EDITORIAL: Google, The White House And Miss America

Andy Bowdoin, whom federal prosecutors said appropriated the brand of the institution of the Presidency of the United States to make more Ponzi sales, now has turned to the wholesome brand of the Miss America Organization to sanitize the Ponzi business.

Members of Bowdoin’s autosurf company, AdSurfDaily, also appropriated the brand of Google, claiming the surf firm had a special agreement with the search-engine giant. It proved to be a click-fraud attempt.

Bowdoin, who suggests he was indicted under seal in May for wire fraud, posted a recording online two days ago in which he shares his version of the inspirational story of “Cheryl Blackwood,” whom he identified as Miss America 1980.

Bowdoin, 74, positioned himself as a fighter with the perseverance of “Cheryl Blackwood,” whom Bowdoin said suffered one disappointment after another in her five-year quest to become Miss America — before finally winning the crown in 1980.

The message: Miss America never gave up, and neither will Andy Bowdoin.

We’ve placed a call to the Miss America Organization seeking comment on Bowdoin’s comments in the recording. We’re also seeking to determine if Bowdoin was confusing “Cheryl Blackwood” with Cheryl Prewitt, the 1980 Miss America title-holder. The organization did not immediately return the call.

Here are a few lines from the inspirational story of Cheryl Prewitt, as told on the Miss America website. 

“A horrifying automobile accident, a scarred face, a body cast and a wheelchair did not add up to disaster for this little girl. When Cheryl Prewitt was only a young girl of eleven, this accident forced her to decide whether to trust God or just give up and accept the prognosis . . . Doctors promised that she would be scarred, they claimed that she would not walk again, they insisted that bearing children would be impossible for her . . . they were wrong.”

Here are a few lines from Bowdoin’s version:  

“ASD did not have a victim until the government stepped in and crushed the company. And I’ve spent over a million dollars on legal fees to get your money back and to stay out of prison.

“And  it reminds me of this person back in Mississippi: Cheryl Blackwood. She was Miss America 1980.

“When she was five years old, a milkman told her that some day she was going to be Miss America. And she said that planted a seed in her mind. And she entered her first pageant when she was 18; it was a Miss America preliminary: Miss Choctaw County in Mississippi. She lost.”

Bowdoin went on to relate how “Cheryl Blackwood” lost again and again, but did not adandon her quest. She finally won the Miss America title in her fifth attempt.

We find the story as told on the Miss America website — Prewitt’s recovery from a horrifying automobile accident — much more inspirational than the Bowdoin version, an old coach’s  chestnut that focused on recovering from the disappointment of losing and returning  to do battle another day.

Andy Bowdoin apparently wants ASD members to believe all battles are equally noble.

Cheryl Prewitt was trying to walk again; Bowdoin just wants to climb back on the saddle so he can continue to run a Ponzi scheme.

Prosecutors now say Bowdoin is trying to lie his way back into a civil-forfeiture case in which he surrendered his claims to tens of millions of dollars seized last year in an international wire-fraud and money-laundering investigation.

Bowdoin also has been named a defendant in a racketeering lawsuit filed by members of his Florida-based company. Meanwhile, he has been sued by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum for operating a massive Pyramid scheme.

In the 1990s, Bowdoin was both sued and arrested in Alabama for fleecing customers in a securities scheme. He pleaded guilty to felonies and was ordered to make restitution. In August 2008, Bowdoin sent a check for $100 to his Alabama victims. A month prior, in July 2008, he provided the funds to purchase a $50,000 Lincoln for himself and his wife.

The Miss America Organization is famous for inspirational stories and its beauty pageant, of course. It also is the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women. The organization says it distributed $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance last year.

And now Andy Bowdoin is using the organization’s name — and apparently the name of the 1980 title-holder — to inspire his shipwrecked legions to persevere, to remember what “Cheryl Blackwood” would do, and to paint a picture that the U.S. government is evil for stopping a Ponzi scheme in its tracks.

No Miss America would approve of that message.

About the Author

10 Responses to “EDITORIAL: Google, The White House And Miss America”

  1. It’s no sicker than his use of the 9/11 comparison, when describing the “disaster” of the Raid on ASD in August 2008. That was in equally bad taste. But there again, noone has ever “accused” Bowdoin of having any moral values, so I dont see why we should expect him to learn any now. Leopards rarely change their spots.

  2. I just wonder if he really believes he is innocent and is “praying” everyday, or if he sits back and laughs to himself when the idiots send him cards and brownies….

  3. Actually, I think the most apt analogy would be the transformation of Trahald into Smeagol/Gollum in The Lord of the Rings as he worships and pursues the ring. Even Andy’s picture in the latest Mike Mason blog post reminds me of Gollum.

    Miss America is not what I think of when I contemplate ASD and Bowdoin. LOTR and Gollum are foremost in my mind.

  4. Holy crud, Andy must be losing touch with his ability to lie properly. How could he get the name of Miss America 1980 wrong, it’s not like you cannot find that information on the net. I did, in mere seconds, as did Patrick.

    Perhaps this is another example of the supposed TIA’s our poor old senile Uncle Andy is supposed to have had. His entire recorded call was complete drivel, as usual with most of his calls. How he thinks this will rally the troops is beyond me.

  5. Quick note:

    Cheryl Prewitt married gospel singer Terry Blackwood in 1981, according to newspaper archives. There are some references to her as “Cheryl Prewitt Blackwood” in the early 1980s, as a Christian recording artist.

    Wikipedia says she now is married to Harry Salem.


  6. Patrick,

    even if Andy was close on her name it still doesn’t give him license to take a truly inspiring story and use it for his own greedy purposes. The man has no morals.

  7. […] Read a U.S. Secret Service transcript of Bowdoin’s recorded call. Read previous story on Bowdoin’s curious reference to Cheryl Prewitt and the Miss America pageant. Read previous story about prosecution filings last week. Read story […]

  8. I thought Vanessa Williams was Miss America, 1980. ??

  9. Hi Dick,

    Cheryl Prewitt was Miss America 1980:



  10. Prewitt was her maiden name. Cheryl’s first marriage was to Terry Blackwood,a gospel singer who performs today with the Gaithers. Cheryl’s second marriage is with Harry Salem. I do not know why the first marriage ended. Wikipedia will confirm.