Once again, the Times-Picayune/NOLA.com has endorsed Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) in the Louisiana US Senate seat over her challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Now, instead of a synopsis of the Times-Picayune’s endorsement, here’s the text in full with analysis from us at the Hayride afterwards:
Mary Landrieu has stood up for Louisiana time and again during her 18 years in the U.S. Senate. She fought for our fair share of oil and gas lease revenues. She made sure our communities received vital disaster aid after Hurricane Katrina and the levee breaches, after Hurricane Rita, after Gustav, after Isaac. She understood the need to keep flood insurance premiums affordable long before others in Congress came to that realization.
Her opponent is trying to distract voters from Sen. Landrieu’s accomplishments in the Senate. He shouldn’t be allowed to get away with that.
The most important question in the Dec. 6 runoff election is who would best represent the interests of Louisiana residents in Washington. The answer is clear: Mary Landrieu.
Her Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which passed in 2006, achieved something Louisiana leaders had tried for decades to do: Require the federal government to give our state and other energy-producing states a significant share of revenues from offshore drilling. By 2017, the act will provide an estimated $500 million each year for restoring Louisiana’s coast.
Those revenues will benefit Louisianians for generations to come and help families hold onto the land they love.
Sen. Landrieu also helped ensure that New Orleans and other communities across South Louisiana got the federal resources essential to rebuilding homes, businesses and levees post-Katrina. That wasn’t an easy task, with influential members of Congress questioning whether we deserved help.
She played a key role in writing and passing the Restore Act, which will ensure that the vast majority of BP’s fines for the 2010 oil spill will go to coastal restoration — with Louisiana in line for the largest share. Her leadership and ability to work with Republican colleagues in other Gulf states was essential to the act’s approval.
She also wrote provisions into law allowing FEMA to forgive community disaster loans, which eliminated $391 million in post-Katrina debt for parish governments. In the past year, $54.8 million in loans for Jefferson Parish, $67.8 million for St. Tammany Parish schools and $24.4 million for the St. Tammany sheriff and parish government were wiped off the books thanks to her efforts.
Sen. Landrieu also successfully fought last year to reverse exorbitant flood insurance rates that would have been devastating for homeowners and businesses. Not only did she help get legislation through the Senate, she brought the stories of distressed homeowners to Congress with a collection of anecdotes and photos called MyHomeMyStory.
These are major achievements that speak to her leadership skills, her effectiveness and her commitment to her state.
Her Republican opponent is mischaracterizing Sen. Landrieu as a liberal Democrat. Her record proves otherwise. She has been an advocate for the oil and gas industry, for free trade and for a strong military. She also pushed President Barack Obama to lift his administration’s drilling moratorium after the BP spill.
Simply put, Mary Landrieu is dedicated to the well being of Louisiana residents. Even her vote for the Affordable Care Act, which is being used to attack her, reflects concern for the hundreds of thousands of her constituents who lack health insurance.
Seniority matters in the Senate. Although Democrats lost control of the chamber in the midterm elections, Sen. Landrieu would be one of the highest-ranking members of the minority party in the next Congress. Her track record demonstrates her ability to work successfully with Republicans on a variety of matters.
Louisiana needs Sen. Landrieu’s knowledge, energy and influence in Washington as much as ever.
Not that big of a surprise, right?
Well, the odd thing about the Times-Picayune’s endorsement is that they claim Cassidy has “mischaracterized” Landrieu, however, it is the Times-Picayune that is mischaracterizing Landrieu’s tenure.
Here’s the truth:
First, Obamacare, which is highly important to Louisiana voters, is mentioned towards the bottom of the story to make it less noticeable and ultimately tells the reader that the issue is not all that important.
But, Obamacare is very important and for Landrieu, it has been her downfall this election cycle.
The Times-Picayune can glamorize Obamacare all they want, but the fact is, Landrieu cast the deciding vote for the healthcare overhaul and said she would do it again, despite the entire state of Louisiana being heavily against the government program. And for Landrieu’s deciding Obamacare vote, she earned tons of political cash, which is also seen as a bit shady.
Another issue, not even mentioned, is Landrieu’s failure to whip votes in the Democrat-controlled Senate for the Keystone XL Pipeline. Even though Landrieu has claimed she has tons of “clout” as the Chairwoman of the Senate Energy Committee, she could not sway enough Democrats to vote for the pipeline project.
And, the Times-Picayune leaves out the fact that Landrieu will lose her chairmanship, as the Republicans are set to control the Senate come 2015. Therefore, the so-called “clout” and “influence” as the Times-Picayune claims that Landrieu has will be gone in the new Senate.
Also, the Times-Picayune completely disregards the fact that Landrieu has been tied up in some public corruption allegations most recently.
Let us not forget that Landrieu broke federal law 43 times by illegally charging taxpayers for private plane flights to campaign fundraising events, costing taxpayers $33,727.02. One out of every 10 travel dollars spent by Landrieu was improperly charged to taxpayers.
Not to mention, Landrieu’s internal report on the matter was recently taken off of her website for no apparent reason.