Two Terrible Choices In Louisiana-- For Both Parties!
I always try to stay out of the intricacies of the political swamp known as Louisiana. There's no other state like it and even their election rules defy comprehension. But one thing that is relatively easy to understand this cycle is the Senate race. A corporate Democrat from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, who votes with the GOP, on substantive matters, more than Lieberman and more than any other Democrat besides Ben Nelson and Tim Johnson, is running to retain her seat. That would be Mary Landrieu. Karl Rove was sniffing around for an opponent for her and came up with... another right-wing Democrat, John Kennedy. Kennedy switched parties a few months ago and announced he'd run as a Republican in a race that was considered the best GOP shot to take a seat from the surging Democrats. It's been all downhill for Kennedy since then.
So downhill, that Louisiana's Republican Party Chairman, Roger Villere, is in hysteria and threatening to... do something bad to all the Republicans flocking to endorse Landrieu. Today's Times Picayune says the GOP is trying to figure out how to sanction the dozens of Republican office holders who are backing Landrieu.
When high-profile elected Republicans endorse Democrats, it "sends the message that we are not united," state GOP Chairman Roger Villere said. "It confuses the Republican message. . . . We are not looking to punish people, but we don't want this to develop into a trend."
Speaking with reporters after the quarterly meeting of the party's governing body, Villere said several party leaders want to adopt a formal mechanism to censure GOP officials who break with the party's candidates. He said passing a resolution "without teeth" simply to sanction a Republican who backs a Democrat, as party leaders have in the past, "doesn't make sense."
...Several prominent Republicans -- including eight officials elected parishwide in Jefferson, St. Tammany, Plaquemines, St. John the Baptist and Lafourche parishes -- have announced support for Landrieu in the Nov. 4 contest. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain appears in a TV ad for Landrieu.
At least four other major GOP officials from St. Tammany, where Kennedy lives, also have backed Landrieu. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, another Republican, joined the pack Friday.
Villere refused to answer reporters' questions about what the sanction "with teeth" would be, but it has been noted that Guantanamo is still open and that Villere has a very close relationship with Dick Cheney.
And by the way, Landrieu's corporate pals have made sure she'll be around to continue dragging the Democratic caucus in their direction. She's raised just about $10,000,000 for this race and Kennedy's only taken in $3.8 million. Big Oil, traditionally totally biased towards Republicans, gave Landrieu $302,950 and Kennedy only $117,900. And Landrieu's third biggest "industry"-- after lawyers and Real Estate-- lobbyists (at $355,312). All the traditional GOP businesses are doling out the money for Landrieu. Keeping her at the heart of the Democratic caucus has become a real priority for them. Her campaign, meanwhile, is running ads to remind people that Kennedy supported John Kerry in 2004!
If Beltway Insider organizations like the DSCC ask you, urgently of course, to contribute money to Mary Landrieu, hang up on them. Instead donate to real Democrats like Tom Allen, Jeff Merkley, Andrew Rice, Rick Noriega, and Mark Begich. Mary Landrieu is part of the problem, part of what is wrong with Washington, not part of the solution, at least not for working families.