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Monday, 28 April 2014 12:09
Cassidy, Bollinger and Landrieu: the money and commercials talk
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landrieu-tea-partyA new ad for Mary Landrieu stars the Chairman, President, and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards. In the video, he says: "I have over 3,000 employees, and even though I'm a Republican and don't always agree with her, Louisiana can't afford to lose Mary Landrieu. She's chairman of the Energy Committee, the most powerful position a person can have for Louisiana. It means more boats, more jobs, and more oil and gas."

 Already in 2013, Bollinger announced that he was going to support Landrieu. Then, he said: "Any challenger to Sen. Landrieu will have a hard time building support as more and more prominent business leaders back her. People know that at the end of the day, Mary always fights for our state.” While Landrieu is a Democrat, and Bollinger is a Republican who doesn’t always agree with her, in his own words, his support is not that surprising. In addition to chairing the Senate Energy Committee, Landrieu is a, according to The Hill writer Laura Barron-Lopez, a “pro-fossil-fuels senator [who] is bent on pushing forward legislation that will help Louisiana, and other coastal states, receive revenue from increased offshore development of oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico."

The good relationship between Landrieu and Bollinger goes further back than Landrieu’s Energy Committee chairmanship and reelection campaign, though. In 2011, Landrieu signed a bill that gave Bollinger Shipyard a $358 million contract to build six new U.S. Coast Guard cutters. In 2012, Bollinger thanked her for this decision that he thought would benefit not only his company, but also Louisiana and the U.S. He also said that Landrieu, at that time chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, was in a unique position of influence, and that Bollinger was "proud to contribute to our country’s safety and security" by building the Coast Guard ships.

While Landrieu, who has been considered to be the most vulnerable Democrat in the U.S. Senate during this election season, is pleased with Bollinger’s support, others are not so happy. According to a NOLA.com article, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-Baton Rouge), Landrieu’s major opponent in the election, the ad “tells us a lot about how central a role she (Landrieu) believes the government should play in our daily lives.” Furthermore, Cassidy believes that “this is exactly what’s wrong with Washington.” He argues that “we need fairness and a level playing field for all; not a Washington insider’s system, like Senator Landrieu’s, where only those in government and those with enough money are the winners.”

However, some might argue that Cassidy’s response is pure politics.  Cassidy has received $3,507,247 in individual contributions for his campaign; $3,156,402 come from large individual contributions. More detailed numbers concerning contributions to the Cassidy campaign can be seen here. Mary Landrieu’s numbers can be seen here.

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