Showing posts with label Edwin Edwards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edwin Edwards. Show all posts

Monday, November 11, 2013

Well, there's always Viagra ads

First, the Silver Zipper jumped a 30-something-year-old trophy wife. Then he jumped the shark.

Or, to quote the Rolling Stones in the wake of Gov. Edwin and Trina Edwards' creeptastic reality-TV show getting axed by A&E, "You can't always get what you want." But if the 86-year-old ex-Louisiana governor and convicted felon tries sometimes, he just might find he gets what he needs.

In other words, can a Viagra commercial be the fallback position for these May-December lovebirds?

THERE AREN'T many reasons my hometown paper, The Advocate, is a must-read for me (I haven't lived in Baton Rouge since 1988), but among that small number is Louisiana gold like this:
After three weeks and a dwindling viewership, the fairy tale appears to be over for former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ reality show.

A&E announced Monday that “The Governor’s Wife” has aired in its entirety.

The network yanked the reality show from its Sunday night time slot this past weekend after the show lost thousands of viewers. Episodes chronicling the former governor’s release from parole and the birth of his son Eli aired in a block of back-to-back shows at the same time as Sunday morning church services.

“We believe in the show and appreciate all of the hard work that went into the series from the producers and the time and access the family provided,” Laurén Bienvenue, senior manager of publicity for A&E, said Monday.

Edwards’ wife, Trina, and the show’s creator, Shaun Sanghani, said “The Governor’s Wife” still could have a future chronicling the former governor’s post-prison life with his 60-something daughters, decades-younger wife, stepsons and newborn baby. They declined to elaborate.

Possibilities include “The Governor’s Wife” migrating to a network with a bigger audience of women. Reruns of the show aired on Lifetime.

“We made a time change for now, but you never can tell where we will end up,” Trina Edwards said by email.
VIAGRA commercials. Definitely Viagra commercials.

I'm just happy that a country that tolerates prime-time displays of Miley Cyrus twerking like an estrous baboon still has a few standards left -- that it still can be creeped out by something.

The bad news for my home state is that it seemingly is creeped out by nothing. Laissez les temps étranges rouler!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Louisiana jumps the shark

The Times-Picayune's J.R. Ball wants to know why Louisiana is so in love with Edwin W. Edwards, the ex-con ex-governor who, in his long public life, hasn't exactly covered the state in glory.

No doubt, that streak of ignominy -- more like a skid mark, actually -- won't be broken by his and his grandchild bride's new A&E "reality" show, The Governor's Wife. But the man's popularity persisted through thick and the federal pen, and no doubt it will continue to go up as he continues to drag the state's reputation down.

This mystifies the New Orleans paper's Baton Rouge editor and columnist. I don't know why, but it does:
Between pops of an adult beverage, my newfound friend informed me that Edwards, with a personality second-to-none, was the greatest governor to ever grace this state. My mention of Edwards' decade-long stay at a federal penitentiary brought, without hesitation, the explanation that "the governor" was simply robbing from those who could afford to be fleeced to help fulfill his larger, nobler quest to help the "little man" in Louisiana.

This bit of information prompted an epiphany: I need some new friends.

Before going our separate ways, my soon-to-be, newfound ex-friend dropped this nugget of wisdom: "Edwin Edwards would easily beat Bobby Jindal if he could run against him. Hell, there's not a politician in the state right now who could beat Edwards."

This was hardly my first exposure to this state's perverse love affair with Edwards. Most times, I adopt the learned Deep South behavior of smiling politely and simply walking away, silently stunned by the ignorance of such misguided opinions. As usual, I walked away without confrontation, but this time there was no incredulous internal laughter. Maybe it was latent hostility from having my television hijacked earlier that morning by a steady stream of commercials for "The Governor's Wife," a new reality show devoted to Edwards' ginormous ego. Maybe it was the ego of Edwards' attention-seeking trophy wife, using the show to introduce herself to a national cable audience. But this time I was angry. Or maybe it was just the increasing tempo of the "mist."

Regardless, can someone please explain this state's ongoing -- and seemingly never-ending -- fascination with one Edwin Washington Edwards?

SOMEONE doesn't need to explain it. I think Ball already knows; he's been around the Louisiana block more than a few times during his decades in the Gret Stet. As a journalist there, he's written about more stupidity, skullduggery, sleaze and stealing by those who run the state on citizens' behalf than most journalists from most other states would in three lifetimes.

You know and I know that in his heart of hearts, J.R. Ball knows.

The hard part is the admitting. And the accepting. And then acting upon what one has admitted and accepted. Yeah, that's the hard part. The longer one can prolong the "mystery," alas, the longer one delays some painful admissions and tough decisions.

In my opinion -- as someone born and raised in Louisiana, and as someone who lived there through more than half of Edwards' four terms as governor -- there are a few reasons you could be fascinated by the Silver Zipper. (Guess how Edwin got that nickname.)

One is that he's so foreign to you and your experience, you are fascinated by how exotic he is. That one's a non-starter in Louisiana. It just is.

Another is the Jerry Springer syndrome, otherwise known as "Look at the freaks!" and "Golly, I'm not as f***ed up as I thought!" But you don't elect your average Springero Erectus governor four times.

OR, IT JUST might be that you think, on some level, that Edwin Washington Edwards is just like you -- or perhaps a better, smarter and more powerful you. Massive corruption is OK, just as long as I can get some crumbs from his larcenous feast at the public's table.

J.R.'s game-day pal said as much.

Generally, states, like individuals, get what they tolerate, and they tolerate what they find tolerable. There lies the key to the riddle of Louisiana and its taste for crooks in high places.

To paraphrase what one colorful son of south Louisiana once famously proclaimed, "It's the culture, stupid!" Which just might be why "reformers" there spend all their time spinning their wheels, yet getting nowhere.

What was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Later's news now . . . or 'Sorry, Wong number!'

There's a birth announcement  you need to know about in today's Morning Deviate. It might be the biggest Louisiana news since all the courts recessed for the day at 4 p.m.

Take a look, because that's the way it is . . . this day in August, 2098.
It’s a boy for ex-Prefect Eli Wallace Edwards and his wife, Yob.

The couple welcomed T. Wong Edwards in Baton Rouge early Thursday morning just three days after celebrating their second wedding anniversary at an offshore strip club floating above the submerged ruins of New Orleans. Yob Bebe Edwards posted the announcement on her Spacebook page early Thursday.

“Everyone except me is getting to sleep. It’s ok though ... I’d rather just lay here and stare at my little Cajun prince!!,” she posted along with a photo of herself gazing into her son’s face.

Born at 12:52 a.m., T. is Edwards’ fifth child and his wife’s third son. The former prefect of the Louisiana Autonomous Region has four grown children. His wife has two sons from a prior marriage. T. weighs 6 lbs., 3 oz., and is 19 inches long.

The baby shares his name with his late grandfather, Edwin W. Edwards, a former American congressman who served four terms as governor in the second half of the 20th century.

Father and son came close to sharing a birthday as well. Ely Edwards will turn 86 next week.

Despite a difficult pregnancy, Yob Edwards was well enough to post updates on Spacebook as she awaited the baby’s arrival Wednesday afternoon and later announce his birth.

It was full house in her labor room at the oceanfront campus of Baton Rouge General Medical Center -- Bluebonnet Hoverway. A stereo-V crew hovered in the background, capturing the moment for the couple’s reality program, “The Prefect’s Squeeze.” A broadcast date for the program — which will air on the Booze&Poontang educational stream — has been pushed back several times.

Edwards, 85, met his 18-year-old wife while he was serving his sentence on holographic-cyborg-poker racketeering charges in a Greater North American Authority penal institution.

The couple said they wanted to share as many experiences as possible in the short amount of time they likely have together.

They live in a yacht anchored over the swamped family ancestral home where the city of Gonzales once existed.

Yob Edwards said their new son is a perfect little boy.

“F*** yeah, bitches! Mah lil schwing man got it goin' lol!” she posted on Spacebook about the new scion of the autonomous region's Zipper dynasty. Meantime, the proud geriatric papa -- popularly known as the Titanium Zipper, following his father the Silver Zipper --  was spotted passing out electronic cigars and holographic casino tokens on the medical center beachfront, buxom blondes on each arm.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First Snooki, now Crooki

I'm not exactly sure how you can beat the 1991 Edwards-Duke debate in the universe of whack-job, bizarro "reality TV."

Apparently, though, somebody is willing to try to top the "reality" s***storm that was the gubernatorial runoff between Edwin Edwards
(the crook) and David Duke (the Nazi).

In Baton Rouge,
The Advocate isn't prone to considering that. I just did.
First a fiancée and now a reality show?

Former Gov. Edwin Edwards is unfolding the chapters of his post-prison life on a Facebook page that features a photograph of him snuggling with his fiancée, Trina Grimes Scott.

The latest installment is a possible reality show on his personal life, including his engagement to Scott, who is in her 30s. Scott would be Edwards’ third wife.

Edwards recently posted on Facebook that he and Scott are in talks for a reality show.

“We have received a lot of questions but have no answers at this time. Thanks for all the interest and we will try to keep you posted!” Edwards wrote in an update Monday.

Edwards, who was released from federal prison in January, lists his residence as Gonzales.

He said he and Scott are working with producer Shaun Sanghani of SSS Entertainment.

Like Scott, Sanghani has ties to Alexandria.

One of his latest works is “Girls, Guns and Gators,” which follows a 25-year-old girl’s management of her family sporting goods store in Bastrop. The show is scheduled to air on the Travel Channel.
WELL, I GUESS it theoretically could get weirder. The Silver Zipper could get his own reality show, then commence stepping out on his grandchild-aged fiancée -- on camera -- with Snooki.

But then people would lose all respect for the man. Even Louisiana has its limits.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The difference between Chiquita and plantains

At some point, the story below will hit the American newspapers. Some time after that -- perhaps in the library of the federal prison in Oakdale, La. -- former Louisiana Gov. Edwin W. Edwards will see the headline "Bush lobbyist promises access for presidential library cash," throw the paper aside under a guard's wary gaze, then mutter "Son of a bitch!"

And it will occur to the silver-haired old man once again that his big mistake in shaking down casino operators all those years ago was that, in his hubris, he wasn't subtle enough. That he didn't have a distant-enough middle man to give him that certain je ne sais quoi -- Comment tu dit en anglais? -- "plausible deniability."

DAMN THAT George W. Bush and all his Washington money . . . all his Washington lobbyists . . . his damned presidential library. "Why couldn't I have rounded up a lobbyist pal or two?" the erstwhile "Silver Zipper" will think. "Why not a @#$&*!!#$! Edwin W. Edwards Gubernatorial Library?"

Why not, indeed. In today's editions, The Sunday Times (London) outlines how the old grafter could have gotten away with it . . . and stayed out of the federal slammer . . . if he had been Washington slick in addition to Louisiana greedy:

A lobbyist with close ties to the White House is offering access to key figures in George W Bush’s administration in return for six-figure donations to the private library being set up to commemorate Bush’s presidency.

Stephen Payne, who claims to have raised more than $1m for the president’s Republican party in recent years, said he would arrange meetings with Dick Cheney, the vice-president, Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, and other senior officials in return for a payment of $250,000 (£126,000) towards the library in Texas.

Payne, who has accompanied Bush and Cheney on several foreign trips, also said he would try to secure a meeting with the president himself.


During an undercover investigation by The Sunday Times, Payne was asked to arrange meetings in Washington for an exiled former central Asian president. He outlined the cost of facilitating such access.

“The exact budget I will come up with, but it will be somewhere between $600,000 and $750,000, with about a third of it going directly to the Bush library,” said Payne, who sits on the US homeland security advisory council.

He said initially that the “family” of the Asian politician should make the donation. He later added that if all the money was paid to him he would make the payment to the Bush library. Publicly, it would appear to have been made in the politician’s name “unless he wants to be anonymous for some reason”.

Payne said the balance of the $750,000 would go to his own lobbying company, Worldwide Strategic Partners (WSP).

Asked by an undercover reporter who the politician would be able to meet for that price, Payne said: “Cheney’s possible, definitely the national security adviser [Stephen Hadley], definitely either Dr Rice or . . . I think a meeting with Dr Rice or the deputy secretary [John Negroponte] is possible . . .

“The main thing is that he [the Asian politician] comes, and he’s well received, that he meets with high-level people . . . and we send positive statements made back from the administration about ‘This guy wasn’t such a bad guy, many people have done worse’.”
WHEN YOU HEAR folks in Washington talk about Louisiana as a "banana republic," what one needs to realize is it's not a slam on the Gret Stet as a corrupt, less-than-democratic kleptocracy where the rich get richer and the poor poorer. Though, of course, the Bayou State is all that.

What your unctuous Washington swell really is saying is "Look at those rubes and bumpkins. They play the game so crudely . . . they are soooooo declassé!"

And the Beltway swell will have a point. At its heart, Louisiana is a country kind of place.

As a banana republic, the Gret Stet is all about Ricky Bobby, two-steps, Chiquita and
Abita Turbodog lager. That'll "git 'er done," but you must admit it's lacking in the panache department.

Washington, on the other hand, is the seat of government of a much better class of banana republic. Inside the Beltway, it's all about the National Symphony at Kennedy Center, the horizontal bop with a $2,000 "escort," fried plantains and Cabernet Sauvignon.

NO, GEORGE W. BUSH has his Stephen Payne, and -- alas -- El Presidente probably won't be dressing in khaki jumpsuits and looking forward to a daily "exercise period" anytime soon.

Damn pity, that.

UPDATE: Don't forget to check out this revealing sidebar on what a little -- OK, a lot -- of cash and the right lobbyist can get you from the White House these days:

What Payne did not know was that the third person at the Lanesborough meeting last Monday was an undercover Sunday Times reporter. Nor did he know that the meeting was being recorded.

The Sunday Times had initially approached Dos earlier for help in investigating corrupt practices in his homeland of Kazakhstan. Many business deals there are said to involve the discreet transfer of money between figures high up in the Kazakh regime and western companies.

Dos is exiled from Kazakhstan after setting up his own political party, Atameken, at the end of 2006. He was forced to flee following threats to his life.

Before that happened, however, he acted as an adviser to Timur Kulibayev, the billionaire son-in-law of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Kazakh president, and a man of considerable influence within the country.

Dos said that in the autumn of 2005 he had been asked by the Kazakh government, via Kulibayev, to arrange a visit by Cheney. The intention was to improve the country’s international standing.

Dos had spent several days negotiating with Payne. A deal was eventually agreed, he said, and he understood that a payment of $2m was passed, via a Kazakh oil and gas company, to Payne’s firm.

The following May, Cheney made a brief trip to Kazakhstan. His visit was remarked upon in the media at the time, both for the lavish praise which he publicly heaped on Nazarbayev and for the stark contrast between this and a speech he had made just a day earlier at a conference in Lithuania in which he had lambasted Russia for being insufficiently democratic. Now he was lauding Nazarbayev, who has effectively made himself president for life and in whose country it is an offence to criticise him.

“Why did Cheney castigate Russia’s imperfect democracy while saying not a word about Kazakhstan’s shameless travesty of the democratic system?” said one newspaper following the visit. “Cheney’s flattery of the Kazakh regime was sickening,” said another.

Dos believes some of the money paid to WSP may have found its way to “entities” connected to the Bush administration.

In order to test which channels might be available to foreigners seeking influence within the US, Dos agreed to approach Payne, at The Sunday Times’s request, with a fabricated story about Akayev wanting to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the world. Akayev was not aware of the approach to Payne.

Dos initially contacted Payne, who is based in Houston, Texas, via e-mail, and mentioned the possibility of making payments to “the Republican party or any other institutions affiliated with the Bushes”. Payne responded quickly, saying he was in London the following week.

The meeting at the Lanesborough began with Payne explaining that later that evening he was meeting a Conservative MP, Mark Pritchard, in order to sign him up as a paid “adviser” to WSP. Also due to meet Payne later was Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, apparently for separate discussions.

Pritchard’s value to Payne lay in his position as chairman of the House of Commons all- party Russia group. The MP, Payne said, had named his price, and it was acceptable to him.

So certain, in fact, was Payne that Pritchard would “cement the relationship” that night that he had already included him in his latest “confidential” brochure as one of WSP’s consultants.
I PREDICT the Russians and Edwin Edwards are going to become pen pals with an axe to grind.

probably not. But you'd like to think. Good grief.