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Dem Bones
January 29, 2010 5:51 PM   Subscribe

Frank Minyard, colorful coroner of New Orleans, and a focal point for post-Katrina stories, is in a tough reelection campaign. His opponent has taken some creative liberties in putting out a commercial.

There is this series for some background about the accusation. (the commercial encountered via TPM)
posted by dances_with_sneetches (33 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy crap...I didn't know city coroner was a politicized office...doesn't it make more sense for that sort of post to be appointed? Really? Igor? Is there any basis for the claims of impropriety in that campaign ad?

Also, from the "focal point" video:

"During the flood, he swam two miles, at age 75, to this office, where he got trapped for five days."

That's pretty badass, but I'm not sure if that's meant to be a testament to his dedication or questionable judgement.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:02 PM on January 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Whoops - didn't see that last link.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:04 PM on January 29, 2010


The accusation doesn't bother me so much as the fact that his opponent can't even make such a serious charge that maturely. Frankly, it makes them both look bad. As far as the ad's concerned, one's an organ harvester, and the other thinks it's funny. Were I a voter, with no background info, I'd not vote for either of them.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:05 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Coldchef knows these guys...
posted by zerobyproxy at 6:08 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


What special interest thinks that office is worth the money of a TV ad campaign? What favor could you possibly expect from your coroner to make the investment worth the return?

I'm just sayin'.
posted by clarknova at 6:08 PM on January 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Posting the last link makes me a bit uncomfortable. It seems like a hit piece being decorated as a news article. If you look up New Orleans Conservative Examiner and it seems to be this one reporter, Clifford Bryan. At least it suggests the commercial isn't based on an accusation out of thin air - it's based on some ongoing slime.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:10 PM on January 29, 2010


Coroners are elected in New Orleans?

That's fucked up.
posted by Target Practice at 6:23 PM on January 29, 2010


Coroners and Medical Examiners are not the same thing. Coroners don't have to have any medical training; generally, it's their job to find facts, not do autopsies. They hire people to do that part.
posted by rtha at 6:27 PM on January 29, 2010


Coroners are elected in New Orleans?

That's fucked up.


I just want to be the 4th person to say that. I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that you USAsians elect sheriffs.

And I’m not sure if it’s my browser, but his website is an abortion of misplaced text. Add to that the Helen Lovejoy “won’t somebody think of the children” feel, and a pic of him playing a trumpet in a white suit beside a muddy creek that looks like a derelict industrial area.

It screams: DODGY AS FUCK!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:05 PM on January 29, 2010


Sheriffs? We elect judges in my state.
posted by fixedgear at 7:07 PM on January 29, 2010


Elections beat coups.
posted by oddman at 7:11 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Elections beat coups.

Well . . . technically . . . but I understand what you mean.
posted by The World Famous at 7:18 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Minyard wrote one of the more interesting articles on autoerotic asphyxia that I've ever read, a classic entitled "Wrapped to Death."

As with most forensic literature, only the abstract is posted on the Internet. The autoerotic practitioner was evidently into a "visqueen scene."
posted by Tube at 7:37 PM on January 29, 2010


Here in Canada, we suffer from a lack of democracy. I am ashamed to admit that I have no idea who my local coroner medical examiner is. Oh, for Christ's sake, he's probably that Igor kind of guy. I wish I had the choice.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 7:40 PM on January 29, 2010


Here in Canada, we suffer from a lack of democracy. I am ashamed to admit that I have no idea who my local coroner medical examiner is. Oh, for Christ's sake, he's probably that Igor kind of guy.

As per a comment above yours, coroner and medical examiner are not the same thing. The coroner does the clerical/legal stuff and the medical examiner does the autopsies.

Your Canadian medical examiner is probably some dude with a red maple leaf embroidered on his lab coat who constantly reminds his co-workers that he's not like a U.S. medical examiner because he's so tolerant: "U.S. medical examiners don't even try to talk to the corpse before they cut it. They don't understand diplomacy!"
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:50 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Coroners run for office?
posted by caddis at 8:01 PM on January 29, 2010


I wish I was young enough to say that I'm shocked that somebody could make that commercial and go "Yes, this is something I want to sign my name to."
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:30 PM on January 29, 2010


Uh, that's a "series" alright but, well, take this: "They are not told that skin goes to enlarge penises or smooth out wrinkles..." Is anyone really going on lifelong immunosuppressive drugs and shredding their kidneys to get a few extra inches?

I started doing some research, but then I got distracted by this.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:53 PM on January 29, 2010


I started doing some research, but then I got distracted by this.

thanks for that. the comments on that site are like vintage Art Bell callers.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:11 PM on January 29, 2010


Oh, it's far more fucked up than that. Hold on to your hats:

Not only are coroners ELECTED in Louisiana, no medical training is required for the position. None. Seriously. Anyone can run for coroner. Technically, the coroner has more power than any other elected official. A coroner can have a judge, a sheriff, or any other citizen committed on their word only. In fact, when Earl Long was Governor, it was the coroner who committed him against his will. This is a fucked up state. I can't make a comment about the New Orleans race, as I will have to work with one of them.
posted by ColdChef at 9:12 PM on January 29, 2010 [10 favorites]


I can't believe you guys are, like, debating issues related to this. It's a CAMPAIGN AD FOR A CORONER. A campaign ad for a coroner that features the line "Igor! Igor!". How can you see this and not just smile at what an amazing world we live in? Life is fucking hilarious.
posted by DecemberBoy at 9:20 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


In many counties the sheriff is the coroner. And he's elected, so it's just an additional title he holds. It is basically an additional law enforcement position, a specialized kind of detective. It's this way in much of California. Marin county has a separately elected coroner. San Francisco city/county has a medical examiner. I have heard this system described as a way to take a doctor and turn them into an administrator. Most counties just don't have the resources, or enough dead people, to warrant having their own forensic pathologist permanently on staff.
posted by ericales at 9:31 PM on January 29, 2010


Shit, my county coroner's office runs a gift shop.

(Warning: circa 1998 web design.)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:37 PM on January 29, 2010


I can't make a comment about the New Orleans race, as I will have to work with one of them.

That was the last time anyone ever heard from ColdChef again. Ever.
posted by nola at 9:43 PM on January 29, 2010


"New Orleans coroner, his name is Frank Minyard,
f-ck with me wrong, youll be waking up in his yard!"


L'il Wayne - 'Run This Town'
posted by markkraft at 10:44 PM on January 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Not only are coroners ELECTED in Louisiana, no medical training is required for the position."

I would *SO* help organize a write-in candidacy for some of the area's more colorful characters.

Trent Reznor? Poppy Z. Brite, perhaps?!

(Do you think Anne Rice would move back into town if she knew she had job security?!)
posted by markkraft at 10:51 PM on January 29, 2010


Trent don't live here no mo.
posted by raysmj at 11:39 PM on January 29, 2010


ColdChef, how many people know that?

I'm thinking about moving to Louisiana only to get into the coroner business because of your comment.

Is it hard to coroner/coronation/coronate/disembowel/add some makeup/dump in grave/whatever is required? I won't compete with you, I promise. Seems like a big enough state.
posted by pelham at 2:41 AM on January 30, 2010


Elections beat coups.

It's hard to imagine the coroner getting replaced by Coup d'état.
---
Also, was it just me or was the last link really poorly written?
posted by delmoi at 3:08 AM on January 30, 2010


McKenna totally missed the chance to call Dr. Minyard's assistent Chopsley. Fails at NOLA.
posted by localroger at 5:56 AM on January 30, 2010


I believe the weirdest thing I ever learned about New Orleans politics was Cold Chef's datum. If you want to get somebody committed to the psych ward against their will, you call the coroner.
posted by bukvich at 6:50 AM on January 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sortry Cold Chef, but Louisiana is one of the few states that DOES require their coroners to be medical doctors. If no doctor wishes to run for the seat, only then can a non-physician be eligible to serve.

According to the LA Constitution of 1974...

Section 29. In each parish a coroner shall be elected for a term of four years. He shall be a licensed physician and possess the other qualifications and perform the duties provided by law. The requirement that he be a licensed physician shall be inapplicable in any parish in which no licensed physician will accept the office.

http://senate.legis.state.la.us/documents/Constitution/Article5.htm#%C2%A729.%20Coroners
posted by snottydick at 9:20 AM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's good to know that they'd prefer a medical person. I've just had to deal with too many dumbass backwoods non-medical coroners. It amazes me that you can easily move from dogcatcher to coroner without any additional skillset.
posted by ColdChef at 10:57 AM on January 30, 2010


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