Charles Boustany Gets Jim Donelon’s Endorsement, Uses It To Beat Up On John Kennedy

U.S. Senate candidate Charles Boustany picked up the endorsement of Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon today in Metairie. Donelon is the second statewide candidate to endorse Boustany. Last month, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain endorsed Boustany.

Donelon may not bring a whole lot to the table for Boustany. But what Donelon did today is give Boustany a platform to attack frontrunner State Treasurer John Kennedy.

Here’s the Boustany release (emphasis theirs):

Dr. Charles Boustany received the endorsement of Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon at a press conference in Metairie, Louisiana.

Speaking at the press conference, Donelon said: “In the aftermath of historic flooding, the only candidate I trust to fight for affordable flood insurance in the United States Senate is Dr. Charles Boustany. He has compiled a superb record fighting for Louisiana jobs, lower taxes, expanded energy production, and common-sense regulatory policy. I’m proud to support Dr. Charles Boustany for the United States Senate.”

Accepting Donelon’s endorsement, Boustany said: “I’m humbled to receive the endorsement of Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, who has deep roots in the New Orleans area and a long record of fighting for affordable flood insurance for Louisiana families. I look forward to working with Commissioner Donelon to write common-sense flood insurance policy as Louisiana’s next United States Senator when Congress begins work on reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program in 2017.”

Speaking at the press conference, Boustany hammered Treasurer John Kennedy’s widely-panned proposal to create a state-based flood insurance program. In a state where so much of the population lives in areas where flooding can occur, experts agree it is impossible to effectively spread risk among the insurance pool. This would exacerbate the acute budget problems the state is experiencing, potentially putting the state on the hook for billions of dollars in damages in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Experts ridiculed Kennedy’s proposal when it was introduced, saying:

  • “Mr. Kennedy needs to take Insurance 101. The idea of the state getting into the flood insurance business makes no sense at all. It cannot work.” – Eli Lehrer, President of the R Street Institute, a conservative think tank
  • “The state of Louisiana certainly doesn’t have the money to subsidize a [flood] premium.” – State Senator “Blade” Morrish
  • “Last week, state Treasurer John Kennedy said he wanted to start a conversation about what the state could do to lower these rates. And when we do it, it turns out to be a lot of hot air.” – Jeff Sadow, LSU-Shreveport political science professor and columnist
  • “I think it’s a very risky and pricey proposition for the state to get involved in the flood insurance business.” – Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon

Boustany said: “This proposal is the kind of dangerous and risky policy you get when career politicians like John Kennedy care more about headlines than our bottom line. We need a fighter in the U.S. Senate who will work to improve flood insurance affordability for Louisiana families, not someone who ‘needs to take Insurance 101.’”

With the flooding in Baton Rouge and Acadiana, Boustany thinks he has a way to go attacking Kennedy for his flood insurance scheme. Boustany, who also has strong backing in the oil and gas industry, has been going after Kennedy on energy as well. He is the only one in the field taking the fight to Kennedy right now.


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