Two weeks ago, the Phlog reported on Rudy Giuliani's replacement of his disgraced South Carolina campaign chairman, Thomas Ravenel, with the alleged coke dealer’s dear old racist dad, Arthur “NAACP=National Association of Retarded Persons” Ravenel. Recently, the presidential hopeful’s hiring policies have been called into question yet again.
In March, Giuliani reached out to social conservatives by naming Louisiana Senator David Vitter his campaign’s Southern Regional Chair. Vitter, a prominent far-right republican, has sponsored abstinence-only education bills and stated that the need for a national gay marriage ban is the most important issue facing the country today. On Monday night, this upstanding man issued a statement apologizing for a “very serious sin in my past.” The apology was apparently spurred by a phone call from a Hustler magazine editor, who asked about the revelation that Vitter’s phone number has been found among the records of D.C. madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey. Vitter has had problems with this particular vice before: during his short-lived 2002 gubernatorial campaign, a New Orleans prostitute named Wendy Cortez confessed to an extramarital affair with the politician. Vitter denied the allegation then, but Jeanette Maier, the former madam of the Canal Street Brothel, said on Tuesday that Vitter had indeed used the services of her New Orleans establishment.
Hustler’s owner, Larry Flynt, has long been on a mission to out hypocritical politicos, and ironically had an inadvertent hand in Vitter’s rise to power: a pending Hustler article prompted the resignation of Bob Livingston, a U.S. Representative who demanded that Clinton step down during the Lewinsky scandal and was then himself discovered to have had an adulterous affair. Vitter succeeded Livingston after winning a special election in 1999, but apparently didn’t learn much from his predecessor’s fall from grace.
The scandal’s unfolding this week was accompanied by the announcement of yet another interesting addition to Team Rudy. On Tuesday, Giuliani’s Presidential Committee announced that Norman Podhoretz will serve as a senior member of his foreign policy advisory board. The veteran neocon, who has described the war in Iraq a “triumph” that “couldn’t have gone better,” is the ardent advocate of an American bombing campaign in Iran.
Should we be surprised by the company Rudy is keeping? After all, this is the guy who appointed his former chauffer/body guard, Bernard Kerik, to the post of NYC Police Commissioner (Kerik brought honor to the position by using an apartment donated for Ground Zero recovery efforts as his personal love nest). But perhaps the problem isn’t with Guiliani: maybe there simply aren’t any conservatives out there who don’t spew utter nonsense or keep large stashes of skeletons in their closets.
Team Rudy's latest digrace