Mike Yenni, Making Louisiana Deplorable Again

By Kenneth Cooper

This is the story of a love affair, a brief, but torrid one, a legal, yet creepy one, an affair began in lust and ended in rejection, Shakespearian some would say, with implications that could prove tragic. It’s the story of Jefferson Parish president Mike Yenni, 39 and married at the time. To have sex with a 17-year-old boy or not to have sex with a 17-year-old boy was the question. Yes, was his resounding answer. 

They were introduced at a high-school function by a mutual friend last year while Yenni was still mayor of Kenner. They agreed to have lunch at the mall. This was to be their first date. Yenni showed up with a present, a pair of underwear (some people just bring flowers). After treating the boy to an exquisite lunch of the food court’s finest, he then whisked him away into a bathroom where the two kissed passionately (presumably in the vicinity of a urinal or toilet). Then it got creepy. (The plot thickens)

Yenni expressed his desire, via text, to see the boy naked, his desire to perform a certain sex act on him (see oral), his desire to get the boy a job as his secretary so they could be together without questions. Eventually, he invited him to a weekend getaway in Oxford, Ms. where the two could finally consummate their budding love – with the addition of the mutual friend of course (also known as recruiting him for a three-way). The boy, not flattered, (also known as…grossed-out) proceeded to delete Mike Yenni from his list of contacts and block his number. The breakup. And now it gets tragic.

Mike Yenni is refusing to step down as president of Jefferson Parish. In his mind, being a faithful husband and a competent parish president are two unrelated roles, so his failure to be one doesn’t prevent him from being the other. But in the past, Yenni has shown that he’s incapable of preventing his personal desires from affecting his public service. Let’s review some key plot points from the story:

1) Mike Yenni while Mayor of Kenner promised to get the boy a job as his secretary (abuse of power). 2) Mike Yenni while Mayor of Kenner, and married, was out in public tongue kissing the boy in a bathroom (potential public indecency). 3) Mike Yenni while Mayor of Kenner invited the boy to Mississippi to have sex, which, unless one of them has a vagina, would’ve involved sodomy (a crime by statute in Mississippi). So there we have it. Case closed. Yenni setting himself up for two felonies and a misdemeanor is in no way an example of his personal life affecting how he serves the public.

In an act of good faith, though, Yenni has vowed to stay away from all Jefferson parish schools. That way the public can trust that he won’t allow himself to be compromised in the future. What a guy. (cue the applause) Oh the sacrifice. The abstinence (let’s give him a standing ovation). He couldn’t have been more self-condemning if he gave himself 30 lashes.

Yet, Yenni may be showing signs of being mentally compromised. His first attempt to prove that his personal life won’t affect how he runs the parish is to abstain from one of the job’s functions? That’s, that’s just so…affecting.

What Yenni doesn’t understand is that the job of parish president requires more than just mechanically balancing budgets or signing signatures. It involves relationships. And as we’ve seen Yenni is not good in relationships, whether it’s with his wife (assuming she didn’t know) or with the public, where he’s shown himself to be a liar (he campaigned as a family man). That’s so Louisiana.

So, Jefferson Parish, home to 270,471 registered voters, all of you are called, but it’s up to you to reject the one you’ve chosen. 90,000 signatures are needed for a recall vote. You have 6 months. Get on it.

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