The Johnny Anderson thing is, we’ve said for some time, a golden opportunity for Republicans to eat away at John Bel Edwards’ re-election prospects – and it’s been the source of some irritation that it hasn’t been front and center in the Louisiana gubernatorial campaign so far.
You remember Johnny Anderson, right? He was Edwards’ deputy chief of staff, hired as a payoff to the black ministers of which somehow Anderson is one, who’d had a somewhat colorful – x-rated would be more descriptive – history in public service. Specifically, Anderson had served in the same position under Edwards’ most recent Democrat gubernatorial predecessor Kathleen Blanco, and also at the time had been the chairman of the board at Southern University. In the latter position Anderson engaged in a series of rather grotesque episodes of sexual harassment, which caused a mini-scandal and a bunch of accusations which were settled in court.
Everyone knew Anderson was a bad egg, and yet Edwards hired him anyway. The results were predictable – he went right back to his usual routine, aggressively hitting on every female within range and demanding sexual favors as though he was some sort of bureaucratic Harvey Weinstein. It was so bad that Anderson actually sexually harassed one Dylan Waguespack, a staffer on the Fourth Floor who is a (if we get this right) trans man – a biological female living as male. It seems Anderson, who isn’t gay by our information, isn’t enlightened enough to respect the new reality of transgenderism and must have thought to himself “That ain’t no dude!” as he barreled forward with his exploits.
Things went public, a mess was made and Anderson was dispatched after six figures of your tax dollars were distributed to the unfortunate victims of Anderson’s turgid advances. You don’t often get so sexy a campaign issue as to trash Edwards for his overlibidinous staff hires.
And Thursday night at the first televised debate (which you can see here at around the 26:30 mark), Edwards was asked about Anderson. He proceeded to badly botch his response, calling Anderson a quality public servant and alleging he’d been “exonerated” in the Southern case.
So Johnny Anderson is a legitimate campaign issue now. Finally. Which meant this morning the Republican Party of Louisiana dropped a digital ad which really, really needs to make it onto the tube statewide (if you have $100,000 laying around and you’d like to get rid of John Bel Edwards they do take checks at party headquarters) that we just absolutely love…
Sure, if it was our ad we’d have juiced it up with soundtrack from some 1970’s porn flick and turned the spot into 30 seconds of pure ridicule of Edwards for his gross incompetence in putting foxes among hens on the Fourth Floor, but this is quite a respectable way to accomplish the same aim.
Best about this is it’s all true. The Johnny Anderson story is a classic case of politics before people, in contravention of the sloganeering you see on Edwards’ billboards around the state, and it ought to be trumpeted from Oil City to Grand Isle as an example of why this governor can’t be allowed to harass our people for four more years.