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The Wit and Wisdom
of "Good Time Charlie"
The Honorable Charles N. Wilson of Texas, who hung up his congressional spurs in 1996, gave us some of the best and memorable lines. He was a BadBoy, but everyone called him "Good Time Charlie."
GTC: On leaving Capitol Hill: "The humor is gone. The camaraderie. The civility. The good human juices don't flow there anymore. There's all this goddamned rigidity and two-bit hypocrisy. So-called reforms saying we can't accept a drink or a meal from a friend or lobbyist. But either of 'em can slip us $5,000 across the table as a contribution, and somehow that is OK!"
GTC: At his retirement, talking to folks back home in Lufkin, Texas: "I know that at times I have been a reckless and rowdy public servant. You are the most tolerant and forgiving constituency in the world."
GTC: A woman running against Wilson for the third time publicly castrated a young calf while hinting that that was exactly what Wilson needed. Wilson was delighted. "I got 'er now! My folks don't believe that public nut-cutting is very ladylike."
GTC: Why Wilson decided against running for a leadership position in Congress: "Why in hell would a man want to be tied down attending a bunch of dull-ass meetings and working overtime just to reap a few headlines, pop off on television, or get a few extra lines in his obituary, when he could be out enjoying life?"
GTC: On Wilson's admitted love of women and women's issues: "I vote with the gals every time. I just refuse to genuflect or kiss their butts."
GTC: When Speaker of the House Thomas (Tip) O'Neill named new members to the House Ethics Committee, Wilson, listening on the House floor that day, remarked to his colleague Morris (Mo) Udall: "My God, Mo, this is horrible! Tip didn't put one damn member on there who appreciates pussy or whiskey." To which O'Neill, with big cigar in his mouth, responded: "Hell, Cholly, I agree! So I'm gonna put you on that Ethics Committee!" To which Wilson replied: "Please don't, Mr. Speaker. They'd laugh us both out of town! Besides, sir, I don't feel comfortable judging my peers: I'm a live-and-let-live kind of guy."
GTC: Why did he want to be appointed to the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees: "because I thought it might impress the chicks if I could get real good seats."
GTC: His response to the Banking scandal. "I think the people of East Texas knew they weren't electing a CPA."
GTC: "It's not like molesting young girls and young boys," he said about his writing 81 bad checks through the House Bank.
GTC: "It's absolutely astounding the lengths to which the Justice Department have gone to try and figure out what I did in a hot tub in Las Vegas. If they had put the same resources into drug trafficking . . . there would be half as much heroin coming into the United States as there is now."
Source: Larry L. King, "One Hell of a Ride; Good Time Charlie Wilson is Hangin' Up His Spurs; Congress is No Damn Fun Anymore," Washingtonian, February 1996, 60; Sandra Evans Tealey and Al Kamen, "Cocaine Probe Angers Wilson," Washington Post, May 3, 1983, A6.