Mudslingers: The Top 25 Negative Political Campaigns of All Time : Countdown from No. 25 To No. 1

By Kerwin C. Swint | Go to book overview

19
VOTE FOR THE
CROOK—IT'S IMPORTANT

Edwin Edwards v. David Duke, Governor, Louisiana, 1991

Question: When should you vote for a candidate that has been in-
vestigated four separate times by federal grand juries for
racketeering, bribery, and extortion?

Answer: When his opponent is the grand imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

This could probably only happen in Louisiana—a state that is to colorful and memorable politics what Milwaukee is to beer. Edwin Edwards was as colorful and bold a politician (some would say shameless) as Louisiana had seen in a while. And that state has seen its share of colorful and bold (OK, shameless) political figures. Remember Huey Long, the Kingfish? And his brother Earl, who was twice elected governor, then hospitalized for mental illness, then elected to the U.S. Congress?

For much of its recent history, the politics of Louisiana have had clear fault lines—the first being religion. Thirty percent of the voters come from heavily ethnic Cajun Catholic areas, which are often the regions that provide the swing votes in close elections; approximately 25 percent of the state's voters are from mixed-religion New Orleans; and the remaining 45 percent are from the heavily Protestant area north of Baton Rouge, the state capital.

Another fault line in Louisiana's politics is race. Around 30 percent of the voters are African American. These voters are normally a reliable source of

-55-

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Mudslingers: The Top 25 Negative Political Campaigns of All Time : Countdown from No. 25 To No. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Prologue xiii
  • 25- From Vietnam to Iraq 1
  • 24- It''s a Jungle out There 11
  • 23- Senator Pothole versus "Putzhead" 23
  • 22- Electronic Mudslinging 31
  • 21- The Art of War 39
  • 20- Homo Sapiens, Thespians, and Extroverts 47
  • 19- Vote for the Crook—it''s Important 55
  • 18- Who''s the Boss? Richard Daley and the Chicago Political Machine 63
  • 17- Polluting the Garden State 71
  • 16- God Save the Republic, Please 79
  • 15- Rudy and the Jets 87
  • 14- A Jersey Street Fight 95
  • 13- In This Corner, Little Lord Fauntleroy 103
  • 12- Sex, Lies, and Videotape 113
  • 11- Claytie versus the Lady 123
  • 10- Richard Nixon versus the United States of America 133
  • 9- "Bye-Bye Blackbird" 143
  • 8- America, Meet Willie Horton 153
  • 7- Tricky Dick versus the Pink Lady 163
  • 6- Grantism and Mr. Greeley 173
  • 5- The First Campaign 183
  • 4- A House Divided 193
  • 3- Mud, Mugwumps, and Motherhood 203
  • 2- The Dirtiest Campaign in American History? 213
  • 1- George Wallace and the "Negro Bloc Vote" 223
  • Epilogue 233
  • Notes 237
  • Bibliography 247
  • Index 251
  • About the Author 255
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