Washington D.C./New Orleans--Maybe there were other reasons not to rebuild the big N.O.? In 2002 and 2004, and again now in 2007, Louisiana RSCC committeeman Vincent Bruno is crowing about Sen. David Vitter's extramarital affairs. Granted, Bruno has been known as an adversary of the Vitter's for a long-time within the GOP in Louisiana, and it has a personal-grudge quality to it, but it helps unseat Republicans, a worthwhile endeavor.
In 2002, state GOP official Vincent Bruno charged on talk radio that Vitter had engaged in an extramarital affair. Bruno told Christopher Tidmore, a political columnist for The Louisiana Weekly and a candidate for the state legislature, that Vitter had consorted for 11 months with a New Orleans prostitute who went by the name Wendy Cortez. Tidmore told The Hill that other Republicans were aware of the alleged affair, adding that former Gov. Mike Foster (R) had used the information to dissuade Vitter from running for governor in 2001. At the time, Vitter said marital issues kept him from running. (theHill.com, 07.11.2007)Yes indeed, it was "marital issues" alright, and not the kind regarding homosexuals or gay marriage. Like half of America's heterosexual population, David has some problems in his marriage. It's been troubled since at least 1998, possibly much earlier.
It seems he wasn't getting what he wanted sexually at home, but then, why would his wife want to get intimate with her warder? No, there's little doubt that Vitter is a heterosexual, and those musings aren't going to lead to a better understanding of his own personal hypocrisies. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar, after all. He likes women.
Considering soon-to-be former Senator Vitter frequented the brothel of Canal Street's big time madam, Jeanette Maier, for as many as eleven months during the time of the FBI's investigation into her (really a mafia investigation that yielded no results, making the warrant claim dubious), it's likely that the Justice Department under John Ashcroft covered-up for him. It's unclear whether Vitter's name was found in Maier's "black book," along with everything else that was confiscated as evidence.
Is Senator Vitter in the FBI's phone logs from their own months-long surveillance of the Canal Street Madame's brothel? An FOIA might tell us, or an investigation by Congress. Who says Vitter stopped frequenting Maier's stable after 1999? He seemed undeterred by anything, and has continued to lie throughout this entire saga. He's not a credible witness to his own life, while ironically, his enemies can be trusted. Such is life.
And another game might be going-on, and serving a similar purpose--the pulling of articles from the internet. Besides Bruno, there's another man who has his own "axe to grind" with Senator Vitter.
In his March 26th, 2004 piece 'Congressman Denies Affair With Prostitute, Says Charges Are Politically Motivated,' journalist/politician Christopher Tidmore gives us a rundown of some of the facts and allegations surrounding the early-days of Vitter's sexual escapades. Strangely, it's no longer online at the original location, but a blogger at a Louisiana blog ("Blogueur") found the copy at Google's cache. It's also been republished at several (love that word) other sites:In point of fact, Congressman Vitter had previously refused any comment on the charges. The story appeared in this newspaper just days after Vitter dropped out of the race for Governor in June of 2002. The Louisiana Weekly published allegations that Cortez, a known prostitute, claimed that she had an 11-month affair with Vitter, a state representative at the time. Vincent Bruno, secretary of the Republican Party of Jefferson Parish and a member of the RSCC, alleged that Congressman David Vitter had engaged in an extramarital affair. In what was a high-stakes political battle between some of the most prominent members of the Louisiana Republican Party, Bruno charged that a prostitute, who stated her name to be Wendy Cortez, allegedly confessed to him to having a paid sexual relationship with Vitter. Three separate and independent sources, including WDSU-TV reporter Richard Angelico, confirmed Bruno's allegation. Each had spoken to Cortez personally, and she recounted to them the details of her alleged affair with Vitter. (PoliticsLa.com, 03.26.2004)But who says they had to be tipped-off by Cortez? The FBI was bugging the phones of Maier's bordello on Canal Street, in the French Quarter. Cortez was a subcontractor for Maier. FBI Special Agents could have conveyed the information to the RSCC's or RNC's hierarchy, irregardless of the legality of such an action. There might be more division within the national (and local) GOP than we ever imagined possible, never mind the rubber-stamp 109th Congress.
A very high-stakes game is being played in a puritanical context, which is why it doesn't really matter who's making the allegations or presenting the evidence. Regardless of motives, sundry politicos like Bruno have been spot-on in the accuracy of their claims. This is all that matters in downing hypocritical scum like Vitter. After he's gone, we can deal with the Brunos.
It should be noted here that Vincent Bruno has often been viewed as the spiritual advisor of one David Duke. Imagine how corrupt someone one is when they're hated by someone like Bruno (it could still just be personal). Someone in the press should be asking Mr. Bruno if there are other sources of information for his allegations.
What we appear to be learning is that Wendy Cortez is the connecting-link between the Canal Street Madame and "DC Madam" investigations, both dubious expenditures of federal funds at a time when terrorism is supposed to be a major-threat. Cortez felt threatened--she left New Orleans after the 2004 elections.
The corroborations are revealing, however, since it proves that Vitters was using an escort service in 2001. It's likely we'll find he did so into 2007. At the very least, a pattern of abuse of federal counterterrorism an anti-racketeering laws appears to be emerging here. Why such overkill with the escort services, brothels, and madams? Because they are a nexus of submerged political activity (see "Salon Kitty" piece) and blackmail, frequently unknown to the owners of such businesses.
What they didn't know was that the phones were bugged, and the FBI had recorded 5,000 calls. This is a recorded conversation of Tommie's describing prostitutes to prospective clients.
Tommie: I got one in that’s got the kind of boobs you like.
Customer: Oh really?
Tommie: Yeah, the cat girl.
Customer: What does she look like?
Tommie: She looks like a cat!!
For four months, 10 FBI agents took turns listening in the days before, during and after September 11, 2001. “They tapped my phone. I'm calling people in New York, crying,” says Monica. “I called everybody. Oh my God. We're being attacked! And they're taping phone conversations about a brothel?” Lawmakers wondered the same thing. The investigation was even ridiculed at a hearing on terrorism. “I realize it comes as an enormous revelation to the American public that there might have been prostitutes in New Orleans. I mean, who knew,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy. (CBSnews.com, 10.30.2004)
The FBI, Justice Department, the RSCC, and the RNC sure knew. Narrowing the focus of the investigations, and keeping the prominent "johns" protected and anonymous is their goal. It reeks of an unspoken national policy that spans several political epochs.
Jeane Palfrey might be the end to this arrangement, and it's even money that her prosecution is being expedited to protect prominent Republican office-holders (for now). Still want a job at Justice? Jeanette Maier might consider opening-up her little black book now that Jeane Palfrey has released her own records, though we might be disappointed in the outcome.
That's right, Maier's attorney has stated that Vitter's name isn't in it. The feds seized lots of other records, and it's doubtful Mosca has seen them all. Interestingly, Mosca told Maier to plead guilty and "cooperate with authorities." That's a very strange lawyer, that one. Ms. Maier might reconsider her representation--he might be drawing a government paycheck. Infiltrating the defense is an old tactic of U.S. Attorneys, particularly in antiradical cases. Do they use it elsewhere?In a statement from the former madam's attorney, Vinnie Mosca says he has "absolutely no recollection of David Vitter's name ever appearing on any document, book, or list, or having any association with the Canal Street Brothel or Jeanette."He goes on to say, "Miss Maier mis-spoke." (KATC, 07.11.2007)
The Hill.com, yesterday: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/vitter-hides-as-the-senate-gop-circles-its-wagons-2007-07-11.html"Blagueur" (links to the cached PoliticsLa.com article): http://joefromla.blogspot.com/2007/07/article-from-2004-about-vitters-affair.htmlKATC, on the Canal Street Madame's corroboration, 07.11.2007: http://www.katc.com/Global/story.asp?S=6772519
CBS News, 10.30.2004: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/05/48hours/main552399.shtml