Yesterday, I started writing about how one person had a great deal to do with the Hurricane Katrina tragedy. If you missed yesterday, shame on you. You will have to read Part One for any of this to make sense. Oh, how I hope this makes sense.
As I was writing, Buddy Roemer was elected, mostly because of Edwards ethically challenged character. Edwards dropped out of the 1987 race, and one columnist stated, "The only way Edwards can ever be reelected is to run against Adolph Hitler."
And as luck would have it (for Edwards, not for the people of Louisiana), an Adolph Hitler character ran in 1991.
For the 1991 election, Republicans and Democrats and every other flavor of politician ran together in the primary, and the two top vote-getters would face one another in the general election.
Incumbent Buddy Roemer and 3-time Governor Edwards were running neck and neck, with a third candidate trailing far behind. Buddy Roemer had switched parties, theorizing that he could take both the Republican vote and moderate conservatives as well.
Edwards was a crafty politician, and his staff dug up a quote about Roemer supporting Michael Dukakis over President Bush (he said, "Dan Quail made up my mind."). This did not sit well with conservatives.
When the ballots were counted in the primary, Edwards received 33.8% of the vote, the candidate who was running third in most polls received a surprising 31.7% of the vote, and incumbent Roemer received 26.5% of the vote and was eliminated from the race.
Edwards was prepared to run against his opponent, and it is reported that Edward's staff counseled Edwards to stop dating 20-year-olds. Some reports surfaced that his dates should be at least 25.
Some facts about Edward's opponent:
1. There was a 1989 photo of him shaking hands with the head of the American Nazi Party.
2. Even though Edwards was dating 20-year-olds, this man had been accused of dating at least one 17-year-old. Edwards said of his opponent that he "is not a womanizer. He is a little-girlizer."
3. He made several public anti-Semitic remarks (and said that the Holocaust was a hoax).
4. When asked about issues, he was usually caught off-guard. He, for example, could not name any of the top three employers in the state.
5. He had stated publicly that blacks were inferior to whites.
During the election, Edward's opponent renounced many of the things he had said previously.
Edwards won the election with about 61% of the vote. Buddy Roemer, when leaving office, said that Edwards "for twenty years created a hunger for integrity, was saved in the end by having a man run against him who has less integrity."
One of his first acts after moving back into the governor's mansion was to appoint Robert Harvey, to head the Orleans District levee board. Robert Harvey's qualification for this appointment: contributing $5,000 to Edwards campaign.
The headway that previous administrations had made about forcing the Army Corps of Engineers to built higher levees were forgotten. Over the next few years, the levee board was preoccupied with other priorities.
Oh, and the man who ran against Edwards – the man who was more crooked than a master crook? David Duke.
So you see, gentle reader, some could argue that David Duke, making it into the general election, is in part responsible for having levees that were not high enough to protect New Orleans. You see, Robert Harvey did not give $5,000 to the Duke campaign. And that (insert Paul Harvey pause) is the rest of the story.
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