Moon Griffon Gave John Carmouche A Lot Of Rope Yesterday, And, Well…

Our readers know all about John Carmouche, the Baton Rouge lawyer and big-money Democrat donor who’d been instrumental in producing the disastrous two terms of John Bel Edwards as Louisiana governor. We’ve covered his exploits time and again here at The Hayride over the past decade, and most recently after he was named to the LSU Board of Supervisors.

You know that Carmouche sits at the head of a cabal of litigators who first pioneered what are called “legacy lawsuits” against oil and gas companies for environmental damage to land caused by long-ago oil drilling, and more recently “coastal lawsuits” in which Louisiana’s coastal parishes and perhaps other entities are suing oil companies for the loss of the state’s coastline.

The latter is utterly ridiculous, of course. If you’re paying any attention to what’s happening at the mouth of the Atchafalaya River you’ll understand that there’s a very obvious dynamic driving the coastal loss. Louisiana’s coast is the product of rivers dumping sediment into marshland, and a century ago the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers leveed the Mississippi River all the way to its mouth which prevented that process from happening.

That’s the reason southeast Louisiana is being eaten away by the Gulf of Mexico.

Carmouche’s cabal would tell you that the oil industry cut canals through the marsh to service its activities and that’s why the state is losing its coast. That’s dishonest because of the sediment issue – a naturally flowing Mississippi River would have filled in those canals over time – and it’s also legally dubious because every one of those canals was dug because of a permit issued by the state.

You can’t give permission to a private company to do a thing and then later tell that company they’re liable because they did something you permitted them to do.

Accordingly, these coastal lawsuits haven’t gone anywhere. What did happen (and we’re oversimplifying here)  is that a few years ago Freeport McMoRan, a company formerly based in New Orleans but which has pulled up stakes and wound up its business operations in Louisiana, offered to settle one of Carmouche’s lawsuits. That settlement depends on the Louisiana legislature passing legislation to allow it to go forward; it’s unlikely that will happen any time soon.

Carmouche, as we noted before, has been a large-scale donor to Democrat candidates and in particular John Bel Edwards, for whom he gave and raised an enormous amount of money under the auspices of the infamous Gumbo PAC, a Democrat outfit which turned the 2015 gubernatorial election into a referendum about hookers, thanks to a then-14-year-old scandal involving David Vitter’s extramarital proclivities, and the 2019 election into a muddle of accusations about Eddie Rispone’s long-past business dealings. Neither of those elections were decided on issues the people of Louisiana care about; they were exercises in public distraction and cheap personality contests.

It was Carmouche’s money, and money Carmouche influenced, which did that damage.

And the oil and gas industry has been streaming out of Louisiana ever since.

All of this is well known throughout the state. But because of the eight awful years Louisiana endured under John Bel Edwards, that brand of plaintiff lawyer-driven, redistributive Longite politics is dead and the people who funded it are discredited.

Accordingly, John Carmouche is running around pushing the story that he and his entire family are Republicans and that his support for Edwards in 2015 had to do with Vitter’s character and nothing else.

Which is one of the things he demanded time on the radio, specifically Moon Griffon’s show which is syndicated statewide, to push given the grousing over his appointment to the LSU Board of Supervisors (we covered that appointment here).

Carmouche filled up the majority of Griffon’s show Monday. His political consultant Roy Fletcher, the veteran Louisiana guru who lately works mostly judicial races (Carmouche and his friends have staked a significant number of pro-trial lawyer Republicans running for judge and Fletcher is one of the consultants who get most of that business), called Griffon and asked for time on the show that Carmouche might sit in the studio with the host, and since this was a slow week with the 4th of July coming up Griffon agreed.

And we’re told Carmouche flew to Lafayette on a private jet from a family vacation in Florida to sit in that studio for an hour.

The arrogance is astounding. Here’s somebody who is trying to sue the oil industry for all the environmental damage they supposedly cause, and he wastes a significant amount of their product flying on a private plane to do a radio interview he could have done via phone.

Carmouche spent an hour in the studio with Griffon claiming that he’s a conservative Reaganite Republican who loves LSU and wants to change Louisiana into a right-wing paradise, proceeded to call your author a liar and claimed I never tell the truth, and then denied he had anything to do with Gumbo PAC.

Then he denied his exploits have had a negative effect on the oil and gas industry in Louisiana. Carmouche offered as evidence a deposition that Don Briggs, the former president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association who passed away a couple of years ago, had done, in which Briggs refused to say with any specificity which companies had left Louisiana because of legacy or coastal lawsuits.


How this works is that if you’re the president of a trade association, you don’t sell out your members and you definitely don’t give an attorney like John Carmouche an invitation to dig through your email archive by offering specific information about those members. It proves nothing that Briggs didn’t name an oil company which had left Louisiana due to the lawsuits.

And Don Briggs would likely have said so. Except Don Briggs has passed on to his Great Reward. Carmouche was on statewide radio trashing a dead man in one of the most classless displays of self-aggrandizement we’ve ever seen.

And when the hour was over, Griffon read lines from campaign finance reports proving that Talbot, Carmouche and Marcello, which is John Carmouche’s law firm, had given more than $200,000 to Gumbo PAC in the 2019 election cycle.

That occasioned Carmouche to call into the show by phone, perhaps as he was airborne for all we know, to launch an unhinged diatribe in which your author was again prominently featured.

We’ve heard an awful lot of outrage about this. A lot of it is directed at Landry for having “sold out” to Carmouche. We’re starting to think he’s going to be something of a political millstone around the governor’s neck. And the guess is Landry isn’t going to want John Carmouche going on the radio attempting to “rehabilitate” himself again. From our vantage, it doesn’t seem like this first attempt was worthy of a sequel.

We have two clips for you. The first is the full hour of Griffon’s interview with Carmouche in studio…

And next is Carmouche’s call-in after Griffon debunked his claim that he wasn’t behind Gumbo PAC…

I’m not going to make a big deal about Carmouche’s anti-Scott McKay rantings. They are what they are. This is a malignant narcissist who thinks he can persuade people water is dry; we all know the type, and when such people find out they can’t sell their wares they turn nasty. That’s all this is.

I will, however, demand that Griffon give me equal time on his show to counter the bunkum, ravings and pomposity that Carmouche inflicted on his audience on Monday. Louisiana needs a good palate-cleansing after that debacle.



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