Saturday, July 28, 2007

more blessed to say fuck you than to receive.

At the brain police there's this review of the CREW report on the offers of aid from foreign governments that the Bush administration turned down after Katrina.

We Don't Need Your Stinkin' Help!:
"Another email describes how the transport of Israeli relief supplies loaded on a C-130 aircraft was delayed for over 48 hours on the tarmac while Israeli officials waited for clearance from the U.S. government. The unidentified author states: “I’ve been on the phone with the [Israeli] attache every couple of hours since noon . . . they’re patient, but not amused by our delay, obviously.” The documents do not reveal if or how the issue was resolved.
All foreign medical personell help was turned down due to arbitrary adherence to bureaucratic regulations about licensing in the USA.

A ban on British Beef because of mad cow disease fears kept thousands of British Army field meals stored in warehouuses at a cost of $16,000 a month.

All offers of post Katrina clean up aid from foreign governments were turned down systematically."

Vitter: Pushing his luck in senate debate.

The Shreveport Times: "
Vitter insisted the defeated plan be revived as part of a consensus batch of amendments put together by the bill's floor managers — who included a still-seething Murray.

She said no way.

It was around 10 p.m. Everybody wanted to go home, and Vitter seemed to hope the threat of delay might cause Democrats to bend.

Wrong.

'You've done enough,' hissed a furious Reid in an exchange audible in the Senate Press Gallery. Reid poked angrily at Vitter, making it plain that despite his earlier niceties, Reid thought the junior Republican had way overstepped the boundaries.

After yet more parliamentary moves, this time by Democrats, Vitter was forced to back off."


The CREW report can be found here.

An incredible gift

Must see video.


This is video
about real caring, real patriotism, real sacrifice, real love.

One helluva artist and a great woman. Keziah Hancock paints portraits of soldiers killed in Iraq, and sends them without cost to their families. An emotional punch in the gut.

Why are our "high speed" connections so slow?

Paul Krugman's column last week explains why, and illustrates why Lafayette Utilities had such a hard time getting approval for its "fiber to the home" program.

The numbers are startling. As recently as 2001, the percentage of the population with high-speed access in Japan and Germany was only half that in the United States. In France it was less than a quarter. By the end of 2006, however, all three countries had more broadband subscribers per 100 people than we did.

Even more striking is the fact that our “high speed” connections are painfully slow by other countries’ standards. According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, French broadband connections are, on average, more than three times as fast as ours. Japanese connections are a dozen times faster. Oh, and access is much cheaper in both countries than it is here.

As a result, we’re lagging in new applications of the Internet that depend on high speed. France leads the world in the number of subscribers to Internet TV; the United States isn’t even in the top 10.

What happened to America’s Internet lead? Bad policy. Specifically, the United States made the same mistake in Internet policy that California made in energy policy: it forgot — or was persuaded by special interests to ignore — the reality that sometimes you can’t have effective market competition without effective regulation.

Krugman is right. California thought that the so-called "free market" would solve it's energy woes. Instead, the energy companies, and Enron especially, made damn sure that the market was anything but free. Telecom companies have a similar stranglehold on the internet. In Lafayette, Bellsouth -- now AT&T --fought tooth and claw to keep it that way. They are just as willing to screw over "Grandma Millie" as Enron was.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Treasury Secretary can now confiscate your property.

I mentioned this in an earlier post, but take a look at the details of this new attack on your rights by Bush.

Executive Order issued by Bush 7/17/07


The order will block the use of "/all property and interests in property" /(including bank accounts?) of the following persons,

1. /"any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,"/to have committed violence to destabilize Iraq. That means no trial, no hearing, just three cabinet members consult, and one makes the decision. If this is not unconstitutional it ought to be.

2. Further, the order promises the same punishment for any person giving aid to someone whose property has been taken. This includes anyone found by the Secretary of the Treasury
/ "to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order." / Does this include speaking on behalf of a such a person? Or writing in a blog in favor of such a person?

3. Additionally the order will block the funds and property of those who provide the following to persons whose property is blocked. / "(i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order, and (ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person."/ This seems to include anyone, even a relative, who in any way helps out the person whose property is blocked. That would include providing living space, food, living expenses, and may even include under the term "provision" anyone who sells goods or services to a person who is blocked. Would "services" also include advocating on that person's behalf. Would a lawyer not be permitted to represent the person? It seems also to include anyone who accepts a gift from such a person.

The order seems designed to make homeless paupers out of anyone whom the Secretary of the Treasury -- an unelected official -- deems to be a threat to Iraq's "stability." And that's whether violence is involved or not. And it is aimed also those who help that person, not in planning the violence, but after the person's property has been blocked.

Another step on the road to dictatorship.

Headline from "The Hill"

Senate GOP to Vitter: We’ll handle the Republican reputation from here, thanks


Vitter has real clout on the Hill.

Do NOT diss a YAT!

Bayou Buzz:
I'm a typical New Orleans girl, born and raised. Call me a "Scat," a "Yat," a "Gentilly Brat." You won't bother me.
But I do believe that Wendy Vitter' "cousin Jimmy Baldwin," just called me a drunk. Me and a few other hundred thousand "typical New Orleans girls."



Be careful what you say -- someone might be listening.

Not at all humbled . . .

The Raw Story | Madam's favorite senator not making friends in return to Capitol:

"Sen. David Vitter doesn't seem troubled by his recent exposure as a onetime client of the so-called DC Madam. His brash return to the Capitol is apparently rankling lawmakers of both parties."

Go. Read. What a sense of entitlement this guy has!!!

Update: Vitter confused, squabbles over his own amendment.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pretty good analogy here, re Vitter.

Ross Douthat:
"If a politician were caught with his name on the 'call list' of a prominent drug dealer, he wouldn't be able to wriggle out of it by admitting to a 'serious sin' and leaving it at that. And unless prominent Republicans are prepared to join Matt in supporting the repeal of laws banning prostitution - which I certainly hope they aren't - then they shouldn't be backing Vitter's 'it's a private matter' line. It isn't. It's a crime."


The above-mentioned Matt seems to be arguing for the legalization of drugs and prostitution.
Drugs and prostitution? No way!!!
But Amsterdam is still standing, no rain of fire there.

Do not click on the link!!!

You should not see this.

Is this bad taste, or just the truth?

Blame it all on Your Right Hand Thief

Vitter's words come back to haunt him.

The Shreveport Times

Back in the early 1990s, when former Gov. Edwin Edwards was pushing gambling, young David Vitter used to say that EWE had made Louisiana "the laughingstock of the nation."

That line, repeated over and over in press releases during the period, came back to me last week, when a karaoke singer dedicated a song to Vitter: Stephen Stills' "Love the One You're With." The audience laughed and hooted.


The rest of the article is pretty funny.

New avatar?

I've been simpsonized.


Do you think it looks like me?

Harry Shearer: conservative v liberal, LSU as cause of health care crisis in NO

The Huffington Post:
"Like the shuttered public housing units, the delay in reviving or replacing Charity is, at bottom, the playing out of an ideological struggle between old-style liberalism and the Bush administration's flavor of conservatism. Charity was born in the Huey Long era, when the point was to build a full-spectrum facility to care for the poor and educate the state's doctors. The feds instead want to pay poor people to buy insurance with which to patronize private doctors and hospitals. The economics are debatable, but what's clear is that the recovery of New Orleans is being sacrificed to this ideological struggle. A complicating factor is the desire of LSU, the university that ran Charity, for a showplace new medical center."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cop series set in New Orleans

Check out the promo.

K-Ville - K-Ville - Promo - Pizquita.com

On Fox-- no date set for premier, as far as I know. But looks like good actors, good production values. Anyone know any more? Worked on this?
Seems a great opportunity to tell N.O. side of the story. And a nice economic boost.

Update: Check the comments for time and date.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bush claims dictatorial powers,

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

This order permits the seizure of all property belonging to anyone suspected of "threat[ening] stabilization efforts in Iraq.
Anyone, including citizens of the US, can be deprived of property without benefit of any legal process or appeal. Only the word of the President is enough to put it into effect.

Together with the declaration today that the Executive Branch cannot be brought to court by the D.C. prosecutor, constitutes complete dictatorial power, now claimed by Bush.


One former Reagan official says "something is in the works."

He notes that the Dems are going to wait Bush out till the election:
However, Roberts emphasized, "the problem with this reasoning is that it assumes that Cheney and Rove and the Republicans are ignorant of these facts, or it assumes that they are content for the Republican Party to be destroyed after Bush has his fling." Roberts believes instead that Cheney and Rove intend to use a renewal of the War on Terror to rally the American people around the Republican Party. "Something's in the works," he said, adding that the Executive Orders need to create a police state are already in place.
"Something is in the works." If not an attack on Iran, what else? Another 9/11?

UPDATE: It occurs to me that now Hillary Clinton might be subject to this order, since the Pentagon yesterday accused her of "reinforc[ing] enemy propaganda" for asking questions about our plans for withdrawal from Iraq.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

CityBusiness turns against Vitter

Vitter stonewall won't hold.


This is what Your Right Hand Thief said Monday after the "press conference." Go read all the posts--and check out the clip from Leno.

Flynt: Vitter Lied

Check out Your Right Hand Thief for all the details of Flynt's interview with Larry King, and with WDSU.

An "airing" but not a hearing?

Senate leader wants 'airing' of Vitter scandal NOLA.com:
"WASHINGTON - The Democratic leader in the Senate said Tuesday the call-girl scandal that has engulfed Sen. David Vitter, R-La., should have 'a full airing' and noted that there is an open criminal investigation into the escort service that Vitter acknowledged calling."



There needs to be an ethics hearing on Vitter, not just an "airing." Reid should take a stand for Louisiana's sake, and for the senate.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's not over yet, David

washingtonpost.com:
"The first-term Republican said he wanted to resume his normal Senate schedule, but that proved difficult as news crews camped outside his office and chased him down hallways."


Yeo, the press senses blood in the water.

The Myth of the Black Sniper

Newark to New Orleans: The Myth of the Black Sniper:
"Bob Hennelley, who has reported extensively on the legacy of the Newark riots for WNYC public radio, says: 'The 1967 phantom 'negro snipers' that was used to justify dozens of civilian homicides by law enforcement 40 years ago appears to have been the rhetorical equivalent of our 'weapons of mass destruction.'' Back in 2005, the Army Times conjured that same phantom, actually referring to the chaos in New Orleans—the supposed rebellion among people who have been abandoned by the thousands to suffer and die—as 'the insurgency.'"


It turns out that the myth is much older than Katrina. Probably goes back to the early days of slavery and the slave rebellions.

James Wolcott's Blog: A Pat on the Back to Your Right Hand Thief

James Wolcott's Blog: Tucker Gets His Tassels in a Twist

Wollcott, one of the wittiest bloggers on the net, gives us his take on Tucker's take on Vitter. In passing he gives well-deserved props to Your Right Hand Thief, who has pointed out that Vitter's statement is almost begging the press to keep up their scrutiny.


Wollcott: "When MSNBC cut back to the studio, Tucker was in full Mode 1 dual-rotary rev-up, yammering that he didn't approve of consorting with hookers but these things happen what's the big deal does this excuse the press camping out in front of Vitter's house like he's some criminal so what if he's a hypocrite everybody in Washington's a hypocrite hell Teddy Kennedy killed a woman so why pick on Vitter just because he's a values conservative yammer yammer windmilling hands smirk smirk."

MSNBC: Vitter apology "borderline disastrous."

Via The Raw Story

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cruel Wonkette Headline #2

Filthy Whoremonger Scum-sucking Diaperman David Vitter Won't Resign - Wonkette

NOLA Poll

Are you satisified with Wendy and David Vitter's statement?

Yes--32.7
No --67.3

Just an unscientific web poll, but pretty emphatic.

Vitter keeps lying.

Your Right Hand Thief: "
This statement virtually guarantees that Vitter will be forced to resign sometime this year, probably in weeks, as more disclosures and corroborative evidence is unveiled."

UNO College Republicans call for Vitter's head

THE DEAD PELICAN


The past week has unearthed several seedy situations concerning the current Republican Louisiana Senator David Vitter. Between being on the D.C. Madam’s list and reportedly having relations with two prostitutes in the New Orleans area, Vitter has certainly rebuked his promise with the people of Louisiana.

Moreover, by deciding to hold a press conference at 5 pm Monday afternoon, just as Bobby Jindal’s plane is taxing into Armstrong Airport, David Vitter has once more shown a blatant disregard for the political position of Louisiana Republican Party.

It is clear that Senator Vitter cares little for his fellow Republicans in Louisiana. After a week of silence, Vitter choose the day, almost to the hour, where all eyes were to be on Bobby Jindal and his vision for a better Louisiana.

W00T!

Vitter should have known -- don't step on Jindal's lines!

UPDATE: Now The Dead Pelican on the same subject. Mad as a wet republican, but not calling for resignation. Yes.

Vitter's "Press Conference"

More of a photo-op. Summary:
He says: No questions now or ever. I'm going back to Washington to try to screw over some immigrants. Bye.
She says: Leave us alone. Quit camping out at our church. Bye.
Looking at the video with the sound off was revealing. Both looked like kids in the principal's office in detention. Both gave a funny chin-grimace. She did not look very affectionate with him, to say the least, and she looked like she would like to jump down and rip out the throats (or cut off the naughty bits?) of everyone in the room. Both were carefully scripted, and the hand-holding at the end was both phony and touching.

Oh, yeah. And he sucked all the air out of Jindal's announcement for governor.

Sex and wrecks. And money.

You're perhaps wondering why all the interest in Vitter? Take a look at what the viewers of KTBS, Shreveport seem to be interested in as well.


KTBS :: View News:


"Most Read News Articles

* Students allegedly had sex in classroom during assembly
* Webster Parish coach arrested for inappropriate behavior with student
* Holiday In Dixie AmSouth Treasure has been found
* Still no sign of minister's missing wife
* Woman dies in shootout between her husband and her lover
* Twist in internet sex predator arrest
* Wreck victim identified
* Students arrested for creating fake myspace page
* Grand jury clears husband who killed wife's lover
* Southwood softball coach accused of sexual misconduct"

Louisiana Senator Killed by New Orleans Prostitute

Karen Dalton-Beninato: Louisiana Senator Killed by New Orleans Prostitute

Not what you think.

Nice quote included though.

Bertrand Russell says in The Conquest of Happiness:

"People who wish to have a high opinion of their own moral excellence have therefore to persuade themselves that they have achieved a degree of unselfishness that it is very unlikely they have achieved, and hence the endeavor after saintliness comes to be connected with self-deception of a kind that easily leads on to persecution mania."

No questions, please.V

2theadvocate.com | News -- Baton Rouge, LA

Vitter cancels Louisiana townhall meeting to return to Washington for Senate votes. Nervous a little, David? Camera shy?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The economic value of chicken fights.

The Shreveport Times

More Louisiana legislators fighting for a sane business climate.

Follow His Money

Forget Sen. Vitter’s Penis: Follow His Money

Local contributors. Bollinger, Chance.

I have seen this on the blogs

But this is the first time I've seen it on a national media source:

ABC News:
"Louisiana Sen. David Vitter will probably emerge from seclusion soon and return to Washington to fight for his political career, a colleague of the first-term Republican said Friday.

When Vitter does, he is sure to be confronted with his past remarks about the sanctity of marriage, the importance of fidelity and the need for high ethical standards among office holders."

Vitter seems to have lied to some evangelical ministers.

Your Right Hand Thief

He's in trouble. Those guys take these things seriously.

Pointed Comment

On the story that Boysie Bollinger and others knew about Vitter's dalliances, and kept mum.

The Daily Advertiser :
"Very interesting to me to see how many high-level state Republicans are saying they've KNOWN about Vitter's involvement with prostitutes for YEARS. What does this tell you about THEIR character, that they knew all about it and supported his candidacy anyway?"

$12 million boondoggle by FEMA. Melted ice.

Ice originally sent to Katrina victims finally being melted

Didn't Al Gore take heat for using his phone?

US Senate Computer Used For Louisiana David Vitter Talking Points

Friday, July 13, 2007

Louisiana Republicans react to Vitter

Nola.com
Members of the Republican establishment have issued statements in support of Vitter:

"We can't forget about all of the positive things David has done for the state of Louisiana," said Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman. Secretary of State Jay Dardenne added in a personal note, "Your great work for our state should not get lost in the current frenzy." Rep. Jim McCrery, R-Shreveport, called Vitter "an effective senator for Louisiana" and said, "I look forward to working with him." Statements of support were also issued by Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, and Rep. Mike Strain, R-Covington, who urged voters to wait for all the facts to come out.

But . . .

Three fellow Republicans in the Louisiana delegation -- Reps. Bobby Jindal of Kenner, Richard Baker of Baton Rouge and Charles Boustany of Lafayette -- have yet to comment on Vitter's situation.


Not a ringing endorsement exactly.

The other shoe: Prostitute describes Vitter affair

NOLA.com

Days after Senator David Vitter apologized for using an escort service in Washington, D.C., a woman who once worked as a prostitute in Louisiana said he was a regular client of hers several years ago while he was a state legislator.

The woman worked under the name Wendy Cortez. Her birth name is Wendy Yow, according to her ex-husband, who asked not to be named but said he has seen her birth certificate.


With a photo.

Update: Your Right Hand Thief has an excellent commentary on the article.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Headline: Party could dump Vitter

The Daily Advertiser - www.theadvertiser.com - Lafayette, LA

Did Vitter try to intimidate the D.C. madam?

Maybe.



From WAFB, Baton Rouge.
Deborah Palfrey, the Washington madam who is facing federal charges for racketeering, maintains her escort service is legitimate. She also told CNN Radio that she got a not-so-very inviting phone call from the Vitter camp once she published her phone list on Friday. Palfrey says, "I had a feeling it was coming. I was forewarned, but wasn't told who it was going to be. I was just told to expect a phone call. I got it a few hours ago and boy did I get it. I had no idea who this man was prior to a few hours ago, even though I'm sure he obviously was a client and he's stated accordingly, but I don't remember this man. I think he used the service in 2001."

Right Hand Thief has all the goods.

Read em and weep.

The Diaper Story.


Five calls.

Oh, heck, go read the whole blog.

Blockbuster? The "Issue."

From The Reality-Based Community

It isn't yet public, though apparently it's widely known in Louisiana political circles, that Vitter's commercial romance was blessed with issue. Reportedly his natural child now lives with her mother in Alexandria, VA. That they are receiving financial support from the Senator has not been shown.


Shades of ol' Strom.

Vitter's N.O. Madame on Republican submissives.

This is from Corrente,
who got it from Sullivan
who got it from Court TV.

A terrific article that every Louisiana voter should read.

Per Corrente:
Via Andrew Sullivan, Jeanette Maier, whose small business Senator David Vitter (R-Canal Street Brothel) patronized, tells her story:

Some of the fantasies at the Canal Street Brothel got a little rough. For those who liked that kind of stuff, there were whips, chains and a lot of leather. Jeanette says that most of the clients who wanted to be dominated were Republicans. She cracks a smile, then adds, “They wanted to be spanked and tortured and wear stockings—Republicans have impeccable taste in silk stockings—and these are the people who run our country.”


So many questions--
Did Vitter like to wear silk stockings and be submissive?
Which "former mayor of Baton Rouge" and former football star was her 3 year lover?
Who was the son of which head of the Louisiana Republican Party?
Who is that mysterious former governor who used to party with the girls? Could it be?
And who knew fishing rodeos were so much fun?

Please, Ms. Maier, write that book.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

And yes, I think he can go lower.

From the NYT

The highest rating for Mr. Cheney was 56 percent in August 2002. Mr. Cheney’s favorability among Americans has also suffered — it fell to 13 percent in May, from a high of 43 percent in October 2000.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hustler outed Vitter.

From a Hustler press release in TPM Muckraker.


Larry Flynt's ongoing investigation into the dirty secrets of prominent elected officials has exposed another hypocrite. Monday's confession of marital infidelity by GOP right-wing marriage-protection advocate Senator David Vitter of Louisiana was the result of a multi-pronged investigation launched and run by Larry Flynt, publisher of HUSTLER Magazine.


In case you were wondering why Vitter came clean last night.

Vitter repeatedly denied having an affair while running for senate.

Christopher Tidmore in Politicsla.com

Congressman Denies Affair With Prostitute, Says Charges Are Politically Motivated

by Christopher Tidmore
PoliticsLA.com columnist
posted by March 26, 2004

For the first time, Congressman David Vitter has spoken out publically about allegations that he carried on an eleven month affair with a known prostitute named Wendy Cortez.

On WSMB radio last Saturday, a caller who identified himself as Elwood asked Vitter about charges, made by a member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee in the Weekly that the then-State Representative, had had an affair with a known prosition in the French Quarter. Elwood continued, "Would you be willing to sign an affidavit that you have ever known, met or had relations with one Wendy Cortez."

Vitter responded, "I think you know that that alligation is abosultely and completely untrue...I have said that on numerous occassions...I'll say that in any forum...Unfortuanately, that's just crass Louisiana politics, now that I am running for the Senate. I have made that clear that it is alll completely untrue...And, it's obviously politically motivated."

The Republicans used to say about Clinton: "It's not about the blow-job, it's about the lying."

Another Republican critic of Vitter heard from.

Bayou Buzz:
Christopher Tidmore said Monday evening, “Mr. Vitter has used his considerable power to attempt to silence those who knew the truth. Those who attempted to expose hypocrisy and corruption early on were met with threats and disdain. It is time for real leadership to stop this culture of corruption, incompetence and hypocrisy from plaguing our political system. Mr. Vitter’s actions have harmed Louisiana at a time when we could not afford any further loss of influence in Washington.”

“By conducting a series of lies over more than half a decade, Mr. Vitter has irreparably damaged his ability to represent the people of Louisiana at the very time we need integrity and commitment most. We need true ethics, not fake ethical posturing,” Tidmore said. "We need real leadership and moral values, not hypocrisy and intimidation. Louisiana needs new leadership."

For that reason, Christopher Tidmore has taken a leave of absence from his roles as senior reporter for 99.5 FM and The Louisiana Weekly to run for the open District 82 Louisiana House legislative seat vacated by the term limited Steve Scalise.

To read Tidmore’s stories from 2002 and 2004 on the Vitter/Cortez affair, go to

http://www.politicsla.com/columns/Tidmore/2004/March/032604_inside_track.htm


The Buzz also speculates on whether this will have any effect on Vitter's protege, Bobby Jindal.

Maybe you hadn't heard about Vitters assault on a woman in 1993.

From Salon


Mercedes Hernandez, who was involved in Republican politics, testified that she frequently attended local meetings to engage officials on the issues, usually tape-recording the events. At a town hall meeting, Hernandez asked the state representative about a rumor she'd heard that he was supporting a gay-rights bill in the Legislature. Vitter became "enraged by her question, left the podium where he was standing, advanced toward her in a rapid, threatening manner, pushing aside chairs ... and grabbed a portable tape recorder" that Hernandez was holding, according to her legal complaint.

In his legal filings, Vitter denied that he had assaulted Hernandez and instead accused her of trying to set him up by planting the false idea with other attendees that he supported gay rights, a position that is anathema in his religious conservative district. He further accused Hernandez of working with John Treen and his other political enemies by trying to shop a story about the incident to the media.

After a trial, a judge awarded Hernandez $50. "The court finds that Mr. Vitter's demeanor changed when he saw the tape recorder. He became angry, agitated and excited," the judge wrote. "He thought Ms. Hernandez was using her question [about gay rights] as a ruse to 'set him up' and embarrass him." But the judge also admonished Hernandez. "It appears that Ms. Hernandez was rather enjoying the political advantage she seemed to have perceived herself to have gained." Hernandez, who is still active in Republican politics, did not return phone calls from Salon seeking comment.

Oh, the hypocrisy!

Great headline and quote from Suspect Device. Must read.

OOPS-- Vitter should step down, says Vitter.



.

Accusations against Vitter first made in 2004 by Republican official.

Charges made by Republican official

Allegations against Vitter for having an eleven month affair with a prostitute were first brought in 2004 by Vincent Bruno, secretary of the Republican Party of Jefferson Parish. A Republican, be it noted. The revelation caused him to drop out of the governor's race, and get into marriage counseling.

It does not appear from this story that this incident was connected with the DC Madam, but is, instead, a separate scandal. I wonder what his wife thinks about this new revelation. Did she know?

Update:
This story confirms that the prostitute was living in New Orleans, not Washington. So this new revelation IS separate from the earlier one.

Update:
My Republican insider source tells me that Vitter's wife Wendy knew about both indiscretions.

Postman Patel is on Vitter like a goose on a junebug.

He's got a great quote from Wendy Vitter too.


Asked by an interviewer in 2000 whether she could forgive her husband if she learned he'd had an extramarital affair, as Hillary Clinton and Bob Livingston's wife had done, Wendy Vitter told the Times-Picayune: "I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me."

Article from 2004 about Vitter's affair.

Article no longer at PoliticsLA.com, but saved on Google Cache


Congressman Denies Affair With Prostitute, Says Charges Are Politically Motivated

by Christopher Tidmore
PoliticsLA.com columnist
posted by March 26, 2004

For the first time, Congressman David Vitter has spoken out publically about allegations that he carried on an eleven month affair with a known prostitute named Wendy Cortez.

On WSMB radio last Saturday, a caller who identified himself as Elwood asked Vitter about charges, made by a member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee in the Weekly that the then-State Representative, had had an affair with a known prosition in the French Quarter. Elwood continued, "Would you be willing to sign an affidavit that you have ever known, met or had relations with one Wendy Cortez."

Vitter responded, "I think you know that that alligation is abosultely and completely untrue...I have said that on numerous occassions...I'll say that in any forum...Unfortuanately, that's just crass Louisiana politics, now that I am running for the Senate. I have made that clear that it is alll completely untrue...And, it's obviously politically motivated."

In point of fact, Congressman Vitter had previously refused any comment on the charges. The story appeared in this newspaper just days after Vitter dropped out of the race for Governor in June of 2002. The Louisiana Weekly published allegations that Cortez, a known prostitute, claimed that she had an 11-month affair with Vitter, a state representative at the time.

Vincent Bruno, secretary of the Republican Party of Jefferson Parish and a member of the RSCC, alleged that Congressman David Vitter had engaged in an extramarital affair. In what was a high-stakes political battle between some of the most prominent members of the Louisiana Republican Party, Bruno charged that a prostitute, who stated her name to be Wendy Cortez, allegedly confessed to him to having a paid sexual relationship with Vitter.
Three separate and independent sources, including WDSU-TV reporter Richard Angelico, confirmed Bruno's allegation. Each had spoken to Cortez personally, and she recounted to them the details of her alleged affair with Vitter.

Bruno, who supplied documentation of detailed accounts of his meetings with Cortez, along with specific testimony that she provided against the Congressman, claims that he only came forward with the prostitute's name and personal information when pressed as a means to protect his integrity, after enduring attacks on statewide radio.

The Claims in the midst of the First District Congressional Race left vacant as a result of the resignation of Bob Livingston almost four years ago, Bruno asserts that a young woman contacted the Treen Campaign claiming that she had engaged in an affair with Vitter.

Bruno states that he and another prominent Republican subsequently met with the woman. She reportedly told the men that under the alias of "Leah," she regularly had sex with Vitter - at the time a State Representative - in a small apartment on the corner of Dumaine and Dauphine Streets in New Orleans.

Bruno, who by his own admission says he was working "independently" of the Treen Campaign, arranged another meeting with Cortez -this time in Baton Rouge. He claims that he had Cortez flown to the state capitol, housed in a hotel, and resumed the questioning.

Cortez, according to Bruno, recounted the chronology of her alleged affair with Vitter saying that Vitter contacted her through a local New Orleans escort service and visited her for a period of several months making appointments typically on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Bruno also states that the GOP official from the first meeting was again in attendance, along with another prominent Republican with no connections to the Treen Campaign to evaluate whether or not her story was true.
Each man, independently and on the promise of anonymity, gave The Weekly a detailed account of the second meeting with Cortez, providing specific comments and claims that she made against Vitter.

Can She Be Trusted?

At yet a reportedly third meeting that Cortez had with Bruno, WDSU Investigative Reporter Richard Angelico attended. Bruno says that Angelico heard Cortez's story and was interested in airing it. However, Cortez refused to give out her name on TV then, nor would provide a valid Social Security number to confirm her identity.

Bruno says the prostitute told him she was worried about the negative effect her appearance on television making these claims would have on her daughter. Without a valid identity to make the claim, Angelico dropped the story. Mr. Angelico confirmed this story and his reasons for not pursuing it.

The refusal to go public was not the only thing that brought Cortez's integrity under question. Some of her statements did contradict one another. In one of her comments, that one of the witnesses provided, Cortez stated that she had spent the previous evening at a Casino and won five thousand dollars. A short time later, in the same interview, she claimed that she did not have enough money to pay her rent-hardly consistent points.

After the initial story was published, a two-month search uncovered Cortez's whereabouts. She was finally located in Atlanta. After her identity was confirmed, she and a friend spoke briefly on a telephone interview. At that time, she simply confirmed the allegations about her to this newspaper and stated, "I stand by my comments" to Bruno and all that the affair occurred.

The story took on an extra political dimension in the last week of December of 2003, when a senior Democratic source revealed a series of attacks that were planned against Vitter. Foremost amongst them was that the controversy over Wendy Cortez. He contended that the allegations will become central to the Senatorial campaign.
Supporters of Vitter flatly deny Bruno's charges. They accuse him of having political motivations, and question the veracity of Cortez's story.

"I know it's not true. I don't give it any credence," said Jim St. Raymond, political consultant to David Vitter.

Vitter's official spokesperson, Tonya Newman, said the motivation is revenge because Vitter defeated Dave Treen in the First District Congressional election to replace Bob Livingston two years ago. Bruno was a supporter of Treen's.

"All these rumors are obviously untrue. They are coming from his [Vitter's] enemies, and they have not been successful politically, so they are going after him personally -- and his family. I think it's significant to know that these people have had a vendetta against Vitter since he was in the Legislature," Newman said.

Bruno, who supplied documentation of detailed accounts of his meetings with Cortez, along with specific testimony that she provided against the congressman, claims that he only came forward with the prostitute's name and personal information when pressed as a means to protect his integrity after Bruno was attacked on a statewide radio show.

Update: Is Tidmore a terrible speller? Or what?



Louisiana angle on the D.C. Madam scandal.

Senator's Number on Escort Service List


That would be Senator David Vitter (R-LA).