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U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D. LA) isn't my favorite Democrat up for re-election but this latest news story from the Bayou State earned Landrieu some praise today from me and hopefully you too:

http://www.nola.com/...


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Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., Monday called on Gov. Bobby Jindal to reverse course and implement provisions of President Barack Obama's health overhaul law. Landrieu said that if Jindal wants to offer changes in the law, she stands "ready to work" with him. But she called on Jindal to accept the reality that with the president's re-election last month, Republican efforts to repeal the law won't succeed.


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"The Affordable Care Act is not perfect and that is why I remain open to making smart changes to the law to improve it, if warranted," Landrieu said in her letter to Jindal. "I am open to your suggestions and I hope that we can both work to find real solutions to this serious issue. But now that we know the law is here to stay, simply refusing to engage in the process is not leadership." - The Times-Picayune, 12/3/12

Those sound like fighting words to me.  This has been part of an ongoing fight between Landrieu and Jindal to prevent deep cuts to Medicaid in Louisiana from taking place.  Landrieu didn't make any friends with the left in 2009 when she came out against the public option in 2009 during the health care debate but   Now here's my favorite part of the article and Landrieu's letter to Jindal:

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"In just under two weeks, on Dec. 14, you must make a final decision on whether Louisiana will be allowed to establish its own state-run health care exchange or whether you will cede that authority to the federal government," Landrieu said. 'As a strong states' rights advocate, it seems you would surely want to retain this flexibility for Louisiana." - The Times-Picayune, 12/3/12

Landrieu didn't make any friends on the left when she came out against the public option in 2009 during the health care debate but she made a lot of enemies on the right when she fought to have $300 million in Medicaid expansion in Louisiana during the health care reform debate:

http://content.usatoday.com/...

Sen. Mary Landrieu -- who has been getting hammered by conservative critics for cutting a deal to get Louisiana $300 million in extra Medicaid funds inserted into the health care bill -- went to  the Senate floor today to defend the so-called "Louisiana purchase."


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"I make no apologies for leading this effort," she said, calling it a "good thing for several reasons." USA Today, 2/4/10

So Landrieu pissed off both the left and the right to get this Medicaid expansion included into the health care bill for her constituents.  That part isn't news.  Now guess who came to Landrieu asking for the additional $300 million in Medicaid expansion?  If you guessed Bobby Jindal, you are correct:
She called it a "bipartisan effort." Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, made "multiple requests" for the funding and worked with the senator's office for more than a year to obtain it, she said.


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In an op-ed piece for the Times-Picayune, John Maginnis wrote that Landrieu "got for Louisiana was only what it deserved, a temporary Medicaid rate adjustment so that the state would not be penalized for its temporary hurricane recovery economy." He goes on to write, "It was hardly her idea but rather Gov. Bobby Jindal's No. 1 ask to the congressional delegation, of which Landrieu had the only clout." - USA Today, 2/4/10

So now that Obamacare is here to stay and the $300 million was added, Jindal now refuses to implement the law in Louisiana even though he got what he want out of Landrieu.  Now Jindal actually wants Landrieu to agree to vote on a bill that cuts $800 million from Medicaid:

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"We would like to urge Senator Landrieu to reconsider her vote to cut over $800 million from Louisiana's Medicaid program," Jindal spokeswoman Shannon Bates said. - The Times-Picayune, 12/3/12

Now you want to hear something interesting about how that Medicaid provision was passed?  read on:
The Medicaid provision was attached to a transportation bill that also included The RESTORE ACT, which allocated 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines from the BP spill to Louisiana and four other Gulf States. The RESTORE Act was a top priority of the Louisiana congressional delegation.

Landrieu was joined by the entire Louisiana delegation in voting for the bill. That included all seven Louisiana Republicans. - The Times-Picayune, 12/3/12

It's very clear that Jindal doesn't want to put the health care reform laws into effect, especially after asking Landrieu to get more Medicaid funding for Louisiana, for political purposes.  It makes him look like a huge hypocrite and it helps make Landrieu look good.  Plus Jindal is looking into a possible Presidential bid in 2016 and implementing the Medicaid extension he asked for could hurt his chances with the Tea Party nuts:

http://india.nydailynews.com/...


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Louisiana's Indian American governor Bobby Jindal may well be making a bid for the White House in 2016, a leading US news site suggested citing a meeting with a wealthy Republican fund raiser.

Jindal and two other Republican governors, John Kasich of Ohio and Bob McDonnell of Virginia stopped by the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino to meet privately with its owner Sheldon Adelson, "a man who could single-handedly underwrite their White House ambitions," Politico, the politics-centric website, said.

Jindal, Kasich and McDonnell ventured over to the Venetian for separate private meetings with Adelson while they were in Las Vegas for the Republican Governors Association winter meeting, held last month at the rival Wynn Resort, Politico said. - New York Daily New, 12/4/12

Jindal and the rest of the Louisiana GOP want to try to out her in 2014 and they're trying to box Landrieu into a no win situation.  They can attack her for supporting Obamacare whenever she demands Jindal implement the law and if they can pressure her to vote for the bill to cut $800 million from Medicaid, they can attack her for cutting Medicaid.  But Landrieu isn't letting Jindal pressure her.  Landrieu has argued that if Jindal were to act now on the health care law, Louisiana could create a state-run health exchange designed to fit the unique needs of its citizens.  Landrieu understands the type of game Jindal is playing with her and has been calling out his hypocrisy on being a states right, small government conservative.  

Roll Call recently put the 2014 Louisiana Senate race in the Toss Up category, giving Landrieu a 50-50 shot at re-election:

http://atr.rollcall.com/...


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The red hue of the Pelican State in recent presidential elections means 2014 is going to be a close race. And President Barack Obama’s re-election was probably to the detriment of Landrieu’s political future.

But the senator comes to the starting line of the cycle with some distinct advantages, too. She has a brand in the state, given her previous runs for statewide office and her father’s tenure as mayor of New Orleans in the 1970s. (Her brother, Mitch Landrieu, is the city’s current mayor.)

And despite voting in favor of the health care overhaul, which is almost certain to haunt her on the campaign trail, Landrieu can reasonably argue that she fights for her state, even if it means bucking the White House or the Democratic Party.

GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy is seen in Louisiana GOP circles as best-suited to challenge and beat the incumbent. He’s viewed as the “consensus candidate,” one Louisiana Republican operative said.

But an X factor could be Republican Rep. Jeff Landry, who is seen as a possible contender as well.

The tea-party-backed lawmaker is locked in a runoff election battle with Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. that will be held Dec. 8. - Roll Call, 12/4/12

ArkDem14 wrote a terrific piece about Mary Landrieu and her chances of re-election in 2014 against a far right-wing Republican challenger.  It highlights where Landrieu has created strong alliances and coalitions that have helped her secure re-election victory.  You can read it here:

http://www.dailykos.com/...  

ArkDem14 highlights some great points about Landrieu's chances of re-election.  ArkDem14 points out that Landrieu's support for the health care overhaul could actually work in her favor:

http://www.louisianaweekly.com/...


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She declared that prior to her, and her Democratic allies, passing the measure, “the private insurance market was broken and unsustainable,” “middle class families were losing coverage at an alarming rate,” and the state of Massa­chusetts, “where the framework of this law has been in place for six years,” has seen drops in uninsured.

In a state where the law ranks with nearly two-thirds unpopularity, Landrieu reminded her constituents that 50,000 Louisiana Medicare recipients have been awarded a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs, bans on insurance companies have been put stopping women from paying higher premiums, 45,000 young adults have been able to stay on their parents’ insurance plans, and 60,000 small businesses are now eligible for tax credits to make employee coverage more affordable. - The Louisiana Weekly, 4/23/12

Here's my favorite quote from ArkDem14's diary:
To reiterate my beginning, I know many here share no love for Mary Landrieu. But I still appreciate her. I appreciate it when, far more often than not, she backs the important pieces of legislation and votes Harry Reid for Majority Leader as well as supports Obama's nominees. She's the rare successful Pro-Choice politician in Louisiana too, a very charming, friendly New Orleans lady. More than anything I guess, I just love seeing the frothing at the mouth hatred Republicans in this state have for her. I mean there is a special place reserved just for Mary Landrieu and Barack Obama in their tiers of political hatred, and anyone who inspires so much frustration and animosity from the Tea Party people and the racists that make up much of the base of the Republican party in Louisiana, can't be that bad. - ArkDem14's diary, 2014 LA-SEN Mary Landrieu vs. a far-right Republican, 8/25/12
Landrieu has also gone up a few spots in my book for coming out in pledging her support in helping New York and New Jersey recover from Hurricane Sandy:

http://www.nydailynews.com/...

Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu said she is prepared to step up for New York’s Superstorm Sandy recovery in return for the help her state received after Hurricane Katrina.


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“New York and the East Coast was there for the Gulf Coast and we are going to step up now,” Landrieu said after a meeting with fellow Democrat Gov. Cuomo in Washington, D.C. about a $42 billion federal storm relief package Cuomo is seeking.

“I’m going to step up for New York, New Jersey and the East Coast,” she added. “We know that a successful recovery needs revenues but (also) the tools necessary for a smart recovery.”

Landrieu and her Senate colleagues from New York, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, praise Cuomo for traveling to D.C. to press the state’s case.

“It’s so important that Gov. Cuomo took the time to come,” Landrieu said. “He’s been a very strong and vocal and effective advocate for the recovery of his state and the entire East Coast.” - New York Daily News, 12/3/12

I'm dedicated to keeping the Senate blue and ArkDem14 makes me feel confident that we can keep this seat blue in Louisiana.  I can't forgive or defend Landrieu for all of her votes but I understand how important her role is in Louisiana.  Jindal trying to screw over Landrieu after delivering for him at the cost of pissing both the left and right off just makes me angry and motivates me to hold my nose and support her re-election campaign.  Jindal and the GOP are also screwing over the poor and the uninsured in Louisiana by trying to stab Landrieu all so they can win this Senate seat.  Well I for one won't stand for it.  If you can't stand Jindal and the GOP's games, you know what to do:


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https://secure.actblue.com/...

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 07:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Louisiana Kossacks.

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