The Widdershins

So have you heard the one about the Senator and the prostitute(s)?

Posted on: November 3, 2015

Vitter raise-your-hand-mdaaur

Yes, that would be Louisiana’s own…David Vitter.  Now this isn’t news that Vitter was rumored to be linked to the D.C. Madam.  That’s old news.  However, what wasn’t old news was when investigative blogger Jason Brad Berry of American Zombie dropped the bombshell right before the state’s “jungle

One hooker story ain't gonna hurt no one

One hooker story ain’t gonna hurt no one

primary” that the old rumors of Vitter’s association with a hooker in La. were indeed true.  After the D.C. Madam story there were always rumors that Vitter had also had “assignations” with prostitutes in La. – rumors that Vitter always denied.

Jason Berry decided to dig into the La. hooker stories and was able to make contact with Wendy Ellis, who was known as Wendy Cortez at the time she was rumored to be associated with Vitter.  Berry interviewed Ellis and videotaped segments of the interviews.  The bombshell that Ellis/Cortez dropped was that she became pregnant by Vitter and he wanted her to have an abortion.  This, from Mr. Pro-life, conservative/Christian values Vitter.  (as an aside, how convenient for Vitter that Ellis’ and his wife’s names are both Wendy!).

The following interview segments are with former prostitute, Wendy Ellis, also known as Wendy Cortez in original stories that surfaced from Hustler magazine back in 2007.  Ellis originally came forward with allegations that she had serviced Vitter here in New Orleans during the height of the prostitution scandal involving the D.C. madame, Debra Jean Palfrey.

But she said it was 'UGE!

But she said it was ‘UGE!

After speaking with Ellis, she told me that the Hustler interview was not totally accurate and not only did they publish a small portion of the story, some of the facts were misconstrued.

Upon meeting her, she informed me that she was terminally ill with an advanced form of lupus. She agreed to let me interview her because she wanted to “set the record straight” in the time she has left. –

Well you can imagine how this hit in the days right before the primary for governor.  However, many of the “lame-stream” media either did not cover it or only gave it a cursory mention.  There are probably many reasons for this but surely the fact that Vitter is a sitting U.S. Senator and has powerful friends played a part in it. 

Yeah I look like this after a night of whoring around

Probably too, they thought “oh this is some guy who writes a blog”.  That would be okay too except for the fact that Jason has written other long form pieces investigating the B.P. claims process and how it provided lots of money for the lawyers involved plus the claims administrators who worked on the claims process.  So as the old country saying goes, “that dog don’t hunt”.  However, Berry wasn’t done and he then published interviews with another group of “working girls”, which you can read here and here.


* * * * *

Louisiana now most assuredly falls into the “red state” category, not having elected a Democrat to statewide office since 2008.  That being said, David Vitter is not loved very much in the state despite being the “senior Senator” since the defeat of Mary Landrieu.   Hell, he’s not even well liked in the Senate. The political chattering class in Louisiana assumed that Vitter would make it to a runoff with Democrat John Bel Edwards; it was a given considering the advantage he had in money.  But oh my; either the new “hooker-gate” or just a general dislike of Vitter which the pollsters didn’t pick up on sure came into play.  In the primary David Vitter got a whopping twenty-three percent of the vote.

Now if events were to go the assumed way, Angelle and Dardenne would dutifully fall in line behind Vitter, endorse him and he would have the needed votes to capture the governor’s chair in the runoff.  But things haven’t turned out in the expected way with this race.  Dardenne has said he would not make an endorsement in the runoff but said “he would only wish one of the candidates well”.  And those well wishes aren’t going to Vitter since he ran his typical campaign of sleazy, half-truth ads against his two Republican opponents.  Some of the staff of Angelle and Dardenne have quietly stated to other connected folks that they will be supporting Edwards.  And it will take some instances like that to get Edwards elected as the governor.  He’ll need to peel off some of Dardenne’s and Angelle’s supporters and that’s a possibility.  Many of them are so disgusted with the way Vitter ran his attack campaign that they are going to cross over the line and vote for Edwards or they’ll stay home.  Either could be helpful to John Bel.  As Bob Mann points out on his blog:

Edwards only needs about 25 percent to 30 percent of the non-Vitter Republican vote — and less, if substantial numbers of disaffected Republicans refuse to vote at all (or if Edwards substantially increases his black vote on Nov. 21).

A certain percentage (maybe 5 points) of Angelle’s and Dardenne’s combined 34 percent were Vitter no chargeslikely Democrats who voted for one of the two Republicans for various reasons (Baton Rouge-area or Acadiana residents who voted for the home boy). Those Dardenne-Democrats or Angelle-Democrats will come home on Election Day without much effort.

Edwards will have to work to persuade the others to vote for him, but they have already voted against Vitter once. It is not difficult to see how Edwards could peel off a mere 25 percent of the remaining non-Vitter vote by appealing to their disgust or disenchantment with Vitter.

But wait!  Because John Bel’s path to the governor’s mansion may be easier than anyone thought.  The day of Vitter’s dismal result in the primary, it seemed he was hit with what Tom Aswell of Louisiana Voice called a Triple Whammy.

There is a sheriff in suburban Jefferson Parish who has a weekly Breakfast Club get-together with some political cronies and other political movers and shakers who have supported the sheriff – Newell Norman.  So while they were enjoying their food and coffee, Normand notices a younger guy sitting near them who is acting a bit strange.  The sheriff takes a walk over to the guy and discovers he has a recording app on an I-phone and has been recording the sheriff’s little group.  The sheriff asks “Have you been recording me?” and the guy, one 30-year-old Robert Frenzel of Dallas decides to take off and run.  Now that right there is not real smart.  You are going to take off running from the sheriff of Jefferson Parish, a man who has several hundreds if not more deputies under his command, and you think you’re going to get away?  I think not. Sheriff”s deputies found him a short time later hiding behind a central air conditioning unit.

As it turns out, Mr. Robert Frenzel of Dallas Texas is licensed and works as a private investigator for a firm called Bearden Investigative Agency.  Except as Bob Mann found out when it came to his campaign finance reports Vitter was listing costs for J.W. Bearden & Associates a law firm.  Both entities have the same address.  And on his campaign reports Vitter listed over $135,869  paid to Bearden & Associates.  Now getting back to Mr. Frenzel the (bad) P.I., after he was arrested he told the sheriff he was there to record not the sheriff, but “the guy with the white beard”.  Now it turns out that “Santa Claus” is John Cummings a very wealthy trial lawyer and financial supporter of John Bel Williams.  Quelle Surprise!  This would be embarrassing enough to the average person, but the Vitter campaign issued a statement that made this recording of a private citizen nothing out of the ordinary and really

several hours after being contacted for comment — Vitter’s gubernatorial campaign issued a statement saying that Frenzel “works for a firm that we hired to do research, all within the bounds of the law.”

The statement, attributed to Vitter campaign spokesman Luke Bolar, continued: “This includes John Bel Edwards’ business associate and major donor, and his relationship with the John Bel Edwards campaign. It has nothing to do with Newell Normand.”

Well that’s so easy to understand:  its a big no-no to be investigating an elected official – my goodness they wouldn’t do that.  But investigating a private citizen (wealthy or not), why that’s just business as usual as we the Vitter campaign see it.  Nothing to see here…just move along.  Just move along please, nothing going on here.

And that third whammy to hit Vitter?  Why that was Vitter (or at least his Mercedes) was involved in a minor fender-bender with another car.  Vitter wasn’t driving.  However who the driver was, is the interesting part.

According to local sources, David Vitter was quickly whisked away in another vehicle by a staffer and the driver of the Mercedes was cited for improper lane usage. The driver was 36-year-old Courtney Gaustella Callihan, the wife of Bill Callihan, a director at Capital One Bank. Their home address is also listed as the address for Fund for Louisiana, the Super PAC backing Vitter, according to documents filed with the FEC.


If these connections are true, along with a possible investigation into his spying on private individuals, it’s likely that David Vitter could find himself in serious legal trouble. Granted, the rules governing the actions of Super PACs are so loose that Vitter could have found a way to do this without breaking the law. The problem for Vitter is that it is especially hypocritical considering the fact he went after Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne’s campaign for allegedly coordinating with his own Super PAC in photos apparently taken by a private investigator. Considering the fact that these would be potential federal investigations instead of state investigations, Vitter wouldn’t be able to leverage as many political connections. The people of Louisiana might be able to look the other way and vote for a “pro-life conservative” despite his serious moral failings, but the FEC and FBI don’t subscribe to the same hypocritical moral code as the people who voted for David Vitter.

As I wrote above, if enough Republicans who didn’t vote for Vitter get disgusted enough and either stay home or vote against Vitter, it could be enough for Edwards to win.

* * * * *

Finally, John Bel Edwards, while he is registered as a Democrat, would probably make my Northern and Left Coast friends fall over in a dead faint.  However, he supports the expansion of Medicaid in the state and says there is also already a method to pay for the state’s share of expanded Medicaid when that starts in 2017.  His wife is a public school teacher so he won’t be bashing the teachers as has become so fashionable with the Republicans.  He is not tied to the oil and gas industry in the state.  He wants to look at some sensible sentencing reforms to possibly release some people currently in prison in the state.  If the United States is the number one country in jailing its citizens, Louisiana is the number one state at doing the same.  And naturally Vitter has already run an ad talking about how Edwards wants to turn 5,500 “thugs”loose in the state.  I wouldn’t have expected any less from him.

As Molly Ivins said “You got to dance with them what brung you”.  Edwards will be a breath of fresh air after the eight years of Piyush destroying the state brick-by-brick and selling it off and before Vitter could get in to finish the job off.

This is the type of ad that Vitter will run:  (sorry – it’s not in a format I can embed)

And here is what John Bel Edwards is running:

and this one:

This is an open post so y’all take the conversation wherever you wish.


59 Responses to "So have you heard the one about the Senator and the prostitute(s)?"

Wow, Fredster. It’s been a long time since I lived in good ole N’Awlins, but Louisiana politics has apparently gotten worse. I wouldn’t have thought that was possible. 😯

Is John Bel Edwards any relation to The Edwards, former governor, entertaining crook?

Excellent post Fredster. While I have read much about this mishegas, you’ve done a great job in making the craziness, coming from all angles, understandable.

You know, Vitters would be a typical fallen man, if he didn’t crank up the hypocrisy to 13 on a ten scale. Not only is he a hypocrite, he’s a mean man and that’s just not forgivable. It’s one thing having conservative beliefs, but it is quite another to revel in hurting poor people.

@quixote: No, he’s not related to the former guv and yes, entertaining crook. (some of us still like him). He and his latest wife (3?) just had a baby a year or so ago. Go figure!

During the last election cycle Edwin ran for a congressional seat in Baton Rouge and actually made the runoff! o_O

Nor is he related to John Edwards of North Carolina. I think that’s why he is running with his middle name added in there.

@2: Thanks Prolix, much appreciated. Prolix I think that’s the reason he did so badly in the primary. He not only has his “frailties”, but he’s also just mean and vindictive.

I am really hoping that this poll is accurate. Of course the runoff is still a few weeks away but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that at least the trend continues, if not the high numbers.

Fredster, my WordPress overlord still won’t let me like stuff — I guess he/she/it feels “liking” something would be more enjoyment than I could take in one sitting.

I’m off to vote. Turnout has been abysmal and that should be in all caps. It might be around 10%. That is nine kinds of scary because the Kim Davis cheer and pep squad has been beating the bushes. Beating the bushes is appropriate given the predominant coiffure. The cheer team can’t do much in the way of acrobatics given their long dresses.

@6: No problem about the liking thing.

My Lord that turnout is worse than La’s! I saw an article (WaPo?) about the fact that her ilk were working the GOTV That’s not good.

Of course we want a post from you on the post-election story. I’m hoping Kentucky stays blue and La gets added to that column in the governor counts.

The cheer team can’t do much in the way of acrobatics given their long dresses.

I just had to get out the eye bleach. o_O

Fredster, as Prolix said, thanks for explaining all of this. I knew Vitter was horrid, but didn’t grasp the details. Am keeping my fingers crossed for Edwards. After the the evil piyush, poor LA deserves a break.

I can “like” a post, but I always forget! Sorry about that! I do say I like them though!

Huffpo’s headline is currently about the KY election.

@9: Annie I have my fingers crossed too. It seems that right now, the stench from Vitter is too much for a lot of people to handle.

Edwards will need to do a bit more on getting the A.A. vote. As a conservative Democrat and also not from a big metro area he’s going to have to get some endorsements from some A.A. political leaders. I think if he gets that and some peel off from Republican voters I think he has a good shot of getting in.

Oh and thanks for the like. 🙂

@10: I’m sure Prolix will have some good insights into the Ky race when the election is over.

Yea! In the first C.F.P. poll LSU is # 2! Have to get past Bama this Saturday and the rest of the schedule isn’t easy.

Can’t stay long folks, I’ve called Two Men and a Truck to move me out of this abysmally egregious state. As of now you can forward my mail to a more enlightened place — Cell 201, Gitmo.

The election was, to say the least, disappointing. Disappointing like a melted ice cream birthday cake, disappointing like the final episode of The Sopranos, disappointing like realizing your parachute is really a Hello Kitty backpack.

Matt Bevin is a Tea Party zealot that makes Sam Brownback out in Kansas look like a principled policy wonk. He’s an opportunistic carpetbagger who took a government bailout to cover the lack of insurance on his bell factory business, but now wants to end Kynect, the most successful state implemented ACA plan in the nation. That will cut half a million people off the insurance rolls. He also wants to retroactively start monkeying with teachers’ retirement. He wants to double and triple down on coal fired generation plants. Just today Repubs filed legislation to cut off Planned Parenthood from any Title X funding. I could go on all night.

Here’s a way to understand it — envision a progressive policy helping people. Now envision 180 degrees in the opposite direction. That would be Bevin’s position.

What’s worse? The guy can’t tell the truth. He refutes videotape right in front of his eyes proving what he’s denying.

It was a sad evening for Prolix, but I feared this. Jack Conway, attorney general and the guy who had his arse handed to him by Rand Paul over Aqua Buddha, is a horribly uninspiring candidate. He’s boy governor at Boy’s State material who graduated with honors from Entitlement University.

Oh, and my friend Glen says hello — Glenfiddich that is. The force and pours are strong with Glen tonight.

Prolix, I saw the results flashed on Maddow’s show and was completely gobsmacked.

I thought Conway stood a chance considering all the baggage that Bevin carried. That makes me wonder if Vitter is underpolling.

Just today Repubs filed legislation to cut off Planned Parenthood from any Title X funding.

If you have any decent judges in the appropriate district, that idea will get squashed. That’s what happened with P.P. in La with Piyush trying the same thing. Of course he’s appealing to the 5th Circuit and giving the state’s case to one of his buddies who has already made over a million from Piyush’s fruitless appeals.

I sympathize with you Prolix and hope we won’t be following you down that particular trail.

Talk about disgusting! #socklessdeadintern and #drunkmika had an “interview” with the Koch Bros. There’s also a write-up in Salon.

Fredster, excellent post. Your research and writing talent is always impressive. Like Prolix and Annie said, I now understand what is happening in LA much more clearly. In a sane world, Vitters would have been toast long ago. Hoping for a win for Edwards! Keep us posted on LA happenings.

Prolix, you and the good people of Kentucky have my condolences. Putting aside any silly Indiana-Kentucky rivalries, I mean that sincerely. It is a very sad day for Kentucky.

Beata@18: Thank you very much Beata. I appreciate your compliment and comment. 🙂

There are a lot of us hoping that Vitter gets his comeuppance in this election. Then he can go back to Washington, finish out his term as one of one hundred…not well liked even in his own party and then maybe disappear into the lobbying world or something.

@19: Amen sister Beata, amen.

Why I like doxies – because they do silly things like this:

Today’s post on Rude Pundit has to do with the Kentucky governor’s election. I’m sure Prolix has seen it. It’s brutal and deservedly so.

I hope this is another nail in Vitter’s coffin. Jay Dardenne is going to endorse John Bel Edwards in the runoff.

@19, Thanks Beata. It is really sad. If Trump is considered Pro for snake oil hucksterism, unbridled hyperbole, and preying upon those lost to credulity, Matt Bevin is definitely at least Triple AAA.

Bevin is clueless, has problems with his temper, lies like 20-year old linoleum, and has an air of cultivated superiority over us genetically inferior incest products. If that isn’t enough, he’s mean spirited.

If he repeals the executive order expanding Medicaid, it will be devastating. His logic is that by 2020, 10% will be too much for the 90% the state will receive in matching funds. Idiotic — because almost 80K healthcare jobs have and will be created by the Medicaid expansion. The U.K. Med Center and Med School has embarked on a billion dollar expansion — half of which is complete.

If taking away almost 500,000 people’s heath care isn’t enough, if you are a teacher or a state employee, he has stated pensions are at risk. His crazy Tea Partiness wants to change the calculation methods and benefits of vested retired teachers as well as those currently working toward retirement.

Oh, and he wants to cut taxes on business on top of all that. Oh, and to top that, he’s attracted to his inner circle all the hoodlums from the last Repub governor ten years ago — many of whom were indicted, tried, and convicted.

So the noble little experiment of the people who say, “Government can’t do anything and everything would be perfect if they were running things,” are about to get that chance.

@23, The Rude Pundit nails it. That is awesome and 100% true.

It also didn’t hurt Bevin when the RGA came back to the state and dumped a $2.5 million ad buy in the last two weeks.

Matt Bevin is worse than Mike Pence. It’s difficult to sink that low. Taking away Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion when it has been such a success would be criminal.

The map on Rude Pundit shows that Rowan County, the domicile of Kim Davis, was one of the few counties in Kentucky that went Democratic for Jack Conway. We live in strange times.

@27: Isn’t that so strange about Rowan County? I wonder if a lot of the students at M.S.U. registered to vote there?

I checked my dad’s home county and it went red. Checked a few others I knew of and red, red, red. Of course these are counties in the middle of Appalachia and probably have a good number of people who were able to sign up for the expanded Medicaid.

His logic is that by 2020, 10% will be too much for the 90% the state will receive in matching funds

That’s the same crap that Jindal said when it came to La. However, Edwards said that a fee passed by the lege would more than take care of the 10% in La. I think it was something like assessing a fee on hospitals or something similar.

@29: I loved this:

A threat to Paul’s five-year title came earlier this fall, when he fended off a strong challenge by the county clerk Kim Davis.

@28: I checked my grandpa’s home county and it went red. It’s funny how things change. Grandpa was a union man ’til the day he died. All that side of my family was Democrat.

From that New Yorker page.

I’m so glad we got that cleared up.

@32: That’s like my granddad, step granddad and uncles – union proud with the UMW.

Prolix, that is heartbreaking. I hope all of the people he is planning to screw over can sue him. He sounds hideous. I thought Ahnold was bad. Am very sad for you and the other people of Kentucky. Even the stupid ones who voted for this crook.

Oh! I’ve meant to mention that Chat has some type of respiratory mess that has her down right now. I’m sure she’ll be back when she’s feeling better.

Prolix, I have a couple of questions for you. Did Jack Conway have any national Democrats come to Kentucky to campaign for him? Would that have helped or hurt him?

@36: I’m sorry to hear about Chat. Hope she feels better very soon.

Also sad to hear about Chat, and sending get well wishes and good vibes her way.

Beata, yes, the big name democrats and their big donors need to ramp up their efforts for the little dems. Its gotten really bad. I read someplace that Al Franken is working on it.

@40: Annie, I am very concerned about next year’s down-ticket races. We have a weak Democratic candidate here ( John Gregg – who is way too conservative for me but he’s the only Democrat in the race ) running for governor against Mike Pence. Pence is very unpopular in the state, even among many Republicans, but he’s going to have a lot of outside GOP money and other support. Gregg could beat Pence but he’s going to need help. I think this scenario is playing out in other GOP-controlled states as well. Instead of merely writing us all off as backward and hopeless places, national Democrats should throw us lifelines!

@41, agree 100%!

Al Franken is working to take back the senate:

And a story about how bad things are for democrats:

Fredster, I think I’m in moderation?

annie, yep you had one pending (having 2 links in the comment does that. It’s released now.

@socal and beata: This is only my opinion but I think the national party has to be careful about who they send where to help out local candidates. For instance, if they tried sending Al Franken or, say, Barbara Boxer to some states where there are a number of conservative Dems, that would backfire.

Prolix told me in an email that the Nat’l Repub Guv; Assoc. ran a ton of commercials trying to tie Conway in Kentucky to Obama. And that’s the exact same thing they are running in Louisiana. However, I think Edwards has some things going in his favor such as being a graduate of the Military Academy at West Point, being a “conservative Dem”, etc. As I said in the post, if he called himself a Democrat in the Northeast or in Cali, people would be in shock.

So with all of that, having the Nat’l Dems come in could be a problem depending on who it is.

@43: It’s good to see that Al Franken is working to get the Senate back. Indiana has an open Senate seat in 2016 ( Republican Sen. Dan Coats is not running for re-election ) so there is a chance to pick up a seat there. Former Rep. Baron Hill (D) is running in that race. He represented my district. Not a liberal candidate but the type of moderate Democrat who could get elected here with enough $upport. The Politico article says Franken is endorsing Ted Strickland in the Ohio Senate race. I saw Strickland on TV the other day. He’s from my grandmother’s home county so I can’t help but like him. He’s probably a relative. LOL.

@46: Fredster, I was thinking that Bill Clinton would be a good national Democrat to send to places like Kentucky and Indiana. He still seems to be popular around here. I agree that Obama would not be helpful in most red states.

@46: Fredster, people in the Northeast and on the West coast just don’t realize how difficult it is for a liberal Democrat to get elected in states like ours. We have to take what we can get and that usually means a conservative Democrat. I’m not happy about it but that’s the political reality. Indiana’s junior Senator, Joe Donnelly (D), is quite conservative. I’m sure if he were running in his home state of New York, it would be as a Republican. He would never get elected as a Democrat there.

Hillary will be on the Jimmy Kimmel show tonight ( Thursday ) .

@48: I was thinking the same thing about the Big Dawg.

I don’t think he’d be helpful in La. right now because the unsaid thing about Vitter is the hookers. If Bill showed up then Monica’s name would not be far behind.

@49: Agree with you totally. I would say that most of the Dems in question are really moderate or centrist Democrats, but they have to have that “conservative” image to even have a shot at winning an election.

Great about Hillary on Kimmel. I’ll have to jot that down so I don’t forget.

Just a fantastic post over at HillaryMen. You have to check it out.

@46, good point. Maybe they dems could buy ads featuring vets from Iraq & Afghanistan supporting whomever the dem nominee is, a lot of vets support dems, and conservatives seem to have a lot of respect for people who’ve served.

@50, thanks Beata.

**meant to say “the dems”**

@53: That is an excellent post. Maybe the best yet from HillaryMen.

@54: Very good idea, Annie. Vets for Democratic candidates would probably go over well in conservative states.

@56: Agree totally.

There’s a new post upstairs if you are so inclined.

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