With apologies to the president of the United States, the current titleholder, if we could combine Chauna Banks and John Schroder into a single public official, we'd get a Republocrat whiner of epic proportions.
The Democrat on the Baton Rouge Metro Council and the Republican state treasurer used separate meetings Thursday to make trouble — out of order, neither making a convincing case, and in Banks' role, particularly offensive because the agenda was replacement of a deceased colleague on the council.
In case you missed it: The metro council meeting got off to a rocky start when Banks asked to deliver a presentation and Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wilson would not allow it. Wilson then called for the council members to take a recess, and Banks gave her presentation when they returned.
She walked through most pieces of legislation she had tried to pass through the Metro Council over the past two years. She repeatedly pointed out that Republicans — including the late Buddy Amoroso — voted against her measures, which included requirements for Baton Rouge Police Department officers to live inside city limits and backing a for-profit health center that pitched an emergency room in north Baton Rouge.
Councilman Dwight Hudson objected to Banks' presentation multiple times, calling it "a mockery of the public meeting process" and "completely out of order." But Wilson allowed the presentation before the public hearing began.
Banks abused her privileges by endlessly rehearsing grievances about resolutions she had proposed that had not passed, as if she is the fount of wisdom and her Republican colleagues — as well as some of those who are Democrats — were a combination of malicious racists and gibbering idiots.
In the heated and emotional atmosphere of the debate over replacement of Amoroso, it was a performance that should do her no good with her colleagues or the public.
Can't see video below? Click here.
But disregard for government can be achieved at more elevated planes by attention-hungry politicians like Schroder. He used a routine motion at the State Bond Commission, which he chairs by virtue of his statewide office, to provoke a debate about state spending — over which constitutionally the commission, and he as treasurer, have virtually nothing to do with.
In vain, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne and Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, tried to explain to Schroder that it is the Legislature where such debates could be held, not in a routine but must-pass motion to ensure that contractors on state projects can be paid.
So half-baked ideas and old grievances were rehashed by a Republican and a Democrat, united in a contempt for the orderly processes of government, and the duties of their offices.