Louisiana Archive:

Monday, August 07, 2006

LA: Filing To Commence This Week

Posted by RBH

I counted the number of contested seats and the current numbers are 419 Democrats and 384 Republicans (for 428 seats, excluding Louisiana's seats). Other counts may differ slightly. But here's the info on Louisiana's filing, which will occur this week.

Qualifying Dates and Information

Qualifying for Congressional Primary Election scheduled November 7, 2006:
U.S. Representatives, Districts 1-7

Candidates for the above-captioned offices will qualify with the Secretary of State beginning on:
August 9, 2006 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
August 10, 2006 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
August 11, 2006 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Barring any sudden change in state policy, the requirements in Louisiana are either $600, and $300 to the party, or 1,000 signatures

When it comes to races, Louisiana isn't expected to have any pickup opportunities. But, since this is Louisiana, sudden changes in fate may occur. William Jefferson may recieve some serious competition from within the Democratic party. Barring any changes in status, Democratic challengers in Louisiana include Stacey Tallitsch in LA-01, Artis Cash in LA-04, and Mike Stagg in LA-07. Alexander (LA-05) and Baker (LA-06) did recieve competition in 2004, but they're not likely to recieve serious competition.

When it comes to a full slate, it's surprisingly likely. In the other 10 Southern states, Democrats filed in 118 of 124 districts with full slates in 5 of those states. In 2004, Democrats had candidates in 101 of those 124 districts.

Expect an overview for the primaries tomorrow sometime either tonight, or tomorrow. It'll be big, and not just because of the Lieberman race.

Posted at 03:59 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Louisiana | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

N.O.-Mayor: Forman Endorses Landrieu

Posted by DavidNYC

As expected, Ron Forman, who finished in third place in Saturday's election for New Orleans mayor, endorsed Mitch Landrieu, who came in second. (There's a run-off between the top two finishers in May.) Forman pulled in 17% and Landrieu 29%, so just simple addition would appear to put Landrieu in the driver's seat, seeing as incumbent Ray Nagin took only 38% in the first round. Obviously, things are never quite that simple, and I don't have an insight as to how the remaining 16% of the vote will get split up. Any thoughts?

Posted at 10:11 AM in 2006 Elections, Louisiana | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, November 20, 2005

LA-02/06: Katrina Changes the Demographics

Posted by DavidNYC

Regular SSP commenter Mark asks an interesting question:

I'll start with LA-06. From what I've heard, tens of thousands of evacuees, mostly African-Americans, are now living in the Baton Rouge area. It's very likely that many will remain there next year at this time. If that's the case, will they required to vote absentee in LA-02? Or will they be allowed to vote in LA-06? If they are allowed to vote in LA-06, I think it creates a unique opportunity to unseat slimeball House member Richard Baker, who famously pontificated that Katrina was God's way of taking care of New Orleans' public housing. With tens of thousands of New Orleans public housing expatriates now living in his district, that strikes me as a rather mind-blowingly stupid thing to say. I can only hope it proves LETHALLY stupid.

On the other hand, what happens to William Jefferson in LA-02? From what I've seen of news footage, New Orleans has pretty much become an all-white town post-Katrina, save for the thousands of Hispanic workers of whom the vast majority will probably be unlikely to have voting rights next year. If New Orleans population is unable to get back at least 100,000 of its African-Americans, does Jefferson have a chance of re-election?

Jefferson won by 79-21 last time out, so I doubt he's endangered. Baker didn't fare much worse, winning by a 72-19 tally (with a second Dem candidate pulling 9%). However, district 2 (Jefferson's) is much more Democratic than district 6 is Republican. LA-02 went to Kerry by a whopping 75-24 margin. LA-06 is still a pretty strong GOP district, but it went for Bush by 59-40.

If 2006 is at all like 1994, then LA-06 would be winnable, especially given its rapid and largely unprecedented change in demographics. But I don't think 2006 will be quite as big as 1994. Nonetheless, the tide is on our side, and the new(ish) LA-06 presents an interesting opportunity for an energetic candidate to make a good showing. Right now, no one's stepped up to the plate there. I hope that changes soon.

Posted at 05:41 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Louisiana | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, September 15, 2005

NOLA: Boots on the ground - we need more bloggers

Posted by Bob Brigham

Having a crack team of bloggers on the ground has allowed us to do more than provide coverage, it has provided real-time communication ability and scalable models.

As many of you know, we've been working with Dr. Ernest Johnson, President of the Lousiana NAACP. In addition to all of the direct aid relief, we have also been working closely with local political leaders.

The following case study is just one example of why we need you to get down to Louisiana and help the NAACP scale up efforts.

Americablog Coorespondent Kyle Shank documented how this started out.

It began with a simple idea, as old as democracy itself. That we need to organize structures of the evacuees, by the evacuees, and for the evacuees.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comDue to the team we had on ground, we were able immediately cut PSAs, shoot a video release and blast a press release:


Ernest L. Johnson, President of the Louisiana NAACP called today for Katrina evacuees in shelters to take control of their own destinies by forming SHELTER COMMITTEES.

"Each SHELTER COMMITTEE should elect a Chairperson and a Secretary and begin holding meetings, organizing, and working as a team for better treatment," Johnson said. "In unity there is strength." [...]

The Louisiana NAACP is airing public service announcements on radio stations that explain the process for bringing participatory democracy to the shelter system.

"The Louisiana NAACP is with you in solidarity," Johnson said. "The NAACP will stand with all displaced people until each and every one return to a brand-new New Orleans."

It worked

The PSA's began running and the press began calling. We began reaching out to other groups and other groups began reaching out to us. We began building a coalition and providing the tools to the evacuees to organize themselves.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThen it hit the front page (above the fold) of the Baton Rouge paper (that all of the national press read).

NAACP seeks to organize evacuees

The NAACP is trying to organize occupants of evacuation shelters so they can take some control of their lives and, for black New Orleans residents, so they can have a voice in their city's 2006 elections.

Louisiana NAACP President Ernest Johnson said he wants evacuees to pick leaders who can speak for the groups on common issues, such as, lack of supplies, getting their children educated and moving into temporary housing.

Such efforts are natural for any community and echo the efforts that founded the United States, Johnson said. Banding together is especially important for people thrown into a new environment with few resources, he said.

The head of the state's chapter of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said he especially wants to be sure that black New Orleans residents -- a majority of shelter occupants, he said -- can return to the Crescent City, if they wish. Thousands were taken, without their input, to states as far away as Montana, Johnson said.

There are problems in the shelters and there will be problems in the camps. Some with the Red Cross, some with FEMA, some with Guard, some with the evacuees. By organizing, we can put a model in place that can deal with whatever problem comes up. The evacuees will be able to collectively negotiate and take control over their own destiny.

We Need Your Help

Organizing takes boots on the ground and we need yours.

We need organizers, activists, media specialists, bloggers and people who can document the stories of the victims so we are ready when it comes time for accountability.

We need you. And your friends. This is a General Call to Action, join us. We have tents in the lawn of the NAACP for you to have shelter, we have wifi at the command center. This is the most important civil rights battle of these times, you are needed.

Please help spread the word and come to:

Lousiana NAACP Command Center
1755 Nicholson Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA

You might go days without showing, New Orleans smells like hell and Lake George is a toxic waste dump. But when all is said and done, you will have played any important role in history. Join us. Spread the word. In solidarity, do what you can.

Posted at 11:21 AM in Louisiana, Netroots, Site News | Technorati

2006: GOP Fears Accountability for Lake George

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Americablog:

54 US Senators today KILLED legislation establishing an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate what went so horribly wrong with Hurricane Katrina.

76% of Americans want an independent bipartisan commission, like the one that investigated the 9/11 attacks, to investigate what went wrong. In fact, according to the same poll, Americans of all stripes, Republicans and Democrats, are united behind their support for such a commission (64% of all Republicans and 83% of all Democrats want a commission) even though they were aware that the Republicans in Congress are doing their own biased and partisan investigation (see below).

So why did every Republican US Senator (save the Senator from Louisiana, who simply didn't vote) vote AGAINST forming this independent, bipartisan commission to investigate what went so horribly wrong, and to find out how we avoid an even larger catastrophe the next time Osama attacks a major American city with a chemical, biological or nuclear bomb?

It's time to find out.

Call all the Republican Senators, fill their office voice mails with messages. Ask them why they voted against forming an impartial, independent commission to find out the truth about what went wrong with Hurricane Katrina? (Or in the case of the Louisiana Republican Senator, ask him why he didn't vote.) Ask them why they would rather have America unprepared for a future chemical, biological or nuclear attack from Al Qaeda? If we don't know why we were unprepared today, we will surely be unprepared tomorrow.

Every senator on this list will face a tough re-election campaign due to this scandal. This is disgusting. This is a cover-up.

Call them

Alexander, Lamar- (R - TN) Class II
(202) 224-4944
Web Form: www.alexander.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home

Allard, Wayne- (R - CO) Class II
(202) 224-5941
Web Form: www.allard.senate.gov/contactme

Allen, George- (R - VA) Class I
(202) 224-4024
Web Form: www.allen.senate.gov/index.cfm?c=email

Bennett, Robert- (R - UT) Class III
(202) 224-5444
Web Form: www.bennett.senate.gov/contact/emailmain.html

Bond, Christopher- (R - MO) Class III
(202) 224-5721
Web Form: www.bond.senate.gov/contact/contactme.cfm

Brownback, Sam- (R - KS) Class III
(202) 224-6521
Web Form: www.brownback.senate.gov/CMEmailMe.cfm

Bunning, Jim- (R - KY) Class III
(202) 224-4343
Web Form: www.bunning.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Email

Burns, Conrad- (R - MT) Class I
(202) 224-2644
Web Form: www.burns.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Home.Contact

Burr, Richard- (R - NC) Class III
(202) 224-3154
Web Form: www.burr.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home

Chafee, Lincoln- (R - RI) Class I
(202) 224-2921
Web Form: www.chafee.senate.gov/webform.htm

Chambliss, Saxby- (R - GA) Class II
(202) 224-3521
Web Form: cwww.hambliss.senate.gov/Contact/default.cfm?pagemode=1

Coburn, Tom- (R - OK) Class III
(202) 224-5754
Web Form: www.coburn.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home

Cochran, Thad- (R - MS) Class II
(202) 224-5054
Web Form: www.cochran.senate.gov/contact.htm

Coleman, Norm- (R - MN) Class II
(202) 224-5641
Web Form: www.coleman.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm

Collins, Susan- (R - ME) Class II
(202) 224-2523
Web Form: www.collins.senate.gov/low/contactemail.htm

Cornyn, John- (R - TX) Class II
(202) 224-2934
Web Form: www.cornyn.senate.gov/contact/index.html

Craig, Larry- (R - ID) Class II
(202) 224-2752
Web Form: www.craig.senate.gov/email/

Crapo, Michael- (R - ID) Class III
(202) 224-6142
Web Form: www.crapo.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm

DeMint, Jim- (R - SC) Class III
(202) 224-6121
Web Form: www.demint.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home

DeWine, Mike- (R - OH) Class I
(202) 224-2315
Web Form: www.dewine.senate.gov

Dole, Elizabeth- (R - NC) Class II
(202) 224-6342
Web Form: www.dole.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactInformation.ContactForm

Domenici, Pete- (R - NM) Class II
(202) 224-6621
Web Form: www.domenici.senate.gov/contact/contactform.cfm

Ensign, John- (R - NV) Class I
(202) 224-6244
Web Form: www.ensign.senate.gov/forms/email_form.cfm

Enzi, Michael- (R - WY) Class II
(202) 224-3424
Web Form: www.enzi.senate.gov/email.htm

Frist, Bill- (R - TN) Class I
(202) 224-3344
Web Form: www.frist.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=AboutSenatorFrist.ContactForm

Graham, Lindsey- (R - SC) Class II
(202) 224-5972
Web Form: www.lgraham.senate.gov/index.cfm?mode=contact

Grassley, Chuck- (R - IA) Class III
(202) 224-3744
Web Form: www.grassley.senate.gov/webform.htm

Gregg, Judd- (R - NH) Class III
(202) 224-3324
Web Form: www.gregg.senate.gov/sitepages/contact.cfm

Hagel, Chuck- (R - NE) Class II
(202) 224-4224
Web Form: www.hagel.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Offices.Contact

Hatch, Orrin- (R - UT) Class I
(202) 224-5251
Web Form: www.hatch.senate.gov/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Offices.Contact

Hutchison, Kay- (R - TX) Class I
(202) 224-5922
Web Form: www.hutchison.senate.gov/e-mail.htm

Inhofe, James- (R - OK) Class II
(202) 224-4721
Web Form: www.inhofe.senate.gov/contactus.htm

Isakson, Johnny- (R - GA) Class III
(202) 224-3643
Web Form: www.isakson.senate.gov/contact.cfm

Kyl, Jon- (R - AZ) Class I
(202) 224-4521
Web Form: www.kyl.senate.gov/contact.cfm

Lott, Trent- (R - MS) Class I
(202) 224-6253
E-mail: www.senatorlott@lott.senate.gov

Lugar, Richard- (R - IN) Class I
(202) 224-4814
E-mail: www.senator_lugar@lugar.senate.gov

Martinez, Mel- (R - FL) Class III
(202) 224-3041
Web Form: www.martinez.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactInformation.ContactForm

McCain, John- (R - AZ) Class III
(202) 224-2235
Web Form: www.mccain.senate.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=Contact.Home

McConnell, Mitch- (R - KY) Class II
(202) 224-2541
Web Form: www.mcconnell.senate.gov/contact_form.cfm

Murkowski, Lisa- (R - AK) Class III
(202) 224-6665
Web Form: www.murkowski.senate.gov/contact.cfm

Roberts, Pat- (R - KS) Class II
(202) 224-4774
Web Form: www.roberts.senate.gov/e-mail_pat.html

Santorum, Rick- (R - PA) Class I
(202) 224-6324
Web Form: www.santorum.senate.gov/contactform.cfm

Sessions, Jeff- (R - AL) Class II
(202) 224-4124
Web Form: www.sessions.senate.gov/email/contact.cfm

Shelby, Richard- (R - AL) Class III
(202) 224-5744
E-mail: www.senator@shelby.senate.gov

Smith, Gordon- (R - OR) Class II
(202) 224-3753
Web Form: www.gsmith.senate.gov/webform.htm

Snowe, Olympia- (R - ME) Class I
(202) 224-5344
E-mail: www.olympia@snowe.senate.gov

Specter, Arlen- (R - PA) Class III
(202) 224-4254
Web Form: www.specter.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactInfo.Home

Stevens, Ted- (R - AK) Class II
(202) 224-3004
Web Form: www.stevens.senate.gov/contact_form.cfm

Sununu, John- (R - NH) Class II
(202) 224-2841
Web Form: www.sununu.senate.gov/webform.html

Talent, James- (R - MO) Class I
(202) 224-6154
Web Form: www.talent.senate.gov/Contact/default.cfm?pagemode=1

Thomas, Craig- (R - WY) Class I
(202) 224-6441
Web Form: www.thomas.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home

Thune, John- (R - SD) Class III
(202) 224-2321
Web Form: www.thune.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home

Vitter, David- (R - LA) Class III
(202) 224-4623
Web Form: www.vitter.senate.gov/contact.cfm

Voinovich, George- (R - OH) Class III
(202) 224-3353
Web Form: www.voinovich.senate.gov/contact/index.htm

Warner, John- (R - VA) Class II
(202) 224-2023
Web Form: www.warner.senate.gov/contact/contactme.cfm

Posted at 10:04 AM in 2006 Elections, Culture of Corruption, Louisiana, Mississippi, Republicans, Scandals, Texas | Technorati

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

LA-Gov: CRS Clears Blanco

Posted by Bob Brigham

From Raw Story:

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report Tuesday afternoon asserting that Louisiana governor Katherine Blanco took the necessary and timely steps needed to secure disaster relief from the federal government, RAW STORY has learned.

The report, which comes after a request by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) to review the law and legal accountability relating to Federal action in response to Hurricane Katrina, unequivocally concludes that she did.

"This report closes the book on the Bush Administration's attempts to evade accountability," Conyers said in a statement. "The Bush Administration was caught napping at a critical time."

This is all the Republican and Bush's fault.

Posted at 03:11 PM in Louisiana | Technorati

Monday, September 12, 2005

Relay Blogging Wth Bob From New Orleans

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It's 11:35 PM, and Bob is down is down in French Quarter, breaking curfew, at the only bar open and serving drinks since the disaster struck. He is standing outside smoking a cigarette while a a blackhawk helicopter ciricles above, spotlight shining down on him.

He is joined by Kyle from Americablog and Lindsay from Majikthise.

The drinks are flowing inside, and Bob says that with every round, the stories continue. None of the locals are paying for drinks, only people from out of town have to ante up. Unfortunately, Bob, Kyle, and Linsday are the only three there from out of town. The people there are staying... regardless what Mayor Nagin says/orders.

He said that the streets are filled with soldiers and contractors during the day. And while the 82nd Airborne removed the magazines from their weapons as a show of good faith with the locals, the contractors "look like they are getting ready to go to a militia meeting."

More to come.

UPDATE 1:07 - Bob is about to head back to Baton Rouge with Linday and Kyle. He said they have a number of great stories, from an even larger number of great individuals they have met this evening.

The State Police have been "so amazing" this evening. They escorted the group over the other side of the bridge, into the West Bank of New Orleans, outside of city limits. Kyle will be doing the driving back, as he is the only sober one of the lot. Bob will have more tomorrow he has promised over at Rebuild the South.

Posted at 11:35 PM in Louisiana | Technorati

LA: Organizing Shelter by Shelter

Posted by Bob Brigham

Dr. Ernest Johnson of the Louisiana NAACP is making a huge move and we need to get the word out. Dr. Johnson needs the netroots to stand with the NAACP in solidarity.

This bottom up, grassroots model is scalable and could make a huge difference in the lives of refugees. This is democracy.

PSA's are running on the radio, but we need to catapult this. Check out the video release and full press release below.


Ernest L. Johnson, President of the Louisiana NAACP called today for Katrina evacuees in shelters to take control of their own destinies by forming SHELTER COMMITTEES.

"Each SHELTER COMMITTEE should elect a Chairperson and a Secretary and begin holding meetings, organizing, and working as a team for better treatment," Johnson said. "In unity there is strength."

Johnson called for each committee to begin writing down the name, telephone number, and next of kin of every shelter resident.

This contact information must be put into the FEMA database for evacuees to receive financial assistance.

Johnson urged each SHELTER COMMITTEE to send this information to 1755 Nicholson Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802, or to fax it to (225) 334-7491.

The Louisiana NAACP is airing public service announcements on radio stations that explain the process for bringing participatory democracy to the shelter system.

"The Louisiana NAACP is with you in solidarity," Johnson said. "The NAACP will stand with all displaced people until each and every one return to a brand-new New Orleans."

Posted at 10:13 AM in Louisiana | Comments (5) | Technorati

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Katrina Voting

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the LA Times:

Ernest Johnson, head of the Louisiana NAACP, called Friday for Congress to pass emergency legislation to extend special protections of the Voting Rights Act that expire in 2007. The law is meant to ensure access to the polls for black voters.

Johnson says the hurricane has potentially disenfranchised 1.5 million voters, many of them black.

"A lot of voters have been displaced, and they could be out of their voting jurisdiction, with toxins in the water, for a year or more," Johnson said. The expiring provision of the law requires jurisdictions in 15 states to clear changes in election laws with the Justice Department to ensure the changes do not disadvantage minority groups.

"We were going to fight for the extension anyway. Now, we want to move up the debate, to talk about this in 2005 instead of 2007, so we do not have to worry," Johnson said. The provision, he said, would protect voters as precincts are moved and absentee ballots are mailed.

It is a good article and an important issue. People from Louisiana should be able to vote in Louisiana. This needs to happen, we can't let Katrina disenfranchise voters.

Posted at 11:45 AM in Louisiana | Technorati

Monday, September 05, 2005

LA-07: Charles Boustany Betrays Louisiana

Posted by Tim Tagaris

If I try really hard, I can wrap my head around the Republican attempt to place the blame on state government officials for what happened in Louisiana. However, it's completely and utterly tasteless when freshly minted Congressman "Lord" Charles Boustany from Louisiana puts the defense of the indefensible above the people in his own district.

BOUSTANY: most of the red tape and problems have been at the state level. I have to say that the federal response has been focused on new orleans with search and rescue operations which is going very, very well at this stage.

But here is Boustany three days ago.

Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr., (R-La.), said he spent the past 48 hours urging the Bush administration to send help. "I started making calls and trying to impress upon the White House and others that something needed to be done," he said. "The state resources were being overwhelmed, and we needed direct federal assistance, command and control, and security -- all three of which are lacking."

A reminder for everyone... From the Department of Homeland Security's website states:

"In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation."

This is what cover your ass mode looks like when operating on all cylinders.

Posted at 02:23 PM in Louisiana | Comments (1) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bush Flip-Flops on Vacationing During Disaster

Posted by Bob Brigham


President Bush will cut short his vacation to return to Washington on Wednesday, two days earlier than planned, to help monitor federal efforts to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina, the White House said Tuesday.

''We have got a lot of work to do,'' Bush said, referring to the damage wrought by the hurricane along Gulf Coast areas.

The president had been scheduled to return to the nation's capital on Friday, after spending more than four weeks operating from his ranch in Central Texas. But after receiving a briefing early Tuesday on the devastation Katrina unleashed, the president decided that he needed to be in Washington to personally oversee the federal effort, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

AmericaBlog asks:

Either you can manage hurricane relief sufficiently while on vacation, and in that case there's no need for you to return to DC tomorrow, or you can't, and in that case where the hell have you been the past 5 days?

So which one is it, Mr. President?

Where the hell has Bush been? Here are the pics.

Posted at 05:27 PM in Louisiana, Republicans, Scandals | Technorati

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Katrina Proves Bush Failed New Orleans

Posted by Bob Brigham

UPDATE (Bob) Here is the full recap

So far today, I've looked at Global Warming and Katrina and the crisis resulting from Lousiana's National Guard being in Iraq instead of defending their state.

Will Bush stay on vacation? At this point, it doesn't really matter. Because Bush has been asleep at the wheel for four years. From the Houston Chronicle in 2001:

New Orleans is sinking.

And its main buffer from a hurricane, the protective Mississippi River delta, is quickly eroding away, leaving the historic city perilously close to disaster.

So vulnerable, in fact, that earlier this year the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranked the potential damage to New Orleans as among the three likeliest, most castastrophic disasters facing this country.

The other two? A massive earthquake in San Francisco, and, almost prophetically, a terrorist attack on New York City.

The New Orleans hurricane scenario may be the deadliest of all.

FEMA said this was the "three likeliest, most castastrophic disasters". Bush's response? Cut preparedness:

(UPDATE -- Tim:) I wanted to take a moment to spell it out for the visiting freepi fawning over the head start the Superdome is giving you supporters of minority internment. Of course we don't believe Bush caused the hurricane, although I think many of us wish he would have asked Pat Robertson to pray for a re-direction.

And most of you failed to read the article Bob linked, no surprise there. But inbetween vacations, the preznit got massive tax-cuts passed at the expense of important projects. Among them, preparedness for natural disasters--some of which happen to be in New Orleans.

In general, funding for construction has been on a downward trend for the past several years, said Marcia Demma, chief of the New Orleans Corps' programs management branch.

In 2001, the New Orleans district spent $147 million on construction projects. When fiscal year 2005 wraps up Sept. 30, the Corps expects to have spent $82 million, a 44.2 percent reduction from 2001 expenditures. [...]

Unfunded projects include widening drainage canals, flood- proofing bridges and building pumping stations in Orleans and Jefferson parishes. The Corps also wants to build levees in unprotected areas on the West Bank.

Irresponsible distribution of resources has, yet again, put American lives in peril. If the freepi were able to see past 9/11 and recognize the difference between real life, health, and safety risks (ie. environment & port protection among others) and not get distracted by contrived security risks (ie. Iraq), things might not look so grim tonight.

In fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding.

It would be the largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district, Corps officials said.

I've been here over 30 years and I've never seen this level of reduction, said Al Naomi, project manager for the New Orleans district. I think part of the problem is it's not so much the reduction, it's the drastic reduction in one fiscal year. It's the immediacy of the reduction that I think is the hardest thing to adapt to.

There is an economic ripple effect, too. The cuts mean major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now.

Remember, this was a top-three "likeliest catastrophic disasters" and Bush shelved the study of how to protect against Category 5 hurricanes like Katrina? For most of Bush's time as President, FEMA has been saying this could be the deadliest scenario facing America. And Bush cut the preparedness funding, sent our strategic reserve National Guard troops to fight an unnecessary war and then went on vacation. Not only is Bush the worst President ever, but he is also a total asshole for fucking over New Orleans.

Hat tip to Ms Librarian and commentors.

UPDATE: (Bob) Here is some more...


Katrina could be the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. But it was not a surprise. Experts have been warning for years of the potential catastrophic devastation that a category 4 or 5 hurricane could have on the Gulf Coast. And in Louisiana, local officials have fought for federal funding to implement hurricane defense plans that could have avoided the widespread flooding of New Orleans. But under the Bush Administration, funding for those projects has been continuously slashed, leaving the Gulf Coast unprepared for such a disaster.


Federal Government Has Neglected Disaster Preparedness, Left Enormous Vulnerabilities. Disaster and emergency experts have warned for years that governments, especially the federal government, have put so much stress on disaster response that they have neglected policies to minimize a disaster's impact in advance. Robert Hartwig, chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, said “It's going to be very evident that there were an enormous number of vulnerabilities that weren't addressed. There's going to be a lot of finger-pointing.” [Newhouse News Service, 8/31/05]

Disaster Mitigation Programs Slashed Since 2001. Since 2001, key federal disaster mitigation programs, developed over many years, have been slashed and tossed aside. FEMA’s Project Impact, a model mitigation program created by the Clinton administration, has been canceled outright. Federal funding of post-disaster mitigation efforts designed to protect people and property from the next disaster has been cut in half, and now communities across the country must compete for pre-disaster mitigation dollars. [Baltimore City Paper, 9/29/04]

In 2003 White House Slashed Mitigation Programs In Half. In 2003, Congress approved a White House proposal to cut FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) in half. Previously, the federal government was committed to invest 15 percent of the recovery costs of a given disaster in mitigating future problems. Under the Bush formula, the feds now cough up only 7.5 percent. Such post-disaster mitigation efforts, specialists say, are a crucial way of minimizing future losses. [Gambit Weekly, 9/28/04]

Bush Continuing To Propose Cuts To Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps of Engineers will be cut in 2006. Bush’s 2005 budget proposal called for a 13 percent reduction in the Army Corps of Engineers’ budget, down to $4 billion from $4.6 billion in fiscal 2004. [Associated Press, 2/6/05; Congressional Quarterly Online, 2/3/04]

Under Bush, FEMA Reverted To Pre-Clinton Status As One Of The Worst Agencies. Former President Clinton appointed James L. Witt to take over FEMA after its poor response to Hurricane Andrew. Witt adopted recommendations and FEMA was described as an agency reborn: “transformed itself from what many considered to be the worst federal agency to among the best.” But FEMA under the Bush administration has destroyed carefully constructed efforts. After the 9/11 attacks the agency’s inspector general in 2003 criticized portions of FEMA’s response, citing “difficulties in delivering timely and effective” mortgage and rental assistance to those in need. [USA Today, 6/1/2005]


States Expected To Shoulder More Of The Burden In Emergency Management With Fewer Funds. “The federal focus on terrorism preparedness has left states with an increased responsibility to provide support for natural disasters and emergencies,” noted a report released by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) this summer. “State budget shortfalls have given emergency management programs less to work with, at a time when more is expected of them. In fiscal year 2004, the average budget for a state emergency management agency was $40.8 million, a 23 percent reduction from fiscal year 2003.” [Gambit Weekly, 9/28/04]

Bush Tried to Cut Federal Percentage of Large-Scale Natural Disaster Preparedness. The administration made a failed attempt to cut the federal percentage of large-scale natural disaster preparedness expenditures. Since the 1990s, the federal government has paid 75 percent of such costs, with states and municipalities funding the other 25 percent. The White House's attempt to reduce the federal contribution to 50 percent was defeated in Congress. [Gambit Weekly, 9/28/04]


Bush Opposed Necessary Funding For Hurricane Preparedness In Louisiana. The Louisiana congressional delegation urged Congress earlier this year to dedicate a stream of federal money to Louisiana's coast, only to be opposed by the White House. Ultimately a deal was struck to steer $540 million to the state over four years. The total coast of coastal repair work is estimated to be $14 billion. In its budget, the Bush administration also had proposed a significant reduction in funding for southeast Louisiana's chief hurricane protection project. Bush proposed $10.4 million, a sixth of what local officials say they need. [Newhouse News Service, 8/31/05]

Republican Budget Cut New Orleans’ Army Corps Of Engineers Funding By A Record $71.2 Million. In fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding. It would be the largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district, Corps officials said. “I've been here over 30 years and I've never seen this level of reduction,” said Al Naomi, project manager for the New Orleans district. The cuts mean major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Money is so tight the New Orleans district instituted a hiring freeze. The freeze is the first of its kind in about 10 years, said Marcia Demma, chief of the Corps' Programs Management Branch. [New Orleans City Business, 6/6/05]

Landrieu Called Bush’s Funding Priorities Shortsided. Landrieu said the Bush Administration is not making Corps of Engineers funding a priority. “I think it's extremely shortsighted,” Landrieu said. “When the Corps of Engineers' budget is cut, Louisiana bleeds. These projects are literally life-and-death projects to the people of south Louisiana and they are (of) vital economic interest to the entire nation.” [New Orleans City Business, 6/6/05]

Emergency Preparedness Director Furious With Project Cuts. A study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now. Terry Tullier, the New Orleans emergency preparedness director, said he was furious but not surprised to hear that study had been cut from the Bush budget. “I’m all for the war effort, but every time I think about the $87 billion being spent on rebuilding Iraq, I ask: What about us?” he said. “Somehow we need to make a stronger case that this is not Des Moines, Iowa, that we are so critical that if it hits the fan in New Orleans, everything this side of the Rockies will feel the economic shock waves.” [Times-Picayune, 9/22/04; New Orleans City Business, 6/6/05]

Flood Protection Projects Put On Hold Because Of Republican’s 2006 Budget. One of the hardest-hit areas of the New Orleans district's budget is the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project. SELA's budget is being drained from $36.5 million awarded in 2005 to $10.4 million suggested for 2006 by the House of Representatives and the president. The Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans has identified $35 million in projects to build and improve levees, floodwalls and pumping stations in St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson and St. Charles parishes. Those projects in a line item where funding is scheduled to be cut from $5.7 million this year to $2.9 million in 2006. “We don't have the money to put the work in the field, and that's the problem,” Naomi said. [New Orleans City Business, 6/6/05]

Senator Landrieu Urged Action After SELA Budget Slashed. Louisiana’s congressional delegation assured local officials they would seek significant increases for SELA. “We could have lost 100,000 lives had Hurricane Ivan hit the mouth of the (Mississippi) River before it turned,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., alluding to last year’s storm that largely spared Louisiana but devastated parts of Alabama and Florida. “God has been good, but one of these days a hurricane is going to come and, if we don’t get projects . . . finished, we’re sitting ducks,” she said. [Times-Picayune, 3/11/05]



Louisiana National Guard Said Before Katrina That It Needed Equipment Back From Iraq If It Is To Respond To A Natural Disaster. “The National Guard needs that equipment back home to support the homeland security mission,” said Lt. Colonel Pete Schneider with the LA National Guard. “You've got combatant commanders over there who need it they say they need it, they don't want to lose what they h ave, and we certainly understand that it's a matter of us educating that combatant commander, we need it back here as well,” Col. Schneider said. [ABC 26 WGNO, 8/1/05]


Iraq Has Left National Guard Units At Home Short Of Equipment. Already suffering from manpower shortages, the National Guard’s overstretched forces are being confronted with another problem: not enough equipment to supply Guard troops at home. “To fully equip troops in Iraq, the Pentagon has stripped local Guard units of about 24,000 pieces of equipment. That has left Guard units at home, already seriously short of gear.” [Detroit Free Press, 6/13/05]

Gen. McCaffrey Said We Could Permanently Damage The Guard And Reserve. Gen. McCaffrey warned against overstretching Guard and Reserve. “[W]e're going to damage fatally the National Guard if we try and continue using Reserve components at this rate. Forty percent of that force in Iraq right now is Reserve component. We have shot the bull. We've got to back off and build an Army and Marine Corps capable of sustaining these operations.” [Meet the Press, 8/28/05]

Governors Say Long Deployments Leaving Their States Vulnerable. “[S]tate officials think continued deployments will have an effect on people who sign up for or remain in the Minnesota National Guard. At a National Governor's Association meeting…some governors criticized the burden of repeated deployment, saying that the troops' absence leaves their states unprotected against things like natural disasters. Officials in Idaho and Montana have said they are unprepared if forest fires hit their states this summer.” [AP, 8/10/05]


Coast Guard Gave Congress List of $919 Million in Unfunded Priorities. The Coast Guard has given Congress a $919 million wish list of programs and hardware not funded in the Bush Administration's fiscal 2006 budget request. For the first time, the Coast Guard has sent Congressional representatives an unfunded priorities list - a tally of needed items not included in the fiscal 2006 request. The list includes an additional $637 million for the service's Deepwater recapitalization program; $11.6 million for helicopter repairs; $4 million to increase aviation maritime patrol hours, and $59 million to renovate shore stations. [Journal of Commerce Online, 5/11/05]

Coast Guard Faced With Helicopter Problems. The head of the US Coast Guard told Congress his equipment is failing at unacceptable rates. Despite increases in spending on maintenance, the agency's older large craft -- called cutters -- experience equipment failures capable of ruining a mission almost 50 percent of the time, according to Coast Guard officials. Further, the agency's HH-65 helicopters suffered a rate of 329 mishaps per 100,000 flight hours in 2004, way over the Federal Aviation Administration's acceptable standard of 1 mishap per 100,000 hours. [UPI, 6/10/05; USA Today, 7/6/05]

Commandant Says Coast Guard Short On Resources. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thomas H. Collins said, “Do we have more business than we have resources? Yes.” The Coast Guard has put the cost of implementing safety regulations laid out by Congress at $7.3 billion over the next ten years. The Bush administration only asked for $46 million for aid to the ports in the 2005 budget. [Budget of the United States, www.omb.gov; House Approps Cmte Transcript, 3/31/04; Washington Post, 4/2/03; Boston Globe, 6/30/04]

Posted at 06:27 PM in 2006 Elections, Culture of Corruption, Economy, General, Louisiana, Republicans, Scandals | Comments (57) | Technorati

Katrina and the Louisana National Guard

Posted by Bob Brigham

Lot of great links in the discussion over Patricia Taylor's Daily Kos diary. Such as ABC News:

JACKSON BARRACKS -- When members of the Louisiana National Guard left for Iraq in October, they took a lot equipment with them. Dozens of high water vehicles, humvees, refuelers and generators are now abroad, and in the event of a major natural disaster that, could be a problem.

"The National Guard needs that equipment back home to support the homeland security mission," said Lt. Colonel Pete Schneider with the LA National Guard.

And the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

In no state have those deaths registered more than in Louisiana. Louisiana, along with New York, has lost more guardsmen and reservists - 23 as of July 24 - than any state in the nation, and all but one of those deaths have come in the last eight months.

Patricia Taylor says:

Unfortunately, the citizens of the state of Louisiana are about to face the full force of Katrina without the benefit of their National Guard troops to protect them.

This is a direct consequence of President Bush's bad decision to invade Iraq.

This week we're going to see the results of Bush's choice to gamble without having our strategic reserve National Guard troops in their states where they belong.

UPDATE: (Bob) More...National Guard Belongs in the Nation.

Posted at 04:18 PM in Louisiana | Technorati

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Louisiana Run Off: Final Results

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It's over.

LA-3 Charles Melancon (Dem.) defeats "Little Billy" Tauzin III -- According to "Sharon" at the Louisiana Sec. of State's office, "all ballots have been counted."  This includes absentee, which was my specific question.  Louisiana election law only provides for recounts in case of fraud.

57,609 to 57,092 -- 50% to 50% -- Winner: Melancon (Dem.)

LA-7: A lot less complicated.  Willie Mount (Dem.) lost to "Lord Charles" Boustany.

61,483 to 75,035 -- 45% to 55% -- Winner: Boustany (Rep.)

So, a split.  There was a lot of traffic tonight.  I appreciate everyone stopping by for results or to read the in-depth on the races.  Be sure to come back.  Time to look forward to 2005 & 2006. 

Posted at 11:39 PM in Louisiana | Technorati

Melacon v. Tauzin III 50% to 50%

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Update 6:  (10:43 P.M.) - Mount is done - will post final for her later

LA 3: Melancon (Dem.)  50%    57,609
        Tauzin III (Rep.)    50%   57,092    573 of 573 Precincts

Wow!  517 votes.  Am looking into automatic recount right information right now, but I would guess there will be some more counting.

Update 7: (11:04 P.M.) That might be a wrap...

Jerome at MyDD dug up some Lousiana election law that shows no provisions for an automatic recount. 

B. A candidate who alleges that, except for substantial irregularities or error, or except for fraud or other unlawful activities in the conduct of the election, he would have qualified for a general election or would have been elected may bring an action contesting the election.

C. A person in interest may bring an action contesting any election in which any proposition is submitted to the voters if he alleges that except for irregularities or fraud in the conduct of an election the result would have been different.

Still wondering about absentee ballots...

Final Update(?) 11:18 P.M.

According to "Sharon" at the Louisiana Secretary of State Election Division -- "all ballots have been counted."  There are no more absentee ballots to tally. 

Winner: Chales Melancon

Posted at 10:44 PM in Louisiana | Comments (1) | Technorati

LA Run Off Live Updates

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Update 1:  (9:15 P.M.)

LA 3: Melancon (Dem.)  53% 7,117
        Tauzin III (Rep.)  47% 6,281   59 of 573 Precincts

LA 7: Mount (Dem.)    46% 3,167
        Boustany (Rep.) 54% 3,665    (?) of 558 Precincts

Update 2:  (9:27 P.M.)

LA 3: Melancon (Dem.)   55%   14,622
        Tauzin III (Rep.)    45% 12,143   118 of 573 Precincts
LA 7: Mount (Dem.)     47% 4,705
        Boustany (Rep.)  53% 5,351  63 of 558 Precincts

Update 3:  (9:39 P.M.)

LA 3: Melancon (Dem.)   54%   27,850
        Tauzin III (Rep.)    46%   23,532  247 of 573 Precincts
LA 7: Mount (Dem.)       48%   15,047
        Boustany (Rep.)    52%   16,468  166 of 558 Precincts

Update 4:  (8:53 P.M.) - Looks like a split

LA 3: Melancon (Dem.)   53%   44,876 
        Tauzin III (Rep.)    47%   39,573  425 of 573 Precincts
LA 7: Mount (Dem.)       44%   29,150
        Boustany (Rep.)    56%    37,652 293 of 558 Precincts

Update 5:  (10:10 P.M.) - Maybe not - Getting Close in LA-3

LA 3: Melancon (Dem.)   51%    55,139
        Tauzin III (Rep.)    49%    52,820  539 of 573 Precincts
LA 7: Mount (Dem.)       41%    29,150
        Boustany (Rep.)    59%    37,652 438 of 558 Precincts

Posted at 09:16 PM in Louisiana | Technorati

Louisiana Run Off Elections Today!

Posted by Tim Tagaris

One stop shopping for the last two 2004 Congressional races before we can focus our full attention on the 2005 & 2006 slate of elections.

LA-3: Charles Melancon (Dem.) v. Billy Tauzin III (Rep.) - In-depth Review HERE

LA-7: Willie Mount (Dem.) v. Charles Boustany (Rep.) - In-depth Review HERE

Get the results live as the votes are tabulated by the Louisiana Sec. of State: HERE

Funny Story: Did you know that Republican challenger Charles Boustany paid $50,000 to buy himself the title, "Lord Boustany?" The purchase was supposed to allow him access to Royal Family functions, hobnobbing with the Queen of England and Prince Charles.

One problem.  It was a fraud.  As a millionaire, you might let this go to save embarrassment, but not Boustany.  He sued and now suit he filed is available to the public.

Disturbing Story: Did you know that "Little Billy" Tauzin III was arrested and sentenced to probation, in lieu of 6 months in prison, for a DWI?  He has since had his share of legal problems that range from possession of a fur bearing animal without a license to trespassing.  Both would seem to violate the conditions of his probation.  Which begs the question, are Republican politicians pre-disposed to breaking the law?

Posted at 03:58 AM in Louisiana | Technorati

Thursday, December 02, 2004

LA-3 Update: Tauzin III Violates Probation

Posted by Tim Tagaris

With two days before the Louisiana run-offs, Billy Tauzin III (Rep. LA-3) has legal troubles to worry about.  Tauzin  III is squaring off against Democratic challenger Charles Melancon.  Tauzin's father currently occupies the Republican held seat.  The Stakeholder has the details.

Undermining claims he has learned from his DWI arrest and put his legal troubles behind him, public documents reveal that congressional candidate Billy Tauzin III has been charged with a spate of new offenses this year.

...The conditions of his DWI probation required Tauzin to "refrain from criminal conduct, specifically the violation of any State, Federal, Local or Municipal law." According to 22nd Judicial District Court documents, failure to comply with these conditions could result in the revocation of Tauzin's probation and the six-month jail term to which he was originally sentenced.

The real irony comes on the heels of Dick Cheney flying down to campaign for Tauzin III.  The veep had this to say:

"All of you know Billy very well," Cheney said. "He has deep roots in this district, a close connection to the people who live here, and one of the most trusted names in Louisiana politics. He's supported by both Democrats and Republicans, he's an active member of the community, and he shares your values."

After all, Dick Cheney is in a unique position to make the claim that DWI convictions and probation violations are shared Louisiana values.  The real question here is, how difficult is it for Republicans that hold office, or are running for office to stay afoul of the law?


Posted at 04:49 PM in Louisiana | Comments (2) | Technorati

Sunday, November 28, 2004

In Depth: Mount vs. Boustany (LA-7)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

With the Lousiana General Elections right around the corner (December 4), I wanted to follow up my in-depth review of Melancon vs. Tauzin with some information about the Congressional race in the 7th District of Louisiana.

Willie Landry Mount (Democrat) vs. Charles Boustany (Republican)

Once again, if you are interested in heading the Bayou on a DCCC sponsored trip to help out either of the candidates featured, you can find information on that HERE

If you are interested in contributing the Mount Campaign, you can do so HERE

These last two races are a chance to rebuff the Republican gains made in the House of Representatives.

Primary Results for CD-7

Charles Boustany (R) 105,752  39%   
Willie L. Mount (D) 69,069  25%   
Don Cravins (D) 67,386  25%   
Other 31,702  12%

As you can see, the main Democratic challengers themselves garnered 50% of the vote. This along with the fact that this is a currently held Democratic seat bodes well, on paper, for the blue team in this run-off.

Race Background & Currently in the News

This race is heating up and becoming increasingly bitter and ugly as we wind down to Election Day.  Early voting has finished in the Bayou State and the votes will be cast on December 4th.

From The Advertiser of Lafayette Louisiana.


In the 7th District runoff, Lafayette Republican Dr. Charles Boustany Jr. faces state Sen. Willie Mount,

D-Lake Charles, in a race to fill the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Chris John, D-Crowley.

The race has become increasingly bitter in recent weeks as the two candidates battle it out in television ads over their respective records and experience.

Boustany, a retired surgeon, and Mount, a former Lake Charles mayor, are both scheduled to attend a Rotary Club luncheon and forum Tuesday in Opelousas. It is expected to be the only time they meet before the election. 

As the article points out, the two are gunning for the seat held by Chris John, who failed in his bid to become the next Louisiana Senator in a seat vacated by John Breaux and won by Republican David Vitter.

From the Associated Press

Lafayette Republican Charles Boustany Jr. faces accusations that he's overplaying his credentials as a physician. Lake Charles Democrat Willie Mount must rebuff allegations that her anti-abortion stance isn't tough enough.

Mount, a state senator, has an ad that says Boustany is deceptive in depicting himself as a surgeon. The ad says Boustany also receives "hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in lavish disability payments."
Boustany, a former heart surgeon, has run ads showing him in doctor's scrubs but said he's never hidden the fact he no longer practices. He has said he shut down his practice about a year ago, when he realized arthritis would prevent him to continue the work.

Boustany has said that he paid into an expensive disability insurance policy for years. He's said he has gotten enough money between the insurance payments and savings to get through the past year, but he will need to keep working.

Boustany said his disability insurance money is the result of good planning, and that he originally got it after hearing about other surgeons forced to retire because of physical disability.

Boustany has also gone on the attack, going after Mount's stated position as a pro-life candidate. A Boustany ad claims Mount "failed to protect life" in a 2001 state Senate vote, saying she "voted against tougher state regulations for clinics prescribing the morning-after abortion pill."

Finally, an endorsement of Mount by outgoing Senator John Breaux might be the key to unifying a Democratic Party fractured by a contentious and bitter Primary that resulted in State Senator Cravins (Mount's Democratic opponent in the Primary) threatening to file a Federal Lawsuit against the Democratic Party.

U.S. Sen. John Breaux endorsed fellow Democrat Willie Mount in southwest Louisiana's congressional race on Tuesday, and party officials hope Breaux can help heal bitter divisions lingering from the Nov. 2 primary.

The state Democratic Party faced tough criticism last week from state Sen. Don Cravins, D-Arnaudville, who lost to Mount in the primary by less than 1,700 votes. Cravins, who is black, said he planned to file a federal lawsuit against the party for its role in a "unity" ballot that endorsed Mount and was mailed to black voters. 

Continued (same article)


Mount, who is white, has some patching up to do within the party among Cravins supporters, who believe their candidate was wronged by the party. Cravins was upset by the pro-Mount "unity ballot" _ it had pictures of black families and Martin Luther King Jr. _ which was sent to black voters and was partly paid for by the state party. 

Willie Mount on the Issues

As I said in my first installment some of us might have to remember that many Louisiana Democrats are a different breed than those of us who frequent the blogs.  It is, as DemFromCT noted on my original post that Mount will vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker.  While "holding your nose" review Boustany's positions on the issues as well, and come to the determination of who you would rather have elected in the Louisiana 7th.

On the Economy (Emphasis not mine)


will work to:
    Balance the federal budget!
*    Introduce legislation to reduce tax breaks, incentives and subsidies given to U.S. companies, which outsource jobs to foreign countries. These tax breaks, incentives and subsidies should be awarded to those U.S. companies that choose to expand a work force right here in the United States. 
*    Support lower and middle-class tax cuts.
*    Work to permanently eliminate the marriage penalty.
*    Work to permanently eliminate the inheritance tax.
*    Generate investment and create jobs by providing tax incentives to small businesses.
*    Work to revise tax laws to eliminate advantages for U.S. companies to invest in foreign countries and keep their profits there rather than doing business at home.


I am and have always been Pro-Life.

As a member of Congress, I will support legislation that allows States more freedom in regulating abortions than the Supreme Court has permitted. I believe that life begins at conception and that it should be protected just as any other human life.

Furthermore, I strongly support promoting programs aimed at offering adoption as an alternative to abortion. With so many families willing to provide a home to newborn children, I believe we should do everything possible in providing for the adoption alternative.

Foreign Policy


I favor a very strong national defense, so that we never deal with threats from a position of weakness, but rather from overwhelming strength.

I believe that when our troops are committed to battle abroad, we must stand by them, and give them all the support they need. But I believe just as firmly that we must never lightly put these brave men and women in harms way. 

I favor policies that would encourage more exploration both off shore and in Louisiana to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I also favor developing new alternative forms of energy.

We must continue to be vigilant in our quest to end the threat posed by threats of nuclear proliferation.

    Iraq must be made stable and secure in order that be transformed into a democracy. 
*    Support efforts to engage the international community to secure and rebuild Iraq.
*    Train Iraqis in order to protect their new democracy.
*    Support our troops to get the job done and bring them home


Education is the cornerstone of a successful society! In support of my commitment to make education a top priority, I vow to utilize my experience as a past Vice-Chair of the State Senate Education Committee to:

    Fight for the funding needed to effectively utilize the No Child Left Behind Act, a plan designed to improve student achievement and hold schools and states more accountable for student progress.
*    Work to fill our classrooms with qualified teachers, providing incentives to attract and maintain them.
*    Support Pre-K and after-school programs that strengthen students' educational and societal skills.
*    Seek to make higher education more accessible and affordable by expanding the Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit as well as increase the amount allocated for Pell Grants.

*Charles Boustany on the Issues

Like I said, before you pass judgment, take a look at Boustany on the issues.  They can be found in full on the site linked above, on the right hand side.

His positions on Job Creation & the Economy are not very detailed at all.  You can find them HERE He does a lot of talking about what is wrong with the Louisiana economy, but offers VERY LITTLE by way of a plan to solve the problems. It is almost embarrassing to see a serious Congressional Candidate have so little to say about the important issues of the day, with the exception of pontificating about what is wrong - and offering senseless anecdotes about what people across the country think about the Louisiana economy.


Want to Give Small Businesses and Families Ownership of Their Future... Tax Breaks for Their Budgets.

-I am the only candidate to sign the No-Tax Pledge.  But, I go one step further than just saying I will not raise taxes.  I believe that cutting taxes, providing tax incentives and credits is the hallmark of a forward thinking fiscal policy.  Small businesses need the commitment so they can transfer prosperity to their employees and families deserve tax breaks so they can invest in health care, tuition, and retirement plans.  Hard working people deserve a break... hard working people deserve to have their money working for them when they are resting. 


It begins by developing a Comprehensive Economic Strategic Plan for the 7th District.

-We have thought unilaterally for too long.  By focusing on what one parish produces, we have simplified our economy instead of creating a web of products and services that can multiply in value.  We are shortchanging ourselves.

-I will meet with the business community and local elected officials on a regular basis to discuss how we can take advantage of our resources. I will also maintain an open door policy, both in the district and in Washington, to let new ideas flow freely.

Health Care


True Market Competition Favors Families/Patients First

Families should be given tax breaks or subsidies on purchase of their health care.  This will allow them to control their policy.  But, to make it work, HMO's must do a better job of providing information, choice, and control to the consumer.  In addition, our tax system must create health savings accounts.  Restructuring tax policies will provide more money for patients and less worries so that a medical crisis does not also turn into a financial crisis.

  • Tax Breaks and Subsidies
  • Information, Choice, and Control
  • Health Savings Accounts
The Uninsured Cannot Be Stranded
Beyond changing our tax policies to help the uninsured get insured, we must
  • Foster Community Health Care Clinics
  • Provide services for working families that can't afford health savings accounts,
  • Expand federally qualified health care centers. 
Across the country there are 43 million uninsured... we have the resources to get them either insured or provide them with health care options that will cut the rising costs of health care for all.

Frivolous Lawsuits are Driving Costs Up, Doctors Out

  • Mediator to sift bad claims out
  • Malpractice Insurance Premiums are driving medical workers out of the profession

And finally - Values  Notice the emboldened framing of the stem cell argument Boustany makes.  This is something to think about combating in the future.

Know this, when I am elected,  I will:
o Defend the Ban on Partial Birth Abortion
o Support the Laci and Connor Peterson Act
o And oppose Federal Funding for Abortions
We cannot diminish the value of the unborn human life without diminishing the value of all human life.
I will also oppose Embryonic Stem Cell, "clone and kill," Research.  Adult stem cells and other forms of research offer better results without destroying life.
And I will never support any form of euthanasia.  Only God can decide when life ends.  It is not a decision that should be put in the hands of any man or woman.
Life is not a choice and what constitutes a marriage shouldn't be either.  I have been married to my wife Bridget for 25 years.  I believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. 
  • Supporting Abstinence education
  • Supporting Faith based initiatives
  • Supporting Tax credits for families that provide care for elderly parents
  • Repealing the marriage penalty tax
  • And Repealing the death tax.

The Fundrace

All information gathered from Open Secrets

Boustany has gathered $1,017,645 thus far.  Here is an deeper look at where that money is coming from:

27% from PACS - which isn't that bad until you see how impressive Mount is.

Health $224,250 (Boustany is a former doctor who has closed his practice and currently collects large sums of disability)

Lawyers & Lobbyists $30,599

Ideology/Single-Issue $163,000

Mount has raised $684,360 total.  99% of that money comes from individual contributions.  Only 1% from Political Action Committees. Here are the leaders:

Construction $82,050

Finance/Insur/RealEst $71,000

Lawyers & Lobbyists $106,723


So, that's the run down.  I hope more of you read this one than the last.  Thanks to Newsie for including me in their diaries you probably missed list for the week. 

Once again, if you are interested in heading the Bayou on a DCCC sponsored trip to help out either of the candidates featured, you can find information on that HERE

If you are interested in contributing the Mount Campaign, you can do so HERE

Thanks for listening.  Hopefully we can go two-for-two on Election Day, slimming the Republican leadership in the House.  Hell, if every vote counts in a national election of 120 million votes - certainly every vote counts in the House.


Posted at 09:05 PM in Louisiana | Technorati

Friday, November 26, 2004

In Depth: Melancon vs. Tauzin III (LA-03)

Posted by Tim Tagaris

Last week I gave a "cheap seats" overview on the front page of DailyKos on the two Louisiana House races remaining this election cycle.  After re-reading the post, I think I cheated the Democratic candidate from LA-3 a bit. It was a bit "information light."  So, this time I decided let's take it a bit more in-depth.

Without further ado, let's go inside Charles Melancon (Democrat) vs. Billy Tauzin III (Republican) in Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District.

You can get involved by heading down to the Bayou on a DCCC sponsored trip.  Information HERE.

Or, you can contribute to the Melancon effort HERE

Many of you might recognize the name Billy Tauzin.  He has been a Congressman for near a quarter of a century in Louisiana.  However, this is not the same Billy Tauzin, it is his son.  Tauzin represents the very kind of D.C. entitlement I find abhorrent (on both sides of the aisle).  While Melancon might not be the same kind of Democrat many of us are, it is important to note that this seat is a pick-up opportunity, a vote for Pelosi, and a chance to stem the tide of Republican victories on November 2nd.

Race Background

Tauzin knocked out a strong Republican primary challenge, in part by casting his ultraconservative opponent, state Sen. Craig Romero, as a defender of sodomy. Romero, furious that the party backed "the boy," as he called him, said some of the district's voters thought they were supporting the old man, not the son.
Still, with no record to run on, name recognition is probably Tauzin's biggest asset in a district his father held for nearly a quarter-century.

Battle of bitter primary opponents

In an interesting wrinkle, one of Melancon's primary opponents Charmaine Degruise Caccioppi crossed party lines and decided to endorse "Little Billy" in the run-off election.  Touch�� says Tauzin primary opponent Craig Romero.  From the Louisiana Weekly

Earlier in the week, Craig Romero told supporters that he would not endorse Tauzin under any circumstances, and when asked for whom he would vote, he refused to reply. 

Romero is still bitter about Tauzin's claims that he supported the legalization of sodomy. 

One endorsement that might help Melancon in the end is the one from Louisiana's largest newspaper, The Times-Picayune

Mr. Melancon brings a depth of experience that would help him make a quick start in Congress. He served five years in the state Legislature, was executive director of the South Central Planning and Development Commission and was vice chairman of the Thibodaux-based South Louisiana Economic Council. He is a businessman who most recently served as president and general manager of the American Sugar Cane League. He understands the needs of this district and promises to be a consensus builder in Congress. 

Head to head - On the issues

Tauzin appears to ripping a page out of the classic Republican playbook.  Someone tell me where we have heard this before?  From the AP

Taxes are also at the heart of attacks on Melancon. Republican ads paint the Democrat as a tax-loving liberal along the lines of Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy.

In another classic Republican maneuver - Tauzin advocated a 23% national sales tax, and when he was called on it, claimed her never said such a thing.  This is a new technique, but one that is catching on in Republican circles (see DeMint)  From the AP again...

In ads and on the stump, Melancon accuses Tauzin of backing a 23 percent sales tax "on everything." The Democrat said such a tax would disproportionately affect lower-income families.

Melancon said he is basing his comments on Tauzin's stance on Tauzin's comments about the tax at an Oct. 19 forum in Houma and on a bill currently filed in the U.S. House of Representatives laying out a 23 percent national sales tax.

Tauzin said he has never supported such a tax. Parts of past sales tax proposals appeal to him, he said, such as abolishing certain taxes or getting rid of the IRS.

As many of us know, one of the major fights the next Congress will face is CAFTA, The Central American Free Trade Agreement - or NAFTA on steroids. After reviewing his website, this issue seems to be one that he highlights. From a Melancon Press Release.

"As the former head of the sugar industry representing 27,000 Louisiana jobs, I know what's at risk here. Louisiana may have taken some hard punches with NAFTA, but CAFTA could be a knockout we may never recover from," said Melancon. "I fought against CAFTA during my time heading the American Sugar Cane League, and I will continue that fight in Congress. If NAFTA taught us anything, it's that we need strong voices in Congress to fight unfair trade agreements that threaten competitive and viable industries and put thousands of Louisianians out of work." Top Washington Republicans, including House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, have renewed their push for passage of CAFTA (Houston Chronicle 11/9/04)

On health care, Melancon echoes the sentiments many of us feel, holding drug companies accountable, and allowing for the safe importation of affordable medicine from allies like Canada.

* If a senior is locked into a drug discount card, the drug company should be also. Right now the company offering the card can change weekly what drugs they will cover and the amount of the drug discount while seniors have to stick with one card for a full year

* Keep drug companies from raising prices and then offering "discounts" of the same amount. Seniors need to be guaranteed real savings on their prescription drugs, not smoke and mirrors from drug companies protecting their profits

* Let Medicare negotiate lower drug prices for seniors. Currently Medicare is prevented from using its leverage to lower costs the way the Veterans Administration or even private companies do.

But yes, you might have to hold your nose at times while supporting Melancon.  But like I said, it's a pick-up chance, he will vote for Pelosi over DeLay, and he has some decent issue positions otherwise. Once again, from the Melancon website.

* Abortion
�� Strongly pro-life
�� Has a pro-life voting record in the Louisiana legislature
�� Endorsed by Democrats for Life of America
* Gun Control
�� Opposes gun control
�� Opposes the assault weapons ban
�� "A" ratings with the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America
* Gay Marriage
�� Opposes gay marriage
�� Believes marriage should be between a man and a woman
* Crime
�� Supports the death penalty for violent criminals 

Unfortunately, his "National Security" issues page is broken on his website and he didn't fill out the NPAT for Project Vote Smart so I can't bring you information about Iraq, Terrorism, etc..

However, when it comes to education, he is spot on - especially in light of the recent decrease in Pell Grant funding by the Bush Administration and his cronies in Congress.  Once again, from the Melancon website.

CHARLIE MELANCON - "It's hard to explain to a teacher or first-grader why there are new schools in Iraq, while our schools are in shambles. We need to balance new investments in education with more accountability for the money spent and the performance of our schools. You can't get a good job if you don't have a good education. Our schools are the lifeblood of our economic development efforts. Improving our schools is the most effective economic development strategy we can have." <>


  • Increase Pell Grant Program from $4,000 to $5,800 annually, giving economically disadvantaged students a better chance to attend college
  • Fully fund "No Child Left Behind" to implement more accountability measures in our schools
  • Support Character Education and Character Counts
  • Keep our commitment to making college affordable for students who stay in Louisiana
  • Fund more school construction and school modernization
  • Work to attract and keep quality teachers in our schools 

Little Billy Tauzin III on the Issues

Fortunately, he did fill out an NPAT on Project Vote Smart - it shows just how much of a wingnut this guy can be.  Here are some select portions he is in favor of, direct from the form he filled out

Prohibit public funding of abortions and of organizations that advocate or perform abortions. (yes)

Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.  (yes)

Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns. (yes)

Allow citizens to carry concealed guns. (yes)

Should the United States decrease its financial support of the United Nations? (yes)

Do you support eliminating taxes on dividends paid to individual investors?  (yes)

Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical? (yes)

Do you support a policy of pre-emptive strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to national security? (yes)

Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which they manage themselves. (yes)

And he is opposed to, or undecided about the following - once again, from Project Vote Smart:

Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market. (does not support)

Increase the federal minimum wage. (does not support)

Strengthen emission controls and fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.  (does not support)

Support the U.S. re-entering the Kyoto treaty process to limit global warming. (does not support)

Renew the ban on the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.  (does not support)

Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.  (does not support)

Should trade agreements include provisions to address environmental concerns and to protect workers' rights?  (does not support)

The finances

One last stop in the review of this race.  The fundrace.  Information gathered from Open Secrets

Top Tauzin Contributors and Breakdown:

Business $89,661 -- Ideological $92,250

Bell South, of which Little Billy was a lobbyist for contributed $17,500 to the campaign effort.

At the time of the last report, Tauzin had raised $603,194

42% of those dollars come from Political Action Committees.  As you can tell by the breakdown, a good chunk of that from "values" and "single-issue" PACs.

Top Melancon Contributors and Breakdown:

Business $45,119 -- Labor $62,000

At the time of the last report, Melancon had raised $788,467

Not surprisingly 83% of those dollars have come from individual contributions.


So, at this point the choice is yours.  I think its quite obvious who we are going to cheer for in this race.  But the question remains, do you want to get involved.  Once again, you can do so in the following ways.

You can get involved by heading down to the Bayou on a DCCC sponsored trip.  Information HERE.

Or, you can contribute to the Melancon effort HERE.

Time is running out and the election is December 4th.  At the very least, I hope this post provided a source of information about the campaign that will allow you to feel more "invested" on Election Day. At the most, hopefully it spurred you to take a weekend off and head down to the Bayou.

Posted at 02:58 AM in Louisiana | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, August 02, 2004

Is Louisiana Lost to Us?

Posted by DavidNYC

After an unexpected Democratic Senate victory in 2002, and another narrow Dem gubernatorial win in 2003, things started looking up for us in the Pelican State. But both Landrieu (the Senator) and Blanco (the Governor) are more conservative than John Kerry, and consequently (or so it would seem), the presidential polling tells rather a different story. Market Research International - a possibly GOP firm - showed Kerry back just six points in May. But a new poll done for a group of Republicans and Democrats (go figure) in the middle of July shows Bush with a monstrous 52-36 lead. And a different poll in May put Bush up 52-38.

These results are all quite disappointing, but of course, Louisiana is not a state we need to win. Still, I had hoped it would be a state we could force Bush to compete in, but it doesn't appear to be turning out that way - though according to the story in "The Advertiser," he has spent more money there than we have. I was also hoping that there might be a coattails effect, given that there's now an open (Dem held) Senate race in the offing, but whoever our candidate turns out to be (Louisiana has a wacky election system, if you aren't familiar with it) will likely have to stand on his own.

It's early, but right now, I'm going to say that I think LA would be a major reach for us - more so than even a state like VA or NC. But if you have a different take on why and how we can win Louisiana, I'd like to hear it.

P.S. A very big thank you to everyone who offered (via comments and e-mail) ideas for housing in DC. I'm very grateful.

Posted at 01:45 AM in Louisiana | Comments (57) | Technorati

Friday, June 04, 2004

Kerry Narrows Bush Lead in LA

Posted by DavidNYC

Louisiana's a mystery to me: One poll shows Bush with a whopping 19-point lead, the next shows Kerry just six points behind, 48-42 (MoE: ��4%). Now, I know that different polls have different methodologies, but still, this seems like a remarkably wide difference to me.

As for the headline of this post, the prior poll by this outfit gave Bush a 10-point lead. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find the actual trendlines for the earlier March poll. (There seems to be nothing on Polling Report or Lexis.)

(Thanks to Hoffmania.)

UPDATE: Ed in the comments does the due diligence about this polling outfit - Marketing Research Institute - that I should have done, and warns us that MRI may very well be a GOP operation. Now, I think partisan polling has its place - it just has to be identified as such. The odd thing, though, is that this poll is one of the closest we've ever seen for LA, despite its possible partisan bias.

Posted at 09:42 PM in Louisiana | Comments (6) | Technorati

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Kerry Ad Buy Hits the Usual Suspects, Plus LA & CO

Posted by DavidNYC

John Kerry is finally going on the offensive and launching a huge ad buy - to the tune of $27.5 million. What I really like about this ad buy is that, in addition to the standard 17 battleground states, Kerry's also hitting Louisiana and Colorado.

LA's margin is easily the reddest on my list, at 7.32%. Of course, we did win two big races there recently (Senate in `02 and Governor in `03), but with candidates who were a lot more conservative than John Kerry. From what I read, it also seemed that local issues - which Kerry may or may not be able to associate himself with - seemed to play a big role as well. LA's a definite longshot for us, and it's probably a state we'll win only if we've won big elsewhere.

CO is a bit different. It had a margin of 3.71%, but that was due to a pretty big Nader factor (5.25% of the total vote). In fact, CO had the biggest Nader vote of any of the states on my list, so I'm hesitant to consider it truly swing. However, with the retirement of Sen. Ben Campbell, Democratic AG Ken Salazar is now favored to pick up that seat for us. Plus, we also have two legit House pickup chances (the 3rd and 7th districts). But even if two-thirds of Nader voters, say, were to come to our side, we'd still be almost 5 points back, so I'll peg CO as a longshot, too.

I did say that I like this ad buy, though - so why? Well, for once, we are taking the fight to the enemy. Bush isn't on the air in either state yet - though apparently he plans to be soon. This means we are acting, and our opponent is reacting. And this is where you want to have the other guy: Responding to your blows, rather than dishing out his own. The GOP copycatting here is also a nice reassurance that you are either doing something right or that they at least think you're doing something right. And it sure is good to see those guys back on their heels for once.

P.S. Luke promises reviews of the new ads themselves shortly. He also points out that this is the biggest single ad buy either candidate has done this cycle.

Posted at 01:40 AM in Colorado, Louisiana | Comments (6) | Technorati

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Bush Budget in Louisiana

Posted by Ricky

I know the anticipation has been killing the fine readers of this site for the first letter from Louisiana, but I've been having trouble finding a way to make my killer debut. I've finally decided to just go ahead and post some straight dope on the way Bush's budget is being covered by local writers. It's not exactly blogging gold, but at least you'll know what the President looks like here in the great state of Louisiana. The front page story in the state's most read newspaper gives the typical account of the budget with the way it relates specifically to Louisiana.

Some interesting bits from this story is the concern about Homeland Security funding (Bush's stated highest priority in the budget) not being enough. The director of the Port of New Orleans had this to say:

But Gary LaGrange, director of the Port of New Orleans, said the president's $490 million proposal for port security is far too little given that America's seaports have been identified as potential terrorism targets.

"I'm deeply concerned," LaGrange said. "It's not even half of what we need."

Also included on the front page is a story about the massive deficit being run by the White House and Congress that barely even pays lips service to Bush's budget dircetor's reassurance that they'll curb spending.

Kos readers will notice a post he has up today noting how Bush's budget is going to get bashed in local papers around the country. He's certainly hit the nail on the head with regards to Louisiana. A third story about the budget discusses the failure to provide adequate spending to deal with a coastal depletion problem that is rapidly becoming a major concern for many Louisianians.

In our October elections, Louisiana voters overwhelmingly supported three amendments which called for greater spending and agreed to match a certain percentage of federal funding allocated to coastal restoration. Now the federal government is reneging on a gentleman's agreement with our Congressional delegation. It's not surprising, but it's good for those of us who'd like to see Bush out of office next January to see it in print.

You can read more of my thoughts on Louisiana issues over at Timshel.

Posted at 11:27 AM in Louisiana | Technorati

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Louisiana: Gov. Race Wrap-Up

Posted by DavidNYC

Earlier this week, I mentioned that Louisiana native Ricky would be posting a wrap-up of the governor's race there over at his blog, Timshel. It's up now (well, it's been up for a few days), and it bears checking out. Most interesting observation: Blanco won several counties (they call `em parishes in LA) that Republican Suzie Terrell won in last year's Senate race. There are plenty of possible explanations for this: Blanco ran a better campaign than Landrieu, Blanco is more conservative, racists wouldn't turn out for Jindal (who is of Indian heritage), etc. The most optimistic interpretation is that LA is now trending back toward the Dems, and at least one local paper, as Ricky points out, thinks this is the case.

Posted at 01:22 AM in Louisiana | Comments (1) | Technorati

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Dems Win Louisiana Governor's Race

Posted by DavidNYC

In a very heartening bit of news for our side, Democrat Kathleen Blanco has defeated Republican Bobby Jindal in the Louisiana governor's race by a 52-48 margin. Kos has some comments, and Ricky over at Timshel, who is a native of Lafayette, LA & a keen observer of the LA political scene, promises some more in-depth commentary shortly.

Needless to say, coming on the heels of Sen. Mary Landrieu's victory last year, Blanco's win bodes well for Democratic prospects in Louisiana in general - we also won nearly every other statewide race - and for the presidential election in particular. We still have a pretty big hill to climb: The margin in 2000 was 7.32%. But I think the trek just got a bit easier.

Posted at 12:01 PM in Louisiana | Comments (3) | Technorati

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Louisiana Governor's Race

Posted by DavidNYC

New daddy Kos provides a more in-depth update on the Louisiana governor's race. Shorter Kos: It's a dead heat, and while Blanco has run a lackluster campaign, she has $2m in the bank for the final stretch run, compared to Jindal's $1m. However, I disagree with Kos's conclusion that, if we lose this one, we Dems will have to do a lot of teeth-gnashing. I just don't think that one gubernatorial election is a great indicator of our overall strength, particularly if we win or lose by a very narrow margin.

These off-year elections are odd creatures, and I don't think anyone has conclusively figured out a pattern to them. In 2001, just two months after 9/11 - when Bush's halo was supposed to be at its brightest - the Democrats won both major governor's races, in blue NJ and red VA. Obviously, these results didn't serve as very good augurs for what happened in 2002. Now of course I'm rooting big-time for a Blanco victory, and I think this race may indeed wind up telling us something about the nature of the Louisiana electorate. But on a wider scale, I'm not going to read too much into this race, win or lose.

Posted at 02:41 PM in Louisiana | Comments (4) | Technorati

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