On Friday, former Louisiana Governor and ex-con Edwin W. Edwards (D) escorted his new wife Trina through New Orleans' French Quarter after their Friday wedding at the Hotel Monteleone, on their way to a post-wedding feast at historic Galatoire's.
At a $250-a-plate roast on Saturday night, a gang of former and current politicians and cronies cracked wise at the ex-governor's expense. Most of the humor centered on the 52 year age difference between Edwards and his bride.
Roasters trod lightly on Edwards' eight years in prison, referring to his time behind bars as his "sabbatical leave," his "vacation" and his "public service engagement."...
Referring to earlier references to the idea that oysters are aphrodisiacs, Edwards said, "I had a dozen last night, and only 10 of them worked."
Edwards also took aim at Gov, Bobby Jindal, mocking the fact that Jindal participated in an exorcism of a young woman while he was in college. Edwards feigned amazement and said that if he saw a girl lying on the floor, seemingly under a spell, "I wouldn't waste any time trying to take the devil out of her."
The Viagra-enhanced honeymoon exploits of the octogentian ex-con were undoubtedly impressive, but certainly no match for the screw job Edwin put on Louisiana during his four terms in Baton Rouge.
The crime that earned Edwin eight years in a Federal pen was extortion related to the state's awarding of riverboat casino licenses back in the early '90s. During that process, each of Edwin's four children ended up with a single-digit percentage ownership in a state-licensed casino. (Disclaimer: Edwards is the only state or national Democratic politician I have ever voted for. In the choice between the Crook and the Klansman, the Crook won.)
During one of his terms, the state stepped up its enforcement of radioactive oilfield waste. It was shown that the level of natural radiation on the granite steps of the State Capitol were higher than was allowable in oilfield waste. All radioactive waste required disposal in a state-certified deep injection well. Oddly, the only well with the proper certification was owned by the Governor's brother.
Perhaps Gov. Edwards' most enduring legacy has been the 1972 State Constitution. Edwin thought he could permanently cement the marginal status of the Louisiana Republican Party by introducing the jungle primary system. Under that scheme, candidates with any (or no) party affiliation run in a single primary election. Absent a primary majority for one candidate, the top two primary vote-recipients meet in the general election.
As it turned out, the Republican Party in Louisiana is anything but marginalized. Sen. Mary Landrieu is the sole Dem holding statewide office. The only Dem Representative in the Washington delegation is Cedric Richmond in Bill Jefferson's old New Orleans district. The leading Democratic candidate for this fall's gubernatorial election is an obscure schoolteacher from North Louisiana with a $1,000 war chest.
Add to that a Democratic Administration in D.C. that seems hell-bent on maximizing the BP spill's damage to the state's economy, the Party of Jackson has never seen a lower ebb. President Obama's quarterly financial report disclosed less than $55,000 in campaign contributions. The once-mighty Democratic Party brand has never been less popular.
Ironically, the state's electorate is still 50% Democrat, with Dems outnumbering registered Republicans almost 2:1.
And the most popular Democrat is a priapic 84 year-old scalawag, fresh out of stir, with a taste for young blondes. Isn't life interesting.
Cross-posted at Stevemaley.com.