Dear Louisiana Tea Partiers,
Daily Comet: You’ve stated you support banning congressional earmarks, correct?
Jeff Landry: The issue is completely moot. The Republican majority voted unanimously to continue the current moratorium on earmarks.
(In other words, regardless of Landry’s own beliefs, the issue is moot, and even if he had supported targeted earmarks for Louisiana recovery, unfortunately, he’s already been completely neutered by the Republican majority).
Daily Comet: According to The Times-Picayune, current and former Louisiana lawmakers say an earmark ban could undermine the state’s ability to corral federal dollars and direct the Army Corps of Engineers to pay attention to the state’s special hurricane-protection and flood-control needs.
Jeff Landry: I completely disagree with that. That is not completely true. The entire Louisiana Republican house delegation supported the moratorium; therefore if it was any of them, then I can’t understand why they would make that comment. Who said it?
Daily Comet: Sen. Mary Landrieu is a supporter of earmarks, for example.
Jeff Landry: That is not surprising; she is a big tax-and-spend legislator. That’s how she got the Louisiana purchase and we ended up with Obamacare.
My special comment here: We’ve had a number of woefully unqualified and unethical people somehow find themselves representing the State of Louisiana. Jeff Landry may be a nice guy. I’ve never met him. But clearly, obviously, he’s in way over his head. From what I understand, Landry was only elected after running a vicious campaign against a retired National Guard General. Hunt Downer, in my opinion, was and still remains far more qualified for the United States Congress than Jeff Landry, and so did my friend Ravi Sangesitty. Mr. Landry appears to be nothing more than an empty suit: Confusing specifically earmarked money for disaster recovery with health care reform; maligning an attempt at equalizing and ensuring fairness in Louisiana Medicaid disbursements as if it is tantamount to corruption (seriously, what an insult; the “Louisiana Purchase” plan to which he alluded was embraced by our Republican Governor)– employing the language and the innuendo of the fringe-right in order to promote his own sense of ideological purity while completely missing the issue and undermining the people to whom he was elected to serve. Steve Scalise and John Fleming may welcome Mr. Landry with open arms, but the rest of our delegation needs to be careful: Thus far, there’s been absolutely no evidence that Landry understands the complicated issues with which he’s dealing.
Bad news. Per the D trip:
Today, Representative-elect Jeff Landry failed the first test of his commitment to fiscal responsibility when the House Republican Conference approved Representative Hal “Prince of Pork” Rogers (R-05) to Chair the House Appropriations Committee. His hometown newspaper has called Representative Rogers the “Prince of Pork,” as a result of his 135 earmarks at a cost of $246 million in the past two years alone.
“Representative-elect Jeff Landry is responsible for supporting the “Prince of Pork” and his 135 earmarks as the chairman of the House’s spending committee,” said Ryan Rudominer of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Every day it becomes more clear that Representative-elect Jeff Landry and House Republicans are already breaking their promise to voters to get spending back on track.”
Representative Rogers and his Republican allies were responsible for turning record budget surpluses of the 1990’s into record deficits.
Highlights of Hal Rogers Fiscally Irresponsible Record
Rogers Was Named the “Prince of Pork” by Kentucky Paper. In February 2005, the Lexington Herald-Leader wrote an article entitled, “Prince of Pork; Hal Rogers Hauls Home Tax Dollars by the Billions.” The story details Rogers’ history of being an old-fashioned politician who doles out earmarks to his supporters. Rogers’ aides estimate that Rogers has doled out $2.4 billion in earmarks since 1999. [Lexington Herald-Leader, 2/06/05]
Earmarks Galore. Rogers has pushed through 135 earmarks at a cost of $246 million in the past two years, alone. “The tiny airport that received $17 million in federal dollars but has so little traffic that the last commercial airline pulled out in February. And then there’s the Hal Rogers Parkway, which was formerly known as the Daniel Boone Parkway before being renaming for Kentucky’s Prince of Pork.” [ABC News, 12/6/10]
Rogers wants taxpayer help for cheetahs. “U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, is sponsoring a bill to give $5 million a year to conservation groups that work overseas on behalf of endangered “great cats and rare canids,” such as cheetahs, lions and Ethiopian wolves. One group interested in applying, should Rogers’ bill become law, is the Namibia-based Cheetah Conservation Fund. Its grants administrator, Allison Rogers, is the congressman’s daughter.” [Lexington Herald Leader, 7/26/10]
Citizens Against Government Waste Names Rep. Hal Rogers August Porker of the Month in August. “Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) August Porker of the Month for sponsoring legislation that could give federal funding to his daughter’s nonprofit organization, which promotes overseas wildlife protection for cheetahs.” [CAGW, August 2010]
Rogers’ Son Was Hired By Firm While Rogers Helped Them Secure a $4 Million Contract. In 2004, Rogers’ son, John, was hired by Senture, a company that works on call centers. During the same time, Rogers was helping the company secure a $4 million contract. Additionally, company president Christopher Deaton gave $4,200 in campaign contributions to Rogers on September 3, 2005. [CQ MoneyLine, moneyline.cq.com, accessed 2/12/09; New York Times, 5/2/06]
Landry hates earmarks, remember? Apparently, though, he only hates them when they benefit Louisiana. Must make the Tea Party proud!