Here are some of the political items we’re watching:
Voter Fraud in Louisiana
For some reason, the Louisiana GOP is amassing a campaign against voter fraud. Apparently, the LAGOP believes there’s some strange hanky-panky going on at the polls. Jeff Landry, the ex-Tea Party Congressman, who refused to meet with President Obama when the Congressman was office, is leading the charge. He is running for Attorney General for Louisiana. The Louisiana Democrats fail to see the same fraud or any fraud for that matter. Here is the latest from the Louisiana Democratic Party regarding this issue:
Jeff Landry, a Republican candidate for Louisiana Attorney General, is heading up the LAGOP’s “Voter Integrity Program” and making claims about “voter fraud” that are plainly false. Don’t believe us? Just ask our Republican Secretary of State, Tom Schedler, who last year said, “We don’t have anybody committing fraud.”
Landry’s comments are part of a troubling pattern by the LAGOP of making misleading claims that undermine public trust in our elections process and discourage voters from exercising their constitutional rights.
APRIL 2014 -- Congressman John Fleming: “The biggest problem we’ve run into is people double- and triple-voting, and that’s happening everywhere.”
NOVEMBER 2014 -- Rob Maness: “I saw some Democratic door-knockers working hard in St. Louis Cemetery. They don’t plan to leave any vote, or any grave, unturned.”
NOVEMBER 2014 -- Jeff Landry: “We must protect the integrity of the election by making sure every legally cast vote is counted and not diluted by fraud and negligence.”
VILLERE BLASTS OBAMA ON AMNESTY AND THE 97 PERCENTER
Never being the one to let a political opportunity to go astray, shortly after Obama’s speech Thursday night, Roger Villere issued this statement, which of course, takes advantage of two objectives—denounce Obama. Denounce Senator Mary Landrieu
Republican Party of Louisiana Chairman Roger Villere issued the following statement regarding President Obama granting executive amnesty:
“Mary Landrieu opened the door for President Obama to go behind the back of the American people and grant executive amnesty, and tonight he did just that – even though he originally told the American people it would be against the Constitution to do so. Time and again, President Obama has shown he will do whatever it takes to satisfy his political goals, and he has had his favorite Louisiana Democrat, Mary Landrieu, standing by his side to act as a rubber stamp. His abuse of power is at unprecedented levels and the American people deserve better. Dr. Bill Cassidy will be a necessary check on President Obama’s continued abuse of power as Louisiana’s next U.S. Senator, a welcome change from Obama rubber stamp Mary Landrieu.” - LAGOP Chairman Roger Villere
HI, THIS IS YOUR PRESIDENT
It is not every day I get an email from Barack. That is, President Barack Obama, that is. Well, he sent me this email explaining why he is taking action on immigration. He didn’t have to go way out of his way to do that, did he?
Anyway, here is his email.
Think he will read my response?
Right now, I want to tell you why I'm taking action on immigration.
There's no disagreement in Washington that our system is badly broken. That's why a bipartisan majority in the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform. That was more than 500 days ago, but we're still waiting for the House to hold a vote.
Every day we delay, our country and our economy suffer. Millions of families go on living in the shadows, without a chance to pay their taxes or do what's necessary to get on the right side of the law.
So, just like every president in the last 70 years -- Republican and Democrat -- I'm taking steps in my power to help fix this broken immigration system.
If you agree that we can't wait any longer for meaningful action on immigration, join Americans across the country, including supporters of OFA, who are standing up to fight for reform.
Some voices in this debate want to make this issue about me, so I want to be clear about this:
The actions I'm taking today are no substitute for comprehensive reform. Only Congress can finish the job.
But I'm not just going to wait for that day to come. The American people expect solutions from the people they send to Washington. Today, I'm doing what I can to take common-sense steps forward.
Add your name if you're ready to fight for reform:
RICE IS NICE
Democratic US Senator Mary Landrieu, who is trailing in the polls against Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy with now only weeks until judgment day, wants us to know that if you like your rice, you can keep it, since we have plenty. More so, she wants others to keep our rice too. Apparently, Landrieu used her stroke to broker a deal to ensure that Iraq continues buying rice from the United States. This is from the Landrieu campaign:
Local and national news organizations highlighted Senator Mary Landrieu’s leadership on securing a commitment from Iraq to continue buying American rice. A few weeks ago, Iraq had turned down a bid to buy American rice, opting for more expensive South American rice. Senator Landrieu immediately called Stuart Jones, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, and Secretary of State John Kerry to help alleviate this problem, after which Ambassador Jones met with Iraqi trade and agricultural ministers. Earlier this week, Iraq agreed to purchase 120,000 tons of U.S. rice as a result of the meeting.
Louisiana is the third most prolific rice-producing state in the country, as rice is grown in almost half of the state’s parishes. The U.S. is among the top five rice exporters in the world.
Politico Pro: Iraq OK’s U.S. rice buy after uproar, Landrieu’s involvement
By Bill Tomson, November 20, 2014
Iraq has agreed to buy 120,000 tons of U.S. rice after weeks of uproar from farmers and lawmakers over its decision to shun an earlier U.S. bid in favor of more expensive grain from Brazil and Uruguay, USA Rice Federation spokesman Mike Klein said Thursday.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (R-La.) got directly involved in the situation Friday when she called U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones and asked him to try to find out why the Iraqi Trade Ministry’s Grain Board ignored the cheaper U.S. rice, her spokesman said. By Saturday, Jones had met with both the Iraqi trade and agriculture ministers, and by Sunday, Iraq’s tender had closed on a sizable shipment.
“Last week, I heard the concerns of Louisiana rice farmers and pushed the State Department and the U.S. ambassador to Iraq to quickly address the issue,” Landrieu said in a statement to POLITICO. “Our rice farmers are hard-working and just produced one of the best crops we’ve seen in years.”…
Iraq was the second-largest market for U.S. rice in 2006, buying up 380,000 tons, or a little more than a third of its total rice imports. But that trade relationship fizzled after “a variety of technical issues arose with new tender specifications that cut the market off,” the USA RiceFederation said.
Landrieu said she was glad U.S. farmers were chosen to continue to provide their rice at competitive prices.
“After five months of Iraq passing on opportunities to purchase U.S. rice, I hope today’s purchase signals a renewed commitment to our farmers,” Landrieu said. “I appreciate the State Department and Ambassador Jones’ cooperation to assist me and Louisiana farmers.”
The Advertiser: Iraq will buy U.S. rice after all
November 20, 2014
After passing on three bids for U.S. grown rice, Iraq has decided to commit to buying a portion of this year’s crop, U.S. Sen Mary Landrieu’s office said Thursday.
In previous years, Iraq has been a steady customer of American rice, buying approximately 1.5 million metric tons a year. Rice is grown in 30 Louisiana parishes. There are 1,225 rice farm operators and rice mill workers in Louisiana, making the state the third-largest producer in the country, the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Center reported.
Last week, Landrieu, D-New Orleans, called on the State Department and the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Stuart Jones, to take a close look at why the Iraqi Grain Board and the Iraqi Minister of Trade, Mallas al-Hussaini, declined to buy American rice from the 2014 harvest, her office said in a statement issued Thursday.
“Last week, I heard the concerns of Louisiana rice farmers and pushed the State Department and the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq to quickly address the issue,” Landrieu said in a statement. “Our rice farmers are hardworking and just produced one of the best crops we’ve seen in years. They know how to produce some of the best long grain rice in the world, but without a fair international market, their livelihood is put at risk.
“I’m proud to say our farmers have been chosen to continue providing their world-class rice at competitive prices. Today, Iraq purchased more than $75 million of rice from American farmers. After five months of Iraq passing on opportunities to purchase US rice, I hope today’s purchase signals a renewed commitment to our farmers. I appreciate the State Department and Ambassador Jones’ cooperation to assist me and Louisiana farmers.”
In an effort to deflect some of the expected criticism of President Obama’s expected announcement of Executive action regarding immigration reform, Louisiana leaders are joining national conservative and business leaders in calling for the new Congress to address meaningful immigration reform.
LOUISIANA GOP POLITICAL AND BUSINESSES BIZ LEADERS WANT REFORM
Not all republicans are in lockstep with the Louisiana Republican Party and Roger Villere on the issue of immigration reform. Yes, pretty strange in a strange land, but, some business and political leaders are are hoping to get the Immigration Reform movement rolling. This is from “Partnership for a New American Economy “:
The national effort includes such prominent groups as the US Chamber of Commerce (President and CEO Tom Donohue), American Farm Bureau Federation (President Bob Stallman), Americans for Tax Reform (President Grover Norquist) along with individuals such as Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Rand Paul, and more than 100 leading conservative donors including Louisiana’s Boysie Bollinger, CEO of Bollinger Shipyards.
Congressman Vance McAllister of Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District has been a bold spokesperson for immigration reform. He says we don’t need a knee-jerk response in the form of Executive action by the President, but that congressional legislation is needed to fix the broken immigration system.
“Now that the Republicans have strong majorities in both Houses of Congress, it’s important that they take ownership of the solution. We shouldn’t reward anyone who broke laws to come here, but it’s impractical and economically harmful to say we will find and deport 11 million people. Our businesses and farms needs labor and there must be a way for people who learn English, pay fines and taxes and have no criminal records to pay for the services they receive while contributing to our economy. I believe our country is good enough and big enough to make that happen,” he says.
Jim Patterson, Vice President of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, says the business community in Louisiana needs clarity and progress in addressing the immigration issue.
“We are on the cusp of an economic boom in our state and virtually every expert predicts we will have a shortage of workers to fill the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs that our economy will soon be generating. Our nation’s current worker visa program is complicated, inflexible and costly for employers, but it could provide that STEM workforce our state needs if it is improved by Congress. We hope that Louisiana’s congressional delegation will address this with legislation and make this one of its top priorities,” he says.
The Washington Times ran a special section on Immigration Reform on Wednesday that can he found here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/specials/immigration-reform/.