Sabine Parish, LA (AP)
A candidate for the Louisiana House of Representatives caused a minor stir today when he refused to kiss a baby offered by a supporter at a political rally, saying that the child was too ugly.
Edwin G. Beauregard III, a Republican running for the legislature's seventh district who has developed a widespread representation among constituents for honesty, was gladhanding supporters in the town of Many when Blanche Johnson, a local housewife, handed him her 4 month-old son Bo Jr, for the traditional political ritual of receiving a kiss from the candidate. Beauregard astonished the crowd when he took one look at the child, audibly shouted "My Lord", and handed the infant back to his shocked mother. Visibly shaken, the rally was ended soon after, and the candidate canceled the remaining events on his schedule that day.
Asked about the event at a press conference the next day, Mr. Beauregard told an assembled group of reporters that "I'm sorry, folks, but I jes' cannot tell a lie. Dat dar baby was uglier'n an alligator. Now I done grew up in da bayou, and I seen lots of gators in my time--done killed a bunch of'm, too. While de chil' wasn't uglier dan de ugliest gator I ever saw, he was definitely uglier dan de prettiest one. I'm sorry if I offended da lady--she seems like a nice woman an' all, but I nearly fainted right dere on de spot when I saw what was inside dat cute lil' outfit. Dis may cos' me de election dis November, but Lord al-mighty, dat kid was ug-LY!"
When reached for comment, Mrs. Johnson surprisingly defended the candidate, indicating that she still plans to vote for Mr. Beauregard. "I know that little Bo. Jr ain't 'xactly the cutest thing in the world. He kinda looks like his father, if y'all wanna know the truth. But he's a gift from th' Lord, and pretty or not, he's our son and we love him with all our hearts. I feel bless'd to have him, jes' like I feel bless'd to have an honest politician like Ed Beauregard runnin' for th' Legislature."
Mr. Beauregard's opponent, the Democratic incumbent Jefferson Babineaux, blasted the Republican, calling it an outrage that he would treat a child so cruelly. "It's one thing t' lie 'bout your background, or what you plan to do when you get 'lected to office. But to tell a poor woman that her child is ugly? That has t'be the mos' despicable thing I ever heard of--and tell yew what, I heard a lot down in Baton Rouge, and I heard a lot more durin' my time at Angola." Mr. Babineaux, who's current term in office has been marked by scandal, previously served time in the Louisiana State Penitentiary for corruption after a bribery conviction related to a prior stint in the state Senate. He has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence in the scandal to this day, and despite the conviction and jail sentence, won election to the Legislature in 2008.
A spokesman for Mr. Beauregard's campaign indicated that the candidate would not change how he conducts political events in the future. "Mr. Beauregard has been in politics for over twenty years. This is the first time, that I can recall, that he has encountered a baby that was too ugly to kiss. State has a better chance of losin' a football game to Vanderbilt than this does of ever happenin' again."