Friday, April 22, 2005

Politics and rice, both dirty: New Orleans "political operative" and advertising bigwig Ray Reggie has pled guilty to bank fraud charges, which was no shock to those who knew about the case. The FBI had "the nuts" as they say, and Reggie wasn't getting out of it easily. But now it comes out that he agreed to play Linda Tripp for the feds to get the dirt on David Rosen, former aide to Sen. Hillary Clinton. Reggie, by the way, is Sen. Ted Kennedy's brother-in-law.

I confess to a certain enjoyment in watching this one go down because I knew Reggie when I lived in New Orleans. A relative worked for his firm, Media Direct, and they happened to be a large client of mine (so, I suppose, I was a beneficiary of his misdealings..mea culpa). On a personal level I liked Ray. Bill Clinton was legendary for the way he charmed those he met and made you feel a personal connection. Well, Ray did the same but without the "I feel your pain" schmaltziness. He could be in a room of 200 for an hour and buy everyone a drink, make them laugh, promise them a favor and, probably, peak under every female skirt. You couldn't dislike him face to face, because there was no time.

Unfortunately, when I left Clear Channel Radio Ray and his firm owed my station many thousands of dollars and our sister stations in the city (6 of them) tens of thousands more (we're talking invoices almost a year old in some cases). And I was on the hook for a large chunk of change in commissions earned. I got a lot of it collected but he was a jerk about it in the end. And it surprised me not at all when it came out that he was, essentially, full of shit.

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