by Kevin Allman
Once again, the "amateur investigator" and constant recovery-hurter Karen Gadbois is drawing unwarranted, negative attention to the city of New Orleans by making our excellent recovery look less than excellent. This time, it's the editorial board of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer "recognizing" Gadbois (and Sarah Lewis, the Robin to her Batman):
Down in New Orleans, the local powers-that-be can match the feds in wasting opportunities for the city to recover. But the locals' nonfeasance and misfeasance at least seem vulnerable to a combination of the new and old forms of media exercising their rights.
As a New York Times story recounted, New Orleans resident Karen Gadbois took hope from an announcement of a program using federal funds to support local rehabilitation of hurricane-damaged housing rather than demolition. However, when Gadbois and colleague Sarah Lewis started checking on the progress, they found pretty much nothing (though the money was flowing to well-connected contractors, including the mayor's brother-in-law).
Gadbois started blogging from her kitchen table, and TV and press folks took up her concerns. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin called a news conference to denounce a TV reporter, only to have to concede to the City Council later that there might be some problems.
Federal agents and the U.S. attorney for New Orleans have launched an investigation. Electronic empowerment of citizens pays, at least for those on the side of honest spending of government money.
Great. Just great. Now the Northwest thinks we're mired in mendacity and incompetence. Keep this up, and the rest of the country is going to suspect there are crooked folks down here.