MARCH MADNESS: Crooked vs. Cooked – Day 4

Day 3 Results: Doug Green (5) snuck past Larry Bankston (12) with 56% of the vote. Bananas Foster (12) upset shrimp remoulade (5) with 55.1%. 

Today’s matchups feature the unfortunately coifed Gov. Dick Milk, Gov. Buddy Roemer’s Mafia-connected father, and a pair of Louisiana favorites that’ll smother you with creamy deliciousness.


CROOKED: Richard Leche (4) vs. Charles Roemer (13)
Fourth-seeded Richard Leche not only holds the distinction of being the first Louisiana governor to be sentenced to prison, but he also had probably the worst haircut. Though he was a relatively minor member of the Huey Long faction, Leche ended up in the Governor’s Mansion when he won the 1936 election as the Longite leaders’ compromise candidate a year after The Kingfish’s assassination.

Leche epitomizes Long’s prophetic words regarding his cronies: “If those fellows ever try to use the powers I’ve given them without me to hold them down, they’ll all land in the penitentiary.” Despite his resignation from office in the midst of the legendary “Hayride Scandals” a year earlier, Leche was convicted of (among other things) mail fraud in a scheme to sell trucks to the state highway department, profiting from the illegal production of oil, and misusing funds for LSU.

Leche would likely have difficulty getting elected today, mainly because his name means “Dick Milk” in Spanish, as well as “Dick Lick” in French.

The man who once said, “When I took the oath of office, I didn’t take any vow of poverty,” was sentenced to a 10-year sentence in an Atlanta prison, was paroled in 1945, and was pardoned by President Harry Truman in 1953. Leche would likely have difficulty getting elected today, mainly because his name means “Dick Milk” in Spanish, as well as “Dick Lick” in French.

Leche’s opponent is thirteenth-seeded Charles “Budgie” Roemer, father of former Gov. Buddy Roemer. Though the elder Roemer never held elected office, he served as Gov. Edwin Edwards’ powerful commissioner of administration from 1972 to 1980.

A year later, Roemer found himself on trial for conspiring with four other men – including New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello – in a scheme to bribe state officials in return for multimillion-dollar insurance contracts. He was convicted and spent three years in prison.

Then in 1992, only months after his son Buddy finished his only term as governor, the patriarch of the Roemer family and his younger son Danny Roemer were indicted by a federal grand jury on conspiracy and bank fraud charges stemming from a real estate deal in Bossier Parish. This time around, Budgie was acquitted, but thanks to his business dealings with dear old dad, Danny was sentenced to two years in prison, and was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine and restitution of nearly a quarter of a million dollars … plus interest.

COOKED: Étouffée (4) vs. Red Beans and Rice (13)
While our fourth seed from the Cooked category technically can be prepared with any shellfish, arguably the most popular version of étouffée is made with crawfish. The name étouffée is derived from the French verb étouffer, which means “to smother,” partially because a smothering style of cooking is used in creating the dish, and partially because a particularly tasty version can cause people to gorge themselves on it to the point of smothering themselves.

Our No. 13 seed is the official unofficial dish of Mondays in South Louisiana. For years, red beans and rice simmered on stoves all day while women manually washed clothes, which was traditionally done on Mondays. Any meat (often ham) smothered with the beans was left over from Sunday dinner.

And though laundry is typically no longer done by hand or exclusively on Mondays, red beans and rice is commonly offered as a special at many Louisiana eateries on the first day of the workweek. Plus, you can always find red beans and rice at Popeye’s and in the song “They All Ask’d for You.” Hey, la bas!

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.RedShtick-Top-ColumnStop

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Editorial Staff
A random collection of overqualified, underachieving smartasses.

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