MARCH MADNESS: Crooked vs. Cooked – Day 3

Day 2 Results: Ray Nagin (9) soundly defeated fellow former New Orleans Mayor Robert Maestri (8) with 73.7% of the vote. Po-boy (8) won a squeaker over beignets (9) by getting 52.2%. 

Competitors on Day 3 of our tourney include the champion of Champion, a taker of phantom condo rent, a cold appetizer with some heat, and a real sweet flamer.


CROOKED: Doug Green (5) vs. Larry Bankston (12)
Fifth-seeded Doug Green really dug green, specifically, $2 million worth of green. Green was inaugurated as commissioner of insurance in 1988 and failed to finish one full term in office before being convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison in 1991 for taking illegal campaign contributions from owners of insurance companies doing business with the state. He’s probably best known for conspiring with the owners of the failing Champion Insurance Company to keep the business intact.

Green was behind bars four times longer than he was in office.

Even though Green was released from the U.S. prison in Pensacola after only serving half of his original sentence, he was behind bars four times longer than he was in office. Green may not have been the most corrupt politician in state history, but his incarceration-to-administration ratio makes him arguably the most inept.

Green faces off against No. 12 seed attorney and former state Senator Larry Bankston, who also spent time in prison, albeit for a much shorter period. Bankston was convicted in 1997 of racketeering for taking bribes from a Slidell video poker truck stop in return for manipulating the legislative process to protect the industry. Fred Godson paid Bankston more than $1,500 a month in the form of phantom “rent” for the “non-use” of the legislator’s beachfront condo in Gulf Shores. The ploy wasn’t quite slick enough to fool a jury. Bankston received a 41-month sentence and was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.

Months after his release from prison, Bankston was disbarred by the Louisiana Supreme Court in 2002, but he was subsequently re-admitted to the practice of law two years later. He currently steals people’s money practices law in Baton Rouge.

COOKED: Shrimp Remoulade (5) vs. Bananas Foster (12)
While today’s two competitors from the Crooked category are known for kickbacks, No. 5 seed shrimp remoulade is known for its kick. It’s typically served as a first-course cold appetizer but can also stand alone as an entree salad topping. Either way, it’s a creamy party in your mouth that you don’t have to brave the seedy sections of the French Quarter in order to enjoy.

Twelfth-seeded bananas Foster is the youngest of the Cooked competitors. The popular dessert was created in 1951 by Chef Paul Blangé at Brennan’s Restaurant in the French Quarter and named for Richard Foster, a friend of Owen Brennan, who also happened to be the New Orleans Crime Commission chairman. The real crime, though, is that the famous Royal Street eatery is no longer serving its signature dish as the result of a family dispute that forced its closure last year.

However, it’s not that hard to find other restaurants in the Crescent City willing to risk setting off the sprinkler system with a tableside flambé of bananas, rum, cinnamon, and brown sugar. And, of course, there’s vanilla ice cream nearby to soothe any burns.

Ready. Set. VOTE! (Polls close nightly at 10 p.m. CDT.)

FYI: If you’re trying to make sense of this graft vs. grub competition, here’s an explanation.


About Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff
A random collection of overqualified, underachieving smartasses.

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