Tuesday, 08 April 2014 19:00

Vance McAllister, Vitter, James O’Keefe scandals debated, and Louisiana poll

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wgsoToday, on WGSO Radio, Bayoubuzz publisher, Stephen Sabludowsky and talk-show host, Jeff Crouere discussed the Vance McAllister scandal that is shocking Louisiana political scene and which has been broadcasted throughout the local and national media. The radio broadcast was webcasted on Bayoubuzz.com via Google Hangout.



Here is the transcription of their discussions.

Also, after the final break, the talk turned to the recent Louisiana political poll showing David Vitter leading the governor’s pack and Mary Landrieu with high-negatives in her upcoming US Senate race for a possible fourth term.

This is a very accurate, yet still not perfect transcription.   Watch the video for accuracy.

Crouere: Joining us now is Steve Sabludowsky, publisher of Bayoubuzz.com. What's going on?

Sabludowsky: How are you doing?

Crouere: We've had a busy morning. Lots of issues on the table. We've talked a lot about the Congressman Vance McAllister and his troubles, and we want to get your thoughts on that. He ran on a Christian, conservative ticket. He had Duck Dynasty support. He's a Republican, a family values man who's been married for 16 years. He was caught on video kissing a married staffer. A lot of folks say to get rid of him, while others are saying that he should be given another chance. What do you come down on?

Sabludowsky: Well, it's just another situation where a family-values person who has gotten into office because of those values has proven that they are not all about family values. I'm going to let the voters decide. He's going to be up for reelection, so let the voters decide. It's not helpful to him, though. I wonder if Robertson is going to come up with a statement about it since he has supported him. It's just a shame. It's another sad day.

Crouere: It doesn't help the state. It's another Louisiana politician in turmoil and controversy. Here's my question to you. David Vitter was involved in his scandal, involving not just an aide but allegedly call girls. He's been able to survive that scandal. Can this guy think in a similar manner and do a press conference with his wife, saying that he's asked for forgiveness from all parts and that he's moving on.

Sabludowsky: Sure. David Vitter wrote a book on how to do this. This Congressman McAllister just needs to read that book. What really bothers me about this is the way in which these people all of a sudden find God right after they get caught. They say that they are trying to get God to help them. Come on! That's an abuse of religion, as far as I am concerned. If you're going to have to go that route, just quit politics. You got caught. To use God or religion for your own personal, political benefit is, I think, disgusting.

Crouere: Let's squeeze in a caller before the end of this segment. Joining us from Atlanta is David Bellinger, aka "the flaming liberal."

Bellinger: Leononce again showed his ignorance and what a liar he is a few minutes ago. President Obama has not proposed raising corporate tax rates. He's proposed lowering corporate tax rates. President Obama has been specific about what corporate loopholes he will plug in order to lower the corporate tax rates. Paul Ryan wants to lower corporate tax rates to 25%, but he won't mention one loophole that he will close.  

Crouere: Hold on. I did hear that closing corporate loopholes was part of Ryan's plan. You're saying it's not?

Bellinger: Yes, it's part of his plan, but he doesn't mention one loophole he wants to close. He talks about it, but he won't give one example.

Crouere: I don't believe in corporate welfare at all. I'm not on board with that one bit.

Bellinger: I watched a Leroy Moyers, I’m sorry, Bill Moyers, Leroy Moyers used to be one of my favorite jockeys.  Bill Moyers, on PBS.  The restaurant industry used to be headed by the house negro Herman Cain. There's a much lower minimum wage for restaurant workers like bartenders, waiters, waitresses, food servers. Many of those people receive government benefits, so it's a form of corporate welfare to the restaurant industry, not raising the minimum wage for many food servers and bartenders. But quickly, Leon referred to me yesterday as a blind liberal. As you know yourself, Leon is a coward. He stopped debating me because I made him look like an ignorant fool. He said he's against people received expanded Medicare because they don't work. In fact, expanded Medicare goes to low income workers.

Crouere: I'm glad you brought that up because it ties in with our other topic of Vance McAllister. Could those who opposed McAllister's belief in expanded Medicaid be one of the reasons why this video was leaked? Some are saying that the real scandal is not the fact that he was kissing an aide, but it was that the laws were broken to release this video. We'll talk more after the break.


Crouere: We're back with another segment. We've been talking about this Congressman and this video. One other aspect of this video: I saw one piece this morning that talked about the fact that this video might have been illegally obtained. It's from his office. Someone has been holding on to it for four months. Suddenly, it gets leaked to a paper in North Louisiana. In the matter of a few minutes, it goes all over the country. Some are questioning how the video was taken and distributed. Also, since this is a federal office, laws might have been broken.

Sabludowsky: I certainly think we should look into that. It's important  to find out if laws have been broken. But this is just speculation, right?

Crouere: Yeah, they are speculating who's behind it. They are also wondering if it can have something to do with the fact that McAllister was in favor of expanding Medicaid. He was taking a position at odds with most of the other leading state Republicans. Maybe he could have been targeted.

Sabludowsky: Certainly, all of this is possible. But until we get real facts in terms of motivations, it's just speculation. I guess you can throw out there that his wife wanted to get this out. We just don't know.  

Crouere: None of this would have been possible if he hadn't engaged in this kind of behavior with his married aide. If he hadn't been exposed as a hypocrite, none of this would even be questioned.  

Sabludowsky: Exactly. Right now, that's issue. The secondary issue is the reelection. We don't know how this is playing out with his family. It's a real shame for the family, for the wife and his, I believe,  three kids.

Crouere: Is it a black eye for Louisiana?

Sabludowsky: Of course. I think it raises the whole David Vitter thing again. Is McAllister going to follow the David Vitter playbook and say that he's already talked about, already apologized to his wife, and already been accepted again. If you look at a lot of Republicans, especially in North Louisiana, it's going be hard for them to say that they can't forgive McAllister when they have forgiven Vitter.

Crouere: It is odd that he's getting all this grief. Yet what he did, when you compare to David Vitter, is really nothing. What he did was wrong, but no laws were broken. If this was just an aide in front of an office, who knows whether it was more than a kiss. Did they have an affair? I don't know the details. But no laws were broken, right?

Sabludowsky: I don't know. I've heard that there may be ethics issues in terms of the House of Representatives. The allegation against Vitter, again, it was statute of limitations, so it never went to court. He said he was going to plead the fifth amendment anyway, so it never came it. The madam committed suicide. We don't know and he won't talk. That was supposedly a felony. We'll see what happens with North Louisiana Republicans. Are they going to go with a different candidate and run against this guy and use it against him, they are going to have a hard time with the David Vitter issue.

Crouere: Let's get back to the phone calls. Brian in Metairie.

Brian: If you put moral away, it seems like everyone is politically motivated. Christie with the bridge, David Vitter, this happening here. None of this was done because they were trying to make values better. It was all done to ruin someone's career.

Sabludowsky: That could very well be. But again, these guys enter politics, some on the premise that they're holier-than-thou. When they do come down, whatever the motivation is, they should be scrutinized.  

Brian: Whatever happens to those who are doing the exposures? It seems like those who get caught are penalized, but for those that are doing these illegal tapings or exposing that involved wrongdoing, are there any penalties?

Crouere: That's a good point. I think usually not. We'll see if this happens here. There's a lot of interest in how this tape came forward; how they got this surveillance tape from a congressional office. It's federal property. We got to be consistent. If there was wrongdoing on behalf of the Congressman, we got to examine if there was wrongdoing on behalf of the person who took the tape and released it.  

Sabludowsky: How would this be a federal offense or some offense in terms of taping?

Crouere: We don't know how the tape was obtained. If it was obtained through illegal measures. If someone paid for the video and these folks obviously didn't know that they were filmed, so...

Sabludowsky: It kind of reminds me of how a very staunch conservative media person went into Mary Landrieu's office during the height of Obamacare under the guise of being a phone repairperson and recorded the office. He was a hero. Whoever did this today, with McAllister, he may have violated some law. Standards ought to be the same.  

Crouere: James O'Keefe had to pay a penalty for that. He was prohibited from traveling, and I think he had to pay a fine. The law prohibits bugging federal office and recording with surveillance footage from a federal office without consent. It could be a felony. There's no whistleblower protection if someone sneaks into a federal office and uses their cell phone to record surveillance footage and then leaks footage to the media. So that's the question - is that what happened here?  

Sabludowsky: When O'Keefe got in trouble, a bunch of Fox News people and others went out and made him a hero. I think that in both situations, if there is a violation of federal law, they should be punished. If it's a violation of the law, the guy who taped it should be punished. O'Keefe should have been punished, and I think he got off a whole lot lighter than he should have. Nobody should make these people heroes.

Crouere: The difference with O'Keefe is that he went into the office under false premises, but he didn't leak any footage. He claimed that he was there to investigate whether the phones were working or Sen. Landrieu was lying about it. I remember during that time, when people tried to call the office, they said "We can't get through to Mary Landrieu!" That's why he went in to investigate, but I don't think he leaked any footage.  

Sabludowsky: What was he doing? He went in there and touched the wires. He goes into a federal office - I don't care whose it is - he takes his phone and starts recording. What was he going to do? Leak it to himself? He was going to send it out by e-mail.  

Crouere: But he had to pay a price for what he did. He was penalized for what he did. I think that this person, if a law was broken, should also be penalized.  

Sabludowsky: He was lionized by Fox News and others. The whole issue is this guy McAllister. What's going happen to him? It's his family, it's a shame. What are the other Republicans going to do? Are they going to attack him and say that he's a sinister?

Crouere: The biggest question is what is Duck Dynasty going to do? More than anything, that's the reason the guy was elected. Let's get back to the phone. Rick from Metairie.  

Rick: If the Democrats were to go in their own closets and get the skeletons out, I believe that we would find a lot more than what we're now seeing in the Republican party. The Democrats are just attacking the Republicans as hard as they can because they're scared to death by the Republicans right now. With that being said, any time you obtain entry into a building under false pretenses and you obtain information, footage, film, whatever, that is a felony in itself.  

Crouere: That's what some are alleging, that a felony was committed here. I don't think we know the details, but it could be something we need to investigate. There's plenty of dirty laundry on the Democratic side, too. We got dirty laundry everywhere in politics. That just goes hand in hand with politics, like red beans and rice. One more caller - James in Metairie.

James: Talk about political motivation. What about the motivation to ruin Bill Clinton's political career? Lucianne Goldberg. David Vitter went, when he was in office, to the French Quarter once or twice a week to get laid while his wife was suffering in the discomfort of pregnancy. As far as I'm concerned, what that filthy David Vitter did, getting laid while his wife was pregnant, was infinitely worse than anything Bill Clinton did with Monica Lewinsky. Looking at an article about McAllister, I guess this woman wanted some payback. It's on the federal election campaign records that she $5,200 to his election campaign in 2013. Imagine that. I guess she wanted a little payback. Maybe she was neglected at home, who knows? But one more thing - Christian, conservative hypocrisy. In the election videos, they showed the family cooking breakfast on Sunday morning. It said, "We eat breakfast as a family every Sunday before we go to church." It says that he's going to uphold the values of faith, family, and country, and promises to take those values to Washington. Then it says he's going to defend our Christian way of life. People, you are being manipulated and used these Christian conservatives phonies, and if you keep doing it, you're going to continue to get the results you've always gotten.

Crouere: Let's take a break and then talk about the poll.


Crouere: Lane Grigsby, a businessman here in Louisiana does an annual poll. He got some interesting results about the Senate race and the Governor race. Why don't you share with our listeners?

Sabludowsky: The poll was conducted by a firm called Magellan Strategies out of Baton Rouge. It's very Republican. Not that it makes a difference as far as the numbers are concerned, but it needs to be said. In terms of the poll, There's no question that Louisiana is a ruby red state. Although many people answered that they were Democrats, they were definitely leaning Republican. Mary Landrieu's total favorable is 41%. That's really negative. She has to get 50.1% and she's pretty far away from that. Keep in mind that you've had a lot of TV commercials blasting her. Since October, you've had the Obamacare situation. She has nine months and 7 million dollars in her campaign fund to get herself back. Cassidy has 25% favorable. Roughly 35% have no idea who this guy is, though. So he needs to define himself. It's going to be hard for him to do that when 7.5 million dollars are being used to define him negatively. That's what this whole debate is going to be about. It's not going to be about Mary Landrieu; it's going to be about Cassidy defining himself at a time when he's being defined. In the Governor's race, David Vitter has a total favorable of 55%. He was in the 70s, but he was also down in the high 30s. The closest opponent would be Mitch Landrieu if he were to decide that he was going to run. It was a match-up; they were basically even. What's important is that Jay Dardenne has a total favorable of 14%, and John Kennedy was way down.

Crouere: We know Dardenne is going to run; we don't know about Kennedy; we don't know if Mitch Landrieu is going to run. That's the 64 million dollar question. Do you think he jumps into the Governor's race while he's still Mayor of New Orleans?

Sabludowsky: In my opinion, it depends on what happens to Mary Landrieu. If she wins, he might be more willing to enter the race. He has 99% name recognition. He said he wasn't going to run...

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Bayoubuzz Staff

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