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Archive for October, 2015

Dedicated reader, regular commenter, and occasional guest columnist Earthmother has come up with a great idea for Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016: A “Goodbye, Bobby” party to be hosted by LouisianaVoice two days before Bobby Jindal leaves office on Monday, Jan. 11, to fade (hopefully) into political oblivion.

Anyone and everyone who wishes to attend is welcome—especially recovering Republicans. We are an open, informal group. Unlike the Jindalites, we exclude no one. To do so would necessarily define us as elitist Republicans.

We don’t have a 12-step program for Republicans, but we can offer our sympathy, compassion and fellowship.

While the festive event will be in Baton Rouge, no site has yet to be chosen as the size of the venue will be determined by the cost and the number of reservations for the event. (We understand there will be a similar event for Jindal supporters—to be held in a supply room in the offices of Jimmy Faircloth.)

Disclaimer: should David Vitter capture the governorship in his general election runoff with John Bel Edwards on Nov. 21, the theme of the event will be changed from a celebration to a wake but will still be held to commemorate the departure of one of the worst governors in the storied political history of Louisiana.

Special guests will include other Louisiana political bloggers who have had the courage to take on Jindal’s disastrous “reform” measures and any public servant or legislator who carries the badge of distinction of ever having been teagued by Jindal.

Jindal, Timmy Teepell, and Kristy Nichols will be invited, though we really don’t expect them to attend.

Refreshments will be available and prizes will be awarded to attendees with the most original themed costume. Some suggested examples: higher education, public education, health care (Medicaid and state hospitals), state employee benefits (retirement and OGB), contracts (example: Jimmy Faircloth), campaign contributions/board appointments, favored legislation for certain retirees and campaign contributors (example: Mike Edmonson, Tom Benson, broadband internet service), appointments to state jobs (example: Noble Ellington), and privatization.

A special prize will be awarded to the best Jindal and Teepell look-alike costumes.

With the exception of bloggers and those who have been teagued (not simply laid off, but fired for incurring Jindal’s wrath over some perceived sin), there will be a small admission price to cover expenses of venue rental, refreshments, entertainment, etc. Admission cost will be determined when we have a better handle on our costs and the number of people expected to attend. We will let you know the cost as the date approaches but tickets are not expected to exceed $10 or $15.

While walk-ups will be welcomed, we ask that you reserve your spot in advance so that we can make appropriate plans. To do so, simply shoot an email to: louisianavoice@yahoo.com

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The video of Richland County (South Carolina) deputy sheriff Ben Fields as he flipped a female student backward in her desk and then tossed her across a classroom is a jarring reminder of the seemingly endless barrage of cases of police appearing to use unnecessary force on victims who dare not resist for fear of even more grievous actions.

The student was texting in class and refused to surrender her phone to the teacher. While also indicative of the perceived breakdown of respect for authority in the classroom (there are likely as many cases of students assaulting teachers as officers assaulting students), Fields’s reaction seems a tad over the top. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/lawyer-teen-suffered-several-injuries-in-classroom-arrest/ar-BBmwylc?li=AAa0dzB&ocid=iehp

On Wednesday, Fields was fired by Sheriff Leon Lott. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/sheriff-school-officer-fired-after-tossing-student-in-class/ar-BBmwylc?li=AAa0dzB&ocid=iehp

Had I blatantly disobeyed any of my high school teachers (male or female) the consequences would have been quite severe—at school and again when I got home. I knew hulking football players at Ruston High who were terrified of Miss Ruth Johnson and would never have given even so much as a fleeting thought of challenging her.

Clearly, some common ground must be reached between respect for authority and discipline to be meted out in cases of open defiance.

Many law enforcement offices across the U.S. have begun appointing school resource officers for the dual purpose of protecting schools from the epidemic of mass shootings like those at Columbine and Sandy Hook and to help school administrators maintain order and discipline in the classroom.

Often those officers must make judgment calls on the fly and their actions come under withering criticism, sometimes justified and sometimes not.

At least three Louisiana state troopers were either terminated or allowed to resign following investigations into complaints about their performance.

In one of those, a trooper was fired after he slammed the butt stock of his shotgun into the right temple of a suspect who had suffered a broken leg following a chase and then kicked him as he was lying face down while being handcuffed by deputies.

In Lake Charles, a Troop D state trooper has resigned in the wake of a state police Internal Affairs investigation into complaints against him which were unrelated to his duties as a school resource officer in Calcasieu Parish.

Jimmy Rogers posted a somewhat upbeat message on Facebook that he was accepting “an amazing opportunity” in the private sector.

That message did little to diminish the impact of harassment and domestic abuse complaints against Rogers which were ignored at State Police Troop D and at LSP headquarters in Baton Rouge until a series of LouisianaVoice stories about irregularities in Troop D. https://louisianavoice.com/2015/08/17/state-police-headquarters-sat-on-complaint-against-troop-d-trooper-for-harassment-captain-for-turning-a-blind-eye-to-it/

https://louisianavoice.com/2015/09/05/state-police-launch-internal-affairs-investigation-of-troop-d-commander-after-public-records-requests-by-louisianavoice/

By letter dated Nov. 14, 2014, State Trooper First Class Travis Gallow was terminated from his job by Assistant State Police Superintendent Lt. Col. Charles Dupuy.

His termination followed an Internal Affairs investigation into a four-parish pursuit of a suspect who was attempting to flee officials at speeds of up to 105 mph and who was said to have been throwing drugs and a handgun from his vehicle during the chase.

Certainly he was no Boy Scout.

Gallow was in Opelousas when the chase began in East Baton Rouge Parish and proceeded immediately to attempt to intercept the suspect whose name was redacted from the 37-page report provided by LSP to LouisianaVoice.

Gallow, after disengaging the motor vehicle recorder (MVR) on his own unit, set up a partial roadblock with his vehicle and as the suspect slowed and attempted to drive past Gallow, the trooper fired his weapon at the suspect’s car. He told investigators he discharged his weapon because he feared for his safety but investigators said the suspect had already driven past Gallow’s position with the trooper fired and that he was in no danger from the fleeing suspect. “It was determined that TFC Travis Gallow was not justified in the discharge of his firearm and in violation of Louisiana State Police Procedural Orders…,” the 37-page LSP report said.

When the suspect finally did stop and attempted to exit his vehicle, he was struck by a patrol car driven by an Iberville Parish Sheriff’s deputy. The impact knocked him to the ground, fracturing his right leg.

As he lay face down on the ground, deputies attempted to pull his arms from beneath his body in order to handcuff him. Deputies told LSP Internal Affairs investigators that the suspect was not resisting but as deputies were attempting to handcuff him, Gallow approached the scene and slammed the butt stock of his shotgun “deliberately in the right temple area” of the prone suspect’s head.

One deputy said that when Gallow struck the suspect with his shotgun, “it caused the forward slide to cycle, causing a round to be chambered in the weapon.” The report said the deputy told investigators that after the round cycled, he “disengaged because he did not want to get shot by a possible accidental discharge of TFC Gallow’s weapon,”

A second deputy told investigators that once the suspect was handcuffed, the officer who was standing to the deputy’s immediate left, kicked the still prone suspect in the left side of his body. “It should be noted that after reviewing the video footage from (redacted) unit,” the report said, “the officer standing to the left of (redacted) is TFC Gallow. In addition, the video footage also shows TFC Gallow making a kicking motion toward (redacted).”

Investigators ultimately upheld five of seven charges brought against Gallow and in his Nov. 14, 2014, letter of termination, Dupuy told Gallow that his response to his intended termination “did not present any evidence or information to dispute the findings.

LouisianaVoice obtained video of the chase and the incidents involving Gallow from LSP but the video file was so large (more than 30 minutes) that it was simply impossible to include it here.

“…You are hereby notified that effective at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, you are terminated from your employment as a Louisiana State Trooper…,” Dupuy wrote.

Gallow’s termination will certainly hamper him in any attempts to gain further employment in law enforcement but when troopers are allowed to resign in lieu of termination, it allows them to join other law enforcement agencies.

Jimmy Rogers, who chose to resign from Troop D, now has that option open to him.

LouisianaVoice is currently investigating the case of at least one other state trooper who was allowed to resign and who now is again working in law enforcement. When we receive public records requested from LSP, we will be posting that story.

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As predicted, David Jitter Vindal Vitter has unleashed his first attack lie ad against State Rep. John Bel Edwards in their runoff campaign for governor.

Unlike the distortions and lies perpetrated against fellow Republicans Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle leading up to last Saturday’s primary election, this ad was paid for the Vitter campaign and not his Washington, D.C.-based super PAC Funds for Louisiana’s Future (FLF).

Nevertheless, lies are lies and Vitter has shown himself to be not only shameless, but a damned cowardly liar as well.

Vitter’s newest ad has all the warmth and charm of the infamous 1988 Willie Horton ad.

For a man with the sordid past of David Vitter, it seems a bit ironic that he would ever approve an ad attacking the character and integrity of another candidate. But hey, that’s Vitter who is rumored to have once asked Rosie O’Donnell if she had ever been mistaken for a man only to have her reply, “No, have you?” (How’s that for an attack ad?)

And events of last Friday (the arrest of his “investigator,” and the auto accident where he was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his campaign finance director Courtney Guastella Callihan whose home address coincidentally just happens to be the Louisiana address of FLF (although the Secretary of State’s corporate records contain no listing for FLF).

The Federal Election Commission has no authority over super PACs in state elections. Even if it did, the board is comprised of three Republicans and three Democrats and never the twain shall meet. Any oversight is left to state ethics commissions but everyone knows what Bobby Jindal did to the Louisiana Ethics Commission back in 2008, so there’s no help there.

But just in case you might be wondering, a reader has researched the criteria for coordinated communications and independent expenditures:

  • In order to satisfy the payment prong, the communication need only be paid for, in whole or in part, by someone other than a candidate, a candidate’s authorized committee, a political party committee or an agent of the above.
  • Content – names the candidate.
  • Conduct – If the person paying for the communication employs a common vendor to create, produce or distribute the communication (Emphasis ours).

Guas­tella has been paid $55,476 by Vit­ter’s Sen­ate com­mit­tee since the be­gin­ning of 2013 and $97,273 by the su­per PAC.

FLF paid for media that names the candidate. She is a vendor common to both Vitter and FLF as evidenced by the payments listed above and as campaign finance director and she was responsible for creating communications for the Vitter campaign.

As for that “Willie Horton” ad, one of the things claimed by Vitter was that Edwards advocates releasing 5,500 hardened criminals from prison and that he “voted for taxpayer-funded pensions for convicts.” The ad cited HB 224 as its source without providing a year for the bill.

Well, we went into the Legislature’s web page and called up House Bill 224 for 2015. That bill, it turns out, was filed by Rep. Frank Hoffman and called for the levy of an additional tax on cigarettes and never made it out of committee.

So, we moved on to 2014. That bill called for a prohibition against installers of satellite television from installing satellites on leased premises. Filed by Rep. Thomas Carmody, it was withdrawn before any action could be considered.

Rep. Paul Hollis filed HB 224 in 2013 and provided for the removal of a school bus driver for violations of certain DWI offenses. That bill passed and was signed into law by Jindal.

On to 2012. HB 224 of that year was filed by Rep. James Armes and dealt with enforcement of child support. It, too, was passed and signed into law.

Act 224 of 2011by Rep. Rick Nowlin also passed and was signed into law by Jindal. But it only increased court costs in criminal cases in the 10th Judicial District.

Only after we went all the way back to 2010 did we find the HB 224 cited by the ad. And no, the bill did not provide for “taxpayer-funded pensions for convicts.” Instead, the bill, authored by Rep. Kevin Pearson, would have required “suspension of public retirement benefits during incarceration.”

As for Edwards’s plan to release prisoners upon the helpless citizens of Louisiana, he did no such thing. Instead, he suggested a comprehensive plan to address Louisiana’s ranking as the number one state in the nation when it comes to per capita incarceration. (The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world so Louisiana, with the highest rate in the U.S., necessarily has the highest incarceration rate in the world.)

And there you have a clear illustration of how the meanings of words can be twisted and distorted in a political campaign. And yes, John Bel Edwards did vote against the bill.

So did 55 other House members as the bill failed, 56-42, with five members absent.

If 56 members voted against the bill, there must have been a reason.

There was.

A public employee pays into the retirement system his entire career and that money is earned. If the employee commits a crime within the scope of his employment, there might be an argument to be made for revoking the employee’s pension.

But suppose the employee is convicted of a crime that has nothing to do with his job? Let’s say, for example, he loses control of his vehicle and kills an innocent bystander and is convicted of negligent homicide. And it turns out he was drunk. Certainly, it would not make the employee a saint but neither should it negate his state retirement that he earned through his years of service. That’s constitutionally protected.

HB 224 of 2010 had nothing to do with providing “taxpayer-funded pensions for convicts.” It was about a blanket denial of earned retirement benefits. There’s a huge difference and that’s why John Bel Edwards and 55 other House members correctly voted to kill the bill. The real shame was that it even made it out of committee. Both the claim that Edwards wants to free hardened convicts and that he wants to provide pensions for pensions for convicts are pitifully pathetic attempts to tie Edwards to President Obama because that’s all the arrows Vitter has in his quiver.

Vitter can only resort to blatant lies to bolster his chances.

But then he has never been above lying and character assassination.

He has no integrity and we’ve already had eight years of that.

“Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency” (U.S. Army Chief Counsel Joseph Nye, on June 8, 1954, to U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings, but which could well apply today to David Vitter)

Here’s the ad. You watch it and decide for yourself if you really want someone like David Vitter operating by his own depraved code of ethics for the next four years.

http://www.politico.com/video/2015/10/david-vitter-ad-accuses-edwards-of-wanting-thugs-out-of-prison-030693#ixzz3pnP5wFr0

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Folks, this incestuous relationship between David Vitter’s campaign and his Super PAC, Fund for Louisiana’s Future (FLF), just keeps getting more and more entangled and you have to wonder how long it’s going to take for the Louisiana Board of Ethics to become involved.

(Before I go any further, I would like to thank yet another sharp-eyed reader who steered me to the latest plot twist with a brief email on Monday morning.)

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, we posted a story about Baton Rouge attorney/lobbyist Jimmy Burland’s email of Oct. 20 “To the Louisiana Lobbyist Community” in which he solicited lobbyists’ attendance (and $5,000 checks) at a string of receptions across the state in the days following Saturday’s primary election.

“We need to raise more than $3 million for the runoff and we hope you will join us in maxing out $5,000 contributions from you and each of your clients,” he wrote, “bundling as much as possible as soon as possible!”

There are more than 800 lobbyists who work the Capitol in Baton Rouge and while some represent a single client, most of them have several clients. So if a lobbyist receiving Burland’s email has, say, five clients, Burland is asking the lobbyist to not only chip in $5,000, but to coerce all five clients into also ponying up the $5,000 maximum, thus allowing the lobbyist to “bundle” a cool $30,000. If any of the clients happens to have a political action committee (PAC), other companies under its corporate umbrella, and the client company’s CEO is married and has children, the $5,000 contributions can increase exponentially.

Pretty soon at that rate, you’re talking about real money—money that gets a politician’s ear when the chips are on the legislative line. Need a bill granting a special tax break for one of your clients? If you bundled several multiples of $5,000 at one of the eight receptions, the governor will see to it that floor leaders in the House and Senate carry the water for you.

But here’s the kicker with Burland’s email (to which our anonymous friend alerted us): “Please make check(s) payable to David Vitter for Louisiana and bring to one of his events or mail to 6048 Marshall Foch St., New Orleans, LA 70124. You may also contact Ms. Courtney Guastella for more information at 504-615-2083 or (email) at courtney@davidvitter.com.” (Bold emphasis Burland’s, italic emphasis ours.) https://louisianavoice.com/2015/10/21/baton-rouge-attorneylobbyist-tries-to-strongarm-lobbyists-on-behalf-of-david-vitter-via-email-for-5000-contributions/

Courtney Guastella is actually Courtney Guastella Callihan, wife of Capital One Bank director Bill Callihan and she is Vitter’s campaign finance director.

But the Callihan’s residence is also the address of the Fund for Louisiana’s Future (FLF), Vitter’s Super PAC.

By law, there is supposed to be an arm’s length relationship between candidate and Super PAC. While communications are allowed, discussions of campaign strategy between the two are strictly forbidden.

And the Justice Department has been increasing scrutiny of the cozy relationship between candidates and Super PACs. A Virginia campaign operative was convicted in February of this year. Tyler Harber was sentenced to two years in prison for illegal coordination between a campaign and a purportedly independent ally (read: Super Pac).

Harber admitted in court that he helped create a Super PAC and arranged for it to purchase $325,000 in ads to help the campaign of 2012 unsuccessful congressional candidate Chris Perkins.

“The opportunity to commit the crime (of campaign strategy coordination) has increased dramatically,” said U.S. Justice Department spokesperson Peter Carr. At the same time, however, he said, “Illegal coordination is difficult to detect.”

The Justice Department’s increasing presence in prosecuting such cases comes as complaints to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) have stalled. The FEC has failed to move ahead with coordination investigations since the 2010 Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court triggered an explosion of big money PACs. For state elections, the responsibility for investigation lies with the State Board of Ethics which was gutted by Bobby Jindal in 2008. So, in effect, there is little to no oversight over PACs in state elections.

This is yet another unseen consequence of the Citizens United decision which removed citizen participation in the political process and placed it in the hands of multi-national corporations, Wall Street, big pharma, big business, and big oil by allowing them to purchase the politicians of their choice.

On close examination, FEC regulations say that campaigns (candidates) may convey needs (as in contributions) to Super PACs. Those regulations are generally tracked by the State Board of Ethics. Operatives on both sides may communicate to each other directly so long as they do not discuss campaign strategy. A PAC may also confer with a campaign about “issue ads” featuring a candidate, prompting some legal experts to believe that a Super PAC could even share its entire paid media plan as long as no one on the candidate’s team responds.

Lee Goodman, a Republican appointee to the FEC, said the courts have said that friendships and knowledge between Super PAC and candidate cannot be prohibited. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/here-are-the-secret-ways-super-pacs-and-campaigns-can-work-together/2015/07/06/bda78210-1539-11e5-89f3-61410da94eb1_story.html

But where do you draw the line of separation between candidate and Super PAC?

FLF claims it has nothing to do with Vitter’s campaign and that “written confidentiality and firewall policies are in place to ensure that Fund for Louisiana’s Future will in no way coordinate its political communications or activities with any candidates, their committee or their agents.” http://dailykingfish.com/tag/fund-for-louisianas-future/

And yet, the address of Vitter’s campaign finance director and FLF are one and the same.

Where is the line of separation?

And Opensecrets.org shows that Vitter’s campaign has infused at least $890,000 into FLF. http://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/contrib_all.php?cycle=2014&type=A&cmte=C00541037&page=1

Where is the line of separation?

Likewise, Courtney Callihan, nee Guastella, made 25 contributions totaling $148,381 to FLF between March of 2013 and November of 2014. Guastella, Courtney

Where is the line of separation?

On Friday, the day before the primary election, Vitter and Callihan were involved in a minor traffic accident in Metairie. Callihan was driving and Vitter was the passenger when Callihan hit a second vehicle. Vitter was quickly transported from the scene by a campaign staff member. https://louisianavoice.com/2015/10/25/minor-auto-accident-could-further-undermine-vitter-bid-for-governor-federal-campaign-finance-law-violations-possible/

On the one hand, Vitter was riding with his campaign finance director. On the other, he was riding with the person who shares an address with FLF.

Where is the line of separation?

Does anyone really believe that Vitter never discusses campaign strategy with Callihan?

Likewise, does anyone believe that Callihan never consults with FLF on campaign strategy?

Where is the line of separation?

Where is the Louisiana Board of Ethics?

Where is the Attorney General’s Office?

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No sooner had we posted the story below than we learn of yet another potential scandal that could inflict more damage to Dave Vitter’s already weakened bid for governor even more than the stories about his patronizing prostitutes.

Thanks to a tip from a reader, we were alerted to Forward Progressives, a web blog we’d never seen before which discusses the newest problem for the state’s senior senator and his bid to succeed Bobby Jindal. http://www.forwardprogressives.com/theres-brand-new-david-vitter-scandal-doesnt-involve-hookers/

And we’re not too modest to point out that we first posted a story about the potential problem with his Super PAC Fund for Louisiana way back on Dec. 17, 2013 https://louisianavoice.com/2013/12/17/lines-blurred-between-sen-vitters-campaign-committee-and-new-fund-for-louisiana-super-pac-jindal-to-succeed-vitter/

But the picture became crystal clear on Election Day Eve (Friday, Oct. 23, 2015) as a result of a minor fender bender at Veterans Memorial Boulevard and Carrollton Avenue in Metairie that could land Vitter in hot water over violations of federal election laws.

Vitter was a passenger in a 2006 Mercedes Benz driven by Courtney Guastella, 36, of New Orleans, according to New Orleans police.

Ms. Guastella, identified as Vitter’s campaign finance director, it turns out is actually Courtney Gaustella Callihan, wife of Bill Callihan, a Capital One Bank director, and the two reside at 6048 Marshall Foch Street in the Lakeview area of New Orleans.

That is the same address of the Fund for Louisiana’s Future (FLF) Super PAC set up to in 2013 to help Vitter with a run for governor in 2015.

FLF was responsible for a barrage of TV ads directed against fellow Republican candidates Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle which now are expected to focus on State Rep. John Bel Edwards of Amite.

Angelle received 19 percent of the vote in Saturday’s Jungle Primary while Dardenne received 15 percent. Both were eliminated from the Nov. 21 General Election in which Vitter, who got 23 percent, will face Democrat Edwards, who led with 40 percent.

LouisianaVoice has been concerned about the close relationship between Vitter and FLF since our first story nearly two years ago, thanks to an early heads-up by the Daily Kingfish blog. http://dailykingfish.com/tag/superpac/

Washington attorney Charles Spies challenged the Louisiana Board of Ethics in December of 2013, saying that Louisiana should fall in line with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision that removed the limits on money that may be contributed to Super PACs.

The Daily Kingfish said at the time that while Spies was the mover and shaker behind the effort to remove the state’s contribution cap, the Louisiana FLF address was 6048 Marshall Foch Street in the Lakeview area of New Orleans.

Federal law prohibits any interaction between or coordinating with a candidate and any Super PAC established on his or her behalf.

Daily Kingfish and LouisianaVoice noted nearly two years ago that Courtney Guastella Callihan was listed on invitations as the contact person for a Bayou Weekend Cajun cooking, airboat swamp tour and alligator hunt set for Sept. 5-7, 2014, with Vitter as “special guest.” (Clarification: In our initial story in December of 2013, her name was spelled Gaustella instead of Guastella.)

And while it is legal for a candidate to appear at a Super PAC event, he is prohibited from soliciting campaign contributions. So, when Courtney Callihan’s name appeared on invitations as the contact person for the event, the picture got a little murky. It was enough that she served in the dual role of campaign finance director and as spokesperson for the Super PAC but Vitter dumped at least $890,000 of his own funds into FLF (far more, it turns out, than our initial reports), which seemed to blur the distinction of separation between candidate and Super PAC. http://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/contrib_all.php?cycle=2014&type=A&cmte=C00541037&page=1

Citizens United legalized independent groups raising unlimited funds (Super PACs) but it did not legalize politicians establishing dummy organizations to evade campaign finance laws.

It turns out that one Courtney Guastella has contributed $148,381 to FLF and another $55,476 directly to Vitter’s Senate campaign before than. (Note: The first of her 25 payments to FLF began in March of 2013, some nine months before Spies initiated his efforts to remove the cap on contributions.)

Guastella, Courtney

That blurs the line just a little more.

But on Friday, that picture was cleared up considerably and it was not a pretty image for Vitter, who should never have been in the vehicle with the woman.

And he wasn’t for long.

On the same day that a private investigator was arrested for illegally videoing a supporter of Edwards, Vitter was a passenger in the vehicle being driven by Callihan when she clipped a second vehicle. Vitter, who has attempted to position himself as an anti-corruption candidate, was quickly whisked away from the scene by a staffer in another vehicle and Callihan was ticketed for improper lane usage. Police said it was legal for Vitter to leave since he was not a driver. Legal, but was it ethical? Did it give the appearance that he may have had something to hide?

All things considered, it figures that Vitter would want to vacate the premises quickly.

But one thing I’ve learned in my seven decades on this earth is that no matter how fast you run, life has a way of catching up with you.

We can’t wait to see if he will show for two scheduled debates with Edwards or if Edwards will be debating an empty chair.

We’re certain there are a lot of questions about the past few days that Edwards as well as debate panelists would love to ask.

Given the flurry of events that have taken place since Friday and their possible implications, Vitter probably won’t even be asked about the hookers.

We’re betting that “Senate business” will prevent Vitter from attending the debates.

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