Murky & Sordid: Vitter Story Update

My name is Adrastos and I’m your lying hooker/politician correspondent. There have been several developments in the Vitter story in the last two days, but it remains as clear as the mud that’s polluting the Gret Stet Goober race.

Jason Berry interviewed two woman for American Zombie. He calls one of them “Vana” and she kinda sorta supports Wendy Ellis/Williams/Cortez’s story. The reason I say kinda sorta is that it’s pure hearsay: “Wendy told me Vitter kept her, knocked her up, and told her to get an abortion.” She doesn’t appear to have ever seen Ellis/Williams/Cortez pregnant with Vitter’s spawn.

The other AZ interview is with Jeanette Maier aka the Canal Street Madam. This interview is of limited usefulness because she says she “knew of Wendy,” but didn’t know her. Instant Update: Berry just posted another interview with Ms. Maier wherein she claimed that she “serviced” Vitter in the 1990’s.  I’ll watch the video tomorrow. I don’t feel like rolling in that particular gutter tonight.

While Wendy Ellis/Williams/Cortez’s motives remain murky, I  think I know *why* the one-time Canal Street madam wants Vitter to lose. She’s a damn librul who I kinda sorta met at a pro-Kerry event in 2004.

There was a Goober race debate on the LSU campus on Wednesday night between Blue Dog Democrat Jon Bel Edwards and two Republicans, Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle. Vitter was absent, which probably made the following inevitable:

In the final debate before voters head to the polls Saturday to vote for governor, Republican Scott Angelle launched the most pointed attack yet on rival David Vitter’s prostitution scandal.

“We have a stench that is getting ready to come over Louisiana, if we elect David Vitter as governor,” Angelle said, pivoting from a question about higher education.

“There is a shadow that has been cast over Sen. Vitter, a shadow that if it continues, will follow Louisiana. When that follows Louisiana, it hurts our ability to create jobs. It hurts our ability to grow our economy. We can’t have a cavalier attitude about this. I understand a serious sin. It is now perhaps a lifestyle that we need to examine, a lifestyle that Louisiana cannot afford.”

Angelle urged the live audience at LSU and viewers who were watching from around the state to go to a New Orleans-based blog that has been posting videos of a recent interview with Wendy Ellis, a prostitute who claims that Vitter was a client of hers in the late 1990s.

Vitter, the only one of the four major candidates for governor who did not participate in Wednesday’s debate, was in the Senate passing a small-business disaster assistance bill, his campaign said. He has previously denied the allegations.

“Desperate candidates in last place do desperate things,” said Luke Bolar, a spokesman for his campaign. “Grasping at a story on a shady blog that’s been proven completely untrue is pathetic.”

After the debate, Angelle said he had watched the videos posted to and finds them embarrassing to the state, whether true or not.

“I don’t know what to believe,” Angelle said. “They’re concerning.”

This race gets ickier by the second. I don’t know what to believe either. I believe that Vitter had sex with prostitutes but I’m not sure that I believe Wendy Ellis/Williams/Cortez most damaging allegations. Her story is too full of holes and inconsistencies. One thing I’m certain of is that David Vitter is a macho he-man conservative who hides under the bed when the going gets rough. Candy ass wussy motherfucker.

There’s one more story. This one was written and reported by Gambit editor, Adrastos friend and First Draft reader Kevin Allman:

A longtime French Quarter barber tells Gambit that U.S. Sen. David Vitter visited “the hooker’s house” on Dumaine Street in the late 1990s — and that Vitter occasionally got his hair cut while “waiting for the girl across the street” to return home.

That location is where former New Orleans prostitute Wendy Ellis (aka Wendy Cortez) claims she lived while carrying on a sexual liaison with Vitter, which Vitter has denied for nearly a decade. At a 2007 press conference in Metairie, after Vitter admitted “a serious sin” in connection with his phone number turning up in the records of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the “D.C. Madam,” the senator was adamant that “those New Orleans stories in recent reports — those stories were not true.”

The barber, Ricky Ketchum, disputes that. “He claims … that he never went over there, at the hooker’s house. I know that’s not true. Because I do know — I can’t tell you what they did behind closed doors — but I do know he went over. He was over there,” Ketchum tells Gambit.

That confirms the one fact that everyone agrees on: that Vitter liked having sex with prostitutes. He’s probably one of those sickos who think that it’s not cheating if you pay for it.

I’m inclined to trust Kevin’s story more than Jason Berry’s. Don’t get me wrong, Jason has done some good work, but his reporting on this story is a bit on the obsessive side. Does that make the Wendy Ellis/Williams/Cortez story untrue? No, it doesn’t but the new allegations remain very difficult to prove as Kevin points out at the end of his Gambit piece:

So whom to believe: Ellis, Vitter or neither of them? A few obvious questions:

• Why would a prostitute, who received $5,000 per month from a john-turned-paramour-turned high-profile Congressman, not demand financial support if she was carrying his child?

• If Ellis indeed told Hustler Vitter impregnated her, why would publisher Larry Flynt — who delights in pointing out hypocrisies of the powerful — NOT print that claim, opting instead for an blander, sanitized story?

• As for Vitter: Why would a Metairie state representative make repeated trips to a hair salon in the French Quarter — a salon located across the street from a brothel, during the exact same time a prostitute there claimed he was her client?

It’s hard to say; Berry says Ellis has broken off contact with him since the interview. But Berry says he has more information, calling the original interview “the tip of the iceberg.

“I have much more information I will share in the near future, from this interview and hopefully others, as I obtain it,” he wrote on American Zombie, adding, “Stay Tuned.”

As of this moment, I believe neither Vitter nor Ellis/Williams/Cortez. They’re both proven liars. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. One thing I’m sure of is that the almost pornographic glee shown by some people at the periphery of this story is distasteful. And I say that as someone who has never been accused of prudishness.

I’m sure there will be more updates, especially if Vitter makes the run-off. The good news is that there’s now a decent (if you can use that word in the context of this race) chance that he could lose to Democrat John Bel Edwards. The bad news is that we’ll keep hearing about this sleazy shit for another month.

One of the weirder details of this sordid story is that Vitter’s wife and mistress share a first name. That’s why I’m giving Concrete Blonde the last word:

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