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Trent Lott Fallout: The Gay Escort Who Knew Too Much?
November 26, 2007 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Trent Lott announced today that he will be resigning from the U.S. Senate at the end of the year. His swift and unexpected decision to retire just one year after a re-election that many saw as a comeback from his much disgraced comments at Strom Thurmond's birthday party in 2002 has puzzled many folks. Rumor is spreading that his resignation is due to an alleged scandal: his involvement with a gay escort.

The "source" of the reporting has had credibility problems in the past. Nonetheless, the "story" is gaining "legs."
"The boy happens to be real, and his 'stage name' is Benjamin Nicholas. One of the politicos Big Head DC has learned he’s alleged to have been involved with is the married Sen. Trent Lott, 66, who unexpectedly announced his retirement on Monday. Lott is well-known to have been against a plethora of gay rights issues throughout his terms in Congress. He was also good friends with Sen. Larry Craig throughout his time in Congress. Nicholas told Big Head DC today via e-mail that he didn’t want to go on the record to talk about his dealings with Lott, because, said Nicholas, 'Trent is going through his fair share of scrutiny right now and I don’t want to add to it.' However, e-mail and other records confirm that the two have met on at least two occasions. 'All I can say at this point is no comment,' Nicholas told us. 'It’s the professional thing for me to do.' In a subsequent e-mail message, Nicholas confirmed that another publication is working on a story about a 'possible relationship' between Lott and himself, but Nicholas also 'politely declined' an interview for that story. 'As I said before, Lott has quite a bit on his plate right now and I don’t really want to add fuel to the embers,' Nicholas told Big Head DC."
Regarding the "other" publication -- could it be Hustler? Larry Flynt told Fox Business Network that he's "hoping to expose a bombshell" within the next week or two.
posted by ericb (96 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Benjamin Nicholas:
Gay Sex Workers
"Being a male escort is not just a job, it’s an adventure. But it’s one that comes with special risks—and special responsibilities."

[The Stranger | 06/23/2005]
posted by ericb at 6:54 PM on November 26, 2007


Gayriffic!
posted by mert at 6:55 PM on November 26, 2007


GayRepublicanFilter.
posted by LordSludge at 6:56 PM on November 26, 2007


I'm embarrassed for my friends in the gay community that they might have a yet another of these ugly old bitchy queens join their ranks.
posted by papakwanz at 6:58 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Benjamin Nichols is now denying the story:
"It looks like a Washington DC-based blog called BigHeadDC is making claim that there was (or, is) a working relationship between myself and Senator Trent Lott. There are falsely pieced-together quotes that serve no purpose other than to sensationalize a completely fabricated scoop.

I will continue to offer a great sense of confidentiality to the people I see. I have not, nor have I ever seen or had contact with Senator Trent Lott. It's as simple as that. It never happened."
posted by ericb at 6:58 PM on November 26, 2007


This makes my day.
posted by rbs at 6:58 PM on November 26, 2007


Lott us spray
posted by growabrain at 7:00 PM on November 26, 2007


"The Rifleman," indeed.
posted by jonmc at 7:02 PM on November 26, 2007


I will continue to offer a great sense of confidentiality to the people I see. I have not, nor have I ever seen or had contact with Senator Trent Lott. It's as simple as that. It never happened.

Am I the only person that sees this as saying "I would never tell who I've had as a client. By the way, I never had Trent as a client *wink, wink*"
posted by drezdn at 7:02 PM on November 26, 2007


Lott: Lobby ban ‘didn’t play in big role’ in decision.
posted by ericb at 7:03 PM on November 26, 2007


In the first version, Lott's wife was turned into a pillar of salt, and in this version she will be turned into an ex, and Lott will retire on dollars he helped deflate, and travel in the Caribbean, or South America on "golf trips". Hastert turned in his cards today as well, and we still have that DC Madam who hasn't shown her hand yet. There will to be more to come, by the time all the leaves finally fall, we will be bored of it.
posted by Oyéah at 7:03 PM on November 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


In related news: Barbour’s Proposed Special Election To Replace Lott May Violate Election Law.
posted by ericb at 7:04 PM on November 26, 2007


I suppose this was what Flynt was going on about.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 7:05 PM on November 26, 2007


However, e-mail and other records confirm that the two have met on at least two occasions. 'All I can say at this point is no comment,' Nicholas told us. 'It’s the professional thing for me to do.'

[...]

I have not, nor have I ever seen or had contact with Senator Trent Lott. It's as simple as that. It never happened.

Well, somebody here is lying, or incredibly mistaken. I'd like to see what that "email and other records" is.

In any event, I'm sensing that there is a market for young, rough-trade Hitler Youth lookalikes in the GOP. This could be the money making opportunity I've been waiting for!
posted by Avenger at 7:07 PM on November 26, 2007


Jesus it's only 3 AM and already it is a magnificent day.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:07 PM on November 26, 2007


Mmm. . . I don't know. The gay thing seems flimsy at this point. It's certainly possible, but let's also remember that a competing explanation is that he's doing this to cash in on lobbying.

So he could be hungry for dollars and not dick.
posted by veggieboy at 7:07 PM on November 26, 2007


well, good riddance in any case.
posted by hortense at 7:08 PM on November 26, 2007


Can we talk about this when the biggest outfit reporting this is someone a couple of degrees above the Cleveland Leader?
posted by absalom at 7:08 PM on November 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


Anybody make popcorn yet?
posted by pax digita at 7:09 PM on November 26, 2007


I have not, nor have I ever seen or had contact with Senator Trent Lott. It's as simple as that. It never happened.
Well, somebody here is lying, or incredibly mistaken.


No, he means he wore a condom.
posted by LordSludge at 7:09 PM on November 26, 2007 [5 favorites]


Who says he can't be hungry for both?
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:10 PM on November 26, 2007


As a blogger, Benjamin Nicholas is apparently pretty quick with the cut and paste, not so quick with the attribution.
posted by ottereroticist at 7:11 PM on November 26, 2007


Watch those cock buckets on this one, gentlemen, remember there's a new sheriff in town.
posted by The Straightener at 7:13 PM on November 26, 2007


Oh, well if he's just queer for money, that's ok.
posted by 2sheets at 7:15 PM on November 26, 2007


Cleveland Leader:
"But consider this: who, after spending millions of dollars seeking re-election, leaves in the middle of their term for any reason other than a scandal, health condition, or personal situation?"
posted by ericb at 7:15 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


The talk going around via cable tv shows is that he is retiring shortly before the new lobby law goes into effect so that he will not have to wait the two years before becoming a lobbist, as the new law will require (Jan 1).
posted by Postroad at 7:16 PM on November 26, 2007


Why don't these sanctimonius hypocritical evil fuckers get caught early doing to the willing young manflesh what they are about to do to the country's unwilling constitution, bill of rights and non-lobbying populace on a larger scale?

The secret of comedy is timing, folks. We're (if you'll pardon the pun) the butt of a very nasty joke here, and the timing is fucking awful.
posted by lalochezia at 7:17 PM on November 26, 2007


Oh goody. Another one.

At least Lott had some taste.. that boy's pretty cute.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:25 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wasn't it Lott who didn't want to run last time in the first place? I think, as morally dickish as he is, he has had some serious issues with Bush behind the scenes. My thoughts are that he ran to keep the seat a Republican Seat, now he can quit and the Republican Gov of Mississippi can appoint a Republican successor who will stand a chance of holding the seat in the next election because of incumbency.
posted by edgeways at 7:28 PM on November 26, 2007


ericb: did you choose that quote because it says absolutely nothing?
posted by ODiV at 7:32 PM on November 26, 2007


I wonder if Bush will still show up for a mojito on Lott's porch.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:32 PM on November 26, 2007


my impression was that he is leaving now to avoid restrictions on lobbying activities that were enacted in a recent law.
posted by empath at 7:34 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


What?

Every source I've heard is that he was resigning because of an upcoming election law change that would require him to wait two years before becoming a lobbyist, but that law doesn't take effect until next January.

Of course, that was all speculation, but it seems more credible then the gay escort thing.
posted by delmoi at 7:39 PM on November 26, 2007


Am I the only person that sees this as saying "I would never tell who I've had as a client. By the way, I never had Trent as a client *wink, wink*"

Sounds like "I never had sex with Trent lLott, but I am an attention whore with a blog, trying to extend my 15 minutes of fame"

Come on, how could anyone take this seriously.
posted by delmoi at 7:44 PM on November 26, 2007


OK, Let me present a thought experiment: ask yourself if you would be surprised if it turns out Lott was shagging rent boys on the side.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 7:47 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Lott: Lobby ban ‘didn’t play in big role’ in decision.

If that's true, he'll extend his term till January 1st so that the governor won't need to do a special election in march.
posted by delmoi at 7:48 PM on November 26, 2007


who, after spending millions of dollars seeking re-election...?

But it's not millions of his own money.
posted by SPrintF at 7:51 PM on November 26, 2007


OK, Let me present a thought experiment: ask yourself if you would be surprised if it turns out Lott was shagging rent boys on the side.

Well I would, I mean how many gay republicans can there be? And has Flynt actually said it was going to be a gay scandal? It could be a hetro thing.
posted by delmoi at 7:53 PM on November 26, 2007


I wonder if Bush will still show up for a mojito on Lott's porch.

Is this the kind of coded message the gays use to forward their agenda?
posted by johnj at 7:54 PM on November 26, 2007


I loves me a good GOP hypocrite scandal, but this gay escort stuff is silly. Lott's resigning because he wants to make money and if he waits until after December he has to wait two years to be a seven-figure lobbyist, not one, and he has no interest milling about in what's almost guaranteed to be a minority party for the remainder of his term.

If the idea that a right-wing Republican would screw over his constituency to make a shitload of money surprises you, then you've been asleep since about 1994.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:58 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Night job: male escort

Day job: Universal Soldier
posted by brain_drain at 8:02 PM on November 26, 2007


Trent Lott goes down?
posted by Mick at 8:04 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


HOO HA.
posted by The Straightener at 8:06 PM on November 26, 2007


Once again for those of you that missed it.

What is the hardest thing about being republican?

Telling your parents that you are gay.

Bada boom, bada bing.
posted by Mr_Zero at 8:11 PM on November 26, 2007


RumourFilter. While I do find some amusement in the sex scandals that are cropping up in American politics of late, shouldn't we be waiting on posts like this until there is some more concrete evidence that this actually happened? The theory about the lobbyist money being the cause seems more (or at least equally) credible.
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:14 PM on November 26, 2007


Another day, another republican sodomite.
posted by serazin at 8:15 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


48 hour rule.
posted by rockhopper at 8:17 PM on November 26, 2007


At least Lott had some taste.. that boy's pretty cute.

Fox News will probably take the angle that it was inevitable that some homos would be drawn to him because is such a pretty, pretty man. You can't blame him for being so hot to men, CAN YOU?
posted by Mr_Zero at 8:20 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


If the idea that a right-wing Republican would screw over his constituency to make a shitload of money surprises you, then you've been asleep since about 1994.

How does quitting his job screw over his constituency? It's not like he quit with one day's notice. He can go make his money, and someone else can be senator. It's not exactly a national tragedy.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:21 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


"His swift and unexpected decision to retire just one year after a re-election that many saw as a comeback from his much disgraced comments at Strom Thurmond's birthday party in 2002 has puzzled many folks."

Those poor, disgraced comments were never able to recover their careers like Lott did.
posted by brevator at 8:26 PM on November 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


Dibs on his hair piece!
posted by 45moore45 at 8:38 PM on November 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


And now Hastert's fucked off, too.

Oh ghod, don't tell me they've been banging each other in the bogs. That would be the end.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 8:38 PM on November 26, 2007


delmoi: i mean how many gay republicans can there be?

in the log cabin there are many mansions.
posted by bruce at 8:41 PM on November 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero: He's 1/2 of Mississippi's representation in the Senate, and he's built up over two decades of seniority and clout. The guy can get stuff done that an empty chair or a neophyte Senator can't. Obviously it's not the end of the world, but it's not exactly being fair to his constituency--especially when he could have bowed out in 2006.
posted by Bromius at 8:56 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


How does quitting his job screw over his constituency?

When you vote for someone for a six-year job you tend to assume they're not going to bail after less than a year. In addition, Lott jumping ship before the end of 2007 means the special election has to be within 90 days of the resignation, NOT on the day of the 2008 election, which makes the odds of popular Democrat and former Attorney General Mike Moore winning the seat much more likely.

For money, money, and nothing but money, Lott is shrugging off a campaign and lots of volunteers and supporters from only a year earlier, plus possibly letting his seat go to a Democrat.

And this guy used to be their leader.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:57 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


XQUZYPHYR: And until he ran for Congress, he was a Democrat. Say what you like about him, he knows which way the wind blows.
posted by Bromius at 9:02 PM on November 26, 2007


his involvement with a gay escort.

I'm all for someone like Larry Flynt using his influence to expose hypocrites, but your source (and this post) are incredibly tacky.
posted by dhammond at 9:04 PM on November 26, 2007


If I were the GOP, I'd hire Lott on as a $500K "advisor" on the condition that he resigned after January 1. $1M just to keep the Dems from getting their cloture-sealing 60 in 2008? That's nothing. And I'm sure the various "corporate sponsors" of the Grand Old Party would agree.
posted by dw at 9:13 PM on November 26, 2007


The aspens Republicans turn in clusters, because their roots perversions connect them.
posted by orthogonality at 9:15 PM on November 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


My predictions? The gay escort thing will come up empty and Haley Barbour will decree the month of December extended in Mississippi by a single day.
posted by felix betachat at 9:17 PM on November 26, 2007


When you vote for someone for a six-year job you tend to assume they're not going to bail after less than a year.

Depends. See my alternative theory below.

In addition, Lott jumping ship before the end of 2007 means the special election has to be within 90 days of the resignation, NOT on the day of the 2008 election, which makes the odds of popular Democrat and former Attorney General Mike Moore winning the seat much more likely.

Not at all. Haley Barbour has already set the date of the special election: November 4, 2008.

For money, money, and nothing but money, Lott is shrugging off a campaign and lots of volunteers and supporters from only a year earlier, plus possibly letting his seat go to a Democrat.

If it's not the rentboy (which seems fishy to me), I don't believe for a second that it's the money/lobby thing either. I think it's purely political machination: to be available to go out on the campaign trail in 2008 and fundraise for the RNC, and to give the Mississippi GOP leadership a solid hand in holding onto the seat.

Here's my scenario: The governor has already stated that he will appoint someone to fill Lott's Senate seat temporarily, and that the special election for the seat will be Nov 2008. We can safely presume the appointee will be a Republican, handpicked by Lott, with Barbour's stamp of approval.

I suspect that the appointee will be a bright, young, moderate up-and-comer in the party, who stands a chance against the Democratic swing that is on the horizon. Said up-and-comer will fully benefit from 10 months in the seat before November, and also get to run as the incumbent (conveniently, with Lott standing at his elbow in all the ads and appearances, and possibly even handing his war chest to the replacement).

A major player like Lott isn't likely to sit around for four lame duck years under a Democratic majority, of course -- but at least if he leaves right now, he's optimizing the party's chance for keeping the seat. Contrary to XQUZYPHYR's theory, I believe that Lott is actually trying to go out on his own terms and do the GOP a solid at the same time.

Besides, regardless of whether Lott is subject to the 1- or 2-year cooling-off, nothing prevents him from being hired by K Street as a seven-figure consultant, in the extra one year before he can pick up actual lobbying. Trust me, Lott will be making the same amount of money whenever he leaves -- whether he's a registered lobbyist or not.

And, o irony of ironies, I'll bet any of y'all a big fat hundo that by January 2009, Lott is in the employ of a major insurance consortium. He's making a huge stink about nailing the insurance companies after Katrina, but he's absolutely for sale and would be a very powerful voice for them -- "Look at me, I was on record as absolutely opposed to big insurance, but now I can effect change from the inside and still help the people of Mississippi."
posted by pineapple at 9:18 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


May or may not be true, may or may not be tacky, but it's not as though truth ain't stranger than fiction in the GOP these days. If every time from now on when a male Republican federal or state legislator resigns, the scuttlebutt is that he's done so because of some impossibly tawdry sexual scandal, the party hierarchy that gave us David Vitter, Mark Foley, Bob Allen, and Larry Craig has only itself to blame.
posted by blucevalo at 9:53 PM on November 26, 2007


Republicans who have voted to take rights away from gay citizens should be impeached.

Republicans who are outed and have voted to take rights away from gay citizens should be beaten mercilessly, and then impeached.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:04 PM on November 26, 2007 [4 favorites]


What is it about the guys with unmoveable hairdos (the hairspray-hardened "shell"... you know what I'm talking about)? Maybe it's confirmation bias, but it seems to me that the men with those kinds of hairdos are the ones who overwhelmingly have something hypocritical to hide.
posted by amyms at 10:17 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


The days of anti-gay closet cases getting a pass from their pals in the media who respect their "open secret" (read: ignoring their work against gay equality and nodding politely when seeing them out with their partners on the DC social circuit) are done. . .

These folks are dinosaurs holding fellow citizens in second-class citizenship while quietly using the perks of their wealth and power to avoid that very second-class citizenship themselves. Fuck them and their open secrets. If DC knows, we all should know, and that's the bottom line.

posted by mlis at 11:04 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


I haven't been keeping score, are there any non-gay Republicans left?
posted by Krrrlson at 11:32 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm doubtful about the connection, but I thought the piece Nicholas wrote on how to be a gay escort (linked by ericb) was interesting. Bit that gave me a flash of understanding and a bit of pity:

"I often carry popular gay lifestyle magazines for my closeted guys to read"
posted by athenian at 12:42 AM on November 27, 2007


AGAIN?!

posted by JHarris at 2:18 AM on November 27, 2007


this thread is a perfect example of people believing what they want to, not what the evidence supports
posted by pyramid termite at 2:53 AM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


True or not, there have been a lot of closeted gay republicans in the media.
Y'know, I'd almost be embarrassed were I gay, with all the jerks who turn out to be gay. I mean it's almost like if you're a closeted gay man, you have to be a dick in public life: "Hey, that guy's a real jerk...I wonder if he's a closeted
homosexual?"*
So you have Lott. I mean, can't anyone just be a dick anymore?
Being a porky vindictive racist should have been enough to get him out of public service (apparently not tho).
That said, I've never understood the whole down low thing for guys who actively work against rights for homosexuals.
(Reminds me of the Chappelle sketch about the blind Klansman who didn't know he was black)

*Obviously what's scandalous are the hypocrisies, not being homosexual. But other hypocritical positions are given more tolerance (e.g. the race thing) but this (if true) is apparently a mortal blow (no pun int'd).
I just don't like the form of that.
For any thinking individual, there's no question human rights must be respected regardless of sexual orientation.
That aside, this pisses me off because it makes a game of my own lifestyle (hetero, married, straitlaced, monogamous, family values, etc). Being gay is something folks are, I understand that. Being straight is as well. It's something I just am. And I LIKE living that way.
I revile Lott (if true) and others for making a pretense at my, and people like me, expense. And it's exactly analogous to race on that level. This is like someone trying to pass as white or putting on some sort of disguise or some such.
My anger there is at the fact society doesn't tolerate these things and as such is a participant in the gaming of, the mockery of, my own lifestyle.
Until people get that, there's not going to be much change. They just think "eww, homos" and it goes no further. But the distaste is for the hypocracy that makes them question themselves. Well, hell, closeted guys (who are merely confused) do that. Black folks questioned themselves so much they had to assert their identity in the 60's and reassure themselves of who they are (I'm black and I'm proud). Still do.
It's an unconscious sort of rote thinking of identity. Many folks get married, do the whole house, kids, etc. thing and never really think about whether they might be happier in a polygamous situation or marry outside their ethnicity or socio-economic whatever. And wake up at 40 unhappy, not knowing who the hell they are, but maybe they're better than homos or blacks or Jews, whatever, and seek to define themselves that way. But that assertion of "family values" is through the negation of other folks identities, not through the celebration of one's own.

And indeed, in Lott's case (if true) and others that's the real betrayal. I'm actually happy with my wife and kids and being in the middle of America. I deserve no praise nor condemnation for it, it's merely who I am. Folks who make a pretense and being what I am while using that platform to denounce others for not being the same way make a mockery of who I am and sabotage my identity such that the things I value most in my life seem mere ploys.

That's why this kind of thing pisses people off in their bones.
But it's not what people see or talk about.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:52 AM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not at all. Haley Barbour has already set the date of the special election: November 4, 2008.

Fantastic. It's a good thing Barbour is King of Mississippi then and- oh wait, he's not?

Barbour can say whatever he wants. He's wrong. The law says he's wrong, the Attorney General says he's wrong, and the courts will say he's wrong if he tries to rig the election rules.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:25 AM on November 27, 2007


Huh. I never thought this ridiculous post would make it through the night, but here we are.

So have we had a lesbian Hilary post yet? Bob Novak makes a much better shitty source than some random blog.
posted by loquax at 5:48 AM on November 27, 2007


I guess Dubya meant he's going to be spending time on Lott's back porch.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:03 AM on November 27, 2007


A gay republican? Unpossible!

Note: I am reserving judgment, even though Trent Lott is a douche.

Loquax: Hillary didn't just resign precipitously from anything important, thus sparking speculation about her reasons. There's probably nothing to this gay angle though, I mean Lott is a real American! No Republican has ever been found guilty of gayness.

Hillary has been found guilty of being a powerful woman, hence the non-stop accusations of homosexuality, because we all know that the only powerful people are men, so women who attain power can only get it by acting mannish, and of course lesbians want to be men, so Hillary must be a man, baby!
posted by Mister_A at 6:16 AM on November 27, 2007


There's probably nothing to this gay angle though, I mean Lott is a real American! No Republican has ever been found guilty of gayness.

Seriously? Seriously???
posted by loquax at 6:25 AM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dan Savage:
"Larry Flynt Statement on Trent Lott

Larry Flynt just posted this ambiguous statement on his website:
'HUSTLER Magazine has received numerous inquiries regarding the involvement of Larry Flynt and HUSTLER in the resignation of Trent Lott. Senator Lott has been the target of an ongoing HUSTLER investigation for some time now, due to confidential information that we have received.'
BigHeadDC crows that this statement confirms his scoop about Lott’s alleged involvement with a male escort. Not quite. Flynt has been gunning for GOP hypocrites and as Lott’s already stepping down, well, why not insinuate that he’s got something on Lott? It’s telling that Flynt doesn’t confirm any details—there’s no mention of an escort, male or female, just an 'investigation.' For his part, the escort named by BigHeadDC is adamant that he’s never met Lott.

At some point someone involved in pushing this—I mean BigHeadDC or Flynt, not the escort (who hasn’t done anything to push this, so far as I can tell)—needs to put up or shut up. Don’t be coy, Larry. If you’ve got something on Lott, out with it. If you don’t have anything, don’t tease us. And stop overselling this, BigHeadDC. Nothing’s been confirmed by anyone."
posted by ericb at 6:26 AM on November 27, 2007


I could be wrong but don't all republicans hate anything that goes against a strong Christian up-bringing???? Not that there is anything wrong with a Christian up-bringing but wow by doing this isn't the republican party admitting that they say one thing then do as they please? That right there is enough evidence to tar and feather the whole lot of them!
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:34 AM on November 27, 2007


True or not

Pretty much says it all.
posted by yerfatma at 6:46 AM on November 27, 2007


Barbour can say whatever he wants. He's wrong. The law says he's wrong, the Attorney General says he's wrong, and the courts will say he's wrong if he tries to rig the election rules.

Did we read the same article? Because your link says this:
The Mississippi secretary of state’s office said early Monday that state law appeared to require a special election within 90 days if Lott retires in 2007. After consulting with lawyers, however, a spokesman said the secretary of state concurred with Barbour based on a technicality in the letter of the law.

In an exception to the 90-day rule, the law says the governor “shall designate” the special election for the same day as the general election if a vacancy occurs the same calendar year as a statewide election. Mississippi had a statewide election earlier this month, so Barbour would be setting the special election for the next statewide election in 2008.

The secretary of state in Mississippi is Eric Clark, a third-term Democrat. His spokesman agreed that Barbour was using a technicality.

“That’s exactly what it is,” spokesman Kell Smith said. “And we agree with that.”
The state's chief election official, a Democrat, is agreeing with Barbour's interpretation.

And whether the election date will be decided via a technicality or the spirit of the law is not actually germane to my argument that the reason Lott is resigning early is politically motivated, not financially. Clearly the GOP is planning to preserve the seat by hook or by crook -- ultimately, if the tricks don't work and they want it badly enough they'll just convince Lott to retire January 1. State law can't force Lott to retire on December 31.

And like I said, he'll make the same amount of money regardless; the cooling-off law might prevent him from outright lobbying but it certainly doesn't prevent him from advising or consulting.

the courts will say he's wrong if he tries to rig the election rules.

Which courts are those? Tom DeLay's coup in Texas in 2003 was backed by the US Supreme Court, and this is mere child's play compared to that effort. There's not even any minority disenfranchisement at stake.

Believe me, I understand wanting to get up in arms and point to what the law says and what the rules are -- but that and a token will get you on the bus when it comes to the GOP beg/borrow/stealing seats.
posted by pineapple at 6:46 AM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


by doing what? By being Gay? 1) That hasn't been proved, and 2) is kind of a false issue in many ways.
By quitting early so he can make (more) money? If we where allowed to tar people, including politicians, for their unscrupulous behavior in making money the tar makers would be making a mint.

There just might be something wrong with a strong Christian upbringing, not that the majority of politicians can be said to be truly Christian.
posted by edgeways at 6:47 AM on November 27, 2007


My view of these uber-Christian politicians is that they are all trying to hide something. They are the ones who are to be trusted the least to determine what 'family values' are. It speaks to the ignorance of the middle of the country and the South that these clowns are re-elected for multiple terms.
posted by reenum at 6:47 AM on November 27, 2007


pineapple, I kind of read that statement as agreeing that it was a technicality, not that they necessarily agree with its implementation, although it is a spectacular piece of ambiguous writing so hard to say what the intention was. And, uh, the rest of the article, following that statement, does seem to say that the MS Gov is in the wrong and must have elections within 100 days of the resignation.
posted by edgeways at 6:51 AM on November 27, 2007


Arlen Specter says financial problems hastened Lott's exit "Sen. Arlen Specter yesterday said it was his understanding that new regulations on lobbying by ex-lawmakers played a significant role in Sen. Trent Lott's decision to retire, contradicting what the Mississippi senator told reporters in his home state."
posted by delmoi at 10:51 AM on November 27, 2007


Blog Defends "Fabrication" Claims By Alleged Trent Lott Escort
“Big Head DC, the blog that is claiming a male escort is behind Senator Trent Lott's recent abrupt resignation, has fired back at claims by the escort, Benjamin Nicholas, that quotes in Big Head DC's item were ‘fabricated’.

Now, Big Head DC has published his entire email exchange with Nicholas.

The exchange DOES NOT yet provide any real evidence that there was a relationship between Nicholas and Trent Lott, however, it's certain to be picked apart in minute detail, such as this remark:
Nicholas: ‘I’m a blogger as well, so I’m well aware that nothing in this world is ever truly ‘off-record.’ Trent is going through his fair share of scrutiny right now and I don’t want to add to it. All I can say at this point is no comment. It’s the professional thing for me to do.’
Addressing Senator Lott as ‘Trent’ seems to imply that the lawmaker was more than a passing acquaintance, but that's pretty much all I can glean from the exchange.

Big Head DC adds: ‘It is of course Nicholas’ way of framing his answers in these e-mails, i.e. 'no current affiliation with Lott,' referring to the senator as Trent, etc. that has helped lead many today to question why Nicholas has decided to backtrack. Perhaps he had promised an exclusive to another publication, and accidentally dropped the ball? Perhaps some of his current clients became frightened, so he decided to try to make the story go away? Or perhaps he has felt some other sorts of pressure. We do not know at this point. But, rest assured, we are working to find out.’’’
posted by ericb at 11:45 AM on November 27, 2007


Dan Savage:
Why Benjamin Nicholas?

“I’ve been emailing back and forth with Benjamin Nicholas, gay escort and past Stranger contributor. Yesterday Nicholas was accused, for lack of a better word, of having a professional relationship with GOP Sen. Trent Lott. The blog BigHeadDC broke this as-yet-unconfirmed story and said that Lott’s alleged contacts with Nicholas were about to be made public and that this—another GOP gay sex scandal—was the real reason for Lott’s sudden resignation.

The credibility-challenged blogger that, er, fingered Nicholas stands by his story. Nicholas, for his part, denies ever having seen Lott in a professional capacity—or in any other capacity. He also insists that the quotes attributed to him on BigHeadDC were ‘falsely pieced together’ and that BigHeadDC’s story was ‘fabricated.’ But Nicholas has credibility problems of his own.

At the moment I’m inclined to believe Nicholas when he denies any involvement with Lott—even though, of course, Nicholas’ commitment to client confidentiality pretty much requires him to deny ever having seen Lott. But one thing gives me pause.

Of all the escorts in all the world—many of whom are based in DC—why would some random DC blogger pluck Benjamin Nicholas out of the ether? Nicholas is based in San Antonio, not DC. If BigHeadDC is making this shit up, wouldn’t he be likelier to make this shit up about a DC-based escort?

‘Why me?’ Nicholas responded via email. ‘Well, I think it’s mainly because in the escort world, I’m pretty face-front and known,’ due to his blog and his willingness to critique other escorts and certain aspects of the escort business. ‘This is one of the few times in my escort career that I’m not really enjoying the spotlight.

‘Also, take into account that there are MANY people out there who dislike me and could easily tip-off this crappy DC blogger with some horseshit story.’

...‘Whether this is a conspiracy or just plain bullshit,’ writes Nicholas, ‘I’m hunkering down and hoping that the national media doesn’t pick this up, as it’s not yet been verified from a credible source. My statement on 15 Minutes is clear. I’ll leave it at that.’

Unfortunately for Nicholas, the national media is picking this story up: the ABCNEWS producer and investigative reporter that broke the Mark Foley story just called. She wanted to know how she could get in touch with Nicholas about Trent Lott.”
posted by ericb at 12:01 PM on November 27, 2007


Interesting tidbit from one of the alleged e-mails:
"Yes. I was contacted by Gawker this morning ([Nick] Denton is a friend of mine). He’s hot to get an exclusive interview about the possible relationship between the two of us, but I politely declined. As I said before, Lott has quite a bit on his plate right now and I don’t really want to add fuel to the embers."
So, maybe the "other publication...[that was/is] working on a story about a 'possible relationship' between Lott and himself" is actually Gawker.
posted by ericb at 12:09 PM on November 27, 2007


“I could be wrong but don't all republicans hate anything that goes against a strong Christian up-bringing????”

That’s what’s irritating about it. It’s just lip service.
(For them that must obey authority That they do not respect in any degree Who despite their jobs, their destinies Speak jealously of them that are free Cultivate their flowers to be Nothing more than something They invest in.
While some on principles baptized To strict party platforms ties Social clubs in drag disguise Outsiders they can freely criticize Tell nothing except who to idolize And then say God Bless him. - To quote Dylan)

It’s as patronizing as a white guy in a suit using the word “man” constantly around a black guy, speaking about how great black athletes are and so forth (Lenny Bruce does a great bit on this).
I’m in earnest here about community and family and you get folks who abandon all that in pursuit of power saying “I’m right there with ya, buddy.” No, you’re really not. Closeted gay or not.
Reminds me of folks telling me (here and elsewhere) how some people change when they find out someone is gay. There’s this facade that is the inverse of the suppression of any minority.
And the folks being shown the facade often don’t see it because it’s presented as a celebration of their values. I don’t buy it anymore than I buy Hillary Clinton’s southern accent (not to pick on her, first thing that came to mind). At best it’s cloying. Hey, I paid attention to my kids today and helped out homeless folks in my community and I make love to my wife and don’t think of men while I’m doing it - hooray for me. I mean really, BFD. I don’t have to knock someone else down so I get self-respect. The fact I get to live as I will is it’s own reward. It’s only this moral shell game that’s preventing others from doing so.
If you’re actually living “family values” that hurts you as well, though many people don’t see it. Much as the mindless self-aggrandizing shouting of “USA!” at, say, a monster truck rally, or professional wresting match in response to some vague barely symbolic achievement degrades more legitimate action and real achievements in liberty, equality and justice through the principles and values of the country.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:44 PM on November 27, 2007


Other speculation -- Right-Wing Magazine: Veco Oil Scandal Contributed To Lott’s Resignation
"Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) refuses to say why he is retiring from Congress. Many in the media have reported that Lott likely wants to enter the lucrative world of K Street before 'tougher restrictions in a new lobbying law' take effect.

But the right-wing American Spectator magazine speculates that brewing corruption scandals may have contributed to Lott’s decision:
'The tin-foil-hat crowd was almost immediately pushing a Jack Abramoff angle to the surprise resignation of Sen. Trent Lott. But a more recent scandal brewing — which has already ensnared Sen. Ted Stevens, among others — may also be playing on Lott’s mind.

Lott, Stevens, as well as Rep. Dennis Hastert all have ties to Bill Allen, a larger than life Alaskan businessman who owned Veco, an oil-field services company, and who was a huge benefactor of Republican politicians.'"
posted by ericb at 1:50 PM on November 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


this is great!

And this must be what Flynt and others have been hinting at--the lobbying thing is clearly not why he's leaving without serving out his term--most ex-Congresspeople don't register as lobbyists at all, but simply "consult" for giant paydays.

There's really no other reason that fits except for a scandal.

or this plus the VECO crimes? Lott was golfing abroad with the rest of them.
posted by amberglow at 4:46 PM on November 27, 2007


So you have Lott. I mean, can't anyone just be a dick anymore?
Being a porky vindictive racist should have been enough to get him out of public service (apparently not tho).


You'll always have all the actual GOP criminals like DeLay and all the others. ; >

Blogactive: Trent Lott: Closet case or just wanting to get out while the money is good?

and Wonkette had a great thing on this: --... # Trent finally had enough of Mitch McConnell trying to play footsie under the table at leadership meetings.
# Trent got really uncomfortable after he complained about the footsie and Mitch moved the meetings to the 6th floor men’s room in the Longworth House Office Building.
...
# He didn’t want to be the last racist left in the Senate, and Byrd was looking damn old. ...

posted by amberglow at 4:51 PM on November 27, 2007


I wonder if the escort was paid extra for denying it all now? Lott must have been paying tons in hush money for ages too.
posted by amberglow at 5:06 PM on November 27, 2007


Yesterday's Newsweek article on the Lott resignation. (Conveniently, it supports my argument. :) I'm nothing if not a linker of opportunity.)

But whether it's to help the MS GOP keep the seat or to make piles of cash, I just don't see the Nicholas Benjamin thing getting legs. Looks to me like a pastiche of wishful thinking on behalf of the liberal media.

Which, speaking of, I hope the Freeper types in the world are noticing that the actual mainstream media are on the "Republican side" here. (Or have they stopped frothing over the perceived media bias? I confess it's hard for me to keep up.)
posted by pineapple at 6:23 AM on November 28, 2007


Right-Wing Magazine: Veco Oil Scandal Contributed To Lott’s Resignation (the American Spectator is the mag)
posted by amberglow at 2:06 PM on November 28, 2007


Amberglow, darling ;) You reposted what I posted last night -- and which you marked a favorite! Have another cocktail -- or, not! Hehe.
posted by ericb at 2:13 PM on November 28, 2007


sorry hon--i'm still pissed i missed this story entirely--catching up from vacation, i guess.
How about this?


Related (and hysterical and pathetic at the same time: ... CNN Washington bureau chief David Bohrman, who's executive producing the debate, told the New York Times blog The Caucus: that YouTube videos "asking the candidates to defend their opposition to gay marriage and abortion" would not be asked.

"Those kinds of 'lobbying grenades' would be disqualified by the CNN selection team, Mr. Bohrman said. 'There are quite a few things you might describe as Democratic "gotchas," and we are weeding those out,' Mr. Bohrman said. CNN wants to ensure that next Wednesday's Republican event is 'a debate of their party.'"

posted by amberglow at 2:28 PM on November 28, 2007


and this is breaking now: Trent Lott's Brother-In-Law, Nephew Indicted On Federal Bribery Charges --... Prominent Mississippi trial attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, the brother-in-law of outgoing GOP Sen. Trent Lott, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges that he and four other men tried to bribe a Mississippi state court judge.

According to the 13-page indictment, Scruggs and three other attorneys -- including Lott's nephew Zach -- attempted to bribe Mississippi Third Circuit Court Judge Henry L. Lackey with at least $40,000 in cash.

Lackey was assigned to hear a lawsuit in which Scruggs' firm was named as a defendant in a dispute involving $26.5 million in attorneys' fees stemming from a court settlement with State Farm Insurance over Hurricane Katrina claims. ...


This must be it--the Katrina connection is too much.


I could be wrong but don't all republicans hate anything that goes against a strong Christian up-bringing???? Not that there is anything wrong with a Christian up-bringing but wow by doing this isn't the republican party admitting that they say one thing then do as they please? That right there is enough evidence to tar and feather the whole lot of them!

Nope--they actually see the Christian right as total suckers and use them to get votes. They get them all hot and bothered and then don't give them what they want. Lott is like the rest of them--they pay lipservice to God and "family values" but the only God they worship is money and power--the rules they impose on us and that God says they should have don't apply to them, they feel. They almost always get away with it too.
posted by amberglow at 4:49 PM on November 28, 2007


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