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New Orleans asks debate panel: Where y'at?

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 02:32 PM
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New Orleans asks debate panel: Where y'at?

New Orleans asks debate panel: Where y'at?

by James Oliphant

NEW ORLEANSThe Big Easy isn't taking this one lying down.

This rebuilding city has its pro sports team back and is set to host the Sugar Bowl, the NCAA Championship Game and the NBA all-star game this winter. Hotels and tourist areas are operating at full speed. Getting around isn't a problem. The convention center has been upgraded.

So you might understand why some residents and local media are miffed that the city has been deemed unfit to host a presidential debate. And they believe that the Commission on Presidential Debates has yet to give the city a straight answer as to why.

Local columnist Jarvis DeBerry, of the Times-Picayune, wrote this week that the commission is "now discovering that New Orleans is not the woman who cries quietly into her napkin at the news of her rejection. To the contrary, she is the woman who demands to know what the hell's wrong with the person walking away."

To New Orleanians, it's isn't about prestige. It's about focusing the candidates and the American public on the status of the region more than two years after Hurricane Katrina hit and the levees failed. City councilman Arnie Fielkow told the New York Times that the city "has been through too much, and progressed too far, to be falsely disparaged on this national stage."

The proposal was organized by the advocacy group Women of the Storm, in cooperation with four local universities and was supported by seven presidential candidates, including former Sen. John Edwards, who launched his presidential bid here. Anne Milling, founder of Women of the Storm, called New Orleans the "clear moral choice" for hosting a debate.
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