13 September 2008

Big Easy Hubris

Holy shit; does Ray Nagin love himself or what?
In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Mayor Ray Nagin had encouraged Texas evacuees to book hotel rooms in New Orleans by requesting the "Mayor Ray Nagin special rate."

The offer was designed, the mayor said, "to say to our friends in Houston and Texas that we want to take care of you, since you have taken care of us," according to a transcript of his remarks. Thousands of New Orleanians evacuated to Texas shelters and hotels because of Hurricane Katrina. Trouble is . . . the special rate doesn't exist.

In fact, it is against federal anti-trust laws for hotels to collectively agree upon rates. It also is impractical to set a flat rate citywide because hotels vary in size and services, said Stephen Perry, president of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Association.

Calling it the "Nagin special rate" was the mayor's attempt to lighten the mood, Perry said. Nagin spokeswoman Ceeon Quiett did not reply to e-mail seeking comment.

"The woman I spoke to said he was just saying that in jest and that I was taking it too seriously," Bernard said. "For them to say we're taking things too seriously is just unconscionable. It's not a joking matter when you're running for your life just like the people here did three years ago."
Ha ha; that mayor's a real cut up. It's funny to joke with people that have no place to live right now. After the pathetic job Nagin and his flunkies did in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and in light of the fact that Texas took in and (and in many cases continues to host), a huge chunk of New Orleans evacuees three years ago, he may want to consider backing off the clowninsh, phony civic magnanomy.

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