DeFrancesch and District 3 Councilman Keith Reynaud have endorsed State Senator Danny Martiny.

At-Large Councilman Tom Willmott and District 1 Councilman Gregory Carroll have not endorsed anyone.

So, in what universe does 2 (Sigur and Cline) equal a "Majority" of 6?

Impastato and Buisson must be using Common Core math.

Now, let's look at the JP Council statement:

"100% of our elected Eastbank Jefferson Parish Councilmembers all agree" - again, not true.

Currently, there are 3 "elected"  District Councilmembers and 2 "elected" At-Large Councilmembers representing the Eastbank. All 3 "elected" District Councilmembers (Johnston, Spears and Van Vrancken) are Buisson Clients and are, of course, endorsing fellow Buisson client Impastato.

Both At-Large Councilmembers, Chris Roberts and Cynthia Lee-Sheng, have endorsed Martiny.

3 out of 5 is NOT 100%.

In addition to the ad in the Kenner Star, Impastato has been publicly and privately making the same endorsement claims.

Like Sigur, Cline, Johnston, Spears and Van Vrancken, Zahn and Kenner's Police Chief Mike Glaser ARE Buisson clients.

In fact, Zahn is probably still making installment payments to Buisson for his win over me in 2011 and Glaser paid Buisson over $16,000 in 2014 despite running unopposed. Glaser paid Buisson another $200 in 2016 to design a fundraising invitation a full two years before his next election (in which he will probably run unopposed).

So, what the Kenner Star ad should have said is, "100% of Greg Buisson's Clients All Agree".

But, that wouldn't look or sound good, now would it?

Somewhere, probably in Hell, Joseph Goebbels is smiling.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

“Fresh Ideas”? No, Just Impastato “Politrics”

In another universe, I might like Kenner District 5 Councilman (and JP Council District 4 candidate) Dominick Impastato. 
He’s bright and, on the surface at least, looks like someone you would actually want in government. Unlike his friends, he’s not a Sexual Predator, a pathological liar or a money-grubbing whore who is only out for himself. 
Like I said, in another universe perhaps, but in this universe, Dominick Impastato has already been corrupted. 
Now I’m not saying that Impastato is politically corrupt, at least not in the traditional way of thinking (although he and disgraced former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard do share the same campaign manager). There’s been no proof of bribes or quid pro quo offered to or by me.
But, Impastato IS politically corrupt in the Jefferson Parish/Kenner way. 
And, that’s truly sad. 
It’s even sadder watching Impastato sit smugly upon his Kenner City Council chair and continue to attempt to justify his actions and watching his condescending ways (obviously learned from his mentor Mike Yenni). 
At several recent Kenner City Council meetings, residents have questioned Impastato about his shady campaign tactics.

Despite Kenner having a political sign ordinance which bans signs put out more than 60 days prior to an election, Impastato “bought” a vehicle, draped it with campaign signs and parked it in a private parking lot. The vehicle didn’t move for several weeks, which itself is a violation of Kenner code. 
When he was questioned about it at a Council meeting, Impastato smugly said that he drove the vehicle, although he admitted to not having a license plate on the vehicle (another violation of Kenner law and code). Impastato even had the audacity to get the Kenner City Attorney to prove that he was not violating Kenner Code since he’s involved in a Jefferson Parish election and the vehicle is a “rolling billboard”. 
Yeah, a “rolling billboard” that doesn’t move and isn’t licensed. 
Don’t we all sleep better at night knowing that our elected officials look for loopholes in the laws that they are sworn to uphold? 
At another Council meeting, Impastato was accused of putting up a campaign sign at the entrance of a subdivision. When questioned by a resident about that sign, Impastato said, “If it’s in the wrong place, I will move it.”
So, now elected officials can do whatever they want in Kenner until they are caught? How does that work? 
Another resident complained about the huge campaign banner Impastato has at his campaign headquarters which is considerably larger than Kenner sign law allows and, since it’s a banner and not a permanent sign, also violates other Kenner sign laws. 
When he was questioned about it, Impastato smugly said, “I’m surprised that it took someone this long to ask about it.”
Impastato again got the Kenner City Attorney involved and said that the banner was legal because he got a permit for it. 
How could he get a permit for an illegal banner that exceeded both size and duration?
And, why would Kenner’s Code Enforcement Department grant a permit? 
The answer is, if Impastato wasn’t supported by Mayor Zahn, a permit would never have seen the light of day.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want an elected official representing me who manipulates the rules and gets others to bend the rules for him. 

The Uber/Taxi Debacle
Recently, Kenner was involved in a huge debate regarding ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft and their impact on the taxi industry. While it was spearheaded by Mayor Zahn, District 2 Councilman Mike Sigur and District 4 Councilman Lenny Cline (both also involved with Greg Buisson), Impastato worked feverishly behind the scenes. It was painfully obvious that Impastato was favoring TNCs like Uber and Lyft and against taxi drivers. 
When a representative of the Taxi Union spoke before the Council and asked that the Taxi industry be treated fairly and the Uber/Lyft drivers be held to the same set of standards and fees as taxi drivers, Impastato treated the Union representative like a hostile witness under interrogation. 
Impastato, sitting smugly in his Council chair, fired off question after question and repeatedly interrupted the Union Rep and wouldn’t let him finish answering. 
As a resident of Kenner, I was appalled at the way an elected official was treating a member of the public who was simply asking for “fairness”. 
Isn't "fairness" something that government should strive for? 
No citizen addressing a City Council should be the subject of an interrogation or verbally assaulted.

Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign
In addition to Impastato’s other sign issues, I’ve received at least a dozen emails or calls about another Impastato campaign “trick”: putting campaign signs in people’s yards without their consent.

Here’s how this trick works: Impastato, or someone from his campaign, knocks on your door. If you’re not home, a yard sign goes up in your yard and a note saying, “Sorry I missed you. I put a sign in your yard. If it’s a problem, call me.” 
If it happened once, I’d say, “It’s on overzealous campaign worker”. Since I know of at least 12 occurrences in different parts of Kenner, it’s not just one campaign worker. Of course, if Impastato was confronted he would just do what he always does, deny any involvement. 
Since no one is going to call a sitting City Councilman, who may be a Parish Councilman, and confront them about a yard sign, and since folks are also afraid to remove the unwanted yard sign for fear of retaliation, Impastato gets over again. 
But, is that the kind of elected official we want in office? Someone who tacitly intimidates folks over a yard sign? 
 The Yenni Connection
In addition to Zahn, Impastato also has the support of Jefferson Parish’s Sexual Predator-In-Chief Mike Yenni and he uses Zahn and Yenni’s Campaign Manager, the Minister of Propaganda and the biggest whore in Jefferson Parish, Greg Buisson. 
Impastato has taken pains to tell anyone who listen that he “will be his own man” and isn’t affiliated with Yenni. 
If you are foolish enough to believe that, I have an old toll bridge over the Mississippi River that I’d like to sell you. 
Impastato is where he is directly because of his friendship with Mike Yenni. Despite the fact that Impastato hadn’t created five jobs in his entire life, Yenni appointed him as Chairman of Yenni’s hand-picked Economic Development Committee. Before this, no one outside of a few folks involved in Kenner’s playgrounds had ever heard of Dominick Impastato. 
You will recall that the Economic Development Committee didn’t create one job or attract or retain one business for Kenner. 
What the Economic Development Committee DID DO is saddle Kenner residents with $40 Million in debt for Yenni’s 2030 Plan. 4 years after the money was borrowed, and with Yenni long gone to Parish Government (although he should be in jail, in my opinion), and Kenner residents still have not received any accounting of the Plan.  

When Impastato ran for Kenner City Council in 2014, Yenni ardently campaigned for him and helped significantly increase Impastato’s campaign fund with contributions from city (and parish) contractors.
Impastato owes his political career to Mike Yenni and, if Yenni hadn’t been exposed as the Sexual Predator that we now know he is, he would be out front leading Impastato’s JP Council campaign committee. Instead, we get Mike Yenni Lite, aka Ben Zahn. 
“Impastato Is Yenni’s Candidate”
When someone like Clancy DuBos at Gambit is bright enough to put 2+2 together, you know it’s obvious.
The question every Jefferson Parish District 4 resident needs to ask themselves is: “Do I want someone who is so closely aligned with someone as morally bankrupt as Mike Yenni, representing me?”
Now, to be fair, if you’ve read this blog in the past you know that I’ve had my differences with Impastato’s opponent, State Senator Danny Martiny. I’ve also butted heads on more than one occasion with former Sheriff Newell Normand, who is endorsing Martiny. 
But, differing with Martiny or Normand on issues is completely different than the case against Mike Yenni. 
Yenni continues to disgrace Jefferson Parish Government with his mere presence.
Last week, I was having a discussing with someone in Gonzales. When I mentioned that I was from Kenner, she said, “Is that pervert still your Parish President?”
Sexual Predator.
Whether you agree or disagree with Mike Yenni’s politics, everything is overshadowed by his infidelity and dalliances with high school boys. 
Do we really want someone who is considered “Yenni’s Candidate” representing us and our Parish?

I think you know my answer.