Campaign of the Month: October 2017
Blood and Bourbon
“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”
“Fool, what do you think? That we know anything about who gives money? That we give a damn about who they are or what they want? We have no way of running down them or their stories. We don’t care. We just cash the damn cheques, count the votes, and move on.”
—Clay Davis, The Wire
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
Politics is an art which even the youngest Kindred knows something about. From the time a neonate is introduced to society, he or she begins to learn exactly how complex and convoluted politics in the Kindred world truly is. Many Kindred find it amusing at how cut-throat mortal seems, but they themselves know how deadly real politics can be. Individuals which Kindred (and non-bloodsucking opportunistic parasites) can latch onto and use include statesmen, pollsters, activists, party leaders and even members, lobbyists, candidates, and politicians.
Consult the following page for more information on the state of politics in Louisiana.
|Merit Dots||Level of Influence|
|•||Intern, junior aide, secretary, senior volunteer|
|••||Salaried staff member, state representative|
Municipal Politics: City councilperson (large city), mayor (small town)
State Politics: Representative (committee chairman), senator
Municipal Politics: Deputy mayor (large city), mayor (medium city), senior city councilperson (large city)
State Politics: Lieutenant governor, president of the Senate, senate or house minority/majority leader, speaker of the House
National Politics: Representative
Municipal Politics: Mayor (large city)
State Politics: Governor
National Politics: Influential representative, senator
State Politics: Governor (large state)
National Politics: Influential senator
|••••• ••||National Politics: Senate majority leader, speaker of the House|
|(Ally’s/Status dots -2)||Deputy chief of staff, personal assistant, or other ancillary position to one of the above figures|
|(Ally’s/Status dots -1)||Chief of staff to one of the above figures|
Allies (Politics) ••••• •
• Joseph H. Kelly
89-year-old senior senator from Louisiana, Kelly has been a fixture in national politics for generations. A “former” member of the Ku Klux Klan and strong ally of Senator Strom Thurmond before his death, Kelly has survived every challenge thrown at him at the state level with a ruthless combination of alleged voter suppression and election fraud. He claims to have renounced his racist views, but still commonly gaffes with offensive comments which he claims are cultural. He actually disdains many lower-class whites as well, particularly the less “gentlemanly” parts of the white power movement such as the Aryan Nation. Kelly’s election machine in the state is second to none, and as a result he wields vast power politically throughout. A graduate of the Citadel, he remains surprisingly spry for his age.
Allies (Politics) •••••
• William “Bill” Jay Roberts
The current governor of Louisiana, Bill Jay Roberts was elected to office in 2013 on a wave of backlash against Fred Pavaghi’s corruption. Bill campaigned heavily on a platform of restoring dignity and public trust to the governorship. He is one of the last Democrats to hold statewide office in the Deep South, and the first Democrat elected to statewide office in Louisiana since the GOP takeover in 2010. Much of Bill’s strategy involved building crossover support from white rural voters, since the state’s African-American population is always in any Democrat’s pocket. Bill himself is a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-capital punishment, anti-gay marriage military veteran and former Army Ranger who enjoys recreational hunting and is proud of the fact he’s closed down all but two abortion clinics in Louisiana, something even Fred Pavaghi was unable to do. Despite this fact, Bill’s support of the Affordable Care Act led the Malveaux attack machine to characterize him as a flaming liberal, and to some degree of success. Before being elected to the governor’s mansion, Bill served on the Louisiana Public Service commission, and ran against Maxen Flores to represent the state senate’s District 9 in 2003, which he lost. Bill is of no relation to Christina Roberts, but it hasn’t stopped his opponents from implying that he is. He owns a home in Audubon Place but currently lives at the governor’s mansion in Baton Rouge.
Story 9: Emmett received a death warrant signed by Bill, who had authorized his execution.
• Martin Borges
The current two-term mayor of New Orleans, Martin Borges is thoroughly a man of the system and casually corrupt in that relaxed way only Louisiana politicians can be. His administration has largely been defined by continuance of the status quo without any particular reforms, executive actions, or legislative accomplishments of note—besides lining the pockets of the city’s business community, assorted special interests, and Martin’s own family.
• Nathaniel Malveaux
Nathaniel “Nathan” Malveaux is the youngest of the Malveaux brothers and the current junior senator from Louisiana. He’s known as a shrewd politician and crisp, gifted speaker who spent twenty years as a state representative and senator while concurrently serving as the state GOP’s chairman. Flipping the historically blue state red was his driving goal for years, and finally paid off in 2011 when he secured a Republican majority in both chambers (both Democratic since Reconstruction). He spent another year as the biggest fish in a small pond until he all but bullied his way to national office in 2012. His campaign was heavily financed by his family’s immense wealth and is rumored to have benefited significantly from backroom dealings in the state. He has no known vices, although there is a twenty-plus-year story of impropriety during his otherwise tame courtship of his wife. He is close to his niece Charlotte Malveaux, who also lives in D.C., but is distant from his own children thanks to his embroilment in national politics. Most suspect he is biding his time for a presidential run. He’s also a well-known jazz lover and frequents any concerts available in D.C., but laments his absence from New Orleans.
• Wayne-Dwyane Duvall Boggs
Slidell’s five-term mayor and political boss of St. Tammany Parish who also happens to be a cannibalistic gourmand and child molester. He’s turned the parish into his personal fiefdom and wields a grotesque degree of power over virtually every aspect of its civic government.
Allies (Politics) ••••
• Caleb Gallagher
71-year-old chief of staff for Senator Nathaniel Malveaux, Caleb is an old breed of Southern snake, a cottonmouth with a terrible temper and a vicious bite. While Malveaux is charming, Caleb is terrifying, the stick to his boss’ carrot. He’s a mean old man who walks with a cane and has strict southern values that include closeted bigotry and racism. Caleb has been with Nathaniel for more than twenty years, and before that served his uncle, Senator Carter Malveaux, in a similar capacity prior to the senator’s untimely death in a plane crash. He likely knows more about where the bodies are buried in Louisiana politics than any man still alive. He prefers to communicate face-to-face, and hates email and text conversations, which he considers impersonal and rude. He rarely even uses the phone, and considers it a favor when he does.
• Maxen Flores
Majority leader for the state senate in Baton Rouge since 2012, and successor in that office to Nathaniel Malveaux following the now-national senator’s election. Maxen doesn’t believe in doing anything by half-measures: when his hairline started to recede, he simply shaved his pate bald. He’s known for his “tough guy” image and being a devout CrossFit enthusiast and college star quarterback who turned down a chance to play professionally for the NFL, though he remains a diehard football fan and rarely misses a game. He’s also known for his vicious temper and dislike of his counterpart Noelle Cherry, who he’s made public remarks about that were widely seen as misogynistic. Outside of his duties as majority leader, he represents Senate District 9, which includes Riverbend and the suburb of Metairie. Maxen personally lives in Audubon Place and spends much of his time in Baton Rouge, but regularly commutes back to New Orleans. Ex-husband of Diana Flores and father of five children by her.
• Noelle Cherry
Democratic state senator for Senate District 4, Senate minority leader, and former Tulane professor who ran a strong campaign against Nathaniel Malveaux in 2012 for national office but was ultimately beaten out by prevailing political winds, Malveaux money and influence, and a last-minute scandal involving her daughter Hillary’s medical records being leaked to unsavory news outlets. Prided herself during the campaign, right up until her daughter’s privacy was so grievously violated, on running a relatively principled campaign. Now deeply regrets doing so and is still nursing a bitter grudge over both the election results, events surrounding it, and the harm done to her daughter, holding the Malveauxes responsible. Well-off but not wealthy, she rubs elbows with the upper class mostly as it relates to the donor class, and is frequently found in high society functions trawling for donations for her next campaign on the state level, and eventually on the national level. Works at the statehouse in Baton Rouge, but typically returns to New Orleans during the weekend and on holiday recesses.
• Vincent Lancaster
Congressional representative for Louisiana’s 2nd district, which includes New Orleans. The number of Democratic representatives from Louisiana has steadily dwindled since the ‘90s, and following the 2008 elections, Vincent is the sole remaining one (as well as the only nonwhite man). While the state party has lamented this decline, Vincent is largely unconcerned, as his continued reelection is quite safe in the bluer than blue district. His only serious challenge came during the primary for his initial 2008 run, where his bitter feud with now-city councilwoman Thalia Ocampo (whom he accused of ties to Mexican drug cartels and personal illegal drug use) resulted in the temporary suspension of his law license for falsifying a sworn statement that he had resided in New Orleans for two years during a failed 2005 city council bid. He’s still annoyed at the lawyers on the panel for doing that. In the years since, Vincent has publicly considered a run for governor or senator enough times that the media pokes fun at him for his “will he or won’t he” attitude, but in the end, he seems content to cruise to an easy re-election every two years rather than committing to the drawn-out political battle that winning either of those higher offices would entail.
Given the safety of his congressional seat, Vincent doesn’t have to spend as much of his time working to be re-elected, which he likes to say lets him “stop and smell the roses” in his job. In D.C., he’s been active on the Congressional Black Caucus and the campaigns for several presidential candidates. In New Orleans, he has one daughter, Margaret, who attends the McGehee School for Girls, and a chummy relationship with police superintendent Bernard Drouillard, who is his brother-in-law through his wife Lori. This familial relation (as well as to several other politically-placed Drouilliards and Lancasters) led then-state GOP chair Nathan Malveaux to denounce Vincent for “giving our state a reputation as a banana republic dominated by dynastic politics.” It wasn’t the worst shot Louisiana’s now-junior senator took at him during the 2008 election, though: that was his insinuation Vincent only had one child with his wife because theirs was a loveless shotgun marriage. Supposedly, the couple were forced into it by their families to cover up scandal after an inebriated Vincent took sexual advantage of Lori. The congressional representative has refused to “even dignify” those allegations with a response.
Among his personal hobbies, Vincent is an enthusiastic basketball player (he attended college on an athletics scholarship), and his PR staff like to release semi-periodic media of him shooting hoops with constituents.
Allies (Politics) •••
• Fred Pavaghi
One-term ex-governor of Louisiana from 2009 through 2013, infamous for the blatancy of his corruption even by the Pelican State’s (low) standards.
• Jill d’Agostino
Owner of Auburn Political Partners, a political consulting company originally based in Baton Rouge. Jill relocated to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, scenting opportunity amidst the disaster: partisan control and representation of the Big Easy wasn’t likely to change, but the hurricane would have countless political repercussions. Jill’s bet paid off and Auburn hasn’t lacked for clients since. She isn’t thought to have many scruples: Louisiana politics are dirty enough that she’d starve for clients if she was picky about who she took on. She’s good at keeping Auburn itself out of any overtly illegal practices, as prosecutors have yet to make any noise about the firm. Long-time friend of Christina Roberts, who moved to the city around the same time as her.
• Jim Jameson
Colorful, flamboyant former governor famous for his sexual escapades and publicity-seeking antics.
• Lucile “Buttermouth” Delahoussaye
Elderly wife of St. Tammany Parish president of Réginald A. Delahoussaye whose socio-political influence has only grown since her husband’s ‘accident’ that left his larynx damaged. Despite her husband’s iconic use of a respirator, Lucile smokes constantly, claiming she now has to smoke “fer right two of us.” Unbeknownst to both her husband and his domitor, Lucile was recently ghouled by Cletus to further tighten the Boggs’ grip on local politics. Despite her age, “Buttermouth” is still known as one of the parish’s best ‘bone-smokers,’ and regularly gives lessons to the Camarilla Debutantes. Her other hobbies include enticing local “negroid” children to shoot each other with high-pressure BB guns, with the winning prize going to the kid who makes all the others ‘cry uncle.’
• Réginald A. Delahoussaye
A toothless, larynx-maimed octogenarian who currently serves as both the mayor of Pearl River and the president of St. Tammany Parish. The local son of Cajun logger and Prohibition booze-smuggler, Oscar joined the Air Force, where he served as a bomber pilot in Korea and Vietnam before retiring and becoming a somewhat successful oil man. He also worked as a narcotic smuggler, both before and after his political career. Long-time husband to Lucile “Buttermouth” Delahoussaye who serves as his always willing, but only partially faithful, translator.
• Saffron Meadows
City councilwoman holding one of the at-large seats. Strong ties to police and fire unions and has pushed hard in investigating claims that departments are mismanaging funds at the highest level. Lifelong Democrat and mother of three born and raised in New Orleans who likes to brag she’s never left the city limits once in her 44 years.
• Shepard Mello
42-year-old former assistant to Ray Nagin, Mello abandoned the floundering mayor just before rumors of corruption began to swirl, and in so doing saved his own political fortunes. Shepard doesn’t actually hold office or serve on a staff, but he’s been a part of city politics for the better part of twenty years, first interning right out of college, and knows more about local politics than anyone, including who to speak to about various issues, who can be bribed, and what all the shifting political alliances are. Facilitator of political action in the city quietly responsible for making contacts. Frequents the Corner Club, where he likes to do “business.” Known to expect payment for his services.
• Vernon Coxx
Chief of staff for Noelle Cherry who deposed her former longtime aid in 2012 after she lost to Nathaniel Malveaux. Brought in by the national party after her loss and insisted upon as a condition for further support, Vernon emerged from more than twenty years of Chicago politics and is as cutthroat as they come politically. Over the last three years he’s worked diligently not only to promote Noelle’s public image, but especially to undermine the Malveaux family, in particular taking advantage of Westley Malveaux’s indiscreet troubles with drugs, alcohol, and escorts. Runs a political network that is only continuing to ramp up as the 2016 election looms, but prefers to work off-screen. Despises the heat in the South, and in truth much of the South as a whole, as he views most Southerners as inbred hicks. Not afraid of using violence to further his aims, with ties to the New Black Panther Party, Nation of Islam, and various other extremist groups.
Allies (Politics) ••
• Bill Weeper Lewis
The grandfather of Miranda “f0xx[DR]” Lewis, Bill is a retired attorney, popular speaker in the tax protester movement, and longtime promoter of of various tax protesting schemes. Bill claims that there is no law that makes individuals liable for income tax, and pushes his unsubstantiated hypothesis using all manner of pseudo-legal tactics. In 2006, Bill was indicted on two counts of tax evasion. In 2007, two counts of willful failure to timely file tax returns were added to the charges. The indictment alleged that Bill evaded over $73,000 in taxes in 2000 and 2001 by using a trust to receive payments of dividends, interests and stock income. He was prosecuted in 2007 for willful failure to file an income tax return, but was found not guilty by the jury.
Because of the rarity of such an event, Bill received some media attention, and tax protesters everywhere trumpeted the case as a victory for their cause. In reality, Bill got off by convincing the jury he did not willfully fail to file, because he didn’t know he had to and really did believe that he was not liable for income tax (a tactic commonly known as the “cheek defense”). Bill was still found liable for the tax and will almost certainly never able to successfully use such a defense again. Bill used his “victory” to continue making money on the lecture tour, despite other individuals who have attempted to use his defense and lost.
After his acquittal, Bill went on to file suit against the US government for bringing criminal charges against him, alleging improprieties in their investigation. His lawsuit was unceremoniously dismissed shortly thereafter. In 2009, Bill went on to file a petition in the US Tax Court, alleging that he did not in fact owe any tax. After several delays the trial was finally re-scheduled for October 2012, and concluded with the judge ruling that Bill still owed taxes. Bill is currently in the process of appealing this ruling.
While Bill’s acquittal was based solely on the technicality of the definition of willful and not based on the merit of any of his legal arguments (and despite having been convicted under civil law and forced to pay back taxes) he has still become a bit of a legend in tax protester circles, who believe that Bill’s acquittal validates the central thesis of the illegality of the income tax. When not basking in this dubious celebrity, Bill runs a Time Cube-esque website (set up well over a decade ago by his granddaughter) called The No-Lies Zone that outlines a variety of disproved and rejected theories for the illegality of the federal income tax, as well as assorted conspiracy theories and, in the words of one of his detractors, “bizarre pictures of dragons, Abraham Lincoln, and huge amounts of CAPSLOCK.”
• Charlotte Malveaux
Graduate of Penn State who majored in political science now living in Washington D.C. and working with the Conservatives for Energy Awareness, a non-profit that works to educate people, especially college students, on the natural resources available within the United States to reduce dependence on foreign oil and create jobs. Former congressional intern to Senator Joseph H. Kelly, Charlotte is charming, outgoing, and socially active in DC, attending most of the major party events (often with a ticket courtesy of her uncle Nathaniel) and doing the social rounds at local charity events. Positive relationships with her uncle Matthew, with Senator Kelly, and with many other political figures in Washington. Draws heavily on the Malveaux wealth for the nonprofit. High school and collegiate athlete who was on the 2013 and 2014 National Championship winning Division I volleyball teams at Penn State. Attractive without being truly beautiful like both of her older sisters, she makes up for it with athleticism and height—standing close to 6’0".
• Homer-Berle “Honey Badger” Boggs
Junior city council member of Slidell and everyman’s redneck whose most salient qualifications include catching the second-biggest blue catfish on record in 2011 and playing as a Rebs’ defensive linebacker, helping the team reach the Division I state finals his senior year. Currently lives with his uncle-cousin and ‘common law’ husband, Homer-Merle, who is also the Honey Badger’s informal campaign manager (which involves making crude viral videos and handing out beer at social gatherings). The pair run a financially precarious combined bait shop and karaoke bar, complete with singing giant catfish, along the Bayou Bonfouca with Homer-Merle’s aunt and ex-wife, Jeane-Jeane. Homer-Berle is the adult son of the deceased Garth-Bob and Vicky-Mae, whose most notable surviving sibling (as two died from eating rancid food following Katrina) is likely Buffy-Sue.
• Shawnte Irving
Life-time resident of the Lower 9th who previously played for the New Orleans Zephyrs, the local Triple-A baseball team. After Katrina, he resigned when the team played the very next season while their city was still in shambles. Afterwards, he became a local political figure known for his advocacy of reconstruction, racial integration, and institutional change. In 2007, he helped organize several thousand NOLA residents to march through the city streets and gather at City Hall for a rally demanding police and city leaders tackle the city’s rampant crime. He obtained significant grass-roots support when he ran for city council in 2008 and 2010, but lost both times by a narrow margin. He ran again in 2012, and seemed poised for victory until he was arrested for beating his wife’s alleged lover with a baseball bat. Rumor has it that the DA dropped Shawunte’s charges -but only after he promised to suspend his campaign and never run again. Currently runs a soup kitchen in the 9th and runs summer baseball camps for urban youth. Despite their marital scandal, Shawnte remains married to his high-school sweetheart, Rhonda, and the pair have two sons: Trayvon and Shawnte, Jr.
• Tyrone Johnson
Won a multi-million-dollar verdict against the city five years ago for police brutality, but between attorney’s fees and the city dragging out payment, has struggled financially ever since. Well known in low-income African-American communities for his case, which involved an unjustified police shooting into a car full of black males that left his two older brothers dead. Also notorious for allegedly having more than fifteen children with twelve different women. Now 29, he is politically active in the city protesting against the NOPD as a local leader of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Allies (Politics) •
• Emily Mandel
Emily is not a New Orleans native, but supposedly hails from Baltimore, Maryland. Or, as Milo Glass suspects: Fort Meade. A (seemingly) archetypical nice Jewish girl in her early twenties, “Emily” got her bachelor’s in Political Science at Tulane and apparently decided to stay for the “culture”(?!?!). She started seduc—dating Zeke about eighteen months ago, allegedly because of his “adorable quirkiness.” She currently interns at city hall, supposedly as part of her longtime quest to work in politics. Notably more religious than her fiancée, which his parents approve of. Milo knows it’s paranoid, even for him, to suspect his friend’s lover of being a government plant. That said, it’s only paranoia if he doesn’t end up doing life in federal prison. Milo’s not taking chances.
• Vernadette Rowe
Executive assistant of Mandeville’s Mayor Ellis Darbonne since 2014. Daughter of Fannie-Belle Rowe, whose vastly more decorated municipal service ended with a stroke and multiple psychiatric institutionalizations. Vernadette has since been forced to care for her now invalid mother.