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Political group discredits self by honoring ex-convict

What is it about this state that makes people who should know better want to celebrate dishonest rogues who betray the peoples’ trust?

Now that he’s out in the community in a restricted fashion, Prisoner #03128-095 finds himself still fêted by certain people of ignorance or who hold especially low standards. If it’s not some bucolic gathering of the hoi polloi it’s an urban recreation of past glories by the haute bourgeoisie

But the ignorant nor sycophants explain why the nonprofit Louisiana Political Museum would induct knowingly into its Hall of Fame a scurrilous individual. (At least #03128-095, known at the time of his induction in the inaugural class of 1993 as former Gov. Edwin Edwards, had not yet been sent to prison.) That’s what the institution plans to do this week on behalf of Prisoner #03312-095.

It’s not unprecedented for the group as a felon, Edmund Reggie, gained entrance some years back although he never entered the prison system even after his conviction. Still, it’s a bad habit to get into, especially with a figure of low character like #03312-095.

Known before his imprisonment for lying to federal agents as former Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown, particularly reprehensibly he refuses to own up to the fact that he violated Louisianans by his conduct in office. (He beat the rap on several other more serious charges of malfeasance in office related to his conviction.) Instead of apologizing to the state he wounded, he has maintained his innocence and spins a fantastic tale of conspiracy to try to explain away his criminal behavior – despite the fact that the courts consistently upheld his conviction. In this way, he expects to be welcomed back into society as if he did nothing wrong and can escape the shame he deserves for his betrayal of Louisiana that only can be undone by apology.

While it’s recognized that the figures named are there because of the impact they had on politics (or in its reporting) in the state, there should be some standard of decency attached. How can someone who committed a crime against the state’s people be considered to have the basic meritorious fiber in their being that is implied by presence in a “Hall of Fame?”
This exceptionally must be the case when considering this kind of institution. Yes, there were sports figures in their various Halls of Fame who weren’t nice people, who even broke the law in the most distasteful of ways, yet the achievements for which they garnered recognition were in areas unrelated to such matters of conduct. (Even so, they may still be disqualified in the minds of those charged with their selection.) But the essence of valorous politicians about which people should feel proud and wish to emulate, even if they disagree with his policy preferences, is that they do not bring disrepute onto their offices.

By his refusal to admit his mistakes and, mimicking the very thing that brought himself down, in trying to spin a falsehood as fact, #03312-095 has brought disrepute onto the state and revealed questionable character. This should disqualify him from any kind of celebratory status, and the organization that ignores this does discredit to itself. To honor somebody who soiled state politics without remorse give the wrong idea about what we expect out of our politicians and only ends up doing the same to you.


Anonymous said...

Low character, hmmm? So, I'll be looking forward to your opposition to David Vitter's inclusion when his time comes. Can't get much lower than cheating on your wife with a prostitute. Oh, wait, you don't believe he did that, or that he shouldn't be held responsible, or some such garbage because he managed to dance around the truth.

Jeff Sadow said...

I'm not sure Vitter will make it, certainly not as of now although who knows what substantive criteria are used in the minds of the selectors to determine this.

Now show me where Vitter went to federal prison and thereby betrayed his constituents and I'll be the first to say he should be denied entrance. Until then, innocent before proven legally guilty. Try it.

Mr. Harris Plutocrat said...

Don't let Jeff fool you, he'll pull out the old "innocent until proven guilty"-talk only when its useful to him. We have liberals to thank for "Innocent until proven guilty." That's why conservatives don't want even the semblance of justice around guantanamo detainees. That's why they constantly push for the erosion of defendants' rights. Just a bunch of nancy graces and sheriff joe arapios, shrieking that everyone is guilty long before they see a judge. And if we are going to point out the culture of illegal corruption surrounding Jeff's heroes, spend a few hours chewing on this:

Oh, and just to point out how hypocritical is our Mr. "innocent until proven guilty" Sadow, consider that William Jefferson was convicted on 8/5/09, just check out Jeff's posts about Jefferson's corruption on 5/24/06, 5/30/06, 7/16/07, 6/20/08, 8/28/06, and really it just goes on and on. He just presumes the truth of the worst that is presented.

The nuance that Jeff misses is that there is nothing wrong with believing that someone has done something wrong. "Innocent until proven guilty" is about not sending someone to prison until proven guilty; it's not about whether it's OK to think someone is guilty. Face it: Vitter slept with prostitutes. It's not that big a deal. But it's weird that you cling to this hope that he just was hiring whores for some other purpose.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe I ever discussed committing a crime or being convicted of a crime, professor. I commented on your standard of "questionable character", I guess you meant both criminal conviction and questionable character were necessary for exclusion, That might cause you some future problems when some of your political heroes who have achieved conviction but their character is above you question in your mind (you were aware that Republican politicians are also currently in prison).

So, you can save your defense of the standard for criminal conviction in our country. I'm more interested in hearing more of your defense for Mr. Vitter and his low character, and why you -- who constantly tout his amazing "achievements" as a legislator -- think he has not yet qualified for the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame. If he's the statesman you always claim him to be, he should be amply qualified already.

Jeff Sadow said...

>Face it: Vitter slept with prostitutes.

Prove it. We have good, but not unimpeachable, evidence that he was in the same room with women accused of that, at least by one account. But we do not have legally-verified evidence that he actually did. This is why whenever I wrote about Vitter, or Jefferson for that matter, in reference to their accusations (legally proven in Jefferson's case, but prior to his conviction), I used words such as "believed to," "alleged," etc. Legally, Vitter could sue you for your statement although it would be difficult given he is considered a public person.

But, as usual, my dense frequent writer misses point when it comes to logic, and related to the other commenter, the difference between Vitter, assuming he is in that position, and Brown here is that the Hall of Fame folks have as their criteria that somebody make a big impact on politics, and as for those who are politicians, in politics. I am arguing that those who can be proven to have engaged in illegal activities as part of their job are not worthy individuals to ascribe "fame" to ("infamy," perhaps).

For example, there is no question that fits Huey Long, just as, even though he never was convicted of nefarious activities, there is strong evidence to suggest he engaged in illegal activities. Thus, since I cannot say with certainty that he besmirched the office, I see his membership as appropriate.

You might even argue that, if Vitter did engage in the illegal activity of paid sex, he still gets a pass because that had nothing to do with his job as a politician. That argument aside, in the case of Brown, we know the truth. It is a legal fact that he committed a federal crime in the performance of the duties of his office (even if it were just the explaining of other actions). That is the crucial difference.

By the alternative standard proposed here, we'd have to disqualify, given the historical record, the likes of Jefferson (slave, uh, procurer and user let's say, which was illegal some places although I'm not sure of VA at the time), Lincoln (fornicator), F. Roosevelt (adulterer) and Kennedy (adulterer on steroids, drug user) from any kind of adulation as politicians. Again, while these actions were illegal, a court of law has never said so (and we also run into the issue about whether these activities had anything to do with their office).

The question remains: why celebrate a lawbreaker who also broke the trust of the public? And the flip side: if we cannot prove a politician behaved that way and he contributes substantially in the area, then I see no reason to omit him from consideration because honoring as such does not condone legally proven lawbreaking.

Anonymous said...

"We have good, but not unimpeachable, evidence that he was in the same room with women accused of that, at least by one account. But we do not have legally-verified evidence that he actually did."


What?? No need for such mumbo jumbo.

Vitter is a whoremonger.

See how clear that is? And it is the truth, even though he has not been found guilty in a court of law.

OJ was not found guilty of murder. But surely you don't think he was truly innocent, do you?

So quit trying to obfuscate. The facts are known. Vitter is a whoremonger.

Landman of the Apocalypse said...

Jeff, do yourself a favor. If you want to avoid Jim Brown's plight, keeping writing your blog and refrain from communicating this information to the FBI.

Mr. Harris Plutocrat said...

Just to highlight how profoundly hypocritical Jeff is when it comes to liberals and conservatives. He will defend Vitter using the "innocent until proven guilty standard", but take a look at this profoundly hilarious "story" he posted last April 19, 2010 (
). It's titled "Hate crime on GOP staffer shows liberalism's true self." It's an amazing feat of hysteric. Here's what really happened: Two people attending a GOP convention in Nola leave a restaurant in the French Quarter at 10:30pm. They are assaulted. This type of assault happens *all the time* in the French Quarter, and would otherwise be unremarkable. Terrible? Yes. Political? Almost certainly not.

But don’t tell that to today's enbubbled neocon. Immediately, the self-pity professionals like Jeff were in overdrive. They insisted that "liberals" had collectively "shown their true colors" and unleashed their typical liberal violence on these two simply because the conventioneers are saintly conservatives. Conservatives invented details to embellish: the victims were "wearing sarah palin pins", and supposedly had political insults hurled at them. None of this was true, but the Jeffreys of this nation need only to be told to imagine a pin on a lapel, and next thing you know they take an unremarkable assault and begin shrieking about the imagined swarming liberal hordes of the apocalypse. I urge everyone (all three or four regular readers, based on the comment section) to go read both the debunked story (, and then go back and read the hysterical Sadow version. There is no evidence that this was political. Yet somehow to Jeff this incident renders every liberal collectively guilty. No need to presume innocence when it's the liberals who are accused. The truly amazing thing to behold when reading Jeff’s hysterical version is to consider how tiny of a pretext he needed to conjure up his apocalyptic worldview.

Mr. Harris Plutocrat said...

Of course, there has been an actual attack by a conservative group on a liberal at that Rand Paul protest ( It was the one where the conservatives who stomped her subsequently demanded an apology from the victim. Not that you'd read about this on Jeff's little blog. And you sure as hell won't hear him suggest that it is some giant symbol about how wicked all conservatives are in attacking innocent liberals. That's because there's a different set of standards for conservatives in Jeff's world. He lives in the Fox News bubble, where conservative misbehavior is non-existent or sanitized, and where all the world's problems seem to be caused by liberals. And that stomping is just one incident. Right-wing violence seems to be all the rage these days. But you won't read about the right-winger pushing pipebombs just a short drive from Shreveport. Or any of the other very real right-wing violence, which often directly influenced by hysterical Jeff’s indistinguishable conservative colleagues in the media. It takes a truly bubbled neocon like Jeff to compare the Jim Lehrers and Michael Savages and conclude that the Savages preach peaceful righteousness, while apparently the Jim Lehrers are shouting for violence.