In another sign that U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, is the presumptive opponent for Congressman Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, in this fall’s GOP primary, the Boustany camp fired off an email Monday afternoon accusing Landry of taking credit for legislative achievements with which the freshman lawmaker had nothing to do. Well-known by now is the fact that Landry’s 3rd Congressional District will cease to exist next year and his hometown of New Iberia will absorbed into Boustany’s 7th CD; if Landry wants to remain in Congress he’ll have to defeat Boustany this fall. Evidently Boustany senses the inevitability of a tilt against the Tea Party fave.
Issued by Boustany Communications Director Neal Patel, Monday’s message throws Landry’s own press releases back at him. Specifically, Landry’s office recently announced that per “the request of Congressman Jeff Landry (R, LA-03), the U.S. House Budget Committee has added language to its Fiscal Year 2013 budget that would fully allocate all Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) proceeds for its intended purpose: dredging our nation’s waterways. The Committee also followed Landry’s appeal that no funding be allocated to any effort which forces entities to violate their religious beliefs.”
Hogwash, says Boustany’s press director: “Both of these statements are completely false. Unfortunately, these lies are being peddled as truth ...”
Oh no he di’int! Did Boustany’s dude just call the Honorable Jeff Landry a liar? Indeed he did, and Patel goes to great length in the Monday email to set the record straight on allocations for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.
Here’s the remainder of the email:
The House Budget Committee’s language for Fiscal Year 2013 (H. Con. Res. 112) does not provide any authority or direction to the House Appropriations Committee to increase annual funding levels for harbor maintenance. Per the language of the FY 2013 Budget Resolution Report:
“In addition, the budget acknowledges the importance of maintaining our ports and waterways to encourage commercial deep-draft navigation and economic competitiveness. In fiscal year 2012, a total of $898 million was appropriated from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund [HMTF], an increase of $109 million over the administration’s request. However, there continues to be a large balance in the fund and outstanding harbor maintenance needs.”
As you can see, the Report merely mentions the HMTF with an acknowledgement. That is a far cry from allocating funds.
Rep. Landry is misleading the public in an attempt to score political points and claim glory for non-existing achievements. For more detail on this fallacy, please read the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Fairness Coalition’s statement.
Rep. Landry’s statements above give the perception the problems surrounding the dredging of our nation’s ports have been solved. This couldn’t be further from the truth. To the contrary, the fight to protect our ports needs more support now than ever before. Industry leaders, government leaders in Congress, and job creators must still work together to ensure our ports are protected.
The most viable plan solution moving forward is H.R. 104, the RAMP Act, which was introduced by Rep. Boustany. It addresses the needs of our nation’s ports while garnering broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
Our Wednesday cover story, “Frankly Speaking,” lays out the case that Rep. Landry is trying so hard to build name recognition in Boustany’s 7th Congressional District that he broke federal law. Stay tuned.
MAY 20 This post by blogger CB Forgotston draws parallels between Gov. Bobby Jindal and two individuals he probably doesn't want to be aligned with: President Obama and former governor Edwin Edwards. CB says Jindal's trying to jack up the debt ceiling (an Obama play, according to CB) and buy votes from GOP leges who normally wouldn't go for that (an Edwards play, CB says).
MAY 20 Here's a post in the Baptist Message from an alumnus of Louisiana College. The author, Larry Burgess, calls on the leadership of the private school to take care of some pressing problems. Physical plant issues are critical and unaddressed, some faculty make so little they need government health care, and there is an atmosphere that does not encourage honest discussion, he writes. It's time to get things back in order, he says.
MAY 20 This post in Gambit tells of a benefit concert scheduled to raise money for the 19 people shot during a Mother's Day second line on Frenchmen Street in NOLA. Among them was Gambit blogger Deb Cotton, who spoke frequently about violence in the city and reported on the city's second line culture. Gambit's foundation, along with other NOLA non-profits, also is selling t-shirts to raise money for the victims.
MAY 20 Blogger Robert Mann is critical of the personal interest some legislators take in their work here, sharing the comments one NOLA solon made in explaining his decision to vote against a bill that would require people to stop discriminating against female workers. His wife might lose some salary, so he was going to have to vote against the equal pay bill, Conrad Appel said. Appel and everyone who heard him should have been ashamed, but they weren't, and that's what is wrong in that building, Mann argues.
MAY 20 American Press columnist Jim Beam writes about the budget again here, urging kudos for the House and its efforts to try to fix the budget as opposed to passing on a flawed and messy rubber-stamped document as it usually does. The Senate already is poo-pooing the effort, but instead Senators should be trying to find a way to improve it as well, Beam argues. He also has some predictions in here from LABI and CABL.
MAY 20 Here's a link to the photo gallery from Tulane's graduation this past weekend. Dr. John and Allen Toussaint played together and received honorary degrees. The Dalai Lama was so entranced by their performance he got up from his seat and walked across the stage to stand next to them. He even participated in a second line with his own personal, saffron-colored umbrella. To the graduates, he urged them to think about creating a peaceful, hopeful life and society.
MAY 20 This Picayune story questions the rhetoric of NOLA officials who say the city, aside from having a "murder problem," is safe. The talking points generally are that the criminals are killing each other, but everything else is OK. The police chief there says that even Lafayette is more dangerous than NOLA. But crime experts interviewed here say that NOLA's numbers indicate one of two things: either people are so used to violence they don't report it, or somebody's "fudging the numbers."
MAY 20 The Advocate's Mark Ballard writes about some of the background maneuvering that took place during the development of budget alternatives in the Legislature. From Rep. Joel Robideaux being called a "tax and spend liberal" to robo-call influence, Ballard lets us in on some of the work that happens behind the scenes but usually doesn't make it into the Advocate's daily coverage of the session.
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