Mary Landrieu

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Editorial: Anybody here seen our old friend John (Kennedy)?

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 2:20 PM

  • Sen. John Neely Kennedy.

Shortly after taking office in January, U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy told The New York Times, “There’s this feeling among many in America that it’s harder than ever to get ahead in our country, that it’s easier than ever to do nothing. There’s a feeling that the people in Washington don’t listen and they don’t care. ... And they want something done about it. They’re entitled to be listened to and heard.”

We agree, which is why we’re puzzled that it’s so difficult for constituents to catch Kennedy’s ear these days. Consider this:
During Senate recesses in February and April, Kennedy held no town hall meetings in Louisiana — unlike Sen. Bill Cassidy, who met constituents (and braved some fury) in Metairie in February. Unhappy with Kennedy’s seeming unwillingness to meet the public, constituents held a protest on the steps of the Hale Boggs Federal Building in March (with Kennedy’s face on a “missing” milk carton) and another in April at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, where voters asked questions of an effigy of the senator. A similar gathering was held in Baton Rouge on the LSU campus that month.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Mitch Landrieu goes after Donald Trump on American cities, criticizes Trump's "confused, racist vision"

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 4:55 PM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Minutes after the second presidential debate concluded Sunday night, Mayor Mitch Landrieu published a polemic on the website Medium against GOP nominee Donald Trump and Trump's vision of American cities.

"It suits his politics better to parachute in to places like Detroit and Philadelphia for photo-ops," Landrieu wrote, "while mostly giving red-meat speeches in front of white crowds outside of the American cities he is talking about."

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Louisiana Democrats rally behind John Bel Edwards as the party rebuilds

Posted By on Sun, Jul 26, 2015 at 12:45 AM

John Bel Edwards at the 2015 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in New Orleans held by the Louisiana Democratic Party.
  • John Bel Edwards at the 2015 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in New Orleans held by the Louisiana Democratic Party.

Louisiana's Democratic party is picking itself up and preparing for battle in 2015 and 2016. U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's loss to Republican Bill Cassidy in the 2014 Senate race was a blow to Louisiana Democrats, now without any statewide office. But the 2015 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at the Sheraton New Orleans on July 25 served as a rally to bring the party back to its fighting weight. That battle begins with Gov. Bobby Jindal.  

Though Landrieu received a lifetime achievement award and U.S. Sen Amy Klobuchar was the event's keynote speaker, the event served more as a sort of unveiling of state Rep. John Bel Edwards, who is the Democratic front runner in the governor's race. Edwards said the pressing issue on voters' minds going into the 2015 election is recovering from Jindal. And Jindal's not even on the ballot. But the party continues to link Republican candidates for governor to Jindal — in his speech, Edwards called his opponents "Jindal on steroids" (David Vitter), "Jindal Lite" (Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne) and "Jindal incarnate" (Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle). Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, the last Democrat in the governor's mansion, introduced Edwards, whose supporters rang yellow bells with blue handles throughout his speech and at any mention of his name throughout the event.

In his speech, Edwards championed higher education, equal pay, a living wage and health care, adding that he will immediately expand Medicaid as soon as he enters office, if elected. "It's the right thing to do, it's the moral thing to do," he said.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bernie Sanders to be guest at Louisiana Democratic Party annual dinner

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 11:55 AM

Vermont Sen. and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will make a stop in New Orleans July 25. - CREATIVE COMMONS/AFGE
  • Vermont Sen. and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will make a stop in New Orleans July 25.

Vermont Sen. and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will be a guest at the 2015 Louisiana Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in New Orleans July 25. 

Sanders has proven a draw on the campaign trail and has begun to crack the 20 percent mark in some recent polls — still far behind frontrunner Hillary Clinton, but Sanders has excited some of the Democratic base in a way that Clinton hasn't, with as many as 10,000 people showing up for his rallies. Sanders has been outspoken about what he calls "the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality" in America; called for free tuition at four-year public colleges and universities; and advocated for Wall Street reform. (The Vermont newspaper Seven Days has kept up with all things Bernie for years in an ongoing feature called "Bernie Beat.")

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is set to deliver the dinner's keynote speech, and former Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu will be honored that night as well. Dinner tickets are $175 per person — and if that's too rich for your blood, there's always the roast of Gov. Bobby Jindal at AllWays Lounge the same night. That one's free, hosted by a crawfish and there will be ice cream.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mary Landrieu joins D.C. lobbying firm Van Ness Feldman

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 12:57 PM

Former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (right) at a 2014 campaign stop in New Orleans with Hillary Clinton. Landrieu, who was defeated in that race, announced today she was joining the lobbying firm Van Ness Feldman. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (right) at a 2014 campaign stop in New Orleans with Hillary Clinton. Landrieu, who was defeated in that race, announced today she was joining the lobbying firm Van Ness Feldman.

Former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu has been hired by the lobbying firm Van Ness Feldman (VNF), the company announced today. Landrieu's title will be "senior policy advisor," and a release from VNF said Landrieu would "advise clients on various public policy, strategic, and regulatory issues with an emphasis on energy, natural resources, and infrastructure matters."

According to the website Open Secrets, VNF's client base includes several companies dealing in oil and gas, as well as the energy field in general — a natural fit for Landrieu, who served as chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in 2014. The company has offices in Washington D.C. and Seattle.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Y@ Speak: throwing punches

Posted By on Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Even the New Orleans Saints channeled a bit of rage (albeit during a ruthless loss) that New Orleans had stored up all week, from protest marches to elections and everything in between. Also this week: New Orleans remembers Jonah Bascle, and Lil Wayne is now a figurative prisoner.

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Mary Landrieu defeated in Senate race

Posted By on Sat, Dec 6, 2014 at 11:00 PM

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu gave her concession speech  Dec. 6 following a runoff election between the longtime Democrat and Republican state Rep. Bill Cassidy.
  • U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu gave her concession speech Dec. 6 following a runoff election between the longtime Democrat and Republican state Rep. Bill Cassidy.

After 15 years in the U.S. Senate, Mary Landrieu will not return for a fourth term. Following a battle for the seat between the longtime incumbent senior Democratic senator and Republican state Rep. Bill Cassidy, Landrieu congratulated Cassidy on a race that ended in a runoff Dec. 6 with Cassidy receiving more than 56 percent of the vote.

Cassidy, who has represented Baton Rouge's 6th congressional district since 2008, will be sworn in next month. He joins fellow Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter.

Landrieu’s loss now leaves Louisiana without any women holding statewide elected office (for the first time in several decades) and dips the state further into the red. Landrieu was among the last of the southern Democrats holding statewide elected office in the southern states. Cassidy's win gives Republicans nine more seats (totaling 54) in the U.S. Senate, tipping the scales further into a Republican majority.

In The Roosevelt hotel lobby, lit up with spectacular white lights for Christmas, dozens of people gathered for several events on several floors, and by 8 p.m., a quiet ballroom filled with Landrieu supporters. The PA blasted the theme from Rocky and "Eye of the Tiger." As early voting results rolled in, the PA played "Tell Me Something Good." Thirty minutes later, the Associated Press had called the election for Cassidy.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

ICYMI: The Daily Show takes on Mary Landrieu and the Keystone XL pipeline

Posted By on Sat, Nov 22, 2014 at 7:38 PM


By most accounts, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) is well behind Rep. Bill Cassidy in the runoff election and here to rub a little salt into the wound is Comedy Central's Jon Stewart. On The Daily Show Thursday night, Stewart looked into Landrieu's efforts to get the Senate to pass the Keystone XL pipeline bill in a last-ditch effort to save her seat. The pipeline measure failed to pass by one vote and, in the video below, Stewart unravels the absurdity of it all.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Y@ Speak: the dumpster fire edition

Posted By on Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 12:40 PM

As we head into a runoff for the main course in the Louisiana Senate race after digesting the spicy alligator jambalaya po-boy gumbo appetizer that was last week's election, we unwind with a weekend of football, only to emerge with a knee the size of a Smart Car, and many dumpsters aflame. Here is that week.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

A watershed election

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 10:57 AM


Back in the 1930s, a young Tip O’Neill declared, “All politics is local,” and for generations that was an ironclad rule in American politics. No longer. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the Citizens United case freed corporations, unions and billionaires to spend limitless amounts of money on political campaigns. This year, they did just that.

Nowadays, all politics is national.

Anyone who follows local, state or national politics knows that money often dictates who wins and who loses. We’ve all heard the old saw that money is the mother’s milk of politics. If that’s true, what’s so different about this election?

Two things: the sources and the amounts of money that are now available.

For decades, Congress and most state legislatures wrote laws intended to limit the role of big money in American elections. The idea was to keep power in the hands of voters as much as possible — and, in keeping with O’Neill’s maxim, to keep it as local as possible. This was not as easy to do as it would seem. One early law limited campaign spending, which the courts struck down quickly. Congress then focused on the other side of the coin and imposed limits on who could give, and how much. Those laws initially passed constitutional muster and remained on the books for decades.

There were always loopholes, particularly when it came to “soft” money aimed at filling the coffers of state and national political parties. Still, federal laws consistently outlawed contributions by corporations and unions to individual candidates.

Then came Citizens United. That decision upheld the federal ban on “direct” corporate and union contributions to political campaigns, but for the first time it allowed corporations and unions to contribute unlimited funds to “independent” efforts that support or oppose candidates — without contributing directly to their campaigns. Thus sprang to life a new political creature: Super PACs.

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