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Jan 3, 2011 9:08 AM by Nichole Larkey

Mayor Landrieu leads with optimism, realism

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Mitch Landrieu faced tough problems when he was elected mayor of New Orleans in a landslide last February. They
got even tougher as he prepared to take office in May.
There was the prolonged recovery from Hurricane Katrina,
widespread blight, violent crime and police department scandals.
Then came the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and problems at the city-owned railroad.
In a year-end interview, Landrieu
confesses he was surprised at the level of "dysfunction" in city
Despite a recent call for higher taxes, poll numbers show Landrieu still has widespread voter support. Landrieu says that's because there is common ground among voters who support a budget
that was based on priorities voiced at public meetings around the


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