Update: Thank you, Greg Aymond, for confirming what many people had long suspected, that you and Von Jennings had “many conversations” about the website JacquesBarack. No doubt, you two have had “many conversations” about other things as well.

Despite her complete and total lack of intellectual honesty, ethics, and integrity, despite the fact that she is willing to align herself with a man, a former Klansman, who once publicly referred to some her best friends as “N**** street thugs,” and despite her apparent belief in the efficacy of online smear, Von Jennings possesses one thing that Greg Aymond has never quite understood: She sure knows how to play people. At this point, it seems, all Ms. Jennings needs to do is place a phone call or shoot off an e-mail to Greg Aymond and voila, it’s online. Von Jennings is, apparently, playing Greg Aymond as her own useful idiot, with the hope that she can keep her distance while, simultaneously, maintain a relationship with a man who is more than willing to parrot any and every tidbit she provides him, so long as he frames it as a “rumor from the street” and protects her anonymity.

Unfortunately for Von, even a useful idiot is still an idiot, and Mr. Aymond, perhaps unwittingly, exposed Von Jennings as his source. Quoting from Mr. Aymond:

Von was not behind Jacques Barack’s website. In fact, we had many conversations on who was really behind that website and neither of us knew for sure. When Freddy gets a little further along with his Texas legal studies, he will learn that Von cannot possibly prove a negative. It should be up to Freddy to prove that she was behind that website.

I have never asked and would never ask Von Jennings to “prove a negative.” Here’s what she can do. It’s easy. I dare her. She can sign and publish the following statement. I’ll pay personally for the statement to be run as an advertisement in The Town Talk:

I, Von Jennings, pledge and swear that I do not know, have never communicated with, and have absolutely and definitely never had any connection, relationship, or coordination with the person or persons who created, operated, and maintained the website http://www.jacquesbarack.blogspot.com. I make this statement with the full and complete understanding that if electronic or personal communication records prove otherwise, I may be held personally responsible for perjury and could be also subjected to litigation and held liable for the defamation published about both public and private citizens on that website. 

I am not asking Von Jennings to “prove a negative;” I am simply saying there is no possible way for her to validate a “positive.” She is likely responsible for JacquesBarack, regardless of what she tells her friend Greg Aymond during their regular conversations. It’s easy enough to prove, Greg and Von. (One of my best friends in the world works for the legal division of the company who would likely be a key part of demonstrating culpability, and I hate to break it to you: They keep track of these things; again, the Internet is written in ink).

*******

As many regular readers know, when former City employee Von Jennings ran for Mayor of Alexandria in 2010, her campaign surrogate(s) attempted to promote her candidacy on what may be the most hateful and incendiary website in Alexandria history, http://www.jacquesbarack.blogspot.com. Ms. Jennings has never confirmed or denied her involvement in the website, but considering Ms. Jennings received only 836 votes (8%), it is almost inconceivable that she wasn’t intimately involved in the website. I have absolutely no doubt that if placed under penalty of perjury, Ms. Jennings would be forced to admit her direct involvement, particularly considering that the IP addresses associated with the creation and development of the website could be easily discoverable upon a court order.

And if I am wrong, if Von Jennings had nothing to do with the website JacquesBarack, then I challenge her to publicly prove it. Because if I am wrong, if somehow a candidate who couldn’t muster even 1,000 votes was the unwitting victim of a blogger who defamed others in an attempt to promote her, then she is, without question, also the victim of defamation.

Make no mistake: JacquesBarack will follow and haunt Von Jennings for the rest of her political career.

But, until then, I’ll rely on Occam’s Razor. The simplest explanation makes far more sense. I believe Von Jennings is ultimately responsible for JacquesBarack.

Among other things, JacquesBarack published photographs of and satire about the Mayor’s then-four-year-old daughter; it published the private cell phone number of the Mayor’s then-pregnant wife and encouraged readers to call and harass her, and, as I’ve written about repeatedly, it claimed that I suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome. For those of you unaware, I was born with a very mild form of cerebral palsy, and the accusations about my condition were not only intended to defame me, they were also aimed at defaming the integrity of my late father. JacquesBarack was nothing more than a cesspool of hatred, bigotry, and, dare I say, evil, with the ostensible hope that voters would believe in this hatred and support Ms. Jennings.

Of course, it did not work. Ms. Jennings was roundly defeated, but unfortunately for her, to quote the movie The Social Network, “the Internet is written in ink.”

But JacquesBarack was not Ms. Jennings’s only online supporter. She was also endorsed by a frequent subject of my blog, the former member of the Ku Klux Klan, Gregory Aymond. Between JacquesBarack and Greg Aymond, Ms. Jennings’s only strategy seemed to be one of embracing bigotry and hatefulness. The two of them, it seems, specialize in smear.

Ms. Jennings has already announced her intention to run for Alexandria City Council District Three, a position currently held by Jerry Jones. Mr. Jones was appointed, after a split decision by the City Council, to fill the vacancy left as a result of Jonathan Goins’s resignation.

Immediately after Mr. Jones was appointed, Ms. Jennings announced her intention to run for the seat; she was not exactly gracious in her defeat. Then again, she doesn’t have a track record of graciousness. Ask Malcolm Larvadain what Von Jennings allegedly did to the front lawn of his home, for example.

And almost immediately thereafter, Greg Aymond began posting a series of unsubstantiated, defamatory, and ridiculous lies about Councilman Jones, which seems to perfectly mimic the strategy Ms. Jennings’s campaign employed in her quest to become Mayor.

Alexandria is a small town, and frankly, I wonder who, exactly, Mr. Aymond and Ms. Jennings think they are fooling.

So far, Greg Aymond has posted two stories, both titled “Rumors From The Street,” concerning Councilman Jones. The first post accused Councilman Jones of being gay, which he is not. Indeed, on Christmas Day, Councilman Jones became engaged to his long-time girlfriend, a lovely woman, and anyone who knows Councilman Jones knows how smitten he is over his fiancee. Of course, Greg Aymond offered absolutely no evidence whatsoever supporting this accusation– only that it was a “rumor.” Then again, as I mentioned in a recent post, Mr. Aymond seems to have a strange obsession with homosexuality.

And yesterday, Mr. Aymond posted a follow-up, which accused Councilman Jones of having a City cell phone, visiting the City-owned Central Louisiana Business Incubator, and maintaining a City e-mail address.Quoting (and no, I no longer am linking to his website, as a public educational service):

Rumor on the street, which is unproven and I do not know if it is true, has it that Alexandria City Councilman Jerry Jones has a City of Alexandria paid for cell phone, still has an Incubator, his former employer, e-mail account that he uses, and still goes by the Incubator several times per week.

I have also heard, but again not proven, that Councilman Jones is using his cell phone to solicit money for a church.

Of course if this is true, Jerry could have learned it from his master, Alexandria Mayor Jacques Roy.

Mr. Aymond, your rumors do not come from “the street.” You don’t talk to people on “the street.” You rarely leave your home. Your “rumors,” more than likely, come directly from the same person whose campaign was likely responsible for the website JacquesBarack, Von Jennings.

But let’s first clear up a few things:

Councilman Jones does not and has never had a City cell phone. He never called anyone to solicit funding for a church, but if he had been, it should have attempted to raise money, with the immediate goal of helping Alexandria’s “most” “brilliant” “legal” “scholar” figure out how to square away his debts with the IRS, considering you owe nearly $2,000 in taxes.

Eh. Good riddance.

Since resigning from his job with the Central Louisiana Business Incubator, Councilman Jones now works full-time in an academy that educates and mentors at-risk youth. I spoke with the Councilman earlier, and of course, he has visited his friends and former colleagues at the Incubator. Funny enough, the last time he visited, he ran into Von Jennings. (This begs the question: When you claim you’re merely reporting “rumors from the street,” aren’t you really parroting the misinformation fed to you by Von Jennings herself)?

I am not certain what Ms. Jennings was doing at the Incubator, but I, for one, see absolutely no problem at all with Councilman Jones checking up on the ongoing work at the Incubator. Right before he resigned in order to become a City Councilman, Mr. Jones had secured a substantial grant to provide for the construction of a commercial kitchen training facility, which will aid and empower small and emerging entrepreneurs with the resources and training needed to establish private-sector businesses. Indeed, in his time at the Incubator, Mr. Jones secured and leveraged more funding than Von Jennings ever secured during her tenure as the City’s Director of Workforce Development.

And yes, Mr. Jones does maintain a City of Alexandria e-mail address. He is a City Councilman, and his willingness to utilize a public e-mail account is not untoward; it’s actually the opposite. It’s a reflection of his commitment to transparency. For example, every single member of the New Orleans City Council maintains a nola.gov e-mail account.

I know Von Jennings. I take full responsibility for her being hired by the City of Alexandria, because, more than anyone else, I vocally fought for her, and I believed in her. My late grandmother also believed in her, at least at one point. And even at the risk of sounding petty and personal, I can’t help but feel profoundly disappointed by Von Jennings. In my opinion, she was the worst employee ever hired by the City of Alexandria administration, and again, I blame myself; I had no way of anticipating how monstrous she and her apparent cohorts at JacquesBarack actually were. It wasn’t merely a political thing; it was inhumane, and I blame Von Jennings.

I understand that she may still be embittered about being fired, but she has never been honest with the people of Alexandria. She has never taken responsibility for her own failures, and instead, she has lied about her record, lied about the City’s commitment toward small, emerging, minority, and women-owned businesses, lied about statistics and basic facts, and engaged in a scorched-earth policy against anyone and everyone who stands in her way.

A week after she was fired, I sat in a meeting with a top official from the State and learned that Alexandria was in jeopardy of losing $40,000 in grant funding, funding Ms. Jennings was directly responsible for administering. A month later, I watched Ms. Jennings appear before the City Council and distort the City’s success with the very program with which she was tasked.

Ironically, had she been honest, she could have presented herself as successful; instead, she manipulated the data, implied a type of racial bias, and allowed her friend Bridgett Brown– a woman who seeks to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees from the public for a case in which she performed minimal work– to hold up a sign that read “LIE.” Hilariously, Ms. Brown, perhaps demonstrating her laziness and sloppy indignation, held the sign upside-down, so it looked like “317,” which invites the obvious joke: Bridgett, it’s John 3:16, not 3:17.

But it’s a fitting metaphor: the word “LIE” upside-down.

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