Fleming Bows Out Of Senate Race; Looks Like Cassidy Vs. Landrieu

This press release hit right around lunchtime from Rep. John Fleming’s office…

Fleming: It’s Time to Focus on Defeating Landrieu

“For me to enter the race now would risk a contest between two experienced Republican Congressmen, potentially offering Senator Landrieu a path back to Washington. I can’t let that happen.”

Shreveport, LA – Congressman John Fleming, M.D., released the following statement about the 2014 race for one of Louisiana’s seats in the U.S. Senate:

“Mary Landrieu needs to be replaced in 2014. Her record is abysmal. She’s turned her back on Louisiana values and become a full-fledged devotee of the Obama agenda.

“I’m grateful for the many Louisianians who have urged me to challenge Senator Landrieu in 2014. We share a desire to replace her in the U.S. Senate. That desire is so strong, that for me to enter the race now would risk a contest between two experienced Republican Congressmen, potentially offering Senator Landrieu a path back to Washington. I can’t let that happen. My friend, Bill Cassidy, has long prepared and now stepped forward to challenge Mary, and he offers Louisiana’s voters a Republican alternative necessary in 2014 to replace a big-government Washington liberal. Therefore, with prayerful analysis, my family and I have decided to step aside for this Senate race to optimize the chance for Republicans to win this vital seat.

“This past week I have met with great people from all walks of life in the Fourth District. I continue to hear from them about how the Obama years have hammered small businesses, cost jobs, and increased taxes. Many have told me of their serious concerns about the Obama gun control agenda. And now business owners and individuals are asking questions about the damaging effects of Obamacare. I am convinced that the best thing we can do to stem this dangerous tide is to end the reign of Senate Democrats, and Louisianians can take a step in that direction by replacing Mary Landrieu.”

And that was that.

Jay Dardenne begged off, and now Fleming has begged off. Both were convinced not to run largely because of Cassidy’s $2.3 million (or larger) war chest; overcoming such a massive advantage early on is very difficult.

It’s possible somebody else could get in, but it’s hard to come up with a name that would really give Cassidy much of a challenge. This is looking more and more like a Cassidy-Landrieu race.

And it will be a war. No sooner had Cassidy jumped into the race yesterday than the Louisiana Democrat Party offered up some opposition research in an effort to “dirty him up” a little…

Bill Cassidy Fights for Extremists in Washington Consistently votes against people of Louisiana.

BATON ROUGE-The Louisiana Democratic Party today criticized Bill Cassidy for fighting for extremists in Washington and repeatedly voting against the people of Louisiana. Whether it is Louisiana’s middle class families, hurricane protection and recovery or small businesses, Bill Cassidy’s voting record reflects the priorities of extremists in Washington, not the people of Louisiana. Earlier this year, he voted against Hurricane Isaac recovery funds to help South Louisiana rebuild. And, last month, he voted to raise taxes on 97 percent of Louisiana families by an average of $3,000 per year and give tax cuts to those making more than $1 million or more per year.

“Bill Cassidy has spent his time in Congress fighting for extremists in Washington at the expense of the people of Louisiana. He is going to have a hard time convincing people in Louisiana that he has their best interests at heart when he repeatedly votes against hurricane protection and recovery funding and votes to give tax cuts to millionaires,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party.

BILL CASSIDY VOTED AGAINST OVER $100 MILLION IN RELIEF FOR HURRICANE ISAAC Cassidy Voted Against $33 Billion In Aid For Hurricanes Isaac, Sandy. “The House on Tuesday passed legislation providing nearly $51 billion in aid for Northeast communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The vote came after the House rejected a Republican amendment that would have offset $17 billion in aide with a 1.63 percent across the board cut in discretionary federal funding for the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year. Voting for the $17 billion in aid were Scalise, Richmond, Cassidy, Boustany, and Alexander. Fleming cast the only no vote from Louisiana. On the final vote, providing $33 billion in Sandy assistance, Reps. Alexander, Richmond and Boustany voted yes. Reps. Scalise, Cassidy, and Fleming voted no. Voting for the $33 billion package were 192 Democrats and 49 Republicans. Voting no were one Democrat and 179 Republicans.” [New Orleans Times-Picayune, 1/15/13] Senator Landrieu Added Language To The Bill That Included Over $100 Million In Relief For Hurricane Isaac.

“The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will be releasing more than $106 million in federal grants to Louisiana for Hurricane Isaac relief efforts. Jefferson Parish is getting $16.4 million; New Orleans, $15 million; and St. Tammany Parish, $8.9 million. The state of Louisiana is getting $66.4 million, with a mandate that at least 80 percent of the money go to the parishes hardest hit by Hurricane Isaac. That should mean a significant portion, if not the entire allocation, would go to Plaquemines, and St. John the Baptist parishes. The funding from the federal Community and Development Block Grant program for Isaac damage was added to the $50 billion supplemental spending bill for Hurricane Sandy by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. Landrieu also included language streamlining the approval process for projects.” [New Orleans Times-Picayune, 3/27/13]

BILL CASSIDY SUPPORTED THE RYAN BUDGET THAT WOULD RAISE TAXES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS AND COST LOUISIANA JOBS Bill Cassidy Voted for The House Republican Budget For FY 2014. In March 2013, Bill Cassidy voted for the House Republican budget for FY 2013. [CQ Floor Votes, 3/28/13] The budget resolution was adopted, 221-207. [H Con Res 112, Vote #88, 3/21/13] The Republican Budget’s Tax Plan Would Hit Louisiana With A $1.0 Billion Middle-Class Tax Hike. The Republican budget would dramatically lower the top income tax rate from 39.6% to 25% – giving millionaires an average $245,000 tax break. The independent Tax Policy Center found that it is mathematically impossible to provide such large tax breaks to the wealthy without increasing the burden on the middle class. By raising taxes on filers making less than $200,000 to pay for millionaire tax breaks, the Republican budget would raise middle-class taxes in Louisiana by $1.0 billion. [TPC, 8/1/12; CBPP, 3/17/13; IRS, accessed on 3/18/13] Middle Class Families Would Pay On Average $3,000 More in Taxes, Under Ryan Budget. An analysis of the Ryan budget by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concluded that “to fully finance the tax cuts for people with incomes over $200,000, filers with children and incomes under $200,000 would see their taxes go up by more than $3,000 on average, even with the ambitious reductions in tax expenditures for high-income households that TPC examined.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/17/13] Passage Of The Republican Ryan Budget Alone Could Cost Louisiana 28,962 Jobs. The Republican budget would pull hundreds of billions of dollars out of the economy by slashing job -creating investments in things like infrastructure and scientific research, killing demand, depressing economic activity, and hurting job creation. The drag caused by these extreme cuts could cost 28,962 jobs in Louisiana in 2014. [DPCC Calculations Based on EPI, 3/12/13]


One hopes they’ve got more than that. Lord knows the state GOP will have a lot more weaponry than one vote on Isaac relief Cassidy can undoubtedly explain and Paul Ryan’s budget – which, unlike the load of excrement Mary Landrieu voted for in the Senate, actually balances at some point in the future.

Oh – and raises tax explicitly, not based on some idiotic assumption by a faux “independent” think tank.

Mary Landrieu has managed to win three elections to get and keep her job. She’s never won more than 52 percent of the vote. Cassidy looks like the stiffest challenger she’s ever had.

Her people are going to need a lot more than a budget vote and something to do with Isaac.

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