The last time I wrote about the Gret Stet Senate race I described it as 24 Candidates in Search of a Plot. That has changed with a political bombshell lobbed in the general direction of Doctor/Congressman Charles Boustany of Lafayette. Other than his medical degree, there was nothing interesting about Boustany until a book by investigative reporter Ethan Brown, Murder in the Bayou, popped up. Boustany is running to replace David Vitter and, as you have surely already heard, is accused of consorting with, uh, consorts, I mean prostitutes. It *is* the hooker seat, after all.
A quick disclaimer. Ethan Brown is a friendly acquaintance of mine, which is one reason I’m inclined to believe his account. The other is that he didn’t go looking for a story about Boustany and sex workers, he stumbled into it. The main story is the murder of 8 women in Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana. While investigating the Jeff Davis 8 murders, Ethan uncovered a link between a no-tel motel and Doctor/Congressman Boustany. I’ll let BuzzFeed do the heavy lifting:
In the book, Murder in the Bayou — which will be released by Simon & Schuster’s Scribner imprint next week — investigative journalist Ethan Brown cites three anonymous sources claiming Republican Rep. Charles Boustany was a “client” of some of the murdered sex workers known as the “Jeff Davis 8.” The book also reveals that the motel where some of the victims did their sex work was run by Martin Guillory, a field representative for Boustany who goes by the nickname “Big G.”
Boustany, who is now running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana, denied the allegations to the author through a spokesman. Guillory, who ran the Boudreaux Inn from the late 1990s through the end of 2004, told the author he’d met “one or two” of the sex workers, as well as Frankie Richard, their pimp. But Guillory said he was unaware of any criminal activity taking place at the motel.
Brown, who has spent more than five years investigating the case, writes in Murder in the Bayou that Boustany’s name first came up in his reporting during a 2012 interview with Richard, the pimp who was briefly charged with one victim’s murder. (The charges were later dropped.)
The author then cites three independent sources claiming that some of the slain sex workers counted Boustany as a customer. One source is described in the book as a “former Jennings sex worker” who knew the Jeff Davis 8; another is described as a “friend” of some of the victims.
The third source is a witness who in 2012 told a law enforcement taskforce investigating the murders that Boustany had engaged in sexual activity with at least one victim:
I will call this witness Boustany Witness A. Taskforce investigators took Boustany Witness A seriously enough to interview her over several days in October of 2012. Boustany Witness A kept meticulous logs of her visits with the Taskforce, and according to these logs, she was interrogated by the upper echelon of the Taskforce … In an August 2015 meeting at the FBI’s Lake Charles office, I asked Agent Reed about his meeting with Boustany Witness A, and he refused to confirm or deny that such a meeting occurred. Agent Reed also refused to confirm or deny that the feds have received information that Boustany patronized any of the Jeff Davis 8.
Brown stresses in the book that “there is no evidence that either Congressman Boustany or Big G had any involvement with the murders of the Jeff Davis 8.
The Boustany camp has been in full freak out mode ever since the story became public last week. His wife sent an email to supporters denouncing the story. This time, I’ll let UPROXX do the work:
“He’s a good man, a loving husband, and an incredible father to our two children,” Bridget Boustany says in the email. She went on to allege that Brown’s book is the work of her husband’s political opponents, charging that “Charles’ opponents have resorted to lies about him,” adding that the explosive details in Murder in the Bayou are nothing more than “false attacks aimed at bringing down a candidate who threatens to take the lead and win the race for U.S. Senate.” In response to Bridget Boustany’s email, Brown said, “I stand by what I reported in my book.”
Team Boustany tried to pin the story on one of his Republican opponents, Gret Stet Treasurer and two-time Senatorial loser, John Neely Kennedy. Here’s where the trolling in the title comes into play:
Now this is a tour-de-force denial, from the John Kennedy for Senate campaign in Louisiana > pic.twitter.com/NUuDgQTxcC
— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) September 13, 2016
Shorter Team Neely: Bless their hearts. You know what that *really* means when a Southerner says that, don’t you? Here’s the Urban Dictionary’s definition:
This is a term used by the people of the southern United States particularly near the Gulf of Mexico to express to someone that they are an idiot without saying such harsh words.
The Kennedy statement is a trolling masterpiece and received detailed analysis by Amber Phillips in the WaPo.
Here’s the deal: I believe Ethan’s story. I haven’t read the book yet, but he’s an honest and diligent reporter who has no reason to side with one Republican candidate over another. All I have to say about all the major Republican candidates is this: bless their hearts.
Repeat after me: It *is* the hooker seat, after all.
Writing this post gave me an earworm. I found myself substituting the words “trolling” and “hookers” for the word fire. I cannot imagine where that came from. I can troll too, y’all.