Thursday, 18 April 2013 20:45

Will Louisiana Sen. Landrieu gun control votes kill her re-election hopes?

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landrieuWill Wednesday’s gun control vote in the U.S. Senate be the death-knell for senior Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, a democrat from New Orleans?


Will her vote in favor of background checks against assault  weapons ban be more remembered come election day, next November, than her vote

No doubt, there are some in this raw-red state who are claiming she’s now toast.  However, some of those  making that claim are merely engaged in wishful thinking and are out of the mainstream of American politics today that they are turning the Republican Party into born-again losers, nationally.  Or, as Governor Bobby Jindal likes to call it, the "stupid party".  However, their voices resonate right at home here in what many describe as the country’s most conservative state.

Then, there are others in this state who make up the Senators's base who will insist that Senator  Landrieu toe the Obama and national Democratic Party line on all issues.   The downside for their insistence could be two republican U.S. Senators from Louisiana.

So, what will be the impact of the Landrieu votes?

Here is Senator Landrieu’s statement following her gun control vote followed by two columns from the Washington Post with interesting but differing opiniions. 



U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today voted for common-sense legislation that strengthens and clarifies Second Amendment rights and helps reduce gun violence. However, Sen. Landrieu voted against the assault weapons ban and restrictions on the size of magazines, saying these provisions went too far. She released the following statement:

“The Manchin-Toomey compromise was a hard-fought but balanced approach that would reduce gun violence and make it much harder for criminals and mentally ill individuals to access guns. Currently, guns can be purchased online and at gun shows without any background check whatsoever, leaving a gaping hole in our gun protection system. However, even with my support, the measure did not garner the 60 votes necessary for passage in the Senate. I believe that we must do a better job of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. I’m confident that most people understand the importance of closing this loophole while preserving the rights of law abiding individuals to own and use guns for hunting, sport and self-protection,” Sen. Landrieu said.


“In addition, the Manchin-Toomey amendment, happily for gun enthusiasts, explicitly prohibited the federal government from creating a national registry of gun owners; it benefited the approximately 950 licensed gun dealers in Louisiana by putting them on a level playing field by eliminating the unfair advantage now enjoyed by unlicensed and online dealers; and it clarified that veterans can purchase a gun at their duty station as well as in their home state.”

Law enforcement officials from across Louisiana supported the Manchin-Toomey legislation and praised Sen.Landrieu for her vote today.


“The legislation that the Senate voted on today provides law enforcement with the tools we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable, while respecting the rights of law abiding citizens. We appreciate Sen. Landrieu's leadership and courage in seeking to give us the support we need to keep our communities safe,” St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin Jr.and St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre said.


“Sen. Landrieu’s vote to help us reduce gun violence and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally challenged is much appreciated by law enforcement officials in Natchitoches Parish,” Natchitoches Sheriff Victor Jones said.


Sen. Landrieu also was praised by hunters and sportsmen for her vote today.


"We commend Senator Landrieu's support of Louisiana's sportsmen by voting to keep guns in the hands of hunters and shooters while keeping them out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill,” said Gaspar Perricone, Director of the Bull Moose Sportsmen's Alliance.


Louisiana natives Sandy and Lonnie Phillips the mother and step-father of Jessica Ghawi, who was killed in the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., also thanked Sen. Landrieu for her support of efforts to reduce gun violence.


“Our family’s story shows that gun violence is an issue not bounded by state lines. We are grateful that Sen. Landrieu voted in favor of this common-sense legislation for the families of Louisiana and for families throughout the nation that are affected by gun violence all too often,” the Phillips said.


Since she was swept into office in the 1996 reelection of fellow Southern Democrat Bill Clinton, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu has been playing the “moderate Democrat” game. She talks like a moderate back home, dodges big votes (e.g. card check) and votes with her liberal leadership on everything else that matters....

...She’s now racked up a record identical to liberals Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and Richard J. “Dick” Durbin of Illinois with regard to the first stimulus, Obamacare, the hugely irresponsible 2014 Senate budget, her refusal to repeal the Obamacare medical device tax (79 of her colleagues thought otherwise) and her rubber-stamping of Obama’s two liberal Supreme Court justice appointments and the appointment of the unqualified Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense. Overall, she has earned a 20.5 rating from the American Conservative Union; her Republican colleague Sen. David Vitter scored higher than 90.

On Wednesday — unlike moderate Sens...she voted for the background check amendment. Brad Dayspring, the communications director for the National Republican Senate Committee, remarked to me, “Mary Landrieu seems to have no concept of what the people in her state need, want and expect. She’s been in Washington too long, founding a D.C. chapter of the Landrieu dynasty rather than talking to people back at home. Landrieu’s lost touch.”

Certainly, that will be the argument in her reelection race. In a recent Louisiana poll “37 percent said they would definitely vote for her – nearly identical to the 34 percent who said they would definitely vote for someone. Fifty-six percent of respondents, including 74 percent of whites, said they were less likely to vote for Landrieu because of her support for President Obama’s health care reform.”...

Jennifer Rubin | Washington Post 

On the Senate floor, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) spoke of the political courage of Mr. Manchin and Mr. Toomey. Also on the list is Mr. McCain himself, who pushed against the political head winds to vote for the proposal, along with Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and red-state Democrats Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Mary Landrieu (La.). Though it seems odd to call what should have been an easy vote a courageous one, 46 of their colleagues failed that test.




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