Louisiana Politics Everyday

Friday, July 20, 2007

Flip-Flop Landrieu Strikes Again

Mary Landrieu Flip-Flops on Social Security for Illegal Aliens

Liberal Senator Tries to Cover Up Previous Vote with Election on the Horizon

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu is playing election year politics already. The latest? A flip-flop on banning Social Security benefits for illegal immigrants for work done while in the country illegally. Which vote should voters believe?

"Mary Landrieu tried to cover up her true position on this issue with her vote last night," NRSC Communications Director Rebecca Fisher said. "Voters must ask Landrieu why she supports giving Social Security benefits for work done while in the country illegally and why she felt it necessary to change her vote now. Is it a coincidence that it's an election year?"

Last night, Landrieu cast a vote that is in direct contrast to a vote she cast on the same issue last year:Landrieu voted FOR an amendment that would deny illegal immigrants the ability to claim Social Security benefits for work they completed while in the United States illegally. (CQ Senate Vote 263; HR 2669; 7/19/07)

But last year, she wouldn't even allow debate on outlawing social security benefits for work done while in this country illegally:Landrieu voted AGAINST bringing the SAME amendment to the floor for consideration. (CQ Senate Vote 130; S 2611; 5/18/06)

Does winning re-election come before doing what's right for our country for Mary Landrieu?


National Republican Senatorial Committee

Poser of the Week, Part Deux

While normally we would name only one Poser of the Week, it just so happens that Brendan McCarthy of the Times-Picayune had a sidekick while writing his excuse for an article in last Friday’s paper. So, just as Batman had Robin and Tom Cruise had Rain Man, we present Kate Moran of the Times-Picayune as our other Poser of the Week. Kate also deserves a share of the title because she, along with most of her peers in the industry, poses as an unbiased journalist.

Kate hails from Short Hills, NJ. For those of you not familiar with Short Hills, it’s a swanky New York City suburb with a cool $200,000 a year average household income. Be that as it may, this trust-fund baby, like a typical journalist, would like you to believe she doesn’t have any political viewpoints and writes as a straight-shooter. To prove that, Kate has proclaimed to the world that she is a friend of Hillary Clinton and that she doesn’t believe in God. While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with loving Hillary more than God, other than the fact that she’s probably going to Hell, it’s hardly surprising she would co-author an attack piece on a Republican Senator who has a strong faith, taking the word of two hookers with contradicting stories over U.S. Attorney Jim Letten and defense attorney Vinnie Mosca, both of whom have said David Vitter never visited the Canal Street Brothel. Two pieces of advice, Kate:

1. When the prosecution and the defense in a case agree on something, it’s probably true.
2. Don’t put your political views out on the internet if you want people to believe you have no agenda.

So Kate, why don’t you take I-95 back up to Jersey and if you really care about this state, quit your job and have daddy write a check to charity. Don’t forget ya toll-tag for da Turnpike.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Jindal Remains In Control

Citing an internal poll released from his campaign, State Sen. Walter Boasso said "people know that there’s going to be a governor’s race." So, you spent $1.3 million in television ads to let people know that there will be an election this fall? Boasso boasted that his message was beginning to resonate with voters and pointed to his rise from 6 points in May to 21 points in July. At a little under $100,000 per point, another $3 million should be able to buy this thing, right?

The only question released was, "If the October election for governor were held today and the candidates were — Walter Boasso, a Democrat, Foster Campbell, a Democrat, Bobby Jindal, a Republican, and John Georges, a Republican, for whom would you vote?"

Boasso 21%
Campbell 6%
Jindal 52%
Georges 1%
Undecided 21%

Although we do trust the end result (Anzalone-Liszt is a reputable Dem operation), the question above is actually the least important in what was probably a 30-question survey. At this stage, it is more important to know things like name saturation, image (positive vs. negative), and voter intensity (lean, likely, definite).

Our educated guess is that Boasso's newfound support puts his name recognition at no more than 60% statewide with a very low intensity. Because he has chosen to end his early media buy, the support shown in this survey will soon evaporate. He has shown that he is willing to pour whatever it takes into a solid second place finish.

Jindal, on the other hand, is a known commodity. With a statewide name recognition that hovers in the 95% range and a intense base (41% definite Jindal when polled against Breaux this spring), Bobby is positioned well to win outright in October. Although two other self-financed candidates have promised to break the bank, Jindal has matched them with a 2Q total that "has reached their goals" and is rumored to be in the $10 million range. A war chest of that size will launch a campaign the likes Louisiana has never seen (Vitter only raised $7.8 million in 2004).

The race begins after Labor Day, however for all intents and purposes, this one is already over. OrN makes the bold July prediction - Professor Plum in the Kitchen with the Rope, make that Jindal in the Primary with 54%.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Poser of the Week: Brendan McCarthy, Times-Picayune

McCarthy’s gossip column in Friday’s Times-Picayune attempting to connect Senator Vitter with Wendy “If That Even Is My Real Name” Cortez was praised by the journalism community.

“Brendan makes fiction come alive as if it were reality,” commented David Perel, editor-in-chief of the National Enquirer.

“The Times-Picayune is fortunate to have Brendan on staff. I strive to incorporate his style into my writing more and more each day,” said Jayson Blair, formerly of the New York Times.
Of course, like most of McCarthy’s writings, a few of the above quotes are a tad on the ridiculous side. Even more ridiculous is the Times-Picayune’s decision to print a convicted criminal’s allegations as front-page fact on a Wednesday and then on Friday bury her contradictory statement in one line at the end of another piece. What was so conveniently buried in McCarthy’s gossip rag?

“Meier, the madam, said the photo was not the woman she knew as Wendy Cortez.”

Do what?! So, this is the woman that Meier is certain was involved in a relationship with Vitter but can’t pick her from a known photograph much less a line-up? Cortez’s “boyfriend” also confesses that he, in fact, saw pictures of Cortez with a “dark-haired, city slicker” which must have been Vitter, right? What proof does he hold? Oh, that's right, the pictures were burned. Questionable sources. Questionable reporting. Questionable editing. I wipe better journalism on my toilet paper every morning.

Brendan, we suggest spending a little less time in the bottle at the bowling alley and a little more time interviewing people with one last name. In time, you might churn out something newsworthy.

Landrieu: Iraq War Policy "Misguided"

From Poltico.com,

Landrieu introduces amendment to find Osama

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.) introduced an amendment to the defense authorization bill today to the "foremost objective of the U.S. government...is to capture or kill Osama bin Laden" and to dismantle the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

The amendment would move troops from Iraq to Afghanistan to hunt for Bin Laden, authorize $3.6 billion for counter-terrorism programs in the region and re-activate a CIA unit dedicated solely to hunting down Bin Laden.

The move comes on the same day a new National Intelligence Estimate said that Al Qaeda is intensifying its efforts to place operatives inside the United States.

Landrieu said "misguided" Iraq war policy has distracted the military from catching Bin Laden, who should be the top priority.

"It has been 2,136 days since [Sept. 11] and Osama bin Laden is still at large," Landrieu said.

"A fish rots from the head, and we have been spending the last five years or more chasing the tail," she said of the fight against Al Qaeda.

Pollster: "Wendy Vitter Hit A Home Run"

From Fox Radio News 99.5:

Reviewing the performances of Senator David Vitter and his wife, Wendy, as they emerged from seclusion one week after Vitter acknowledged that his phone number appeared on the billing records of a Washington D.C. escort service, Pinsonat says Mrs. Vitter "hit a home run" for her husband and that she was "a great help to him."

Your Second Cup

  • Bobby Jindal "Officially" Launches His Campaign For Governor (Times-Pic) - Surrounded by more than 100 cheering supporters at the first leg of a seven-city publicity tour, Jindal criticized the Legislature for failing to pass several ethics-related bills during its recently concluded two-month session.
  • Katrina Doc Sues State (The Advocate) - Dr. Anna Pou filed the lawsuit Monday in state District Court in Baton Rouge in an attempt to get a judge to force the state to pay for her legal representation against medical malpractice claims. Pou says the decision to not provide her with legal representation in the civil cases was made by the office of state Attorney General Charles Foti. That decision, Pou’s lawsuit says, has been compromised by Foti’s “vested interest in the indictment of Dr. Pou to salvage his credibility as a public official, especially in view of the Louisiana Attorney General election to be held in the next three months.”
  • Another Nail In The Coffin (The Hill) - McCain’s national press staff, consisting primarily of Brian Jones, Matt David and Danny Diaz, are all leaving the campaign today. And one aide said that McCain’s Iowa press person, Tim Miller, will also resign.

Statements From David and Wendy Vitter

Thank you so much again for all of your wonderful encouragement and prayers. Those have meant so much to our family. Attached are our public comments from today. We both wanted to make sure you saw them in full. --David and Wendy

Statement by Wendy Vitter

To those of you who know me, are you surprised that I have something to say? You know, in most any other marriage, this would have been a private matter between a husband and a wife - very private. Obviously, it is not here.

Like all marriages, ours is not perfect. None of us are. But we choose to work together as a family. When David and I dealt with this privately years ago, I forgave David. I made the decision to love him and to recommit to our marriage. To forgive is not always the easy choice, but it was and is the right choice for me. David is my best friend.

Last week, some people very sympathetically said to me, "I wouldn't want to be in your shoes right now." I stand before you to tell you very proudly, I am proud to be Wendy Vitter.
That's not to say that last week wasn't incredibly trying and very sad, not for our marriage - our marriage is stronger every day - but for our children.

And now I'm going to speak to you as a mother and I hope you will understand. It's been terribly hard to have the media parked on our front lawn and following us every day. And yesterday, the media was camped at our church -- at our home, and at our church every day.

As David returns to work in Washington, we're going to return to our life here. I would ask you very respectfully to let us continue our summer and our lives as we had planned.

Thank you very much, Wendy

Statement by Senator David Vitter

Good afternoon.

Last week, Wendy and I thought it was very important to have some time alone with our children, so that's what we did for a few days. We want to thank the countless friends and fellow citizens who have offered their encouragement and prayers. Those have meant the world to us.

I want to, again, offer my deep, sincere apologies to all those I have let down and disappointed with these actions from my past. I am completely responsible. And I am so very, very sorry. No matter how long ago it was, I know this has hurt the relationship of trust I've enjoyed with so many of you, and that I have a lot of work to do to rebuild that. I will work every day to rebuild that trust.

Wendy and I dealt with this personally several years ago. I confronted it in confession and marriage counseling. I believe I received forgiveness from God. I know I did from Wendy, and we put it behind us.

Since then, I've gotten up every morning, committed to trying to live up to the important values we believe in. If continuing to believe in and acknowledge those values causes some to attack me because of my past failings, well, so be it.

Unfortunately, my admission has encouraged some long-time political enemies and those hoping to profit from the situation to spread falsehoods too, like those New Orleans stories in recent reporting. Those stories are not true.

Now, having said all of this, I'm not going to answer endless questions about it all over again and again and again and again. That might sell newspapers, but it wouldn't serve my family or my constituents well at all because we all have a lot of important work to do for Louisiana.

For my part, I'll be helping finalize a crucial water resources bill to provide much better hurricane and flood protection. I'll be following up on our important defeat of a bad immigration bill by working for good border and workplace security. I'll be fighting the complete I-49 and LA-28 and LA-1 and much more.

From here, I'll go directly to the airport and to Washington for votes, because I'm eager to continue my work in the U.S. Senate to help move Louisiana forward.

Thank you, David

Monday, July 16, 2007

John Edwards Feels Your Pain

In spite of a 28,000 square foot mansion, a penchant for $400 haircuts, and over $29.5 million reported in personal assets to the Federal Elections Commission, John Edwards began his "poverty tour" Sunday in New Orleans.

Edwards' tour this week is meant to echo the historic 1968 poverty tour made by then-presidential hopeful and senator Robert Kennedy. Today, Edwards begins his morning with the ABC-TV program "Good Morning America," broadcast live from the Cabildo, and will visit Kingsley House and Cafe Reconcile before he leaves for Canton, Miss. During the New Orleans leg of his tour, Edwards will focus on the sluggish pace of recovery, the need for good jobs and solid infrastructure, and ways to keep the city safe, both from hurricanes and crime.

The personal injury lawyer continues to lag behind Democrat front runners Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Edwards trailing Clinton by 45 percentage points and Obama by 10 percentage points among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents with household incomes below $20,000.

FEC Reports For Congressional Delegation

  • CD1 - Jindal (R) - Raised $4,259, COH $18, 764. Of course, this doesn't reflect the probable $600k he will report for the Governor's race.
  • CD2 - Jefferson (D) - Did not report. No surprise here. It's harder to count the bills when they're cold.

  • CD3 - Melancon (D) - Raised $273, 789, COH $516,652. No announced oppostion, yet Charlie Boy continues to raise like he's looking forward to a fight.

  • CD4 - McCrery (R) - Raised $424, 354, COH $947, 488. For those that are worried about a McCrery retirement, Jim's fund raising totals tell another story.

  • CD 5 - Alexander (R) - Raised $155, 385, COH $106, 580. "Hot Rod" continues to under perform for Louisiana's only member of the powerful appropriations committee.

  • CD6 - Baker (R) - Raised $156, 825, COH $133, 479. If history holds, Baker could be facing one of his epic challenges next fall (Holloway, McKeithen). If so, he'll need a whole lot more cash.

  • CD7 - Boustany (R) - Raised $246, 233, COH $312, 136. The 2nd termer continues to prove that he is a solid performer and a rising star in Louisiana and Washington, DC.
Source: www.fec.gov

Your Second Cup

  • Former Rep. Bob Livingston Urges Vitter to Stay Strong (Fox News) - Robert Livingston, the former Louisiana congressman who resigned in the late 1990s after admitting to extramarital affairs, said his situation is not at all like U.S. Sen. David Vitter's, and he urged Vitter not to resign.
  • Kristol Picks Bush Presidency To Be A Winner (WaPost) - I suppose I'll merely expose myself to harmless ridicule if I make the following assertion: George W. Bush's presidency will probably be a successful one.
  • Dems Trounce GOP In Campaign Cash (USN&WR) - The presidential campaign finance filings for the 2nd quarter are in, and one thing is abundantly clear: the Democrats are, as a whole, vastly outraising their GOP counterparts.
  • FEC Reports - Due yesterday, midnight.

Louisiana Politics Year Around

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