Wednesday, 19 January 2011 17:17

Louisiana Saga: Bobby Jindal Meets Edwin Edwards

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John Maginnis--Louisiana PoliticsNoting the release from federal prison of former Gov. Edwin Edwards, Gov. Bobby Jindal said he looks forward to meeting him. That shouldn’t be hard to arrange.

    “Pleased to finally meet you, Edwin. Welcome back to the Mansion. Did you have any trouble coming in?”

    “No, but I jumped a little when that big gate closed behind me. Who built that monstrosity?”

   “Mike Foster put it in. Said it made him feel safer.”

   “With all his guns, who would bother him?”

   “I kinda like it, because it keeps out the riff-raff.”

   “My old cronies are still coming around? Cecil Brown? Andrew Martin?”

   “No, I mean legislators.”

   “I didn’t mind the legislators. We’d put each one in a separate room, and I’d make my rounds, like a doctor.”

   “Hmmm. We think of the Mansion as more of a home. Supriya and the kids and I have had loads of fun exploring it.”

    “I bet. By the way, did you happen to come across an old suitcase of mine? It would have been light, filled with, eh, papers. And a pair of handcuffs attached to the handle.”

    “No, but that’s funny. A fellow from Nevada came asking for the same thing—he said it was Caesar’s. You know him?”

    “Yes, I rendered plenty unto Caesar.”

   “But look, what’s your advice on dealing with these legislators? Timmy says they call all the time and they always want something.”

   “I always returned my calls, especially to legislators. They’re a pain, but it doesn’t take much to get them to do just what you want.”

   “I see your point, but there’s so many of them. So what we’re trying to do is deal with just a few key leaders, who can get the rest to follow?”

   “Is that why I saw John Alario leaving by the side door?”

   “Sen. Alario has been extremely helpful. And everybody loves him. I think he’s going to be the next Senate President.”

   “John was my Speaker of the House, one of the best I had.”

   “The Speaker I have is a lost cause. So snippy. All he wants to do is cut, cut, cut. That’s why a guy like Alario is so important in the Senate.”

   “He’s a very good politician.”

   “Yes, but John has changed from when he was on your side. He’s a Republican now.”

   “I think you’ll find that the only side John wants to be on is the inside.” 

   “Well, I’m not complaining. The office of the governor can do so much good. I am awed and humbled by its power.”

   “The chicks love it too.”

   “Chicks? Oh, you must mean that poultry processing plant in Farmerville that we gave a California company $40 million to buy out of bakruptcy.”

   “We heard about that in the joint—some of the wise guys thought it was brilliant. By the way, did Francis Thompson have anything to do with it?”

   “The senator from Delhi was integral to the deal.”

   “That figures.”   

   “This economic development stuff is very challenging. And expensive too. I’ve had to agree to put up a lot of money to get companies to do business in Louisiana.”

   “The other way ‘round worked better for me, for awhile anyway.”

   “At least we were able to get something out of BP. I got them to build me a sand berm. Catches oil and everything. I bet you never got anything like that.”

   “I did very well by the oil companies, but, no, I never asked for a berm.”

   “Anyway, congratulations on the success of your book. How come it sold better than mine did?”

   “Maybe because I had some good stories to tell.”

   “I can tell an Aggie joke.”

   “So I heard. My, look at the time. I need to get back to my job at Buddy Leach’s office.”

   “He’s the chairman of the state Democratic Party. Are you advising him on how to beat me?”

   “Relax, I’m just consulting on his businesses. Besides, I’ve done enough for the Democrats. I left them my legacy.”

   “And I thank you for that every day. I might not be here but for your legacy. Now don’t worry about the guards at the front gate. They’ll let you out.”

by John Maginnis.  Read more about John Maginnis at

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