Christopher Tidmore, Candidate
"Only politicians could politicize the recovery from the greatest natural disaster in the history of the United States. Nothing is getting done because people are trying to either assess blame or find political gain."
Christopher Tidmore appeared on nationwide TV on ABC's Nightline
July 16th, talking about David Vitter's continued claim that there were no New Orleans Prostitutes.
The Times-Picayune says there were, and Tidmore had to defend himself. Interviews in the Washington Post, Hill Newspaper, and other national publications are also posted below.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
By Paul Purpura
CAMPAIGN TACTICS: Christopher Tidmore, who has been campaigning for the 82nd District seat in the state House of Representatives, gained some national publicity this week by touting what he said was his role in uncovering U.S. Sen. David Vitter's connection with an escort service.
"Five years ago, Christopher Tidmore exposed a pattern of lies that . . . David Vitter sought to conceal," the candidate said Wednesday in a news release. "In the media in recent days, and on ABC's 'Nightline' Monday evening, Christopher voiced to the nation that Senator David Vitter continues to lie about encounters in New Orleans spinning a series of falsehoods that promise to damage the national support for Louisiana's recovery."
The announcement, on its face a bald campaign maneuver, was nevertheless necessary, Tidmore said Friday. Vitter's denial earlier this week of New Orleans stories linking him to prostitutes essentially called Tidmore a liar, Tidmore said.
"I was all over the press, and that . . . led to the vindication press release," he said, counting more than 47 local and national interviews on the Vitter matter. Tidmore has taken credit for breaking the Vitter scandal while writing for the Louisiana Weekly in 2002.
"I have no political ax to grind with Mr. Vitter," Tidmore said.
Tidmore is seeking a House seat now held by Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, who is term-limited.
Tidmore maintains the same in the Shreveport Times.
John Hill, Times Political Columnist, wrote, "In addition, the New Orleans Times Picayune reported that Wendy Yow confirmed her relationship with Louisiana's junior senator, saying she broke it off when she learned he was married. Writer Christopher Tidmore, a Republican candidate for the Legislature who wrote the original Louisiana Weekly stories alleging Vitter had a continuing relationship with Wendy Cortez, was present outside the hotel conference room.
"Only credential news media representatives were admitted, given pink and white checked wristbands. Few others were there, other than a couple of Vitter's staff members."
"Tidmore stood by his stories."
"Repeated interviews with Wendy Cortez, not only by Louisiana Weekly but also the Times-Picayune, have developed an open-and-shut case that the woman in question, also known as Wendy Yow, had a series of trysts with David Vitter," Tidmore said. "Her identity is not in question. For Sen. Vitter to proceed in denying this says he's not ready to come out with the absolute truth. I implore the senator do not continue to harm the Louisiana Republican Party," Tidmore said. 'Search your heart and consider resigning.'"
"University of New Orleans College Republicans stood outside the news conference room, handing out statements also calling for Vitter to resign. President Ronald Kreiger said they were angry that Vitter's news conference interfered with the gubernatorial announcement tour of U.S. Rep. Bobby Jindal. 'By deciding to hold a press conference at 5 p.m. Monday afternoon, just as Bobby Jindal's plane is taxing into Armstrong Airport, David Vitter has once more shown a blatant disregard for the political position of the Louisiana Republican Party,' the college GOP group said in a news statement. 'It is clear Sen. Vitter cares little for his fellow Republicans in Louisiana.'" http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070717/NEWS01/707170330/1002/NEWS
The Times Picayune also stood by its story that Wendy Cortez was a real person on Tuesday:
"Last week, a woman who said she worked as a prostitute under the name Wendy Cortez also said that Vitter was a regular customer of hers when he was a state representative in the 1990s. The woman's former fiance, Tait Cortez, corroborated her claim and said he had confronted the woman about the relationship after he found photos of her and Vitter. Tait Cortez said he split with the woman, whose maiden name was Wendy Yow, after he learned she was working as a prostitute." http://blog.nola.com/times-picayune/2007/07/vitter_reemerges_and_again_ask.html
Capitol Hill Newspaper: Tidmore Has No "Political Ax To Grind" with Vitter, Washington Post Says: Tidmore Vindicated
Vitter hides as the Senate GOP circles its wagons, Hill Newspaper
By Elana Schor and Sam Youngman
In Louisiana yesterday, at least two state Republicans -- one a columnist and statehouse candidate and the other a state party official and Vitter rival-- were claiming vindication after Vitter's admission.
In 2002, state GOP official Vincent Bruno charged on talk radio that Vitter had engaged in an extramarital affair.
Bruno told Christopher Tidmore, a political columnist for The Louisiana Weekly and a candidate for the state legislature, that Vitter had consorted for 11 months with a New Orleans prostitute who went by the name Wendy Cortez.
Tidmore told The Hill that other Republicans were aware of the alleged affair, adding that former Gov. Mike Foster (R) had used the information to dissuade Vitter from running for governor in 2001. At the time, Vitter said marital issues kept him from running.
After the allegations surfaced, Vitter attacked Tidmore and Bruno for engaging in "crass Louisiana politics," adding that the charges were "completely untrue" and "obviously politically motivated."
Tidmore, who has reported on the story for almost five years, insisted he has no "political ax to grind" with Vitter.
Bruno told The Hill yesterday that Vitter should follow Livingston's lead and resign for the good of the state party, adding that he thinks more details or more affairs could come to light. He noted that Republican candidates are poised to unseat Blanco this year and mount a strong challenge against Landrieu next year.
"It's going to be devastating if it comes out," Bruno said. "He's got a real problem, and he needs to tend to it. And it doesn't need to be in the public eye when he does if he cares about his family."
While talking to The Hill on the phone, Bruno took another call, which he said was from another state party official telling him not to talk to reporters about Vitter.
The state party yesterday referred press calls to Vitter's Senate office.
Mary Ann Akers wrote in her daily column "Sleuth...Behind the Scenes in Washington" at Washingtonpost.com about the David Vitter affair:
"Also worth noting, in an ironic twist of fate, a Louisiana reporter who wrote a few years back about allegations that Vitter had an extramarital affair with a prostitute is now running for the Louisiana state legislature and issued a press release today claiming he is 'vindicated' by the Vitter revelations," said Akers.
"The candidate, Christopher Tidmore, reported in The Louisiana Weekly newspaper in the summer of 2002, after Vitter dropped out of the race for governor, that Vitter, a state representative at the time, had allegedly engaged in an 11-month affair with a prostitute. At the time, Vitter dismissed the allegations as a political smear campaign by rival Republicans."
"Tidmore released a statement today saying, 'Mr. Vitter has used his considerable power to attempt to silence those who knew the truth. Those who attempted to expose hypocrisy and corruption early on were met with threats and disdain. ... Mr. Vitter's actions have harmed Louisiana at a time when we could not afford any further loss of influence in Washington.'"
Nationally syndicated columnist Andrew Sullivan said, "Also worth noting, in an ironic twist of fate, a Louisiana reporter who wrote a few years back about allegations that Vitter had an extramarital affair with a prostitute is now running for the Louisiana state legislature and issued a press release today claiming he is 'vindicated' by the Vitter revelations." http://disembedded.wordpress.com/2007/07/10/senator-david-vitter-gob-smacked/
Conservative columnist Michelle Mankin penned this column, "It was Republicans in Vitter's home state who first exposed his alleged use of prostitutes five years ago (via The Daily Advertiser, which has much more on the potential political fallout), "Christopher Tidmore of Metairie, now a Republican candidate for the state Legislature, wrote the Louisiana Weekly article five years ago about Vitter's relationship with Canal Street brothel prostitute Wendy Cortez. Vitter continuously denied any relationship. Tidmore said Vitter has tried to sabotage his career since he wrote the article."
"'For five years, David Vitter conducted a pattern of lies. Now, we know it was to conceal a pattern of behavior,' Tidmore said. 'He has to strongly consider his next action because his remaining in office will be very damaging to the people of Louisiana and to the State Republican Party.'" http://michellemalkin.com/2007/07/11/very-disappointed-in-vitter/
TP Confirms Cortez/Vitter Link
In Wednesday's Times-Picayune, Kate Moran confirmed what Christopher Tidmore had written in The Louisiana Weekly over five years ago, "[Canal Street Madam Jeanette] Maier said he favored one prostitute named Wendy Cortez, though she was not sure whether that was the woman's real name. Many of the women use aliases with clients."
"Maier confessed to working as a madam after agents raided her establishment, and a federal judge sentenced her in 2003 to six months in a halfway house and three years on probation. At the time, the judge chided prosecutors for pursuing the three women who ran the brothel -- Maier, her mother and her daughter, who also worked as a prostitute -- rather than the well-heeled men who frequented it. "