Moon Griffon

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Blain Michael "Moon" Griffon
Born (1961-05-16) May 16, 1961 (age 52)
Plaquemine, Iberville Parish
Louisiana, USA
Residence Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana
Alma mater

Redemptorist High School

University of Louisiana at Monroe
Occupation Radio talk show host
Political party
Republican-turned-No Party affiliation
Religion North Monroe Baptist Church
Spouse(s)

(1) Divorced from Connie Rene Moseley, since Connie Pace (born 1962)

(2) Tonia Lou Digirolamo Griffon (born 1963)
Children

Four children, including
From first marriaqe:
Daniel Blain Griffon
Derek Charles Griffon
From second marriage:
Mattie Griffon
Andrew Walker Griffon (born 2001)

Grandson James Michael Griffon (born January 8, 2014)
Website
http://www.moongriffon.com/
Notes
Griffon is sometimes called "The Louisiana Limbaugh".[1]

Blain Michael Griffon, known as Moon Griffon (pronounced gre-FONN, born May 16, 1961),[2] is a conservative radio talk show host who broadcasts statewide through station KMLB AM in Monroe in Ouachita Parish in northeastern Louisiana. He has sometimes been likened to the national radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh[3] though his program reflects his distinct Louisiana accent and his own brand of politics. The Moon Griffon Show debuted on August 23, 1993.[4]

Biography[edit]

Griffon was born and reared in Plaquemine, the seat of Iberville Parish south of Baton Rouge. His paternal grandfather, Charles A. Griffon, Jr., was a sheriff of Iberville Parish for sixteen years until he was unseated in 1964 by then 31-year-old Jessel Ourso.[5] His maternal grandfather, Matherine J. "Matt" Berthelot (1904–1985), originally from Morganza in Pointe Coupee Parish, owned and operated a Shell Oil service station in Plaquemine.[6] Griffon's father, Charles Thomas "Tommy" Griffon of Plaquemine (born 1935), served an unexpired term as an Iberville Parish police juror. Griffon's mother, the former Dorothy Ann "Dot" Berthelot (born 1936), is one of four children of Matt Berthelot and the former Nethla Morales.[6] Griffon has two brothers, Steven Thomas Griffon (born 1957) and Kurt Joseph Griffon (born 1962), and two sisters, Karen Faye Griffon Leach (born 1958) and Suzanne Marie Griffon Lestage (born 1964).[2] Griffon's brother-in-law, attorney Brian Steele Lestage (born December 1961), a Republican,[7]has been since July 2008 the clerk of court in DeRidder in Beauregard Parish.[8][9]

Griffon received his nickname "Moon" because as a small boy he particularly enjoyed the song "Moon River".[10] He graduated in 1979 from Roman Catholic-affiliated Redemptorist High School in Baton Rouge.[11] He was then recruited by coach and later athletic director Benny Hollis (1939–2011) to the University of Louisiana at Monroe to play basketball.[12][13] Griffon subsequently graduated in 1983 from ULM, then known as Northeast Louisiana University. On his radio program on May 13, 2009, Griffon revealed that he had kept a pistol for protection in his ULM dormitory room.[14] In 2013, Griffon said on his program that he owns weapons but has never been compelled to use one for either personal or family protection.[15]

Griffon is divorced from the former Connie Rene Moseley (born March 1962),[2] now Connie M. Pace. Griffon has two sons from the first marriage, Daniel Blain Griffon (born 1987),[2] like his father a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and Derek Charles Griffon (born 1989), a graduate of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches.[16] In December 2012, Daniel Griffon wed the former Elizabeth Morgan Ernst; both are from Monroe.[17]

His second wife is the former Tonia Lou Digirolamo (born April 1963), a nurse at a specialty hospital. She is the daughter of Joseph John Digirolamo of Greenwell Springs in East Baton Rouge Parish, and Lucille "Mama Lou" Digirolamo, a retired secretary for the Greenwell Springs Baptist Church who died in 2011 at the age of eighty-five.[18]From the second marriage, Griffon has two children, including a son, Andrew Walker Griffon (born 2001), and a special needs daughter, Mattie, born in 1996, whom Griffon frequently mentions on his program. He is an avid fisherman. Griffon was a caterer for nine years before he began his radio career.[19]

Griffon also addresses dinners and private gatherings as an entertainer and a motivational speaker.[19]

He is affiliated with the North Monroe Baptist Church.[20]

Talk show host[edit]

Besides his Monroe outlet, Griffon broadcasts from stations in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Natchitoches, Shreveport, Thibodaux, and Winnfield, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi. He acquired a New Orleans outlet in nearby Slidell late in 2008.[19]

Griffon frequently hosts the Hammond attorney and state government watchdog C.B. Forgotston, known for his carefully crafted words, fiscal conservative views, and opposition to gambling and political corruption.[21] Another occasional guest is Elliott Stonecipher, the political analyst, consultant, and pollster from Shreveport.

An occasional substitute host for Griffon is the Monroe attorney Paul Loy Hurd, Sr. (born March 1954), the author of Louisiana's Governmental Cesspool: The Constitutional Solution, an expose of government waste and inefficiency.[22]

Another substitute host, John William Sutherlin, a native of El Dorado, Arkansas, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of New Orleans, is an associate professor of political science at Griffon's alma mater, the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He is the co-director of the Social Science Research Laboratory at ULM.[23][24]

Griffon's former co-host, Ruth Ulrich of Monroe, is a former member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee and the Republican National Committee. The co-host role is now exercised daily by Gregory Francis "Greg" Gulyas (born December 1950), a Democrat,[25] a native of Flint, Michigan, and the news director of KMLB AM 540 in Monroe, which carries Griffon's program. Gulyas is also a play-by-play sports reporter.[26]A frequent guest is Dallas Long Hixson (born March 1970), an Alexandria automobile dealer and an advocate of limited government.[27]


Political commentary[edit]

At times, Griffon has irritated the GOP leadership. In 2006, he invited the Shreveport catfish restaurateur Chester T. Kelley for a full segment on the program. At the time the conservative Kelley was unsuccessfully opposing the reelection of the Moderate Republican, Jim McCrery of Shreveportin Louisiana's 4th congressional district.[28] In 2008, Kelley emerged as an independent candidate for the U.S. House against Republican John C. Fleming, who barely managed to hold the seat that McCrery vacated after twenty-one years. Fleming is an occasion guest on the Griffon program.

Griffon repeatedly holds Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, whom he humorously refers to as "Campaign Bobby", accountable for a lack of reform in state government though a surplus of rhetoric. Griffon claims that Jindal, who frequently appeared on the radio program prior to his election as governor in 2007, has failed to tackle the state's financial woes, uses one-time funds in the state budget, and spends too much time campaigning out-of-state to raise funds for himself and other Republican candidates.[1] Because of his opposition to U.S. President Barack H. Obama, Griffon supported Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. He also criticized Jindal, who had campaigned in other states for Romney, for then having made critical remarks about Romney just a few days after the Republican nominee lost the general election to Obama.[29]

On December 10, 2007, Griffon announced his opposition to Jindal's expected support for incoming State Representative Noble Ellington as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Ellington, who was term-limited in the state senate and hence ran for the Louisiana House of Representatives, was closely tied to the Democratic former administrations of Edwin Washington Edwards and Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and was a strong supporter of numerous tax increases. Ultimately, Jindal, acting on the advice of then incoming Speaker Jim Tucker, did not recommend Ellington for the chairmanship.[30] Griffon further voiced strong opposition to Republicans for accepting Ellington into the party when the lawmaker defected in December 2010 in what was mistakenly believed to have been a prelude to a run for House Speaker in 2012. Griffon questioned the defection of State Senator John Alario to the Republican Party in preparation for a 2012 run as State Senate President. Griffon considers Ellington and Alario "big government" advocates, not conservatives.[31] On October 25, 2011, Jindal endorsed the election of Alario as State Senate President; the selection was confirmed with a single dissenting vote, that of freshman Senator Barrow Peacock of Shreveport.[32]

In 2008, Griffon endorsed the Republican U.S. senatorial candidate John Neely Kennedy, the state treasurer, in Kennedy's unsuccessful challenge to incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. Kennedy occasionally appears on Griffon's program. Griffon is critical of several state Republican leaders for having endorsed Landrieu over Kennedy.[33] Landrieu thereafter defeated Kennedy with 52 percent of the vote in the general election.

In November 2008, Griffon left the Republican Party and re-registered as a "No-Party" voter. He cited Jindal's political moves during the first year in office as a reason for leaving the party. "My frustration with Bobby Jindal is that he is not being a conservative. Conservatives are mad as hell and they’re not taking it any more," Griffon said in an interview. Griffon has also criticized the late Republican Governor David C. Treen because Treen supported Senator Landrieu and Treen sought without success to obtain a pardon or commutation of sentence for Treen's former Democratic rival, former Governor Edwin W. Edwards. On several days in late November 2008, Griffon humorously suggested that listeners mail change-of-voter registration cards to Treen and urge the former governor to re-join the Democratic Party, from which he defected in 1960.[34]

In October 2010, former State Senator Mike Smith, a Democrat (subsequently an Independent) from Winnfield, using his first name, "Kenneth," called the program to allege that Griffon is controlled by two unnamed wealthy Republicans. Griffon denies the allegation and claims that he alone owns his company and urged Smith to call again for further discussion on the air.[35]

Griffon continues to oppose the reelection in 2014 of Senator Landrieu, whom he considers to have cast the critical sixtieth vote in 2010 to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Griffon has questioned why Jindal has not endorsed the consensus Republican choice, U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy of Baton Rouge, to challenge Landrieu in 2014. The Cassidy campaign fired Jindal operative Timmy Teepell in 2013, and Jindal, who campaigns nationally for various Republican candidates, has reportedly been lukewarm toward Cassidy. Griffon has also criticized a wealthy cadre of Republican businesspeople for having crossed party lines to back Landrieu in 2008.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Tim Morris, "Gov. Bobby Jindal not conservative enough for some in La.", February 23, 2009". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 10, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "LAORLEAN-L Archives". rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ Radio Host Reacts to Jindal Victory | KALB - News 5, Alexandria LA
  4. ^ Confirmed on The Moon Griffon Show, August 23, 2012
  5. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, August 17, 2010
  6. ^ a b Matherine J. "Matt" Berthelot obituary, Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, June 7, 1985, p. 12C
  7. ^ "Plug in Brian S. Lestage, December 1961". https://voterportal.sos.la.gov/home.aspx=. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Louisiana Clerks of Court". laclerksofcourt.org. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  9. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, May 21, 2013
  10. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, February 4, 2014
  11. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, January 25, 2013
  12. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, March 14, 2011
  13. ^ "Benny Hollis obituary". Monroe News Star, March 14, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2011. 
  14. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, May 13, 2009
  15. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, February 20, 2013
  16. ^ "Derek Griffon". facebook.com. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Ouachita Legal News, December 19, 2012". thelegalrecorder.com. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Lucille "Mama Lou" Digirolamo". legacy.com. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c http://www.moongriffon.com/aboutmoon.html
  20. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, November 21, 2013
  21. ^ "C.B. Forgotston biographical sketch". forgotston.com. Retrieved January 23, 2009. 
  22. ^ Louisiana's Governmental Cesspool: The Constitutional Solution, ISBN 978-1-46852-209-9. bookstore.authorhouse.com. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  23. ^ ""ULM professor published in Joint Force Quarterly", November 13, 2012". ulm.edu. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  24. ^ ""ULM's Sutherlin presents at International Security Conference," March 30, 2012". noodls.com. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Gregory F. gulyas". voterportal.sos.la.gov. Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  26. ^ "KMLB AM 540: Contact Information". mondotimes.com. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Hixson Autop0lex of Alexandria". bbb.org. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Griffon Schedules Maverick Republican, Chester T. Kelley", The Moon Griffon Show, August 29, 2006
  29. ^ "Bobby Jindal's Criticism of GOP, Romney Signals 2016 Aspirations, November 15, 2012". voices.yahoo.com. Retrieved December 10, 2012. 
  30. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, December 10, 2007
  31. ^ Various Moon Griffon broadcasts in mid-December 2010
  32. ^ "John Maginnis, "Standing Up to Jindal", January 23, 2012". businessreport.com. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  33. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, October 24, 2008
  34. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, November 24, December 2, 2008
  35. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, October 22, 2010
  36. ^ The Moon Griffon Show, October 9, 2013