by Kevin Allman
New “Save the Picayune” campaign-style yard signs that will be popping up around town this week are being funded by an unlikely source — five New Orleans-area members of the Louisiana House of Representatives.
Reps. Neil Abramson, Wesley Bishop, Jared Brossett, Walt Leger III and Helena Moreno have chipped in personally to pay for the signs, which say "EXTRA! EXTRA! SAVE THE PICAYUNE - New Orleans Demands Daily News."
Politicians supporting reporters with campaign-style signs may seem unusual, but Abramson told Gambit it’s a genuine response to the news that The Times-Picayune would be scaling back print production this fall to three days a week. “We see the value The Times-Picayune employees have to the city,” Abramson said, “and we see the need the city has for a newspaper seven days a week.”
Asked if there’s any possible impropriety in a group of politicians publicly (and financially) supporting a newspaper that covers them, Abramson said no, and that the representatives were supporting the notion of a seven-day-a-week paper. “You could look at it that we may be ticking off the paper’s editorial board [with the signs],” he said, “so I guess it cuts both ways.”
Abramson wouldn't discuss how much the representatives had chipped in, but said, "If they run out [of signs], we'll make more." The initial order is for 500 lawn placards, which will be ready for distribution July 6. If you want one, email SaveOurTP@gmail.com.