Mary Landrieu and Her House of Cards

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By Jeff Crouere , CP Op-ed Contributor
August 29, 2014|4:34 pm
  • Jeff Crouere
    Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics."

This election has been most difficult for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) with one mistake after another taking her off message. First it was discovered that she was charging taxpayers for at least four campaign flights. Her embarrassing mistakes were not something Louisiana voters should expect from a Senator with so much experience. Mary Landrieu has been in political office since 1979 and has served in the U.S. Senate since 1997. It is inexcusable for Landrieu not to know that taxpayers should not be charged for campaign air travel.

Her latest stumble involves residency. When qualifying for re-election, Landrieu used her parents' house on South Prieur Street in New Orleans as her official address. This home is where her parents have lived for decades. It is a house that is jointly owned by Landrieu's mother and a family corporation, but the Senator does not own it.

The reality is that Mary Landrieu lives in Washington D.C. in a $2.5 million mansion. In a report with the Federal Election Commission, Landrieu listed her Capitol Hill home as her official address.

Not surprisingly, her GOP opponents have made her residency a major issue in recent days. GOP challenger Col. Rob Maness who filed an official complaint with the Louisiana Secretary of State first exposed it. Today, Maness filed additional complaints with four District Attorney offices across Louisiana. It is doubtful that Louisiana District Attorneys, many of who are Democrats and in the midst of re-election campaigns, will take action against Landrieu.

Nonetheless, her questionable residency will be damaging for Landrieu with voters. It shows that the Senator is much more connected to Washington D.C. than she is to her hometown. While her Senate colleague David Vitter comes back to Louisiana every weekend and clearly lives in Metairie, outside of New Orleans, Landrieu is rarely seen at her "home." According to one of her neighbors, Fontaine Wells, "I don't think she lives there (the South Prieur home). She might come visit, but come on now — she lives in D.C. I don't think I've ever seen her."

In this election, residency questions are another reason for Louisiana voters to oppose Landrieu. She has supported unpopular President Barack Obama 97% of the time. She also voted for Obama's liberal judicial nominees and has supported causes such as gun control, abortion, amnesty for illegal aliens, and higher taxes, all of which are unpopular with most Louisiana voters. She cast the deciding vote on the horrendous Affordable Care Act, which is forcing thousands of Louisiana citizens to pay higher health insurance premiums. Finally, for the coup de grace, she is trying to mislead voters about her residency.

While the Senator is registered to vote in New Orleans, what address does she have on file with the IRS or on her driver's license? Does she even pay state income taxes in Louisiana? These issues need to be investigated. There is a good reason her neighbors have never seen her, Landrieu does not live there.

Landrieu, who is already very vulnerable, is now more vulnerable. According to the Senator, "I have lived at my home on Prieur Street most of my life, and I live there now, when not fulfilling my duties in Washington or serving constituents across the state."

Her statement is ridiculous. Along with her husband, Landrieu does own real estate in Louisiana, but not a home. How often is Senator Landrieu at her parents' home? Does she sneak in late at night when no one sees her?

As Col. Maness noted to the Washington Post, "A U.S. senator shouldn't be living with their parents."

More importantly, a U.S. Senator should not be lying to her constituents.

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, "Ringside Politics," which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at jeff@ringsidepolitics.com.
 

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