The Flip-Flopping, Tangled Campaign World of Senator Landrieu

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The Flip-Flopping, Tangled Campaign World of Senator Landrieu

By Pat Austin

SHREVE­PORT — A cou­ple of weeks ago I posted that it had been “a tough week to be Mary Lan­drieu.” I prob­a­bly should have waited until this week to use that title. There seems to be very lit­tle good news for the embat­tled Sen­a­tor in the news this week.

Early in the week Clare Foran at The National Jour­nal wrote about the aban­don­ment of Sen­a­tor Lan­drieu by the envi­ron­men­tal­ists. “They just can’t stand her stance on global warm­ing,” Foran says.

In the past year, only one envi­ron­men­tal orga­ni­za­tion has donated to her cam­paign. The Baton Rouge-​based Cen­ter for Coastal Con­ser­va­tion gave Lan­drieu a $2,500 nod, accord­ing to the Cen­ter for Respon­sive Pol­i­tics. The Sierra Club, Nat­ural Resources Defense Coun­cil, and Envi­ron­men­tal Defense Fund have handed over a com­bined con­tri­bu­tion of exactly noth­ing. All three groups declined to com­ment on the record when asked whether they would endorse Landrieu.

Louisiana is pep­pered with oil and gas wells; we have just under two dozen petro­leum refiner­ies. And Lan­drieu is savvy enough to know that these are impor­tant jobs votes in her pocket. She has to walk a fine line.

Which brings us to what is really going on with Mary Landrieu’s campaign.

Louisiana attor­ney, and occa­sional fill-​in host for local con­ser­v­a­tive talk show host Moon Grif­fon, Paul Hurd has a post at The Dead Pel­i­can which makes very clear the chal­lenges Sen­a­tor Lan­drieu faces and what her cam­paign staff is attempt­ing to do about it:

The Lan­drieu machine’s new snake oil is the asser­tion that Sen­a­tor Lan­drieu is too valu­able to Louisiana and the Oil and Gas Indus­try as the Chair­man of the Sen­ate Energy and Nat­ural Resource Com­mit­tee to let her get beat and have the Energy Com­mit­tee con­trolled by pro-​energy inde­pen­dent Repub­li­cans. This is the new polit­i­cal Hadi­col being sold to the masses in Louisiana.

As we all know, Lan­drieu has a new plum posi­tion as head of the Sen­ate Energy and Nat­ural Resources Com­mit­tee. The Wash­ing­ton Post sang the same tune about the angry envi­ron­men­tal­ists back in February:

Lan­drieu favors build­ing the Key­stone XL pipeline, pro­tect­ing tax breaks or incen­tives for oil drilling, and plac­ing lim­its on the power of fed­eral agen­cies to set mer­cury or car­bon diox­ide guide­lines for coal-​fired power plants. Wyden takes the oppo­site posi­tion on all those issues.

Lan­drieu sup­ports giv­ing oil com­pa­nies the right to export crude oil as well as nat­ural gas, while Wyden sup­ports giv­ing nat­ural gas export per­mits on a case by case basis and does not have a pub­lic posi­tion on crude oil exports.

The Louisiana Demo­c­rat helps main­tain the Democ­rats’ major­ity in the Sen­ate, but she is closer to the oil and gas indus­try than most other mem­bers of her party.

Au con­traire, says Paul Hurd (empha­sis mine):

Let’s look at vot­ing record of Sen­a­tor Lan­drieu and the mem­bers of the Sen­ate Energy Com­mit­tee, grouped by Democ­rats in con­trol now, com­pared to the Repub­li­can mem­bers who would gain con­trol of energy pol­icy with the defeat of Sen­a­tor Lan­drieu. One way to com­pare vot­ing records is to use score­cards of busi­ness and the rad­i­cal con­ser­va­tion­ists to see who sup­ports energy growth and who does not. The League of Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers is a typ­i­cal, extreme envi­ron­men­tal advo­cacy group that takes every stand pos­si­ble to pre­vent Amer­ica from pro­duc­ing clean, abun­dant and Amer­i­can energy. Its Action Plans includes “Speak­ing out against the XL Key­stone Pipeline,” “Pro­tect­ing Us from Toxic Coal Ash” and “Sup­port for Cli­mate Change Action.” Their posi­tion is unre­pen­tant destruc­tion of the hydro-​carbon based energy indus­try in Amer­ica, and that means the destruc­tion of Louisiana’s economy.

In con­tract, the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce is a mid­dle of the road, pro-​business lob­by­ing group that rec­og­nizes the need for clean and afford­able pro­duc­tion of energy in Amer­ica to sup­port our own eco­nomic growth and avoid ship­ping energy dol­lars to China and the Mid­dle East to fund our global adver­saries. And for Louisiana, roy­alty checks spend just fine in Louisiana.

Each of these groups pro­vide a score­card for the votes taken by our fed­eral Con­gress­men and Sen­a­tors. What these score­cards show is clear and remark­able. The aver­age rat­ing by the League of Con­ser­va­tion for 2013 for the twelve Demo­c­ra­tic mem­bers of the Energy Com­mit­tee is an astound­ing 91%, while the ten Repub­li­can mem­bers aver­age a Con­ser­va­tion Voter rat­ing of only 16%. In con­trast, the Cham­ber of Com­merce pro­vides an aver­age rat­ing of the Demo­c­ra­tic mem­bers of the Com­mit­tee of 50%, while the Repub­li­can mem­bers of the Com­mit­tee score an aver­age of 91%. In short, these rat­ings by busi­ness and envi­ron­men­tal groups show that con­tin­ued Demo­c­ra­tic con­trol of the Sen­ate Energy Com­mit­tee promises Louisiana and Amer­ica con­tin­u­ing gov­ern­ment sup­pres­sion of inde­pen­dent energy pro­duc­tion in Louisiana and in America.

What all this means is that Mary Lan­drieu knows that she is in trou­ble. She is scram­bling to do what­ever it takes to deflect dis­cus­sion of her Oba­macare vote even to the point of now try­ing to act like she wants to amend it. She’s spent the bet­ter part of 18 months try­ing to dis­tance her­self from the Obama cir­cus. It’s not work­ing for me.

Remem­ber in April 2010? She was “a vocif­er­ous defender” of Oba­macare and even told one Mor­gan City busi­ness­man who was wor­ried about hav­ing to lay off employ­ees to “live with it.” But now we’re sup­posed to believe she isn’t happy with it.

Quite hon­estly, I wish she’d read the Oba­macare bill before she took that $300 mil­lion kick­back for it. Vote for it now and fix it later? Nah. I don’t think so. That’s just trans­par­ent pol­i­tick­ing and I’ve no respect for that.

And now we’re sup­posed to believe she is a vocif­er­ous defender of Louisiana’s oil and gas industry.

Rii­i­ight.

Pat Austin also blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

By Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — A couple of weeks ago I posted that it had been “a tough week to be Mary Landrieu.”  I probably should have waited until this week to use that title.  There seems to be very little good news for the embattled Senator in the news this week.

Early in the week Clare Foran at The National Journal wrote about the abandonment of Senator Landrieu by the environmentalists.  “They just can’t stand her stance on global warming,” Foran says.

In the past year, only one environmental organization has donated to her campaign. The Baton Rouge-based Center for Coastal Conservation gave Landrieu a $2,500 nod, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Environmental Defense Fund have handed over a combined contribution of exactly nothing. All three groups declined to comment on the record when asked whether they would endorse Landrieu.

Louisiana is peppered with oil and gas wells; we have just under two dozen petroleum refineries.  And Landrieu is savvy enough to know that these are important jobs votes in her pocket.  She has to walk a fine line.

Which brings us to what is really going on with Mary Landrieu’s campaign.

Louisiana attorney, and occasional fill-in host for local conservative talk show host Moon Griffon, Paul Hurd has a post at The Dead Pelican which makes very clear the challenges Senator Landrieu faces and what her campaign staff is attempting to do about it:

The Landrieu machine’s new snake oil is the assertion that Senator Landrieu is too valuable to Louisiana and the Oil and Gas Industry as the Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee to let her get beat and have the Energy Committee controlled by pro-energy independent Republicans. This is the new political Hadicol being sold to the masses in Louisiana.

As we all know, Landrieu has a new plum position as head of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  The Washington Post sang the same tune about the angry environmentalists back in February:

Landrieu favors building the Keystone XL pipeline, protecting tax breaks or incentives for oil drilling, and placing limits on the power of federal agencies to set mercury or carbon dioxide guidelines for coal-fired power plants. Wyden takes the opposite position on all those issues.

Landrieu supports giving oil companies the right to export crude oil as well as natural gas, while Wyden supports giving natural gas export permits on a case by case basis and does not have a public position on crude oil exports.

The Louisiana Democrat helps maintain the Democrats’ majority in the Senate, but she is closer to the oil and gas industry than most other members of her party.

Au contraire, says Paul Hurd (emphasis mine):

Let’s look at voting record of Senator Landrieu and the members of the Senate Energy Committee, grouped by Democrats in control now, compared to the Republican members who would gain control of energy policy with the defeat of Senator Landrieu. One way to compare voting records is to use scorecards of business and the radical conservationists to see who supports energy growth and who does not. The League of Conservation Voters is a typical, extreme environmental advocacy group that takes every stand possible to prevent America from producing clean, abundant and American energy. Its Action Plans includes “Speaking out against the XL Keystone Pipeline,” “Protecting Us from Toxic Coal Ash” and “Support for Climate Change Action.” Their position is unrepentant destruction of the hydro-carbon based energy industry in America, and that means the destruction of Louisiana’s economy.

In contract, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a middle of the road, pro-business lobbying group that recognizes the need for clean and affordable production of energy in America to support our own economic growth and avoid shipping energy dollars to China and the Middle East to fund our global adversaries. And for Louisiana, royalty checks spend just fine in Louisiana.

Each of these groups provide a scorecard for the votes taken by our federal Congressmen and Senators. What these scorecards show is clear and remarkable. The average rating by the League of Conservation for 2013 for the twelve Democratic members of the Energy Committee is an astounding 91%, while the ten Republican members average a Conservation Voter rating of only 16%. In contrast, the Chamber of Commerce provides an average rating of the Democratic members of the Committee of 50%, while the Republican members of the Committee score an average of 91%. In short, these ratings by business and environmental groups show that continued Democratic control of the Senate Energy Committee promises Louisiana and America continuing government suppression of independent energy production in Louisiana and in America.

What all this means is that Mary Landrieu knows that she is in trouble.  She is scrambling to do whatever it takes to deflect discussion of her Obamacare vote even to the point of now trying to act like she wants to amend it.  She’s spent the better part of 18 months trying to distance herself from the Obama circus.  It’s not working for me.

Remember in April 2010?  She was “a vociferous defender” of Obamacare and even told one Morgan City businessman who was worried about having to lay off employees to “live with it.”  But now we’re supposed to believe she isn’t happy with it.

Quite honestly, I wish she’d read the Obamacare bill before she took that $300 million kickback for it.  Vote for it now and fix it later?  Nah.  I don’t think so.  That’s just transparent politicking and I’ve no respect for that.

And now we’re supposed to believe she is a vociferous defender of Louisiana’s oil and gas industry.

Riiiight.

Pat Austin also blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.