by Al Benson Jr.
Over the years I have asked myself the question that is the title of this article. The answer I have come up with is not especially reassuring either for myself or for the people of Louisiana.
I distinctly remember the furor over Obamacare when it started up a few years ago. I was opposed to it then as much as I am now and I wrote to all my elected “representatives” expressing my opposition to it and my reasons for that opposition. I did this both via email and written letters at various times. I received responses each time I communicated with both Senator David Vitter and from Rep. Rodney Alexander, who was in office at the time. I never heard the first word back from Mary Landrieu at any point any of the times I contacted her office. The only thing I ever got back from her was a generic email that I think she sent out to everyone telling us all about how wonderful Obamacare would be for the people of Louisiana (this was after the infamous “Louisiana purchase” which, basically, bought her vote in favor of Obamacare). Mrs. Landrieu knew most folks in Louisiana were not in favor of Obamacare when many of us contacted her telling her to oppose its passage in the Senate. So she just didn’t bother to answer her mail on the subject. I have often felt she knew, from day one, what she was going to do and just didn’t want to bother with what the people who pay her fancy salary thought. So very much easier to forge ahead with your progressive (socialist) agenda if you don’t bother worrying about what the peons back home want. So much for elected “representation.”
It has been no different on other issues I have contacted her office about–never a reply back on anything. I’ve talked to others that have had the same experience. This lady doesn’t really give two hoots about what the voters in Louisiana want. She’s going to follow her own agenda no matter what, and to Hades with what the voters want!
It’s the same situation with her in regard to oil and gas here in Louisiana. She touts herself as a great friend and defender of the oil and gas industries, which employ lots of folks here and are a major staple of our economy in Louisiana. However, the old adage applies to Ms. Landrieu that applies to all political prevaricators–watch what they do, not what they say. Landrieu’s support for the gas and oil industry in Louisiana is verbally hot and actively frigid. Landrieu promotes herself as “indispensable” to the energy industry in Louisiana. She said as much in an interview with the Times-Picayune in April of 2013.
However, you get quite a different story from an article by Kimberley A. Strassel which appeared on http://online.wsj.com for December 19th, 2013. Strassel noted: “As usual, Ms. Landrieu was talking about her efforts on behalf of Louisiana’s oil and gas sector, the bedrock of the state’s economy. She claims to be her party’s fiercest advocate for that industry, and she talks extensively about her support for the Keystone XL pipeline, her opposition to industry taxes and her desire to rein in EPA regulations.” However, all the fine and fancy talk doesn’t match the actions.
Strassel continued: “Behind the scenes, however, Ms. Landrieu has been working just as hard to make sure she’s irrelevant. Through the auspices of JAZZ PAC, her leadership political action committee, she has from 2006 to 2012 contributed more than $380,000 to re-elect some of the most ardent Senate opponents of the oil and gas industry. One result is a bloc of liberal members who easily cancel out Ms. Landrieu’s votes and guarantee the defeat of legislation designed to help Louisiana.”
Strassel noted that the data for this was gathered from public records, courtesy of a non-profit group called Keep Louisiana Working. This group studies political incumbents to determine whether what they are doing actually helps or hurts local communities here in Louisiana. Emily Corness, executive director of Keep Louisiana Working, stated, quite frankly: “We were stunned to see the amount of money that energy companies contributed to JAZZ PAC that ended up going right out the backdoor to help finance the campaigns of politicians who represent the liberal, anti-energy industry sector wing of the Democrat Party…There’s a saying, ‘if you want to know someone’s priorities, look at how they spend their money.'” There’s another old saying, too,–with “friends” like Ms. Landrieu, who needs enemies?
Landrieu, said Strassel, has gotten more than $1 million in donations since 2004, including money from Marathon Oil, Murphy Oil, Sunoco, and Coastal Land and Drilling. And she also said: “Ms. Landrieu repays that support by funneling their money into the campaigns of members who routinely vote to undermine Louisiana oil and gas.” Landrieu’s PAC has given money to California’s Barbara Boxer, who, last September, carried on in the Senate in opposition to the approval of the Keystone pipeline and she gave $15,000 to Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island, who is a big, big fan of more oil and gas taxes. She has also funneled out money to Illinois’ Dick Durban, Maryland’s Ben Cardin, Vermont’s Patrick Leahy and others. Strassel said, quite forthrightly: “Name an anti-oil-and-gas Democrat, and JAZZ PAC has helped him get elected…Ms. Landrieu has become adept over the years at telling Louisianians what they want to hear, even as she provides reliable support for the party’s more liberal priorities–on Obamacare, spending, and plenty else. Her JAZZ PAC contributions are a truer indicator of her beliefs.” Lady, you sure got that right! Sadly, Ms. Landrieu ain’t all she claims to be. Her rhetoric tells folks here in Louisiana what tickles their ears while what she does, in fact, cuts their economic throats.
Another article, this one on http://thehayride.com says pretty much the same thing. The headline for the article is: “Mary Landrieu’s Fraudulent ‘Support’ Of The Oil and Gas Industry.” Toward the end of the article it is noted that: “It’s just dumb for the oil and gas industry to continue giving Landrieu money and support when she’s re-gifting it to the Menendezes, Durbans, abd Boxers of the world…Oil and gas is being played for a sucker by Louisiana’s senior senator. It’s long past time the industry woke up and started demanding a lot more from her for its continued support.” Landrieu has been busy doing what most socialists do–making sure the conservatives get all the fancy rhetoric while the ultra-liberals get all the real action. No matter what she says, or how loudly she protests, this lady does not have the real interests of the working people of Louisiana at heart. She is nothing more than another big-spending progressive (socialist) and she will follow Obama’s agenda slavishly, all the while she pretends to follow ours. I sincerely hope the good people of Louisiana have enough sense to show her the door on election day and tell her not to let it hit her backside on the way out. Of course whether that happens may well depend on who gets to count the votes.