Friday, May 13, 2005

Dear God, what have ye against us?!!

Dick Cheney visits Lafayette yet AGAIN

(*WARNING: Dick Cheney close-up shot at this link*)

By Kayla Gagnet, a reporter friend who deserves better than this

YOUNGSVILLE - A motorcade with Vice President Dick Cheney will likely pass through one of the area's busiest intersections today during one of the busiest times - five o'clock traffic on Friday afternoon. Be prepared for blocked roads and heavy congestion along Verot School Road south of Ambassador Caffery Parkway, where more than 20,000 vehicles travel every day.

That's probably a (bad pun alert) conservative figure. Traffic there is bad enough on a normal day; but isn't it just like Dr. Evil to block off our roads at the worst-possible time? Thanks, Cheney. You really know how to get the common folk on your side.

Cheney is scheduled to appear today at a $250-a-head fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette. The "Southern Seafood Soiree" is being held at the Verot School Road mansion of Patrick and Jennifer Leblanc, just south of the intersection with Fortune Road. The doors for the VIPs open at 4 p.m.

Like I said, you really know how to get the common folk on your side.

Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Craig Stansbury said some roads may be blocked temporarily as Cheney's motorcade passes, but he could not reveal which roads or when. "If you believe that you might be traveling anywhere in the vicinity at that time, take an alternate route," Stansbury said.

Nice piece of double-talk there! "Have some tea, there isn't any." Far be it for them to convenience travelers!

The exact route of Cheney's motorcade, or the time of its arrival, is unknown for security reasons. There is, however, only one way to get to the Leblanc home on Verot School Road. At the white-columned mansion Thursday afternoon, workers unloaded trucks behind the brick and iron gates. Large white tents had been set up on the front of the 19-acre property. A red, white and blue banner hung from the home's second-floor balcony.

Can you believe there's actually a PICTURE of the house with this article, as well as a general mention of its location? Verot School Road is a few minutes long by car, tops. If the Cheney posse is trying to cover its tracks, it could do better.

The event begins at 5 p.m. with a roundtable; it costs $4,000 a person to be one of 20 at the sit-down meeting with the vice president. A VIP reception with a photo costs an extra $1,000.

Just like a town-hall meeting!

"It's pretty good mix of local people," Jones said of the guest list, although she would not reveal names. "... From community leaders to just supporters, to people who just want to come and see the vice president."

Yeah, you know, local folks who just happen to have at least several hundred dollars lying around. And who can't publicly express support for the vice-president because that might incite the wrong reaction from people. Poor bastards.

Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel will be one of the guests. He said Thursday he plans to attend, and he's excited that Cheney is making another trip to the area. "I think that's a pretty big deal that a town the size of Lafayette has two visits in a year from the vice president of the United States," Durel said.

Well, when you consider that one section of Lafayette is called the OIL CENTER, is it really any fucking surprise that Cheney likes to visit so much?

If there's a story to be had here, it's not in the shameless fundraising galas that are the centerpiece of any visit Cheney makes. Hell, I don't even think those publicity stunts are worth covering; when campaigning occurs at any of the council meetings I cover, I don't even make mention of it. No, the real story lies in the fact that the Vice President of the United States repeatedly visits the rich people of my city, at hugely expensive and super-exclusive events, while tying up traffic and public services that allow the rest of us to get on with our average lives.

In return, Cheney gets fawning and harmless media coverage the next day in quasi-ethical articles that essentially amount to free campaign publicity. I could write about the follow-up article, but that would just be superfluous. And I say that even without having seen it.

Incidentally, I should also note that yesterday brought the first cloud cover and the threat of rain in more than a week. It was the exact weather pattern that occurred the last time Cheney visited.


Phillip said...

it's a great microcosm of the administration in general - appeal to the rich, and if possible screw over the masses of middle- and lower-class people.

congratulations on graduating, btw. so what, you my master now?

M said...

I wondered what that overwhelming sense of hopelessness I experienced yesterday was...

Ian McGibboney said...

Phizz: Yes, I am your master and always have been; but I am a benevolent master. Twice-a-week worship will suffice.

Manda: It was either that or despair over people touching your hair. Probably both.

Nick said...

The LeBlanc mansion used to be the Lablanc's camp. I hung out with his son in high school, and we used to throw parties over there. I hung out with Patrick a little in college untill he turned to more drugs than just weed. I think his dad, after numerous times of trying to get him help, just cut him off. I'm really not sure what Pat is up to these days, but I hope he's off the dope.

On another note, the top Repubs aren't the only ones who hang out w/ pretty much only rich people. You're not going to see Kerry or big fat Teddy K. hanging w/ the common peeps either, so don't think your guys are all down w/ the common folks. The leadership of neither party really gives an honest damn about us, other than our votes.