Minutes after the health care bill passed 219-212 in the House of Representatives, several Louisiana politicos pressed SEND and sent out their statements. Below the jump, some comments from Sen. Mary Landrieu, Rep. Charlie Melancon (who voted nay) and state Rep. Cedric Richmond, who's running for Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao's Congressional seat in November, and couldn't resist slapping Cao for his nay vote.
Might as well ... jump!
There never seems to be a recession in Louisiana political hijinks, as 2009 proved many times over. This was a year of tectonic shifts in the local political paradigm, and the coming year promises to bring more big changes. Herewith, our annual list of the Top 10 Political Stories:
Earlier today we posted a video Christmas greeting from Sen. David Vitter. Here's the holiday card from his 2010 Senate opponent, Rep. Charlie Melancon:
A noted political science professor at the University of Louisiana-Monroe in the heart of U.S. Sen. David Vitters north Louisiana stronghold has penned a scathing criticism of Vitters fast-and-loose treatment of the facts surrounding various issues (particularly health care reform) in his desperate attempt to win re-election after getting caught chasing whores (again).
Whatever happened to campaigning honestly?
Another story about Vitter caught my attention this week. Paul Anastas, a former White House environment director, was unanimously approved in July by a Senate committee to head the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development. However, Vitter placed a hold upon his nomination that will effectively prevent his nomination from being confirmed for several months.
It turns out that the EPA has signaled plans to assess formaldehyde's health effects and its concomitant usage in building materials and household products because studies have found a link between formaldehyde and cancer. An EPA under Anastas would likely restrict the use of formaldehyde in building materials, like the FEMA mobile homes that sickened thousands of Katrina evacuees.
It turns out that Vitter has received $9,000 from Dow Chemical's PAC, $5,000 from Monsanto's PAC, $5,000 from ExxonMobil's PAC, and $2,500 from the American Forest and Paper Association PAC. The American Forest and Paper Association is a member of the Formaldehyde Council; the other companies are known producers of formaldehyde.
"Money talks, cancer victims don't."
Guess those reports earlier this week were wrong. Robin Winchell, press secretary to Rep. Charlie Melancon, says the congressman will indeed be in New Orleans tomorrow for President Barack Obama's visit. Winchell says Melancon will be along to meet with Obama, but says the scheduling hasn't been worked out yet.
"We do not know at this point," Winchell said when asked whether Melancon would be at the UNO town hall meeting, "but he definitely is going to bring up some of the most important issues -- coastal restoration and hurricane recovery efforts for the entire Gulf Coast."
Political consultant James Carville has penned a gloves-off fundraising billet-doux for the Senate campaign of Charlie Melancon, taking square aim at Melancon's opponent, Sen. David Vitter. An excerpt:
After running around all summer scaring people about health insurance reform, Vitter decided a couple of weeks ago to endorse a plan that calls for eliminating all employer-based health insurance. The nearly two million Louisianians who have employer-based insurance should be scared about Vitter's plan: if Vitter gets his way, they'll be on their own.
And don't get me started on his record when it comes to supporting our military personnel. He offers paeans to troops which I sure hope they enjoy, because if they're depending on Vitter, that's all they're going to get.
And, yes, the letter Goes There:
All these qualities would make Charlie an outstanding U.S. Senator. But he's also got one that matters more to me than all the others.
He's an honest man which to me means you can figure out what he's going to do by listening to his words. He doesn't preach family values. He lives them in his more than 37-year marriage to his wife, Peachy.
Ouch. Tell us how you really feel, James.
Vitter is sure to respond; we'll bring you that letter, too.
MEET THE CANDIDATE
With a profile thats been more private than public lately, Congressman Charlie Melancon is campaigning to be your next U.S. senator
By JEREMY ALFORD
Charlie Melancon may be the first major political candidate from Louisiana to announce a bid for office from his own dining room table. That all of his supporters, the states media and other political onlookers were able to fit into his charming Napoleonville home was even more remarkable. But that, as they say, is the magic of the Internet.
Last week, Melancon told the world he would challenge U.S. Sen. David Vitter by email. The message, though, also provided a link to a YouTube video posted on his campaigns site.
Click. (Cue piano) Hello. My name is Charlie Melancon. I'm a businessman, who's been an ambassador for our state's sugar industry and I've owned and run several successful businesses. I'm a proud family man, the father of two great children, and Peachy and I celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary just last week.
Peachy didnt enter the frame with a tray of fried catfish or Natchitoches meat pies, but it would have been a nice touch. The video, however, does play into the image of detached U.S. congressman whos ducking town hall meetings, a portrayal thats been floated by Melancons conservative opposition and anyone else generally paying attention.
In comparison, Sen. David Vitter, the Republican from Metairie that Melancon will face on the fall 2010 ballot, is in the trenches and holding town hall meetings and, more importantly, answering, although most times indirectly, questions about his connection to a Beltway-based prostitution ring that was run by a madam who killed herself last year....
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