Scottish Rite poster boy W. Bro. and U.S. Senator Trent Lott, 33°, KCCH, Grand Cross, is making news this week.
On Monday, he announced he would resign from the Senate after 35 years on Capitol Hill. He was re-elected only last November.
Some political pundits think he's leaving by December 31 to take advantage of legal loopholes that will allow him to become a lobbyist after one year, instead of waiting two years as he would have to do if he retires after Dec. 31, thanks to a new law kicking in on January 1.
Bro. Lott's brother-in-law, Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, is also in the news this week.
Attorney Scruggs, famous for winning huge lawsuits against the tobacco industry, was along with his son, two other attorneys and the Mississippi state auditor, indicted for conspiracy Wednesday in bribing county circuit judge Henry Lackey.
Scruggs' office was searched by the FBI on Tuesday.
Lackey was presiding judge in a series of suits against insurance companies over non-payment of claims resulting from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Trent Lott's home was destroyed in the hurricane, and he was party to one of the lawsuits being handled by Scruggs, reports say.
Bro. Lott became Senate Majority Whip in 1995 when fellow senator and Masonic 33° brother Bob Dole resigned to run for president.
The website Big Head DC gives us more — a lot more — news about Lott. The site has outed the conservative anti-gay rights Republican as being gay.
Gay male escort and freelance writer Benjamin Nicholas, it is alleged, has been "involved" with the 66-year old senator.
Said Nicholas on Monday: "Here's my public comment, on-the-record: Senator Lott and I have no current affiliation with one another. I’m sure he would appreciate no further scrutiny." [emphasis mine]
Big Head DC is known to sometimes mix news with satire, so your guess is as good as mine whether the allegations against Bro. Lott are true.
However, Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine, has confirmed that the magazine has been investigating Bro. Lott for several months. Flynt has offered up to a million dollars for "documented evidence of illicit sexual or intimate relations with a Congressperson, Senator or other prominent officeholder."
Bro. Lott is no stranger to controversy. In 2003, he was heavily criticized for his statement at the 100th birthday party for South Carolina Senator (and 33° Brother) Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. Bro. Thurmond ran an overtly racist campaign for president in 1948 on the States' Rights Party "Dixiecrats" ticket. Lott said of Thurmond: "I want to say this about my state [Mississippi]. When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years either."
Bro. Thurmond, an avowed racist for much of his life, fathered a mixed-race daughter in 1925 by his family's 16-year old black maid Carrie Butler. The Thurmond family confirmed this as fact, shortly after his death in 2003.
Bro. Lott's first political job in the 1960s was as an aide to segregationist Democratic Congressman William Colmer.
According to the Scottish Rite website, it took Bro. Lott nearly eight years to progress from Entered Apprentice to Fellowcraft. His "busy schedule of a congressional aide and freshman House member made advancement a challenge."
It then took him six days to go from Fellowcraft to Master Mason.
Amazingly he found time to get involved in Masonry, because within a few years, though busy as House Minority Whip, he was invested with the red cap of the Knight Commander of the Court of Honor (KCCH), followed soon after with the 33° Inspector General Honorary.
The Scottish Rite site concludes: "On October 3, 1997, he was elected to receive the Grand Cross, the highest honor the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, can bestow. Only a few modern political figures have attained this exalted rank."
Masons | Trent Lott | Dickie Scruggs | Freemasonry | Strom Thurmond | Burning Taper | BurningTaper.com