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If pardoned, convicted felon Edwards would challenge Jindal

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Written by
Mike Hasten
Gannett Capital Bureau

Town-Talk.com

 

 

 

BATON ROUGE — Edwin Edwards, a convicted felon and former governor of Louisiana, says that if pardoned, he likely would challenge Gov. Bobby Jindal’s re-election bid this fall.

Edwards said in an interview Thursday that he’s flattered by support shown on a Facebook page urging President Barack Obama to pardon him, but he’s not putting much hope in that happening.

“If it was legally possible for me to run, I think I would,” Edwards said. “I wouldn’t guarantee it, but I think I would. But it is not legally possible, therefore it is not anything I spend any time cogitating about.”

Edwards said that in the relatively short time that he’s been out of prison on federal racketeering charges, he has found “there are a lot of people who want Jindal to have opposition and a lot of people who want me to be governor. You put those two factors together, and you have a lot of talk about the possibility of my running. It’s both flattering and understandable, given the status of Louisiana politics today.”

Edwards said he was approached by Democratic Party leaders to encourage possible challengers to Jindal’s re-election, but “for a multitude of different reasons, nobody seems interested in tackling the job, and I’m not sure that I blame them.

“The finances of the state are in a horrible mess,” Edwards said. “We are $500 million in debt that somebody needs to be addressing in the next four years, unless we’re going to leave that debt to our children and grandchildren. And there’s been a defunding of education and defunding of medical care for indigent people and old people and children. Things are just in a horrible mess.

Someone else could have a chance of winning, “but it’s getting awfully late,” he said. “It would take a person with resources and the kind of personality and ability that it would take to be a successful candidate. He or she would have had to get started yesterday.”

Democrat Tara Hollis, the only challenger so far, “is doing a good job on the Internet pointing out the deficiencies of the Jindal administration,” Edwards said. “It’s too bad she doesn’t have the money to get on the public media to get better distribution. Anybody who is on her list and reading the articles that she is putting out is going to be surprised at what’s going on at the State Capitol.”

(Page 2 of 2)
 

In her latest post, Hollis challenges Jindal’s claim to creating more jobs as the state’s unemployment rate is at its highest in the last 10 years, except for immediately after Hurricane Katrina.

No one from the White House has mentioned the possibility of issuing a pardon, and even Edwards says, “I don’t even think it’s anywhere on the horizon. I don’t go to bed at night thinking about it or wondering. I’m flattered at the number of people who think a pardon should be forthcoming, but I don’t think that’s a realistic feeling.”

The former governor said he doesn’t know Brenda Dolan, the person who started the “Ask Obama to Pardon Edwin Edwards” Facebook page, and “I was not involved in that effort. I appreciate it very much and hope it is successful, but it is not something I initiated or was aware of” until about a week ago.

Edwards was indicted in 1998 by the federal government on extortion and racketeering charges related to rigging awards of casino licenses in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs during his final term as governor, which ended in 1996. The four-term governor was found guilty on 17 of 26 counts, including racketeering, extortion, money laundering, mail fraud and wire fraud. In January 2001, he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

 

He spent almost nine years in federal prison and the last six months on a work-release program.

 In her latest post, Hollis challenges Jindal’s claim to creating more jobs as the state’s unemployment rate is at its highest in the last 10 years, except for immediately after Hurricane Katrina.

No one from the White House has mentioned the possibility of issuing a pardon, and even Edwards says, “I don’t even think it’s anywhere on the horizon. I don’t go to bed at night thinking about it or wondering. I’m flattered at the number of people who think a pardon should be forthcoming, but I don’t think that’s a realistic feeling.”

The former governor said he doesn’t know Brenda Dolan, the person who started the “Ask Obama to Pardon Edwin Edwards” Facebook page, and “I was not involved in that effort. I appreciate it very much and hope it is successful, but it is not something I initiated or was aware of” until about a week ago.

Edwards was indicted in 1998 by the federal government on extortion and racketeering charges related to rigging awards of casino licenses in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs during his final term as governor, which ended in 1996. The four-term governor was found guilty on 17 of 26 counts, including racketeering, extortion, money laundering, mail fraud and wire fraud. In January 2001, he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

 

He spent almost nine years in federal prison and the last six months on a work-release program.

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Written by demon53

August 26, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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