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Poll results: Who's your pick for the "Worst Mayor Ever!"

14. You may not vote on this poll
  • Ray "Chocolate" Nagin

    2 14.29%
  • James "Chicken Hawk" West

    9 64.29%
  • Another Mayor I'll Discuss Below:

    1 7.14%
  • No Opinion

    1 7.14%
  • Other

    1 7.14%
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Thread: Clash of the Bad Mayors: Nagin vs. West

  1. #1
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
    Oct 2001

    Clash of the Bad Mayors: Nagin vs. West

    Who's the worst mayor ever?

    Former Spokane Mayor Jim "Who's your Daddy" West or Mayor "Chocolate" Ray Nagin

    Quote Originally posted by Wikipedia
    James E. West
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    James Elton West, best known as "Jim West", is the former mayor of Spokane, Washington. He was recalled during a special election held on December 6, 2005. On December 16, 2005, the day the votes were officially certified, he was officially stripped of his duties as mayor.

    Mayor WestWest is a native Spokanite. West served in the U.S. Army after high school and graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Criminal Justice in 1978. In 1982 West joined the Washington Legislature as a Republican and served until 2003, when he became mayor of Spokane. While in the legislature he served as Senate Majority Leader. While in the legislature, West voted in favor of many anti-gay bills, including one that would have banned gays and lesbians from working in schools and day cares. While in the state legislature, he also proposed to make a law that would ban all sexual activity among persons under the age of 18 (the bill failed). In 1995, when West was a state senator, he advocated the impeachment of then-Gov. Mike Lowry for alleged sexual harassment.

    West was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2003 and has had multiple surgeries since then, while the cancer has spread to his liver. [1]

    Sexual scandal
    West was involved in a sexual scandal in 2005. He had previously been accused of sexually abusing two young boys in the 1970s and 1980s when he was a sheriff's deputy and Boy Scout leader. West called the molestation allegations "flat lies". However he admitted to having private online relationships in the past year through the Gay.com website. [2] West confirmed the accusations of meeting men over the Internet but denied the charges that he has sought out minors. [3] Using the name "Right-BiGuy" he also offered internships to young gay men (some of whom were just graduating from high school).

    Calls for his resignation spread. West defended himself in a May 30, 2005, Today Show appearance. In a Spokane City Council meeting immediately afterwards a resolution requesting that he step down was passed unanimously (7-0), yet West has announced he intends to continue on as Mayor. On June 2nd, the Spokane County Republican Party, Washington State Republican Party, and Spokane County Democratic Chairwoman Katie Kirking called for West's resignation.[4] The FBI and a special city commission are investigating to determine if any laws or policies have been broken.[5] In early August 2005, the FBI searched West's home and seized his personal computers as part of its public corruption investigation.

    Shannon Sullivan, a Spokane citizen with no prior legal experience, filed a recall petition. A Superior Court Justice threw out two counts on the petition and upheld one, Mayor West then appealed that ruling to the State Supreme Court. On August 24, 2005, the State Supreme Court ruled in favor of Sullivan, allowing the recall to go forward. Because the State Supreme Court heard and ruled on this case in an emergency session during their summer recess, they did not file and publish a full opinion following their ruling.

    Recall organizers collected over 17,000 signatures and submitted them to the elections office on September 21, 2005. The elections office determined that more than 12,567 of those signatures are valid, so a special mail-in election was held on December 6, 2005, to determine whether Mayor Jim West is to remain in office.

    West was recalled by voters with 65% in favor of ousting him to 35% in favor of keeping him as mayor, with his term ending December 16, 2005, the day the final votes are certified by the Spokane County Auditor's office. The ouster of West also marks the the first time in the history of the city of Spokane that a sitting mayor has been voted out of office. His duties were turned over to then-city council president Dennis P. Hession on December 16, 2005, who will serve as mayor for the remainder of West's term.
    Quote Originally posted by Wikipedia
    Ray Nagin
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    Clarence Ray Nagin Jr. (born June 11, 1956) is the current mayor of New Orleans. He was elected in May 2002, succeeding Marc Morial. Nagin gained international notoriety in 2005 during and immediately following Hurricane Katrina, which devastated that city.

    Nagin was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to a Creole family. He received a B.S. degree in accounting from Tuskegee University in 1978 and an M.B.A. degree from Tulane University in 1994. He and his wife, Seletha Smith Nagin, have three children: Jeremy, Jarin, and Tianna.

    Before his election, Nagin had never had public office; he was a vice president and general manager at Cox Communications, a cable communications company and subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. A registered Republican for most of his life, Nagin became a Democrat just before running for mayor. Nagin did give contributions periodically to candidates of both parties, including President George W. Bush[1], Billy Tauzin in 1999 and 2000, as well as to John Breaux and J. Bennett Johnston earlier in the decade.

    Shortly before the primary election for Mayor, an endorsement praising Nagin as a reformer by Gambit Magazine gave him crucial momentum that would carry through for the primary election and runoff. In the first round of the crowded mayoral election in February 2002, Nagin received first place with 29% of the vote, against such opponents as Police Chief Richard Pennington, State Senator Paulette Irons, City Councilman Troy Carter and others. In the runoff with Pennington in May 2002, Nagin won with 59% of the vote. His campaign was largely self-financed. Nagin received a majority of both black and white voters, a first in New Orleans history.

    Shortly after taking office, Nagin launched an anti-corruption campaign within city government, which included crackdowns on the city's Taxicab Bureau and Utilities Department. Nagin controversially endorsed Bobby Jindal over Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Blanco in the 2003 runoff for governor and only reluctantly endorsed U.S. Senator John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential race.

    Hurricane Katrina

    President George W. Bush and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin September 2, 2005.On August 26, 2005, the National Hurricane Center predicted for the first time that Hurricane Katrina would become a Category 4 storm, and thus exceed the design limits of the New Orleans levees [2]. That same day, Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco declared a state of emergency [3].

    Mayor Nagin issued a voluntary evacuation request late in the day on August 27. He stressed the potential danger posed by Katrina by issuing this quote: "This is not a test. This is the real deal." He was hesitant to order a mandatory evacuation because of concerns about the city's liability for closing hotels and other businesses. [4]

    On August 28, Katrina became a Category 4 hurricane [5], and Nagin declared a mandatory evacuation, opening the Superdome as a shelter of last resort to those who couldn't leave. State governor-controlled National Guard troops were stationed inside the Superdome to screen refugees for weapons and feed the citizens gathered there [6],[7] yet the situation within the Superdome became very difficult for evacuees.[8]

    Katrina shifted eastward approximately 15 miles from its expected landfall point, which was to be a direct hit on the city of New Orleans, only a couple of hours prior to making landfall, minimizing the anticipated wind damage to the city. Several levees and flood walls were breached and undercut in the first few hours after landfall, and within 24 hours up to 80% of the city was flooded. An estimated 90,000 were still in the city when the hurricane made landfall on August 29, causing severe damage to most of New Orleans.

    Criticism of relief efforts
    Wikinews has news related to this article:
    Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin slams Bush, federal government in radio interviewOn September 1, 2005, Nagin held a high-profile interview on the relief situation with Garland Robinette, on radio station WWL in which he bluntly criticized the delays in aid to the city. Stating "I don't want to see anybody do anymore goddamn press conferences. Put a moratorium on press conferences. Don't do another press conference until the resources are in this city", he compared the slow reaction to Hurricane Katrina to the national reaction to 9/11 and the war in Iraq.

    As part of what was apparently a larger effort to fix responsibility for inadequate response, Michael Chertoff, secretary of Homeland Security, explained on September 4 that "The way that emergency operations act under the law is, the responsibility and the power, the authority, to order an evacuation rests with state and local officials. The federal government comes in and supports those officials." [9]

    On September 4, President Bush responded to Nagin's criticism by focusing on the failings of state and local authorities, stating that the disaster's magnitude "created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities. The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need, especially in New Orleans. And that is unacceptable." [10]. [11].

    Some newspaper editorial writers have criticized Nagin for not handling evacuation procedures properly and, in particular, for allowing hundreds of New Orleans' buses which were planned to be used for evacuating poor or elderly people to sit idle in parking lots that eventually flooded. [12] In the September 1 interview he said driving school buses had been proposed, and that he wanted every Greyhound bus line moving to New Orleans. On a September 11 appearance on Meet the Press, Nagin said the buses sat unused because there was no one to drive them. [13]

    At a town hall meeting in October 2005, Nagin said: "I can see in your eyes, you want to know, 'How do I take advantage of this incredible opportunity? How do I make sure New Orleans is not overrun with Mexican workers?'" [14] [15], referring to the influx of laborers many of whom are undocumented coming to New Orleans to help rebuild the city. Hispanic groups, including the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, criticized Nagin's statement as prejudiced [16], although those attending the town hall meeting reportedly applauded many in the area believe the jobs should instead go to local workers displaced by the hurricane but the fact remains that the people currently in New Orleans don't want those type of jobs.

    In an interview with Public Radio International's Tavis Smiley originally broadcast on January 13, 2006, Nagin reportedly said that he has never been a Republican and is a "life-long Democrat."

    At a Martin Luther King Day speech in New Orleans on January 16, 2006, the mayor created new controversy by remarking that New Orleans will be "chocolate again" and that he doesn't care what "Uptown people or wherever they are say." Some took offense to the alleged racism of the comments because the majority of the people Uptown are white. Historically, though, many of Nagin's original supporters lived in Uptown. [17] Nagin followed these comments with the further statement that, "This city will be a majority African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be." [18]

    In the same speech, Nagin further stirred controversy by saying "Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country....Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves." Nagin then went on to relate an imagined conversation with the deceased Rev. Martin Luther King regarding the problems of black America which he believes offended God. [19]

    Nagin later apologized for his remarks, clarifying that he had used the term "chocolate" in the sense of a mixture of dark chocolate and white milk and that his remarks were meant to be a call for African Americans to once again return to New Orleans despite their belief that many of the people Uptown did not want them back. [20]

    Political commentators point out that while this may just have been another example of Nagin speaking off the cuff, it will likely hurt his standing among white voters who are currently the majority in New Orleans.[21]

  2. #2
    Jan 2003
    Santiago, Chile
    Nagin may be bad... but that closet gay West sure takes the prize!

    Around here we've also had some bad Mayors. For an example here in Valdivia we had one around the late 90's that was so old that he should have been in a retirement house rather than the city hall, so basically he didn't do anything and looked like he drooled when giving speeches. Another example is the former presidential candidate Joaquin Lavin, that after losing the 1999/2000 presidential election, won the municipal election for Santiago(Downtown Santiago), financially speaking it wasn't in the best shape, and yet this moron starts creating lots of programs and doing beaches for the poor and the worst thing he did was sell some water rights that they had to have more cash... typical populistic crap. Now that municipality is even poorer and in worse shape. He left it in 2004 to a low perfil (although he used to be an actor) candidate of his party, and the first things that this new mayor does is cut all of the programs this populistic a-hole did. The moron ran again this presidential elections, he didn't get to pass to the second round.

  3. #3
    (for now) Frozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    May 2003
    Staff meeting
    Senor West is worst.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  4. #4

    Toronto: Mel Lastman (ex-Mayor)

    -made several racist slurs - one about Africa during a Toronto Olympic-bid, and when expressing his worries about travelling there, and being subject to "being boiled in a pot while natives dance around him" I paraphrase.

    -looks wise - had some awful hair plugs, and a permanent bronze tan, which I'm still not sure if it was from a bottle or a tanning bed, but he sure didn't get it naturally.

    -Once was the Mayor of a city north of Toronto called North York. He wanted to compete with Toronto, and started building a downtown there. That's not too bad, you say. Well, he eliminated all height restrictions, while Toronto had an FSI of 12 to limit high-rise growth, to preserve their neighbourhoods. Needless to say, for a while skyscrapers started popping up in the midst of an otherwise single-detached neighbourhood.

    -This threat to the occupancy rates of Toronto was part of the reason why North York was eventually amalgamated into the City of Toronto, but Mayor Mel still had to follow through on his promise to get a subway for North York, despite very little reason, or density for doing so. So now we have the Sheppard subway line, which is five stops and 5km long, and sparsely used (though density is now building up around it in a couple locations).

    -Oh, and the name of the public square outside North York City Hall? Mel Lastman Square. Having a square named after you while still alive? Fine. Naming a square after yourself? Tacky.

    -His job prior to becoming Mayor of North York and eventually Toronto? Owner of a furniture store, with hands-down, the TACKIEST ads on Toronto TV. The catchphrase: "Who beat's Bad-Boy's prices? Noooooooooo-bodyyyyy!"

    I think we definitely have a contender here.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Dec 1998
    Honestly, you can't compare the two. They're both bad, but on completely different levels. That Wikipedia article barely skims the surface of Nagin's ineptitude. He may be a complete moron, but I don't think he's racist, nor prone to sexual hijinks like West.

    Moderator note:
    I added the "Other" option.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

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