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(Exempt Mary) Landrieuís gavel comes with risks
The Hill ^ | 2/13/14 | Alexandra Jaffe, Laura Barron-Lopez

Posted on 02/14/2014 4:04:38 AM PST by Libloather

Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) new powers as chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee could end up being a double-edged sword for her already-difficult reelection chances.

The Bayou Democrat took over the plum post on Wednesday evening, which could allow her to push legislation popular back home that boosts the oil industry, all while distancing herself from an unpopular President Obama.

But it also raises the pressure on her to deliver for home-state constituents. If she falters, her pitch risks ringing hollow as voters questions her ability to deliver.

Republicans like Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere are already pledging to make her chairmanship a liability.

“For years she has donated to anti-energy Senators and helped keep Harry Reid and his anti-energy team in control of the Senate,” Villere said in a release to be issued Thursday. An early copy was provided to The Hill.

“She has consistently put special interests above what’s best for Louisiana’s energy economy,” added Villere, who called Landrieu’s chairmanship “the epitome of hypocrisy.”

Meanwhile, on the left, Landrieu risks tensions with green groups that had signaled a tentative cease-fire with the Democrat.

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, who spent $8 million on the Virginia race for governor last year, showed a willingness to target Landrieu for her support of Keystone XL pipeline, putting her in a tough spot on an issue she may be pressured to move on as chairwoman.

Landrieu’s supporters see the chairmanship as concrete evidence of the benefits of her seniority. The chairmanship gives her more power to set the agenda on energy issues going forward, they say.

“There is a difference between casting a vote and setting policy for the nation, especially for a state like Louisiana that’s at the forefront of national gas discovery and production,” a Landrieu aide said.

Whether the chairmanship boosts or hinders Landrieu could determine which party holds the Senate.

Landrieu’s seat is a must-win for Republicans if they hope to with back the majority, and a poll out this week showed her neck-and-neck with her likely GOP opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy (La.).

Industry experts expect Landrieu to pursue an ambitious agenda as chairman of the committee, especially with a critical ally, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), as her ranking member.

Landrieu has described the U.S. as having a “renaissance’” in energy, with domestic crude oil production surpassing imports for the first time in nearly 20 years.

She’s eager to play a major role in shaping new policies, but will face obvious challenges in getting anything done.

One of her top priorities has been a measure that would allow for increased oil and gas revenues from offshore development in the Gulf of Mexico to go to energy-producing coastal states like Louisiana.

Matt Lee-Ashley, a senior fellow at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, thinks the senator will push the measure in her new post, but her efforts may not bear fruit before the election.

“I think she will push very hard to get something on revenue sharing through committee but it will be hard to get much further than that before November, given its immense price tag and the opposition it faces,” Lee-Ashley said.

Divides within the GOP over lifting a decades-old crude oil export ban means Landrieu may be unable to move legislation on that issue either, he said.

It could also be difficult to move forward because of differences among Democrats. Landrieu will have to contend with liberal committee members like Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).

The Landrieu aide pushed back at that suggestion, however, arguing that Republicans are to blame for any inaction.

“If Republicans want to make this an unproductive Congress that's their choice but that's not going to stop Sen. Landrieu from staying focused on Louisiana and fighting to pass flood insurance relief, building the Keystone pipeline and increasing domestic energy production,” the aide said.

Oil industry leaders say their patience with Landrieu is running out and that her chairmanship ups the ante for her to deliver.

“She still has substantial support within the oil and gas industry, but she’s been given 17 years. Some of her previous supporters are looking at this and saying, we think Cassidy could do a better job,” said Ragan Dickens, communications director of Louisiana Oil & Gas Association.

“Now that she is in this driver’s seat the industry does want to see some action,” he added.

While the Louisiana Oil and Gas itself is nonpartisan, its president, Don Briggs, hosted a fundraiser for Cassidy.

Still, Louisiana political observers say she shouldn’t shy away from the power the post gives her.

J. Bennett Johnston Jr., a former Louisiana Democratic senator who held the same post when he was in office, said his advice has been to tout her position frequently on the campaign trail.

“I would tell her — and I have told her, and she is doing it on her own — to tell the truth about the power of the committee,” he said. “Just talk about what the jurisdiction is, what she can do for the state in the position.”

He added that he doesn’t believe the Republican arguments of hypocrisy will hold any water with the energy industry there.

“There’s no chink in that armor. You can’t get Mary Landrieu on being anything but pro-energy, and I think that will come across in Louisiana, especially as she leads the Energy Committee,” he said.

But Bernie Pinsonat, a prominent state pollster who has clients from both parties, warned that may still not be enough in a state that’s moving away from Democrats.

“Energy may be a positive, but the question is, is it enough? Will it be enough to divert Louisiana voters’ attention, or will enough voters think this is more important than her vote for ObamaCare?” he said.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: energy; exempt; la; landrieu
1 posted on 02/14/2014 4:04:39 AM PST by Libloather
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To: Libloather

Does anyone actually think that this cynical committee switcheroo is anything but a nakedly political attempt to save her a$$ in Louisiana?

2 posted on 02/14/2014 4:09:37 AM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: Libloather
Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, who spent $8 million on the Virginia race for governor last year, showed a willingness to target Landrieu for her support of Keystone XL pipeline, putting her in a tough spot on an issue she may be pressured to move on as chairwoman.

And I also noted this----why isn't the IRS and FEC climbing all over him?

Rhetorical question, of course.

3 posted on 02/14/2014 4:12:19 AM PST by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: Libloather

Why don’t GOP ads feature Tom Steyr, the billionaire donor to Democrat Leftists, like Democrats’ ads feature the much-maligned Koch brothers, who contribute to conservative candidates? More billionaires contribute to Democrats than Republicans and that fact should be high-lighted for the clueless low-information voters.

4 posted on 02/14/2014 4:13:28 AM PST by txrefugee
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To: Timber Rattler

Does anyone actually think that this cynical committee switcheroo is anything but a nakedly political attempt to save her a$$ in Louisiana?

ah DUH

5 posted on 02/14/2014 4:20:37 AM PST by Undecided 2012
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To: Libloather
Key statement in the article:

"One of her top priorities has been a measure that would allow for increased oil and gas revenues from offshore development in the Gulf of Mexico to go to energy-producing states like Louisiana"

Landrieu is a big supporter of royalty sharing. Giving the coastal state a share of the royalty generated from producing O&G in federal waters off of the state's coast.

To that end, it is the combined power of Landrieu as majority chairman and Lisa Markowski as minority chairman. The two states that would benefit most from royalty sharing are Louisiana and Alaska.

6 posted on 02/14/2014 4:34:14 AM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: txrefugee

Obama’s billionaires:

Obama’s largest billionaire donor investor Leo Blavatnik

Rob Walton
George Soros
Waarren Buffett
telecom billionaire Irwin Jacobs
Chicago media mogul Fred Eychaner
Billionaire heir Jon Stryker
Billionaire media entrepreneur Haim Saban
Penny Pritzker, the Hyatt hotel billionaire
James Crown, scion of the billionaire Henry Crown investments family
Marc Lasry, hedge fund billionaire
Tom Steyer, San Francisco hedge funder
Cynthia Ryan, a principal at the investment firm Schooner Capital
Sandor Straus, a prominent investment manager
billionaire insurance magnate Peter Lewis
Big Taco baron Rob McKay

Hollywood billionaire magnates:
Steven Spielberg
Steve Bing
Jeffrey Katzenerg
Harvey Weinstein
JJ Abrams
Kathleen McGrath
Larry Mendonca

7 posted on 02/14/2014 4:34:55 AM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Libloather

Rats will pull out all the stops to keep Landrieu in place. They know if the LA seat turns GOP, it should stay GOP for the foreseeable future.

8 posted on 02/14/2014 5:16:54 AM PST by randita
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To: Libloather

I doubt the people of LA can understand how Landrieu funnels money to anti-oil senators.

9 posted on 02/14/2014 10:29:51 AM PST by Theodore R. (Alas: TX Republicans to endorse Cornball and George P! Stay tuned March 4)
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To: All
WRT the botched ObamaCare rollout — Sen Landrieu (Dim-LA) ran an ad featuring her "anger" at Obama for "breaking his promise" — she calculatedly pivots to attacks on the GOP over healthcare.

In Landrieu, we bear witness to the offensive, twisted mind of a Democrat---- Landrieu proves why Dems should never, ever get even close to political power.

WHAT SHE WANTS VOTERS TO BELIEVE Landrieu aired a commercial showing her at numerous public settings last fall sternly telling Obama to "keep his promise to let people keep their current health plans if they want to" — w/ Landrieu taking credit----after Obama's failed attempt to make that happen.....

REALITY CHECK: Landrieu is caught on-tape, in the well of the Senate, parroting Obama's infamous lie, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan." AND THIS: “If you like the insurance that you have, you’ll be able to keep it.” (Landrieu on MSNBC’s Hardball, 12/16/09)

Somebody better check Landrieu's self-serving commercial----prolly faked.


As far back as 2008, at the presidential debate in Nashville, Democrat candidate Obama advanced his signature healthcare plan---ultimately enacted, by an historic straight Democrat party-line vote, into the "Affordable Care Act"

QUOTING 2008 OBAMA: "No. 1, let me just repeat, if you’ve got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it. All I’m going to do is help you to lower the premiums on it. You’ll still have choice of doctor.” Repeated over and over ---- with the promise that every American family would be saving $2500.00 on healthcare costs.

Significantly, Obamba NEVER corrected lock-stepping Democrats, all reading from the same Democrat talking points, all of them repeating the same Democrat promises---over and over again.

LOCK-STEPPING PARTY LOYALTY NOT SEEN SINCE 1930-40's ERA EUROPE Obama And The Dems marched in lockstep. The persistent Dumbocrat drumbeat ---- in obeisance to Obama ---- kept ringing reassuringly in our ears: "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan."


THE LANDRIEU PAPER TRAIL IS HUGE Landrieu sold her aye vote in what Forbes Magazine dubbed "The 'Louisiana Purchase" that included a massive $4.3 Billion to Landrieu.

FORBES REPORTED the Democrats’ nailed Landrieu’s support for Obamacare w/ a greenback bribe. Landrieu, critics believe, pledged her vote in exchange for some $200 million more additional federal funds for Louisiana. Except that, due to a drafting error, the law ended up giving Louisiana $4.3 billion: more than twenty times the assigned amount. MORE HERE

How $4.3 billion to Landrieu was attached to the Obamacare bill, and how Obama and Reid failed to catch and fix it, is yet annother indictment of the Obamacare atrocity. The payoff to Landrieu should be investigated as an indication of how EVERY Democrat came to vote for Obamacare.

<><> Where's the $4.3 billion, Mary?

BACKSTORY In the fall of 2009, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was trying to get the necessary 60 Dimocrat votes to pass the Affordable Care Act. He needed every Dim on board, which gave waffling senators a great deal of leverage. In Landrieu's case, she connivingly saw that selling her aye vote could get her maybe $200 million federal dollars. Obama complied--- Reid chalked up another vote for Obamacare---and the $4.3 Landrieu giveaway was attached to the Obamacare bill.

<><> Where's the money, Mary?


MEMO TO LOUISIANA VOTERS Sen Mary Landrieu not only (1) sold her vote; (2) she voted for throwing you off yourhealth plans, (3) voted for nationalizing 1/16 of the US economy, Landrieu also (4) voted for IPAB's, and, for (5) decimating intergenerational transfers of wealth (grandma/pa's holdings go to the govt---not to you). Read on.

Ominous cogs in the Obamacare meat grinder----the inexorable forcing of Grandma/pa onto Medicaid--(like cattle herded single-file onto the narrow ramp---knowing the bolt is coming---but not able to do a thing about it).

Medicaid conveniently groups together the sick and elderly---as Obama's IPAB board of radical Boobamba worshippers sit in judgment. Boobamba's Orwellian-speak---the progressive way of saying "Obamacare keeps costs down."

The infamous "Death Panels---are alive and well----but they're not called death panels......for obvious reasons. The treacherous Obama euphemistically calls his death panel "I-PAB----Individual Payment Advisory Board." I-PAB decides what to pay and who to pay---thus rationing medical care to sick oldsters. Obamacare "allows" states to expand their Medicaid recipients pool. Under Obamacare, Washington now covers about 1/2 the cost of Medicaid enrollees.


What is I-PAB?

When you find out about IPAB, you will not believe it - but it’s r-e-a-l.... a new type of government agency. IPAB (Independent Payment Advisory Board) is the first agency of the “fifth branch” of govt.

1) It will make all important health care decisions by authorizing payment or not.
2) It is not funded by Congress and cannot have its budget reviewed or changed.
3) Its membership cannot be changed by future Presidents,
4) It cannot be repealed by Congress, except for a six month window in 2017.
5) Its decisions are not subject to judicial review.
6) It is not authorized by the Constitution, and is therefore immune to Constitutional processes.


Why is Obamacre herding seniors WITH ASSETS onto Medicaid---a program structured for the poor? Can you say redistribution of wealth? Herding the elderly with assets into Medicaid has ominous consequences that are intriguing to the left. B/c assets, perhaps a home owned free and clear, securities, annuities, investment property, can be seized to pay for govt treatment.

Thus intergenerational transfers of wealth (a longtime progressive bugaboo)----are decimated (grandma/pa's holdings go to the govt---not to you).

REMINDER: Lock-stepping Sen Mary Landrieu (Dim-LA) voted for this.

10 posted on 02/14/2014 1:10:18 PM PST by Liz
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