Editorial: A shameful rebuff
How naive of New Orleanians to think that a sense of justice and
site logistics — not politics — would determine the locations for
next year’s presidential debates.
What else but politics explains the indefensible decision by the Commission on Presidential Debates to leave New Orleans out?
The commission’s official line is that the city, recovering from
Hurricane Katrina, is not ready to host such an important event. That’s
what commission Co-chair Paul Kirk told Anne Milling, founder of Women
of the Storm, which together with four local universities sponsored New
“Politics trumped the moral decision,” an incensed Ms. Milling said Monday.
The commission’s explanation is a slap in our face. It also contradicts the reality on the ground.
Commission member Mark McCurry would have us believe that the group
actually did us a favor. He said the staff was not convinced the city
could pay for the required police overtime and that the expense was not
“a fair thing to do to ask the citizens of New Orleans … to pick up
all these financial costs.” Maybe next he’ll ask the tourists to do us
a favor and not visit us. Please, Mr. McCurry, no more favors!
The debate commission claims our city is not ready for their event.
But their decision to select the University of Mississippi in Oxford
makes it clear that readiness and logistics had nothing to do with it.