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Name That Party: Unpopular New Orleans Mayor Featured in NYT

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Unread 05.04.09, 05:23 PM
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Name That Party: Unpopular New Orleans Mayor Featured in NYT

05.04.09 05:19 PM

Okay, boys and girls, it's time to play America's favorite political game show.....NAME THAT PARTY!!!

Today's show features a highly unpopular mayor of New Orleans written up in the New York Times. The first person who thinks he knows the political party affiliation of the mayor, written up in the New York Times, please hit the buzzer. The hidden clues might be hard to find in this article but they could lead the more carefully discerning among you to the correct answer:
NEW ORLEANS — As Mayor C. Ray Nagin approaches his final year in office, he faces scandal, an acrimonious stalemate with the City Council and the worst popularity ratings ever recorded for a mayor here.

Hmm... It sure sounds bad for Ray Nagin but is this enough evidence to correctly guess his political party? Perhaps we need more information:
Term limits will keep him from running again, so Mr. Nagin’s eight tumultuous years of leading what he called a “chocolate city” will come to an end next May. He has not been popular among middle-class white voters since the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but now, with the city still in a halting recovery more than three and a half years later, residents citywide seem eager to see him go.

In a recent poll by the University of New Orleans, Mr. Nagin was cited as one of the “biggest problems” for the city, coming in third after crime and education. Just 24 percent of residents over all said they approved of the mayor, a drop from 31 percent the year before.

“It’s the worst approval rating we’ve reported since 1986,” when the poll was first conducted, said Robert T. Sims, the director of the university’s survey research center.

Wow! This is just so tough to figure out. You sure don't make it easy for us, New York Times:
Among African-Americans, support dropped to 36 percent from about half of those polled last year. Among whites, who constituted much of Mr. Nagin’s voting base in his first election, the approval rating was 5 percent. (The survey’s margin of sampling error for whites was plus or minus five percentage points.)

Edward F. Renwick, a retired professor of political science at Loyola University and a pollster himself, said he found that figure surprising. “I have hardly ever seen 5 percent,” Dr. Renwick said. On the other hand, he added, “I have never met a white person who doesn’t hate him.”

That sentiment can be seen in a $2 bumper sticker that has become popular in the city’s souvenir shops. In vivid Mardi Gras colors, it says: “May 31, 2010: Nagin’s Last Day. Proud to See Him Gone.”

*May 31? That's the birthday of your humble correspondent. But does that make figuring out the political affiliation mystery any easier? All it does is make me more confused:
Why is dissatisfaction so high? People have learned to take in stride Mr. Nagin’s tendency to shoot from the hip with a howitzer and have tended to draw some satisfaction from his ability to avoid the serious taint of corruption that has dogged many Louisiana politicians.

Now, however, that sense is coming to an end, after accusations arose in a civil lawsuit concerning city technology contracts. In a deposition, a former city official said he took a Hawaiian vacation with Mr. Nagin and their families in 2004 that was paid for by a company whose owner did extensive business with the city through other companies. Claims of other trips raising ethics questions were raised in later testimony.

At a news conference on April 7, the mayor defended the Hawaiian vacation. “I don’t see it as a violation of any law, any ethics rules,” he said, because he had been told that the city official — Greg Meffert, the former chief of technology for New Orleans — was paying for the trip, not the contractor.

Corruption in New Orleans? So what party is dominant there? Somehow if we could figure out the answer to this we would know the political affiliation of the highly unpopular mayor. Come on NYT! Don't tease us. Give us just a tiny clue. Please!
The authors of the Tulane poll, including the political consultant James Carville, said voters believed by two to one that the city was “on the wrong track,” and they compared the city’s mood to that of the nation “in the final year of the Bush administration.”

Blame Bush! Whatever the problems of Mayor Nagin, it's all the fault of Bush! Does this mean we need to somehow figure out Bush's political affiliation to help us win Name That Party?
One of the mayor’s top aides, Edward J. Blakely, executive director for recovery management, said in an interview that, to some extent, Mr. Nagin was a victim of his times.

“Everything that was broken before Katrina is now magnified, and the mayor has to be held accountable for it,” Mr. Blakely said. Housing may be blighted, the streets pothole-strewn and the infrastructure crumbling, he said, but “these things were broken long before Katrina.”

Federalist? Whig? Know-Nothing? Prohibitionist? Give us just a hint as to the the political party of the mayor who was a tragic "victim of his times."

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