Thursday, November 13, 2014

Landrieu Turns to Keystone Pipeline XL and Personal Attacks in Run-Off Election

Nothing like a Republican tidal wave of an election in historic proportions to clarify thoughts on an important issue.  Take,  for example, the Keystone Pipeline XL project.  Now that the race for U.S. Senate in Louisiana is in a run-off, the incumbent Democrat Senator Landrieu has raced to the floor of the Senate to beg colleagues - and Senate Majority Leader Reid - to bring the project up for a vote.

The House of Representatives, controlled by a Republican majority, has already passed eight (8) bills to move forward on the project but they have all sat languishing on Reid's desk as he refuses to bring them up for a vote.  Talk about obstruction.

Rep Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is in the December 6 run-off with Landrieu.  He is expected to win rather handily and that is not sitting well with Democrats.  On Wednesday, as the House came back into session, it was announced that Rep Cassidy has a Keystone Pipeline XL bill of his own which would be voted on at the end of the week.

“I will now pass a bill identical to the bill the Senate is said to consider to push this issue forward,” said Cassidy in a statement. “If the Senate also passes the bill it can go straight to the President’s desk for signature. It is easy to wonder if the Senate is only considering this because of politics, even so, I hope the Senate and the President do the right thing and pass this legislation creating thousands of jobs. When I’m on the Senate Energy Committee next year, I will work to ensure the President follows the law and allows the construction of this pipeline.”
 Landrieu has said all along that it is important for her to remain in the Senate due to her seniority and chairmanship of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  Wednesday it was also announced that when Cassidy wins the run-off election, he will be placed on the same committee, only he will be the Senator frrm Louisiana in the majority party.  Landrieu would be in the minority, should she win the run-off.  Also, it can be asked that if she was so important and powerful on this committee, why hasn't she been able to get any of the House bills brought to a vote?

She admitted during a hastily called press conference Wednesday that she had no promise from President Obama that he would sign a bill into law anyway.

Landrieu is taking heat in Louisiana as she is credited with supporting Obamacare.  She was one of the last holdout votes on that 2009 legislation and only agreed to vote for it after she sold her vote to the Democrat majority with a deal known as the Louisiana Purchase.  Her vote was bought for increased federal funding going to Louisiana for that state's Medicaid program.

Do you remember the "Louisiana Purchase?" I don't mean Thomas Jefferson's acquisition of land from Napoleon, but rather Democrats' acquisition of Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D., La.) support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Landrieu, critics believe, pledged her vote in exchange for gaining $200 million additional federal funds for Louisiana's Medicaid program. Except that, due to a drafting error, the law ended up giving Louisiana $4.3 billion in extra Medicaid funds -- more than twenty times the assigned amount. How this happened, and how Congress failed to fully fix it, is a microcosm of our new health law's many flaws.
Obamacare is deeply unpopular in Louisiana.

Landrieu is desperate to win this election.  Failing to win over voters with ideas on the issues concerning them, she has turned to personal attacks on Cassidy.  The first was lobbed the day after the primary election.  She accused Cassidy of being absent in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  The problems with this attack were that Cassidy was not in Congress at that time (he was elected to Congress in 2009)  and also that Cassidy, a physician, was busy setting up a hospital for the refugees of the storm. That little attack turned viral thanks to the hashtag Landrieu used on Twitter - #WhereWasBill - and it soon backfired.  Cassidy took to Twitter himself and educated Landrieu on the subject.

So, after that failure, Landrieu launched an ad attacking Cassidy's speaking skills.

The Landrieu campaign ad, released over the weekend, ran during the New Orleans Saints game. It shows Cassidy giving a speech at the Republican Leadership Conference earlier this year, and highlights various moments from the speech where he appears to trip over his words.The ad describes the Republican lawmaker as being “nearly incoherent” before the narrator asks: “We’d lose Mary Landrieu’s clout for this?”
To which Cassidy responded by saying,

“I may not speak like Barack Obama, she prefers Barack Obama, but I tell you — I speak on the right side of the issues for the people of Louisiana, and that’s why I’m going to win on Dec. 6,” Cassidy said Tuesday. 

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