Tuesday, 07 September 2010 13:03
Louisiana Politics: Vitter, Melancon Face Off Tonight At New Orleans Area Forum
Written by  {ga=staffwriters}

stephen sabludowskyThe Louisiana US Senate race showdown-- tonight in New Orleans.

The main feature:  Republican incumbent David Vitter versus Democrat Louisiana Congressman, Charlie Melancon.

In effect, the Louisiana U.S. Senate race begins this evening as the Alliance For Good Government hosts its forum at Loyola University.

All of the candidates hope to get the Alliance For Good Government’s endorsement due to that organization’s clout in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Tammany and St. Bernard Parishes and other adjacent parishes.


Senator Vitter, who hails from Metairie, was the Louisiana Representative from District 81 in Jefferson Parish. He then became US Congressman representing the very conservative Jefferson Parish and St. Tammany areas before being elected to the US Senate.

The Alliance forum is also important to the candidates for another reason.

Ever since Melancon became a candidate for the US Senate race, the two political camps have been playing the “no-show card”.

Last summer during the heat of the healthcare debate, Vitter hit the Internet stump blasting Melancon-- claiming that the democrat was not facing the town hall meetings public while the republican had made numerous appearances.  While the no-show message did resonate, in fairness, many of those town hall events were clearly very-anti President Obama and anti-Democratic Party affairs.  Still, Vitter scored some PR points that has helped him maintain a significant lead over Melancon.

Recently, the tide has somewhat changed although based upon various polls, Vitter’s absence from various events appears not to faze the Louisiana voting public that much.

During the recent heat of the ex-staff Brent Furer furor, Melancon and the Democratic Party lodged an attack that Vitter was dodging questions about that as well as other controversies.   Also, recently Melancon and the demos have been claiming that Sen. Vitter has been dodging televised debates.

But, it appears that both Melancon and Vitter will face the public tonight.  In response to my e-mail inquiry, Sen. Vitter’s spokesman, Luke Bolar confirmed the senator’s presence.  Many have been wondering if and when they would see both major candidates together in front of civic groups and  media discussing the vital issues before us.

So, now, both candidates will faceoff along with the other independent candidates before a live audience--answering questions that many of the voters have for months wanted to ask.

Hopefully, since the Labor Day marker has passed, the US Senate race can begin in earnest so we can compare the philosophical differences and the records of both candidates and certainly those of the other men running for the senate seat.

Now, perhaps we will hear from the candidates themselves and the claims and charges of hiding from the public will be the political past.  Hopefully, we will hear the responses directly from the candidates and not just from proxies and from paid commercials.

With this Senate race being one of the key national elections this year—one in which the control of Congress could be in the balance, let us all say together—“Let the debates begin”.

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