Thursday, July 12, 2007



Senator Vitter (R-LA) hopes to get back to work "soon"

David Vitter is the highest ranking Republican in Louisiana and the hypocrisy of a self-professed family-values hawk and religionist getting caught in a series of tawdry sex scandals is tearing the whole party apart. And right at a moment when they appeared certain-- thanks to the Bush Regime's refusal to assist less well-off New Orleans victims of Katrina-- to sweep to political victory. The state Republican Party was looking forward to electing a Vitter protege, Bobby Jindal, governor, taking on Senator Landrieu and also taking over the state House of Representatives. As Mike Cromartie railed yesterday, "It's the hypocrisy that people can't stand. It's not the fact that people are frail and given to sinful behavior. It's when they try to pretend to be morally upright and end up being self-righteous because they preach one thing and live another." And there is no better description of David Vitter, the man who stood up on the Senate floor and declared that the single most important thing for America is to prevent same sex marriage. One has to wonder if he was wearing his diaper at the time.

Today's Shreveport Times is reporting that GOP state leaders are looking to make a deal with Governor Blanco. They'll make Vitter step down if she promises to appoint a Republican to the seat. The Chairman of the Party, Roger Villere has been trying to reach Vitter but, like the rest of the world, has been unable to. Right after he unequivocally declared that God had forgiven him, he went into hiding. No one knows if he's in Metairie or DC but a staffer says he's with Wendy (the wife, not Wendy Cortes, the hooker) and his children and "is looking forward to returning to work soon." Villere says Vitter will never resign no matter how much pressure Republicans put on him.

Gubernatorial candidate and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell thinks Vitter's political future is imperiled. "The voters don't like hypocrisy. They really don't like hypocrites. People like candidates who tell you the truth... That's the problem with these self-righteous politicians. When they start acting like preachers, they are treading on real dangerous grounds."

What the GOP leaders want is for Vitter to disappear and for Governor Blanco to appoint former Governor David Treen. Now, I know David Treen. He appointed me an honorary colonel in the Louisiana Highway Patrol in 1980. (It had to do with a Metarie-based band I signed to my record label, the Red Rockers, who later had a hit with a song called "China," but at the time were known for lefty punk political anthems like "Guns of Revolution," "Dead Heroes," and "Teenage Underground." I never thought Treen had listened to the music.) Anyway, Treen is a far right fanatic, an incompetent kook and an outspoken racist-- whose bigotry was so obscene that he was excommunicated from the Catholic Church. He has been talking about challenging Jindal for the GOP nomination for governor and this would be a convenient way to shut him up. He's run for governor half a dozen times and even won once (by a handful of votes after being endorsed by disgruntled Democrats). Treen, who is working overtime behind the scenes to make this happen would only say "Would I like to serve again in Congress? Yes. I have no further comment."

Most political observers feel that Blanco will appoint corrupt and reactionary Democratic lobbyist John Breaux if Vitter resigns. Breaux was barred from running for governor because he has been living near Washington. There is no such restriction for the senate seat.
Christopher Tidmore, the Metairie Republican candidate for the state Legislature who first wrote about Vitter's involvement with New Orleans prostitutes five years ago in Louisiana Weekly, said discussions are under way.

"There are some senior Republicans who are seriously discussing the matter. Currently, however, the leadership of the Republican Party has not made a comment on it, nor given any encouragement or discouragement to the effort.

"There are a lot of people talking about this."

...If Vitter resigns, it would be submitted to Vice President Dick Cheney as the presiding officer of the U.S. Senate, who would have to officially notify the governor. Within 10 days of receiving the notification, Blanco would have to appoint an interim senator and call a special election to fill the remaining three years in Vitter's term, which is up in 2010, said state Elections Commissioner Angie LaPlace.

The Louisiana secretary of state's elections division was researching a new state law Wednesday that calls for a return to party primaries in congressional elections. A quick read of the law indicates the first possible dates would probably be in the spring.

Pollster Verne Kennedy, of Pensacola, Fla., who has extensively polled Louisiana on behalf of GOP gubernatorial candidate John Georges of New Orleans, said the Vitter sex scandal "certainly opens up Vitter to a good potential of losing an upcoming re-election if he doesn't resign.

"Before this, no one would have even thought of running against Vitter," he said. "From what I know now, if someone came to me now, even a Republican, I'd say keep your powder dry to see where this goes, but take a look at it."

Vitter's effectiveness in the Louisiana gubernatorial election, scheduled Oct. 20, is vastly diminished, Kennedy said. He will be of less value to Republican GOP candidate Bobby Jindal. "Jindal's campaign will have to reassess its relationship with Vitter, which could reduce Vitter's role and even remove Vitter as a visible key supporter."

Republican media consultant Roy Fletcher, who is running the Louisiana Republican Party's advertising campaign on behalf of Jindal, said the potential of Vitter not being around "opens a new door in this governor's race." But there's no direct impact "as there is not a single allegation that Bobby Jindal is involved in any way," Fletcher said.

"I don't think Vitter will last a week."

In today's Washinton Post Howie Kurtz asks the 2-part question: "Does the Republican Party have a zipper problem? And if so, how much will voters care?"

Labels: , , ,


At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanco would have to be a fool to take their deal. If they want Vitter gone that badly, do it on our terms, not theirs. Besides, the longer he stays in place, the more toxic he is to Bobby Jindal. (Reminds me: Start grabbing screenshots of pics of Vitter and Jindal together -- they're going to be gone soon.)

At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And now we know why the Louisiana GOP is so desperate to see him gone -- one of the other shoes has just dropped:

Vitter made phone calls to the DC Madam's offices during roll call votes on the House floor.

Okay, Blanco: You've got the leverage now. Wait another week, and Vitter will be pushed out by his own party without you cutting any deals -- and then you can appoint anyone you want to replace him.


Post a Comment

<< Home