“Tell them I lied.” – A Politician Who Was An Honest Crook – Part 2

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The Earl of Louisiana, Governor Earl Long, left, with Leander Perez, Boss of the Delta.

In reality, Perez was boss of Plaquemines Parish, the southern most parish, or county, in Louisiana with a population of 15,000 in 1960. A notorious racist and ruthless political boss, he broke with Long because Mr. Earl was too soft on the blacks. While often proclaiming he was one hundred percent for segregation, Earl rarely engaged in the constant race-baiting speeches expected of Southern politicians.

Writes AJ Liebling of a dinner with Mr. Earl during the gubernatorial campaign of 1960:

“Fellas like…Leander Perez and da rest of da White Citizens and Southern Gentlemen in dis state want to go back behind Lincoln,” he (Earl) said. “And between us, gentlemen, as we sit here among ourselves…we got to admit dat Lincoln was a fine man and dat he was right.”

[Source: The Earl of Louisiana by AJ Liebling. Image courtesy of Eunice Today.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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