A war of words between fellow Louisiana congressmen Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, and Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, has percolated up to the national level. The Beltway website Politico published a story Sunday evening covering the feud between the pair after each took credit for inserting language concerning port dredging in this year’s budget resolution. Landry earlier fired off a press release taking credit. Boustany’s office shot back with an email of its own essentially calling Landry a liar.

Landry takes a harsher tone in the article than does Boustany, telling Politico, “[Boustany] doesn’t understand hard work. To run on his record, that means he runs on zero. So think about this: This is a four-term, Mr. Powerful, sits-on-Ways-and-Means guy who’s out here picking on some lowly little freshman. Come on, man. He can’t be that worried.”

Of course, we all know what’s really going on: Both politicians are ramping up for what will likely be a bitter contest this fall — Boustany seeking re-election to a fifth term in Congress, Landry looking to unseat him. Politico writers Adam Snider and Jonathan Allen set up the story nicely:

Call it the brawl on the bayou.

One congressman says a fellow Louisiana Republican “doesn’t understand hard work” and “has got some issues.”

The other refuses to talk about just how bad things have gotten.

On the surface, their embitterment is about policy — ports, to be exact. But dredge a little deeper and they’re really fighting for survival.

Reps. Jeff Landry and Charles Boustany had their districts combined when Louisiana lost a seat in reapportionment, and only one will be back in Congress next year.

Their race is fast becoming one of the marquee matchups of 2012 — partly because of the personal animus between the two men and in part because it’s a test of a veteran Republican against a tea party-backed freshman.
Read the Politico story here.

For more background on the fall’s probable fisticuffs between the two, read last week’s Ind cover story, “Frankly Speaking.”

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