Wendy Cortez, the former prostitute who says she had a four-month relationship with Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) when he was serving in the Louisiana state legislature, will appear at a press conference tomorrow to discuss their affair. Hustler publisher Larry Flynt says she passed a polygraph, and he plans to provide reporters with the results.
Vitter spokesman Joel Digrado wouldn't comment on the Flynt news conference. In an e-mail, Digrado said, "Sen. Vitter and his wife have addressed all of this very directly. The senator is focused on important Louisiana priorities like the water resources bill and the Iraq debate."
Vitter, 46, apologized in July for committing a "very serious sin" and acknowledged his Washington phone number was among those called several years ago by an escort service run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey. The admission came after Flynt's Hustler magazine told the senator that his telephone number was linked to Palfrey's escort service.
Yeah, Vitter had to own up to his DC peccadilloes; the hookers -- I mean escorts -- had his phone number in their records. Not so the Cortez connection. He vehemently denied that one.
Vitter, a first-term senator elected in 2004, has denied having relationships with New Orleans prostitutes. In a call-in radio show during the Senate campaign, he dismissed as "absolutely and completely untrue" that he had a relationship with a Wendy Cortez.
Jeanette Maier, the Canal Street Madam, has also said that Vitter availed himself of the services of her establishment in the mid-to-late 1990's and that Wendy Cortez was his favorite, um, companion. But not to worry; he may be an adulterous hypocrite, but he's really a great guy.
She [Maier] said the women who worked in her brothel considered Vitter a decent man.
"I know he's not a drug addict," she said. "I know he's not a person that would down-talk a woman. I know that he's respectful. I know from what I've seen that he is honorable, that he's a good man. His wife should be very proud of her husband irregardless of what he's done."
She added: "He was not a freak. He was not into anything unusual or kinky or weird."
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.
In other news, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) filed papers to withdraw his guilty plea to disorderly conduct charges. He's still planning to resign from the Senate unless the court clears his name by the end of the month.
Vitter, OTOH, maintains his Senate seat and committee assignments, and he reportedly received a standing ovation from his Republican colleagues during a closed-door luncheon after his Washington hooker connections were made public. Think he'll get another one tomorrow?