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Women for Landrieu, Air Mary, Cassidy's silence
Written by  // Friday, 12 September 2014 13:49 //

landrieu-cassidyWomen, travel and exports-imports are the themes of the day in the Louisiana US Senate race as the Landrieu campaign and the National Republican Senatorial committee have been active in their e-blasting.

 

From Landrieu Campaign; Women for Landrieu

Today, Senator Landrieu’s campaign kicked off the second round of events dedicated to empowering Louisiana women and discussing the issues important to women voters in the election. Senator Landrieu will speak with women leaders from the Jackson, Lincoln, and Union Parishes today for the fifth ‘Women with Mary’ event in the last two months. The initiative consists of 11 statewide events spotlighting Senator Landrieu’s dedication to Louisiana’s women and families. Over 5,000 women are involved in the initiative, representing every parish in Louisiana.

“We’ve come a long way since I first entered public service three decades ago, but as recent events make clear, there’s still so much work left to do to make sure women have the career opportunities, education, healthcare, and protection they need to thrive as leaders,” said Senator Landrieu. “There are 5,000 brave Louisiana women leaders already involved in this initiative, but I hope the number of women leaders just keeps climbing.”

Senator Landrieu began her career as a trailblazer for women when she was elected to the Louisiana State House at age 23. Just five years later, she became the second woman to serve as State Treasurer and was appointed Chair of the Governor’s Commission for Women. Ten years after that, she became the first woman elected to a full term as a Louisiana senator. And today she is the only woman in Louisiana holding a statewide office.

During her time in office, Senator Landrieu has led the fight for wage parity between the sexes. She supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, which address loopholes in wage laws and provide women with tools to challenge unlawful pay discrimination.

For decades, Senator Landrieu has combatted violence against women. In the Louisiana House, she repeatedly proposed legislation targeting domestic violence, and one of her first legislative accomplishments was a law cracking down on sexual battery of minors. She proudly co-sponsored the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act three times and supported initiatives combatting sexual assault in the military.

Louisianians recognize the depth and breadth of Senator Landrieu’s advocacy for women and have rallied at four ‘Women with Mary’ events thus far.

Senator Landrieu added, “I am humbled by the support I’ve already seen from so many women leaders, and I’m looking forward to meeting thousands more. I’m proud to stand alongside these women and I’m tremendously grateful to have their advice, guidance, and support as we work together to make their communities even stronger. The commitment of these women to Louisiana is truly inspiring.”

Productive events have already been held in the North Shore, the River Parishes, Monroe, and Hammond. AfterFriday, the remaining ‘Women with Mary’ events are slated to take place in cities spanning Louisiana, including Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans.

Air Mary from National Republican Senatorial Committee

Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu has been under fire for weeks for billing taxpayers for multiple private air charters to attend campaign fundraisers, which of course is a violation of federal law. 

After multiple reports exposedLandrieu's abuse of taxpayer dollars, the embattled Senator promised a full investigation and audit (overseen by herself, of course).  As the Advocate reported in mid-August, "Moving to defuse a simmering controversy over her use of taxpayer-financed charter flights for campaigning — a violation of federal law — U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said today she has ordered a review of all her air travel in her 18 years in the Senate to make sure no other trips were paid for improperly. ...A Landrieuspokesman said the review will look at all payments from her office account for commercial and charter flights dating to when she took office in January 1997, to make sure the trips were for official Senate business — a legal use of the money. The results of the review will be released publicly by the time the Senate returns on Sept. 8 from its August recess, the spokesman said."

That self-imposed deadline came and went, without any update from Landrieu. This morning, after giving Landrieu all week to keep her promise, the RNC released its own auditdetailing her abuse of taxpayer dollars amid reports that a Friday afternoon news dump was coming from the Landrieu campaign.  

The RNC report details suspicious taxpayer-funded flights that correspond with donations received on the same day of her travel dating back to the year 2000. These suspicious flights are listed below: 

$1·         Exhibit A - 5/31/2000: Landrieu Took A Chartered Flight From New Orleans To Alexandria May 31, 2000, At A Cost Of $1,531.88
 

$1·         Exhibit B – 3/16/2002 – 3/17/2002:Landrieu Took A Chartered Flight From New Orleans To Ruston On March 16, 2002, At A Cost Of $1,343.75.  Landrieu Then Took A Chartered Flight From Monroe To Many Destinations On March 17, 2002 At A Cost Of $1,290.00. NOTE: According To Google Maps, Ruston Is Less Than A 45 Minute Drive From Monroe. (Google Maps, Accessed 8/15/14)
 

$1·         Exhibit C – 4/3/2002 – 4/4/2002:Landrieu Took A Chartered Flight From New Orleans To Deridder And Lafayette On April 3, 2002, At A Cost Of $1,241.09.  LandrieuTook A Round-Trip Flight From Baton Rouge To Lafayette, Ruston, Mansfield, And Alexandria On April 4, 2002, At A Cost Of $2,350.93. 
 

$1·         Exhibit D – 7/22/2005:Landrieu Took A Round-Trip Chartered Flight From New Orleans To Opelousas And Slidell On July 22, 2005, At A Cost Of $950.00.
 

$1·         Exhibit E – 8/21/2005:Landrieu Took A Chartered Flight From Monroe To Alexandria On August 13, 2005, At A Cost Of $1,100.00. NOTE: According To Google Maps, Colfax, Lecompte, Marksville, Winnfield, And Natchitoches Are Less Than A One Hour Drive From Alexandria. Landrieu Took A Round-Trip Chartered Flight From Houma To Slidell And Lafayette On August 21, 2005, At A Cost Of $1,325.00.
 

$1·         Exhibit F – 8/25/2005: Landrieu Took A Chartered Flight From Slidell To Lake Charles, Jennings, And Baton Rouge On August 25, 2005, At A Cost Of $1,655.00. 
NOTE: According To Google Maps, Plaquemine And White Castle Are Within 45 Minutes Of Baton Rouge.
 

$1·         Exhibit G – 5/18/2008:Landrieu Took A Round-Trip Chartered Flight From New Orleans To Monroe On May 18, 2008, At A Cost Of $2379.88. NOTE: According To Google Maps, Rayville Is Less Than A 30 Minute Drive From Monroe.
 

$1·         Exhibit H – 8/14/2008: Landrieu Took A Chartered Flight From New Orleans To Shreveport And Baton Rouge On August 14, 2008, At A Cost Of $2365.69. NOTE:  According To Google Maps, Plain Dealing Is Less Than A 45 Minute Drive From Shreveport.

Mary Landrieu billed taxpayers nearly $15,000 for these flights. The payoff for her campaign? $136,627. Sounds like quite a deal.  Our flight crew has been making sure that Senator Landrieu is getting the type of service she has grown accustomed to while "Air Mary" remains grounded. In light of this audit, sounds like it will remain that way for a while. 

"New details reveal that Mary Landrieu took suspicious taxpayer-funded flights that correspond with donations she received on the same day of her travel dating back to 2000,"said NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen. "These taxpayer funded flights are just another sign that Mary Landrieu has been in Washington for far too long."

Cassidy silence on export-import bank from Landrieu campaign

For 57 days, Congressman Bill Cassidy has refused to support re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank, which provides loans, loan guarantees, and insurance policies to Louisiana businesses, making it easier to export products abroad. While the Bank’s charter expires in 18 days — risking 283,000 Louisiana jobs, more than 400 Louisiana businesses indirectly affected by re-authorization, and Louisiana’s status at the nation’s sixth-largest exporter — Congressman Cassidy's inaction continues to hold Louisiana’s economy hostage.
 
“The clock is literally ticking for Louisiana businesses and the only way thousands of Louisianians could avoid being laid off is if Congressman Cassidy and his friends in the House finally stop gambling with the paychecks of hard-working families and give them the tools to continue doing their jobs,” said Fabien Levy, Communications Director for the Landrieu campaign. “While Congressman Cassidy continues to hold Louisiana businesses hostage, it seems a last-minute, temporary extension will be the only deal that will bail Congressman Cassidy out from taking a vote that supports our workforce.”
 
For nearly two months, Senator Landrieu has repeatedly called for Congress to re-authorize the Export-Import Bank and earlier this week sent a letter to leaders in the Senate and House to move forward on re-authorization before the charter expires at the end of the month. Senator Landrieu has been fighting for re-authorization since July, but Congressman Cassidy has refused to take a stand despite supporting re-authorization in the past.

Earlier this week, Politico reported that House Speaker John Boehner has indicated the House will temporarily extend the Bank’s charter, with an authorization end date not yet set, leaving Louisiana businesses in limbo. While Congressman Cassidy still has yet to come forward and support re-authorization, the Chairman of the Committee on Financial Services, Texas Representative Jeb Hensarling, this week came out and publicly supported an extension of the Bank’s charter. Chairman Hensarling joins other prominent Republicans across the nation who have endorsed the Bank, including Louisiana Congressman Charles Boustany (LA-03) and Texas Governor Rick Perry, both whom have endorsed Congressman Cassidy for Senate.
 
Since 2007, the Bank has supported $2 billion in exports from Louisiana companies, which is why businesses across the state have publicly come out to support re-authorization, as has the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
 
The Bank charter has been reauthorized 16 times throughout history, under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Ford, Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush, and — when Congressman Cassidy last supported it — Obama. And yet Congressman Cassidy refuses to take a position, instead hiding behind the actions of his colleagues.
 
At this point, Congressman Cassidy has been asked about re-authorizing the Export-Import Bank by the Associated PressThe New Orleans Times-Picayune, and the Shreveport Times, and dodged questions by each outlet. The Baton Rouge Advocate also wrote an editorial criticizing Congressman Cassidy for changing positions on the Export-Import Bank just because he has a Tea Party challenger to his right who opposes re-authorization, stating that Senator Landrieu is “right” to support the Bank and that “despite the political hurdles, we think Cassidy ought to” as well.
 
Levy added, “The disastrous consequences of Congressman Cassidy’s refusal to support re-authorization of the Bank may be narrowly avoided despite the Congressman’s best efforts to hurt Louisiana businesses. It’s time for Congressman Cassidy to end the indecisiveness and opposition that have only threatened Louisiana businesses and risked the jobs of 283,000 Louisiana workers and support a full re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank.”
 
Senator Landrieu has formed an online petition so Louisianians can urge Congressman Cassidy to support re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank. The petition can be signed HERE.

In addition to refusing to tell voters and the media whether he’ll support re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank, Congressman Cassidy has also refused to state whether he supports a flat tax that would impose additional taxes on middle-class Louisianians, whether he will work to reduce the cost of a college education for Louisiana students and families by supporting the “Passport to the Middle Class,” and why he compared 2,000 workers in the oil and gas industry to communists and is working to put them out of work.

Congressman Cassidy has refused to tell voters why he:

• Thinks oil and gas jobs equate to communism for 11 days,
• Won’t support Louisiana businesses and workers for 57 days,
• Won’t reduce the cost of a college education for 95 days, and 
• Wants to raise taxes on middle-class families for 466 days.

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