Either you got it or you don’t folks. I’m not much on reality TeeVee but there is no denying EWE has it as even the T-P can not resist the topic despite the protestations on their editorial pages to the contrary. Anyone else remember Living Colour opening for the Rolling Stones on the Steel Wheel Tour when it hit the Dome way back when?
Thanks to all who noted my absence and emailed inquiring about my whereabouts. Basically I’ve been paying the bills working the day job. This time of year tends to be busy for those in my profession. I’ll be circling back later today to make sure all the emails I got from last week are answered along with my blog related phone messages.
On another matter, with the smattering of news reports surfacing on the upcoming release date for former Governor Edwin Edwards to the half way house, I’m laying down a time stamp that I’ll be doing everything in my power to score an interview (or at least a face to face chat) with the former Gov after he is completely free from the BoP later this year.
Along those lines and since I’m sharing my thoughts I’ve also thought about paying John Young a visit but I do not have real strong feelings there one way or the other. Since we write so much about Jefferson Parish Government offering a meet seems like the right thing to do.
Finally my desktop is completely cluttered with saved links. I’ll do what I can to clear the backlog, especially the story about evil Anita Lee LOL. Frankly it could be far worse as Spyridon Contogouris could be on her tail. Maybe there is something to all this cyber talk about the force and light sabres. The stories I could tell…… (beyond the ones I’ve already told)
Thursday, December 16, 2009
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
WHY ALL THE INTEREST IN EDWIN EDWARDS?
The new authorized biography of former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards went on sale this week. In three days, the first run of 10,000 books was completely sold out. And there are pre orders for 10,000 more. People in the Louisiana book trade say they have never seen anything like the demand to buy the Edwards book. He is 82 and in the federal penitentiary. So why all the interest?
According to author Leo Honeycutt, Edwards is an enigma…a puzzling political personality shaped by his background, and a lifetime effort to climb to the top of the heap. Did he cross the imaginary line of political propriety in his public dealings? Honeycutt astutely argues that the line often moves with the times, and can be bent and shaped by unscrupulous federal prosecutors.
The project of an authorized biography, the Edwards story with both his and his family’s full cooperation, began five years ago a few years after Edwards began serving his 10 year federal sentence. Some longtime friends of the former governor were anxious to have a “balanced” perspective written of Edwards’ public and private life. After interviewing a number of prospective biographers, Leo Honeycutt was given the task.
Three reasons emerge as to why there continues to be so much interest in the continuing saga of the state’s longest serving governor. First of all he is a likeable rogue. Even his ardent distracters over the years found him to be funny and highly entertaining. Few came close to mesmerizing a crowd like the Cajun from Crowley. He could have handled a late night talk show with much more pizzazz and humor than Conan Obrien on any night of the week.
The last Edwin Edwards investigation and trial was a go for broke effort. EWE had beaten the Feds twice in court years earlier and passed into legend during his second corruption trial when he mixed drinks for bar patrons in the French Quarter with his lawyer one evening after the day’s court session had ended.
As a Hancock County guy who at the time identified himself as more of a Louisianian than Mississippian, (not an uncommon thing in Hancock County) I don’t know that I can adequately explain the public’s love affair with a man we all knew was a crook. What I do know is today, even former EWE rivals like Governor David Treen think he should be released from prison. As we dig into USA v Perdigao v Adams & Reese I’m beginning to understand why people could think Edwin Edwards was railroaded. Thanks to Belle’s monitoring of PACER we have posted Perdigao’s Amended Witness List to our Perdigao litigation page. The amendment contains exhibits including the Texas case of USA v Collins that provides some color.
The tale told by James Perdigao in his racketeering complaint against Adams and Reese is simply amazing. It contains all the elements of a first class political-legal scandal that will make Mississippi’s own Judicial Bribery case look like child’s play. We will update our Perdigao legal page later today with more filings on the criminal side of this case but first we bring you today’s inevitable T-P story on the civil RICO filing. I say inevitable because our post, inspired by a tip from slabbed’s friend Richard Trahant, spread like wildfire in the Louisiana based blogesphere. We welcome all our of our Louisiana friends here, especially those slabbed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Besides Katrina our states share Mr Perdigao’s former employer Adams and Reese. More on that and detail on the connections to Worldcom later. First today’s report by Gorden Russell.
In a sensational legal filing, a former partner at Adams and Reese who is awaiting trial on charges that he stole $30 million from the firm claims that the firm has had a hand in scandals ranging from the WorldCom stock fraud to the abuse of Louisiana film tax credits.
The lawsuit also claims the New Orleans firm has made a practice of hiring former public officials, including former Jefferson Parish President Tim Coulon and former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, and improperly using them to land clients with whom they had dealt as public officials. Coulon and Morial deny the claim. Continue reading “The Times Picayune on Perdigao v Adams & Reese (Updated)”