| Blain Michael "Moon" Griffon|
(Radio talk show host known as "The Louisiana Limbaugh")
|Political party||Republican-turned-No Party affiliation (2008)|
|Born|| May 16, 1961 |
Plaquemine, Iberville Parish
|Spouse|| (1) Divorced from Connie Rene Moseley, since Connie Pace|
(2) Tonia Lou Digirolamo Griffon (married 1995)
|Religion|| Reared Roman Catholic|
Member of North Monroe Baptist Church while residing in Monroe
Blain Michael Griffon, known as Moon Griffon (pronounced gre-FONN, born May 16, 1961), is an American conservative radio talk show host broadcast across his home state of Louisiana. Now based at KPEL 96.5 in Lafayette in southwestern Louisiana, he formerly broadcast from KMLB 540 AM in Monroe in Ouachita Parish in the northeastern portion of the state. Griffon is sometimes likened to the national radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh though his program reflects his distinct Louisiana accent and his own style of politics. The Moon Griffon Show debuted on August 23, 1993, five years after the beginning of The Rush Limbaugh Show. Griffon left the Republican Party in 2008 to protest his discontent with non-conservative policies of the Bobby Jindal gubernatorial administration in the capital city of Baton Rouge. However, he has since mostly supported Republican candidates but remains a critic of Jindal and Jindal's Democrat successor, current Governor John Bel Edwards.
Griffon (pronounced gre-FONN) was born and reared in Plaquemine, the seat of government for 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 Mitchell Ourso, Sr. (1932-1978). 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. Griffon's father, Charles Thomas "Tommy" Griffon (November 1, 1935 – December 14, 2017)) of Plaquemine, served an unexpired term as an Iberville Parish police juror and was employed for thirty-four years at Dow Chemical Company in Baton Rouge.
Griffon's mother, the former Dorothy Ann "Dot" Berthelot (born January 9, 1936), is one of four children of Matt Berthelot and the former Nethla Morales. Griffon has two brothers, Steven Thomas Griffon (born 1957) and Kurt Joseph Griffon (born 1962), and two sisters, Karen Faye Griffon Shipp (born 1958), formerly Carolyn Leach, and Suzanne Marie Griffon Lestage (born 1964). His brother-in-law, attorney Brian Steele Lestage (born December 1961), a Republican, has been since July 2008 the clerk of court in DeRidder in Beauregard Parish.
Griffon received his nickname "Moon" because as a small boy he particularly enjoyed the Andy Williams song "Moon River". He graduated in 1979 from Roman Catholic-affiliated Redemptorist High School in Baton Rouge, which has since closed. He was then recruited by coach and later athletic director Benny Hollis (1939–2011) to the University of Louisiana at Monroe to play basketball. 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. 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.
Griffon is divorced from the former Connie Rene Moseley (born March 1962). She remarried and is now known as Connie M. Pace. Griffon has two sons from his first marriage, Daniel Blain Griffon (born 1987), 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. In December 2012, Daniel Griffon wed the former Elizabeth Morgan Ernst; both are from Monroe.
His second wife is the former Tonia Lou Digirolamo (born April 1963), a nurse. She is the daughter of Joseph John "Joe" Digirolamo (1928-2018) of Greenwell Springs in East Baton Rouge Parish, who was a decorated United States Navy sailor in World War II, a winner of the Bronze Star, and a retiree of Kaiser Aluminum. Her mother, the former Lucille "Mama Lou" Mondart, worked as a secretary for the Greenwell Springs Baptist Church and died in 2011 at the age of eighty-five. From the second marriage, Griffon has two children, including a son, Andrew Walker Griffon (born 2001), and daughter, Mattie (born 1996), whom Griffon frequently mentions on his program regarding her special needs. He attributes his move to Lafayette in large part to address Mattie's special needs.
On April 3, 2020, Griffon ired his 7,000th broadcast.
He is an avid fisherman and frequently makes light on the radio program of his fishing success. Griffon was a caterer for nine years before he began his radio career. Griffon also addresses dinners and private gatherings as an entertainer and a motivational speaker.
While in Monroe, he was affiliated with the North Monroe Baptist Church.
Talk show host
Besides his Monroe and Lafayette outlets, Griffon broadcasts from stations in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Natchitoches, Shreveport, Thibodaux, andWinnfield as well as Natchez, Mississippi. He acquired a New Orleans-area station in nearby Slidell in 2008. The Moon Griffon Show debuted on August 23, 1993.
Griffon frequently hosted attorney and state government watchdog Charlton Bath "C. B." Forgotston, Jr. (1945-2016) of Hammond, known for his carefully crafted words, fiscal conservative views, and opposition to gambling and political corruption. Another occasional guest is Elliott Stonecipher, the political analyst, consultant, and pollster from Shreveport.
An occasional substitute host for Griffon has been 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. Another substitute host, John William Sutherlin, a native of El Dorado, Arkansas, who holds a Ph.D. from University of New Orleans, is an associate professor of political science at Griffon's alma mater, ULM, at which he is the co-director of the Social Science Research Laboratory. Griffon's former co-host, Ruth L. Ulrich of Monroe, is a former member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee and a former Republican National Committeewoman. The co-host role was exercised daily from 2010 to 2014 by Gregory Francis "Greg" Gulyas (born December 1950), a Democrat and a native of Flint, Michigan, and the news director of KMLB in Monroe, which carries Griffon's program. Gulyas did not follow Griffon to Lafayette, and Brandon James Comeaux (born 1984), a political Independent who covers news and sports for KPEL, became Griffon's co-host.
A frequent guest is Dallas Long Hixson (born March 1970), an Alexandria automobile dealer and an advocate for business development and limited government.
In recent broadcasts, Griffon has strongly criticized Jim Beam, the retired editor and still contributing columnist for the Lake Charles American Press who is a strong advocate for the administration of Democratic John Bel Edwards. Another who arouses his ire is Bob Mann, a Democrat who holds the Douglas Manship Chair at LSU and writes widely on Louisiana politics.
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 Moderate Republican James Otis "Jim" McCrery, III, of Shreveport in Louisiana's 4th congressional district. In 2008, Kelley emerged as an independent candidate for the U.S. House against Republican John Fleming, who barely managed to hold the seat that McCrery vacated after twenty-one years. Fleming, who has since joined the Donald Trump administration, has been an occasional guest on the Griffon program.
Griffon repeatedly holds Republican former Governor Bobby Jindal, whom he has referred to as "Campaign Bobby", accountable for a lack of reform in state government though a surplus of political 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, used one-time funds in the state budget, and spent too much time campaigning out-of-state to raise funds for himself and other Republican candidates. Because of his opposition to U.S. President Barack H. Obama, Griffon supported Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, but he disagreed with many Romney positions. He 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.
On December 10, 2007, Griffon announced his opposition to Jindal's expected support for incoming state Representative Noble Ellington as the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Ellington, who was term-limited in the state Senate and hence ran for the state House, was closely tied to the Democratic former administrations of Edwin Edwards and Kathleen Blanco and was a strong supporter of numerous tax increases. Ultimately, Jindal, acting on the advice of then incoming House Speaker Jim Tucker did not recommend Ellington for the chairmanship. 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 too of departing state Senator John Alario of Jefferson Parish to the Republican Party in preparation for a 2012 run as State Senate President. Griffon considers Ellington and Alario "big government" advocates, not conservatives. 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. In 2017, Griffon was still critical of Alario, whom he said because of patronage issues controls the votes of nearly all of the state senators with a couple or three exceptions. Griffon predicted that Alario will guide additional tax increases through the legislature in 2017 at the behest of Jindal's Democratic successor, John Bel Edwards.
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 has occasionally appeared on Griffon's program. Griffon criticized several state Republican leaders for having endorsed Landrieu over Kennedy. Landrieu defeated Kennedy with 52 percent of the vote in the general election. In 2016, Kennedy was elected to the Senate to succeed Republican David Vitter with Griffon's support.
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 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.
In October 2010, former State Senator Kenneth Michael "Mike" Smith, Sr., 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.
Griffon opposed Senator Mary Landrieu throughout her career and composed a parody song, "She's Gone" after Landrieu's defeat in 2014. He often noted that Landrieu could be considered the critical sixtieth vote in 2010 to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obama legislation which Griffon contends has been a particularly "unaffordable" law from his family perspective. Griffon questioned why Jindal did not endorse until after the 2014 primary election the Republican who unseated Landrieu, U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy of Baton Rouge. The Cassidy campaign fired Jindal operative Timmy Teepell in 2013, and Jindal, who campaigned nationally for various Republican candidates, had reportedly been lukewarm toward Cassidy, a former Democrat. Griffon also criticized a wealthy cadre of Republican businesspeople for having crossed party lines to back Landrieu in 2008, such as former Republican state chairman .
Early in 2017, Griffon called for the resignation of Michael David "Mike" Edmonson as the superintendent of the Louisiana State Police after disclosure that Edmonson in October 2016 had taken seventeen of his high-ranking personnel, with one guest allowed for each employee, to San Diego, California, to attend a conference and to observe Edmonson's receiving a lifetime achievement award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The trip cost state taxpayers $70,000. It included a stay for four troopers traveling by car to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, Nevada. U.S. Senator John Neely Kennedy agreed that Edmonson should leave his position but said he doubted if the official would be disciplined because of the "good ole' boys club." Within a few weeks after the controversy surfaced, however, Edmonson took early retirement from the state police.
Repeatedly since 2015, Griffon called for the defeat in 2019 of Governor John Bel Edwards and has long incorrectly predicted that Edwards would be a one-term governor. Edwards defeated the Republican Eddie Rispone, 51-49 percent, in the runoff election on November 16, 2019. Griffon supported Rispone, but his first choice was another Republican, U.S. Representative Ralph Abraham. Griffon is also a critic of Greg Hilburn, the long-term political writer for The Monroe News-Star and other in-state Gannett Corporation publications, whom Griffon accuses of lacking impartiality in his news articles.
And he strongly opposed the unsuccessful candidacy of state Representative Julie Stokes for Louisiana secretary of state in a special election held on November 6, 2018. "Her closeness to John Bel Edwards bothers me to no end." Griffon said of Stokes.
On April 3, 2020, Griffon aired his 7,000th broadcast.
Griffon coins the term, "Fraud Squad"
In 2020, Griffon coined the term Fraud Squad to refer to twenty-three Moderate Republicans in the Louisiana House of Representatives who broke ranks with the conservative majority to join thirty-five Democratic lawmakers and two Independents to make Clay Schexnayder of Ascension Parish the state House Speaker, rather than the caucus selection, Representative Sherman Mack of Livingston Parish. Schexnayder had sixty votes, fifteen more than the forty-rive for Mack. Griffon subsequently compared the Fraud Squad to Louisiana Republican defector John L. "Jay" Dardenne, Jr., and U.S. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the only Republican in the chamber to vote to convict President Donald Trump on a single article of impeachment.
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- Tim Morris, "Gov. Bobby Jindal not conservative enough for some in La.", February 23, 2009. New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved on December 10, 2012.
- The Moon Griffon Show, August 23, 2012
- The Moon Griffon Show, August 17, 2010.
- Matherine J. "Matt" Berthelot obituary, The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, June 7, 1985, p. 12C.
- Charles T. "Tommy" Griffon obituary. The Baton Rouge Advocate (December 15, 2017). Retrieved on February 14, 2018.
- Brian S. Lestage, 70634, December 1961. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on February 14, 2018.
- Louisiana Clerks of Court. laclerksofcourt.org. Retrieved on May 21, 2013.
- The Moon Griffon Show, May 21, 2013.
- The Moon Griffon Show, February 4, 2014.
- The Moon Griffon Show, January 25, 2013.
- The Moon Griffon Show, March 14, 2011.
- Benny Hollis obituary. The Monroe News Star, March 14, 2011. Retrieved on March 14, 2011.
- The Moon Griffon Show, May 13, 2009.
- The Moon Griffon Show, February 20, 2013.
- Derek Griffon. facebook.com. Retrieved on December 21, 2012.
- Ouachita Legal News, December 19, 2012. thelegalrecorder.com. Retrieved on January 25, 2013.
- Joseph John "Joe" Digirolamo obituary. The Baton Rouge Advocate (May 22, 2018). Retrieved on May 23, 2018.
- Lucille "Mama Lou" Digirolamo. legacy.com. Retrieved on November 20, 2013.
- The Moon Griffon Show, June 23, 2014
- The Moon Griffon Show, November 21, 2013.
- "Jindal breaks word to voters," C.B. Forgotston biographical sketch, Forgotston.com, accessed January 23, 2009 (no longer available).
- Louisiana's Governmental Cesspool: The Constitutional Solution,. bookstore.authorhouse.com. ISBN 978-1-46852-209-9. Retrieved on February 21, 2013.
- "ULM professor published in Joint Force Quarterly", November 13, 2012. ulm.edu. Retrieved on February 21, 2013.
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- Gregory Gulyas, 71201, December 1950. Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved on February 14, 2018.
- KMLB AM 540: Contact Information. mondotimes.com. Retrieved on February 21, 2013.
- Brandon Comeaux. 999ktdy.com. Retrieved on April 29, 2016.
- Hixson Autop0lex of Alexandria. bbb.org. Retrieved on October 30, 2013.
- "Griffon Schedules Maverick Republican, Chester T. Kelley", The Moon Griffon Show, August 29, 2006.
- Bobby Jindal's Criticism of GOP, Romney Signals 2016 Aspirations, November 15, 2012. voices.yahoo.com. Retrieved on December 10, 2012.
- The Moon Griffon Show, December 10, 2007.
- Various Moon Griffon broadcasts in mid-December 2010.
- John Maginnis (January 23, 2012). Standing Up to Jindal. Businessreport.com.
- The Moon Griffon Show, April 3, 2017.
- The Moon Griffon Show, October 24, 2008.
- The Moon Griffon Show, November 24, December 2, 2008.
- The Moon Griffon Show, October 22, 2010.
- The Moon Griffon Show, October 9, 2013.
- The Moon Griffon Show, February 28, 2017.
- Lee Zurik (February 24, 2016). Kennedy calls for State Police head's resignation. WALB in Albany, Georgia. Retrieved on March 1, 2017.
- Jim Mustian (March 15, 2017). Mike Edmonson doesn't know 'what life will be' after retirement from Louisiana State. The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved on April 3, 2017.
- The Moon Griffon Show, August 10, 2018.
- The Moon Griffon Show, February 6, 2020.