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LYIN' CHEATIN' BASTARDS | November 1, 2014

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Edwin Edwards

Edwin Edwards

Scoring

142.4

Special Awards: Audacity
#9 Bastard

UPDATE: Edwards’ third wife Trina, 51 years his junior, is pregnant. 

The happy couple announced on February 15, 2013, that whatever they were doing (the mind reels), worked. In addition to having a baby, the famous couple also have their own reality show,  The Governor’s Wife. It is certainly a complicated situation in the Edwards household: Trina is already stepmother to Edwards’ two daughters who are twice her age. 

Originally scheduled to premiere February 27th, the show will not air until the summer according to A&E. It was moved to accommodate a schedule change for another reality show, Duck Dynasty. (Reality shows Swamp People and Rat Bastards are also shot in Louisiana,  a virtual Mecca of smart, sophisticated programming).

 

 

FORMER LOUISIANA GOVERNOR EDWIN W. EDWARDS began his political career with a race for the Crowley, LA, city council in 1954. Nearly fifty years (and three wives) later, he ended it with an eight-year stint in prison.

In May 2000, Edwards and four others were convicted of extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from businesses applying for riverboat casino licenses. The Louisiana governor began the conspiracy during his last term in office, and continued the shakedown through his law practice after retiring from politics.

According to court documents, Edwards demanded large fees from businesses in return for issuing the licenses. This included a payment of $400,000 from Eddie DeBartolo, the then-owner of the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately for Edwards, the FBI recorded him demanding the money from DeBartolo. The feds also shot video of the former governor receiving said money in his law office—something he should have anticipated. He told the messenger to “make sure that everybody involved is careful about how that’s passed out,” because he knew the FBI had begun an investigation.

A family man, Edwards got his son involved, too. Stephen Edwards was sentenced to seven years in prison and a $60,000 fine alongside Edwards himself, who received ten years and a fine of $250,000. (It is not clear if bastarditis is genetic. More research is needed.)

But the fines were nothing compared to the reported $3 million Edwards and his cronies extorted, and the charges did nothing to diminish Edwards’ cult-like status in the state. After all, The Cajun King’s constituency expected nothing less.

 

 

“We all knew he was going to steal,” one of his supporters told The New York Times. “He told us he was going to do it.”

 

In fact, Edwards’ honesty about his dishonesty only contributed to his celebrity. He never lied about his double-dealing, telling newspapers, “Lying is a big part of my job.” Edwards didn’t even deny accepting questionable contributions from large corporations during his 1971 campaign for governor. “Well,” he said, “maybe it was illegal for them to give, but not for me to receive.”

In 1991, Edwards ran for governor against David Duke, a Ku Klux Klan wizard. Even die-hard Republicans were afraid of what might happen if Duke won. Both sides were so worried, bumper stickers started showing up everywhere that read: Vote for the Crook: It’s Important.

Despite his penchant for lying, cheating and stealing, Edwards insisted it wasn’t about the money. “I’m just not that into money,” he told The Los Angeles Times during one of his early scandals. “That’s what’s so absurd about all of this. Power turns me on, fame turns me on. But not money. It never has.”

While that might be true for eighty-four-year-old Edwards, it may not be true of his newest wife. Thirty-two-year-old Trina Grimes Scott, Edwards’ third spouse, is fifty-one years his junior. Their courtship began romantically enough, when Grimes Scott began writing letters to Edwards while he was in prison. The mother of two began visiting him soon after their first correspondence, and the happy couple was married in 2011 after Edwards’ release. Research has not revealed a previous occupation for Scott Edwards. Always a gentleman, the lifelong Democrat spoke highly of his new conservative wife at a fundraiser later that year. “I found out a use for Republicans. You sleep with them,” Edwards joked. His wife was heard laughing—all the way to the bank.

 

Sources

Ex-governor, wife land reality show on A&E network. The Advocate, March 7, 2013. Michelle Millhollon. Accessed May 19, 2013.

The Governor’s Wife pushed back…again. Gambit, The Best of New Orleans, February 8, 2013. Lauren Laborde. Accessed May 19, 2013.