Not much of a much, but of interest to those who follow the minutia of politics in my wee burg.
Perennial protest candidate Manny "Chevrolet" Bruno has been forced out of the mayor's race by an anonymous complainant challenging his eligibility to run for the office, something that hasn't happened in his three previous runs for the office.
The impact on Manny's withdrawal on the race will be negligible, as his vote totals have never matched the impact he's had in the debates and press coverage. That said, it's sad that he won't be there for the debates this year. He's always had a knack for bringing neglected issues to the forefront.
Here's the release his campaign put out this morning.
Activist, comedian and political gadfly Manny "Chevrolet" Bruno sent shock waves through the New Orleans political world Thursday, announcing his withdrawal from the 2014 mayoral race, citing pressure from "powers that be."
"My eligibility to run has been challenged on trivial grounds that have never been brought up in my three previous campaigns for mayor. The circumstances of the challenge are surprising and not a little suspicious," Chevrolet said in a statement released Wednesday morning. The candidate, who first ran for mayor in 2002, has run campaigns with a wry, iconoclastic bent, using slogans like, "A Troubled Man for Troubled Times" and "Still Troubled." His 2014, "Trouble Never Ends," proved prophetic for his own campaign.
Behind the jokes, however, Chevrolet is serious about the problems facing the city, and his sincerity an ability to articulate the issues have given his campaigns and influence in previous races disproportionate to his vote counts. "When I first started running in 2002, I cited the three biggest problems in New Orleans: crime, blight and favoritism in City Hall. I've never had to change that list, because, no matter who's in the mayor's office, those problems persist. And the biggest shame is that we've come to accept it. We accept that there are people getting more than they deserve from government and people getting less."
Chevrolet cited the uneven recovery of neighborhoods and the "war on music" as examples of city government's misguided priorities. "Someone saying they want to start a software company can get a meeting in City Hall tomorrow while a guy wanting to get street lights turned on in the East will never get a call back. That's not right."
Declining to offer specifics on his current campaign's troubles, Chevrolet again emphasized issues. "The challenges we face in our city are too important for the race to devolve into a sideshow based on personal issues and political vendettas, and while I won't be able to continue my campaign or serve the people of New Orleans as their mayor, I'll continue to speak out and to serve in whatever way I can this city we all love so much."
True to his style, Chevrolet closed on a humorous note. "If I were a typical politician, this is the point where I'd say something about wanting to spend more time with my family. But who'd believe that? I mean, have you met my family?"