Monday, September 20, 2010

Gautreaux disassociates himself from the Tea Party

Posted By on Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 6:57 PM

click to enlarge teapot

Last week, Gambit reported that state Sen. Butch Gautreaux was the only candidate in the lieutenant governor’s race to have signed a “pledge” sent out by the North Central Louisiana Tea Party Patriots — a pledge that included supporting the U.S. Constitution “as explained in the Federalist Papers.” Over the weekend, the Morgan City Democrat asked to have his name withdrawn from the group’s website, calling his signature on the pledge a “mistake” and saying the Tea Party has a "nihilist rhetoric and eccentrically regressive perspective":

I have, at no time, ever endorsed or shared the goals, purposes, or methods of the Tea Party. My name's appearance on the NCLA Tea party website and pledge is a mistake that, now brought to the attention of the campaign, is being rectified as quickly as possible. I will be asking that my name be removed from all NCLA Tea Party affiliated content.

The rest of Gautreaux’s statement below the jump, along with other lieutenant governor/Tea Party news – including which candidate is being supported by former President Bill Clinton, and which one has the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann …

Gautreaux’s statement, continued:

The Tea Party's constitutional philosophy, despite often draped in patriotic phraseology and rationalization, is antithetical to my core beliefs and my long record as a public servant. Their nihilist rhetoric and eccentrically regressive perspective stands in stark contrast to my career of fighting for progress, equality and opportunity for a better Louisiana.

This “pledge” was sitting among a stack of papers waiting for my signature during the early days of the campaign this past summer. Unfortunately, it was signed and returned to the NCLA tea party without being fully vetted or studied. Had I been completely aware of some of the content and the affiliation, I would have never signed nor agreed to it. I apologize for this error.

I want to make one thing clear: I have never, and will never, be a candidate of any Tea Party, or any group purporting to share the goals of such an organization. I've been a strong Democrat, a progressive, and a fighter for working Louisianians all of his life. I'm in this race because I believes I can make smarter government work for the people again, not for big corporations or special ideological interests. It’s been our message all along. Louisiana First. Our people, our rich and diverse culture, and our common future over politics and polemics.

In other news:

• The Greater New Orleans Tea Party will be hosting a lieutenant governor forum for the GOP candidates only tomorrow night (Tue., Sept. 21) at the Kenner Pavilion (3800 Loyola Dr.) in Kenner. Confirmed attendees: Jay Dardenne, Sammy Kershaw, Roger Villere and a representative from Kevin Davis' campaign ...

• At a recent New York event for Democratic candidate Caroline Fayard, former President Bill Clinton expressed his support for Fayard, saying she was worth "fighting to elect." The Fayard campaign sent out a press release saying Clinton "backs" Fayard for the job, but Fayard spokesperson Monica Pierre clarified it was a general expression of support, not a formal endorsement of her candidacy ...

• Not so for Republican candidate Roger Villere Jr., who has received the wholehearted and enthusiastic endorsement of Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann:

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