My entrance into politics came at a very unique time in Louisiana’s history. Shortly after Katrina, sitting at my parents’ house with our displaced relatives, I remember listening to the radio as we heard story after story of families reeling in the aftermath and couldn’t help but feel anger towards those that had left our state crippled by decades of corruption and scandal.
Maybe it was that anger, or perhaps it was just an MRE that just didn’t settle well with my stomach, but it was at that point that I became more involved in local and state government. As the flood waters of Katrina washed away, like so many others I watched with a deep satisfaction as those politicians responsible for years of cronyism and nepotism were exposed for the crooks that they were.
Our state government reformed the way it conducted business. As each year passed, it brought new hope and optimism for Louisiana. New businesses began investing in our economy, voters seemed more engaged than ever, it felt like Louisiana was on the rebound.
Fast forward just a few years and the progress seems almost impossible to miss. Louisiana has been deemed the most business friendly state in the country; New Orleans has become a mecca for young entrepreneurs; and the advent of Charter Schools has gained national attention as education in this revamped Louisiana has gradually improved.
Yet amidst all of these improvements, all of the progress our state has made, media outlets have decided to give the stage to a man that I consider one of the worst criminals in a generation: Edwin Edwards. Worst of all was the fawning attention paid to the $250-a-plate fundraiser/wedding reception/birthday bash Edwards threw himself at the Hotel Monteleone Saturday, at which half the state’s political luminaries showed up to kiss his ring and fatten his wallet.
I don’t care that he’s out of jail. I don’t care that he’s getting married, and I certainly don’t care what he has to say. The man deserves nothing more than disgust and contempt, yet there are those that seem to revel in his return, as if it’s some nostalgic reunion tour of a forgotten boy band.
Call me callous, but every minute we allow Edwin Edwards to waltz in the spotlight is a minute spent on a man that got a whole lot less than he deserved while in prison. Edwards poisoned the reputation of our state, our culture, and our heritage.
Republican or Democrat, lending Edwards your attention is a disgrace and you should be ashamed.