Marietta Season 5 Episode 16 - True Grit

Marietta Season 5, Episode 16
True Grit

Marietta is in a dressing room with her family and friends.

Patty Lynn: You are going to do great tonight, you always do at debates!

Marietta: Do I?

Amy: I don’t remember being terribly impressed after ours.

Milton: Don’t shake her confidence right before the debate!

Marietta: I value the honestly. I know my own debating skills, I can’t set too high of expectations for myself tonight. I just need to get some good digs in at Egerton and not let him come out of this looking too good.

Henrietta: We haven’t seen him speak all that much, and it’s his first run for office. He could be a bad public speaker, for all we know.

Kathleen: The pretty ones usually are. Too blinded by their own good looks to bother with saying anything worthwhile.

Marietta: Are you saying I’m not pretty or that I don’t say anything worthwhile?

Kathleen: I think the important thing here is, I think Egerton will bomb.

Tammy: We’ve been prepping for this for months, I know you can knock it out of the park.

Milton: And if not, you know, Walmart’s always hiring.

Patty Lynn: Honey, you know I love you, but we really don’t need you on the phone for this conversation if you’re going to bully your sister.

Kate: I will try my best to keep him under control.

Patty Lynn: Thank you, Kate!

Marietta: How long until this thing starts?

Kate: Ten minutes! I had them set up a special thing on my TV in my office just so I could watch the big debate. 

Milton: I don’t know why they’re doing this debate on a Thursday. Why not a weekend?

Sarah: People are out partying on a Saturday, it’s New Orleans! I’m certainly not staying home to watch aunt Marietta debate on my day off when I could be out having fun.

Milton: Marietta, are you letting her go out partying?

Marietta: What are ya asking me for? She’s your responsibility on the weekends!

Tammy: All right, new rule. Anyone that’s distracting Marietta from prepping for the debate has to go. We need her in a clear headspace going into this.

Henrietta: So this is a bad time to ask for a raise?

Amy: She’ll never give you one anyway. I’m still waiting.

Tammy: Staffers are not exempt from the new rule. Pipe down, you two.

Henrietta: I was only joking!

Patty Lynn: Okay, Marietta! Who are you going to destroy out there?

Marietta: Kent Egerton!

Patty Lynn: And what are you going to kill him with?

Marietta: Facts and logic!

Patty Lynn: All right, she’s ready to go.

Tammy: She is n-

Station manager: Mayor Landfield, it’s time.

Tammy: Okay, she’s ready to go.

Marietta: See you on the other side of this, guys!

Station manager: If you all want to take seats in the audience, someone will be in shortly to show you to your VIP seating.

Amy: I’m a VIP! It’s all I’ve ever wanted to be!

Tammy: Why do I feel like that’s why you wanted to become mayor?

Amy: It was part of it!

Tammy: You are pathetic.

Amy: I am? You’re the reason Marietta doesn’t even get to stand in the center of the stage today!

Tammy: Did I cause Marietta to sink in the polls? Probably. But today’s not about that.

Kathleen: Stop! You’re both pathetic!

Marietta: I agree! Let’s rock and roll!

On the debate stage…

Velma BeDreaux (moderator): Hello, and welcome to the first and only 2023 New Orleans mayoral debate. Our debate today features our five highest-polling candidates, who all met the 5% polling requirement. Please welcome our candidates! First is independent candidate Kelvin Barkings, a nonprofit director. Next up, Republican candidate and dentist, Angela Sandringham. We also have Democratic former city attorney Maurice Sillman. The incumbent Mayor, Democrat Marietta Landfield, is also here, as is businessman Kent Egerton, another Democrat. Thank you, candidates, for joining us. We’re going to start with opening statements, and as he is leading in the polls, we’re going to start with Mr. Egerton.

Kent: Thank you, Velma. Can I call you Velma?

Velma: Velma is fine.

Kent: To the people of New Orleans out there listening with an open heart tonight, I thank you and I hope I will be able to convince you tonight that my vision for our city is the right one. Look, I’m a lifelong New Orleanian. I’ve loved this city, I’ve raised a family in this city, I’ve built a business in this city. This city shaped who I am, and it’s made me the man I am today. It absolutely breaks my heart to see it mismanaged. Between the rampant corruption, the feuding with the city council, and the general lack of seriousness about the job, Mayor Landfield has let us down. Our city remains great, our spirit is too strong to be broken by the mistakes of one politician, but it’s not being taken care of like it should be. It’s time to bring New Orleans into the future, and shake things up. I think the old guard’s been running this place for long enough.

Velma: Mayor Landfield, you were invoked. Do you wish to respond?

Marietta: All I will say is that if Mr. Egerton manages our city the way he managed his business, god help us all.

Velma: All right, Mayor Landfield. You’ve already given a remark, but it’s your turn for your opening statement.

Marietta: Thank you, Ms. BeDreaux. I want to talk to you all about results. Under my leadership, unemployment in this city has dropped to record lows. That’s a result of my new jobs initiative, that I passed into law in 2020. That was one of the times I “feuded” with the city council. I pushed, because I knew it’d work. Isn’t it nice when our city works for us? I think it’s so important to have a mayor who pushes to get things done for the city, someone unafraid to clash with others in power, because they actually believe in what it is that they are saying. No one else on this stage tonight has ever been an elected official. I respect the work of my opponents, I do, but only one of us has been put into office by voters and been expected to get results on the things we’ve campaigned on. I’ve done that, from my time in Baton Rouge in the legislature, to my time as a US senator, to right now as mayor. I get results on the things voters can care about, and there’s no way to know whether anyone else here does. I’m the tried and true, tested, reliable deliverer of results for this city, and I’m going to keep it up during my next four years in office.

Ten minutes later…

Velma: Thank you, Mr. Barkings. We’re going to now turn to something that was mentioned or referenced in the opening statements of all four of the mayor’s opponents.

Marietta: I have a sneaking suspicion I know what it is!

Velma: Mayor Landfield, it’s no secret that you are under investigation for a campaign finance violation. Your opponents have all made it centerpieces of their campaigns and have promised to do better. What do you have to say to voters who are weary about voting for someone facing allegations of corruption?

Marietta: Well first, I’d like to say that I was not personally at fault for the error. This was an error made by my campaign manager, who didn’t know she made any sort of error until the allegations circulated in the news. This was four years ago, and it was an accident. I know it’s hard to believe, but politicians are people do and we do make mistakes. I should have looked over the finances more carefully, but this was not purposeful on anyone’s part, and I do not believe this was an act of corruption, just an unfortunate oversight. Voters need not worry about my integrity, nor my intentions. I will never use this office for my own personal financial gain.

Kent: She puts all the blame on her campaign manager, and yet, she keeps her on the payroll. No punishment, not even a slap on the wrist. She doesn’t care!

Marietta: It was an accident!

Kent: Landfield’s New Orleans, where blatant corruption is written off merely as an “accident.”

Marietta: You want to talk corruption? Your company has been a hotbed legal inquiries ranging from allegations of insider trading to tax fraud, due to your shoddy leadership. He criticizes me only to keep the attention off of his own misconduct.

Kent: All of those charges were dropped, most of them were due to a business rival trying to pull one over on me.

Marietta: You expect me to believe that? You expect anyone to believe that? It’s the most convenient excuse in the book.

Velma: We are veering off topic here. Does anyone else have anything to add here?

Kelvin: I am running against a machine here. On the one end, I’m running against a dynasty politician who’s had everything handed to her and thinks corruption is just an accident. On the other, I’m running against an ethics-challenged multi-millionaire who had enough money to buy his way into this race despite showing no relevant qualifications. It’s hard to run against so much money to begin with, and it’s borderline impossible when the two with the money aren’t even playing fair.

Marietta: I resent the insinuation that I am corrupt. I’ve done nothing to earn the label, but you’ve all slapped it on me anyway.

Kelvin: Are you also going to deny that you’ve been given an advantage based on your last name? It’s given you a leg up your whole career, you’re far from self-made.

Angela: No, but she sure loves to project that image. I grew up poor. I was the first person in my family to go to college. I know what it’s like to be self-made.

Kent: The Mayor loves the idea of her family having non-stop rule of this city. In fact, nepotism seems to be Mayor Landfield’s strange addiction. It wasn’t enough for it to boost her career and. her brother’s, now she’s got her cousin’s daughter on the city payroll.

Marietta: Leave my family out of this, Kent.

Kent: It’s relevant, it emphasizes the magnitude of your mismanagement of this city. You are always looking for a way your position can benefit your personal life.

Marietta: All right, if we’re getting dirty and talking nepotism, how about the fact that you made your wife your campaign manager - in name only - just so you can legally funnel campaign donations to your bank account. And I’m the corrupt one?

Kent: That’s absurd, and you sound insane and desperate! Why would I need to funnel campaign contributions to my personal funds? It somehow has become a point of contention here, but I have quite a lot of money on my own.

Marietta: You rich folks are always looking for new ways to line your own pockets.

Kent: This is just sad.

Velma: Can you all shut up? You’re all rambling about unrelated things, let me ask the questions!

Kent: You do have my apologies, Velma.

Velma: We’re going to take a five-minute intermission to allow the candidates to compose themselves before we continue. We will see you all in a moment!

Marietta rushes off the stage and to the VIP section of the audience to find her family and friends.

Marietta: How have I done so far?

Sarah: That depends. Is the goal to win?

Patty Lynn: You’ve done great!

Amy: I haven’t been able to pay attention to it all, I’ve been too busy consoling Comedy and Tragedy.

Henrietta: I just don’t want to be the reason she loses!

Tammy: Think of my position! I’m gonna cost her the race!

Amy: Then why are you laughing?

Tammy: You gotta laugh to keep from crying!

Kathleen: These two act like they’ve never been involved in a campaign before. No one has ever lost an election due to nepotism. That’s a feature, not even a bug. If you’re not expecting your politicians to either be the child of other politicians or be hiring their family themselves, well, you’re an idiot.

Martin: It’s not like she won because of nepotism!

Kathleen: Eh…

Martin: She won on political talent.

Kathleen She got in the door on the family name, just like the rest of us. That’s okay.

Marietta: Henrietta, Tammy, it’s neither of your faults that I am struggling! Don’t let Kent get in your heads!

Amy: I’d disagree. You’d be cruising if meemaw was a little better at managing finances.

Tammy: I made a mistake!  Why among us has not?

Amy: Not me!

Patty Lynn: I don’t care what anyone says, you have a fire in you tonight.

Sarah: Yes, a fire that’s burning her entire campaign to the ground.

Patty Lynn: You have got to stop the negativity.

Henrietta: I think she’s holding her own, too. I just wish I didn’t trip her up.

Marietta: You kidding? You let me get a great zinger in at Kent.

Amy: The biggest own-goal in history.

Marietta: Own-goal.

Amy: He got you right back and made you out to be desperate and insane. You know how hard it is for a woman to shake the accusation of being “crazy?”

Marietta: I’ve been doing this a long time, Amy.

Amy: And you've never been any good at debating.

Marietta: Yet I always won in a red state.

Patty Lynn: You know what the people want to hear, not what the political insiders want to hear. I bet this is all resonating with the viewers.

Amy: I don’t know if the inmates at the sanatarium are tuning in tonight, Patty Lynn.

Marietta: So mixed results is what I’m hearing. I’m proud of myself, I think I’m doing well, but I’ll try to do better when I get back out there.

Tammy: Be uplifting! That’s your brand!

Marietta: I’m always uplifting. I’m like Mary Tyler Moore, I turn the world on with my smile.

Sarah: Please don’t talk about turning people on.

Station manager: Thirty seconds! Candidates, back to the stage!

Marietta: Okay, time for me to stop being berated by you guys and get berated by a different group.

Martin: Good luck, honey! You’re gonna kill it!

Sarah: Hopefully the thing she “kills” is not her campaign.

On the debate stage…

Velma: Welcome back, candidates! Hopefully you’ve all had time to collect yourselves.. We’re going to lead off with a question for Mr. Egerton.

Kent: I’ve been waiting for this!

Velma: Your opponents in this race have criticized you for your lack of political experience. While all of them have been involved in politics in some way or another for many years, you have not previously been vocal on political matters. How do you ease the concerns of voters who don’t feel they know where you stand on the issues or how you’d govern?

Kent: That’s a greet question, Velma. To those folks, I’d say I’m a lifelong Democrat and I’m proud of it. I believe in common-sense solutions that will help this city thrive. Lower taxes -

Angela: You sound like a Republican to me!

Maurice: Yeah, me too.

Kent: Lower taxes for low-income families, less junk spending. We’ll invest in health clinics and homeless shelters, because enough is enough. We have to help our residents. I’m going to work with our city council to get our shared priorities passed, because deadlock doesn't do us any good.You can look at my website, ever police is there. I don’t have a decades-long voting record, so you’ll have to believe me that those are truly my beliefs. I promise you, I will stick by them, you have my word as an Egerton.

Velma: Does anyone care to respond?

Marietta: I have thoughts.

Velma: Go ahead.

Marietta: No one ever goes into office intending on deadlock with the city council, and yet, it always happens -

Kent: Only with the Landfields in charge.

Marietta: I’m speaking.

Kent: Excuse me?

Marietta: I’m speaking, Kent. I let you speak, let me speak, too.

Velma: The mayor has the floor.

Marietta: Mr. Egerton promises he won’t argue with the City Council. He can’t even allow someone else to speak one sentence tonight without budding in to argue.I don’t question that he has genuine policy beliefs, but I do question that he’d be nearly as successful at implementing them as he claims. His lack of political experience sure is shining through here.

Velma: That brings me to another question, actually. Mayor Landfield, you’ve highlighted your years of experience in politics throughout your campaign, including just tonight. Some of your opponents have criticized you as being in office too long and have implied you’re out-of-touch. I’m sure you disagree, but do you care to explain why?

Marietta: The last time I ran, I was similarly accused of being out-of-touch. I’m used to it by now, it’s the go-to attack line of inexperienced people who are desperate to turn your years of service into a negative, somehow. Look, I have been in some sort of political office since I was twenty years old. I am not currently anywhere near twenty years old, but I my mind is just as sharp as it was then. Despite what some imply, I am not corrupt. I don’t take PAC money, I’m not owned by any businesses or companies. The experience I’ve gained over my years in office has only improved my ability to serve the community. I’m always meeting New Orleanians, and I’m always hearing their ideas on how to improve our city. I know what the people want, and I use that to mold my policies and my governance. I won’t name names, but I have a feeling a few people on this stage with me tonight aren’t quite so in-tune with the general populace.

Kent: Are you implying that I am the out-of-touch one?

Marietta: Well, he waited until I was done talking that time, at least. Good job, Kent, we’re proud of you!

Kent: I ask that you don’t patronize me, Mayor Landfield.

Marietta: And I ask that you treat the rest of us with enough respect to not interrupt and jump down our throats. I know you’re new to this, but perhaps dislodge the stick from your rectum.

Velma: Oh my!

Thirty minutes later…

Velma: This is our final question, we are short for time. Dr. Sandringham, you are currently drawing 7% in the polls and, as a Republican in New Orleans, face an uphill battle that even you have acknowledged. What makes you think you can still win?

Kent: She can’t!

Velma: Mr. Egerton, we ask that you refrain from outbursts. Please.

Kent: Well, I am sorry. Do go on, doc.

Angela: I know things will be tough, but I am the right candidate to lead this city. The system doesn’t work for all of us, I’ll make it work. People have heard my message tonight, and I’ve stayed above the fray while everyone else jumped in to bicker. I’m no extremist, like the rest of the candidates, I’m just someone who wants to lower crime, make living more affordable, and remove unnecessary regulations on our businesses. That sounds to me like a winning message.

Kent: Delusional.

Marietta: There you go again! I think Kent’s allergic to letting women talk.

Kent: I am no sexist.

Velma: We are out of time! Thank you candidates for joining us, thank you viewers at home for tuning in!

Five minutes later…

Marietta: Did I do as bad as I thought I did? I felt quite argumentative?

Amy: That’ll do.

What did you think of this episode of Marietta? Let us know in the comments and make sure to read a new episode next week!

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