Our very own Sinator, “Diapers” David Vitter has got a new crusade in the Senate with a very unlikely partner. Vitter, whose knack for picking unique and animating policy positions have sustained him throughout his darkest, most serious sins, is teaming up with Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio to tackle “too-big-to-fail” banks. If you aren’t aware, Brown is a committed progressive who was reelected this past year in a hotly-contested race in Ohio. Brown’s win was decisive and impressive, especially considering the amount of conservative money spent against him. Over $40m flowed into Ohio from tea party groups focused on dethroning the liberal firebrand. Ohio’s battleground status is well-earned, and Brown’s progressive politics don’t define the entirety of the diverse state, making his easy win that much more impressive.
This is all said to describe how strange it is that David Vitter, no doubt a hard-right conservative, has joined hands with a committed progressive like Brown to take on an issue that truly joins the “occupy” and “tea party” politics: the evil of Big Banks.
This strain of populism is not difficult to recognize as a commonality between these two men. Yet, considering the GOP extremism these days, it’s almost shocking to see a committed conservative with future electoral hopes dare to work with a “known” progressive. Yet that’s where we are:
Now, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), along with unlikely ally Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), is launching an effort to break up the taxpayer-funded party on Wall Street.
“The best example is that 18 years ago, the largest six banks’ combined assets were 16 percent of GDP. Today they’re 64-65 percent of GDP,” Brown said. “So the large banks are getting bigger and bigger, partly because of the financial crisis, partly because of the advantages they have.”
Brown and Vitter announced on Thursday that they were working together on bipartisan legislation to address this problem.
“I think the fact that Sen. Brown and I are both here on the floor echoing each other’s concerns, virtually repeating each other’s arguments, is pretty significant,” Vitter said Thursday in his Senate floor remarks. “I don’t know if we quite define the political spectrum of the United States Senate, but we come pretty darned close. And yet, we absolutely agree about this threat.”
In his floor remarks, Brown underscored the urgency — and the challenge — in breaking up the biggest banks.
“Just about the only people who will not benefit from reining in the megabanks are a few Wall Street executives,” he said.
Don’t look now, but the 2015 Governor’s race is over. David Vitter is your new Governor. And the little shop of horrors that is the 4th floor of the capitol just got a new haunt.
Wait, you say it can be true? It’s only 2012? And People actually have to vote on these things? Three years from now?
We won’t spoil the fun.
David Vitter’s pollster conducted an extensive, although strangely weighted, poll to confirm their own suspicious. Diaper Dave is just killing it. Says his own pollster, John Diez:
Magellan principal John Diez, who released the poll, moved to Baton Rouge in 2006 to become executive director of Vitter’s Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority. The committee’s website still listed Diez as executive director Monday.
But, the kicker is that Vitter DENIES that he has anything to do with this poll. Starting off with the lying early, huh Diaper Dave? From the office of one of Congress’ “Most Corrupt Members,”:
Vitter’s spokesman, Luke Bolar, said the senator neither backed nor funded the poll.
Laughable. Surely he couldn’t fund it, creating a paper trail and such. But “backing it”? That’s a wide berth of semantic yardage. But let’s move on.
Here are the top lines: (and now to the video tape…)
LA-GOV: 2015 – If the election was being held today, for whom would you vote if the
candidates were DAVID VITTER, REPUBLICAN, MITCH LANDRIEU DEMOCRAT; JAY DARDENNE, REPUBLICAN; JOHN KENNEDY, REPUBLICAN; MIKE STRAIN, REPUBLICAN and JOHN GEORGES, DEMOCRAT?
- DAVID VITTER 31.1%
- MITCH LANDRIEU 29.4%
- JAY DARDENNE 6.5%
- JOHN KENNEDY 7.2%
- MIKE STRAIN 3.1%
- JOHN GEORGES 6.0%
- UND/SOMEONE ELSE 16.7%
So, an open primary full of big money candidates (Georges spent a small fortune on his 2007 Governor’s race, and his 2010 Mayor’s race in New Orleans), David Vitter runs within the margin of error with Mitch Landrieu. That can’t be considered a “win,” can it? That bodes well for Mitchell, and therefore, for Democrats.
We’ll deal with the strange poll sampling later, but suffice to say, these are good numbers for Mitchell.
And still thinking ahead to the 2015 election for Governor in Louisiana. 8. If the election was being held today, for whom would you vote if the candidates were DAVID VITTER, REPUBLICAN and MITCH LANDRIEU DEMOCRAT?
- DAVID VITTER 45.2%
- MITCH LANDRIEU 39.8%
- UNDECIDED 15.0%
So, a +5 margin in a head to head? Great for Diaper Dave, right? Hmmm, maybe not so much. Cenlamar does a little digging:
Magellan’s poll is fraught with disastrous flaws: It severely oversamples white Republicans, by at least 15 points; it’s not proportionate among Congressional districts; its methodology and questioning are leading and disingenuous. It’s heavily skewed toward conservatives, which is not surprising; after all, it was led by a Vitter-man. And there’s hardly any mention of Bobby Jindal or his policies; Vitter isn’t even slightly interested in how Jindal is polling.
The kicker: How great is David Vitter doing at his job? According to his own pollster, Mr. Diez, pretty god damn great:
And do you approve or disapprove of the job that DAVID VITTER is doing as U.S. SENATOR?
- APPROVE 59.1%
- DISAPPROVE 33.2%
- UNSURE/NO OPINION 7.7%
In the SMOR poll last week, Vitter was looking at 52.3 fav, 31.3 unfav. Not bad, but below Senator Mary Landrieu’s 53.7/28.4 rating.
Now, of course, we see a completely different story:
What appears to be a conflict in the polls centers on Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. In Pinsonat’s poll, Landrieu has the highest job performance rating of any of Louisiana’s elected officials with 61.7 percent favorable (12.1 percent excellent and 49.6 percent good). In Diez’s poll 39.5 percent said they would vote to re-elect her but 50.8 percent said they would prefer someone else. The others wouldn’t say.
Oh well, nothing to see here. Read more on Vitter’s vanity poll @ Cenlamar.
Sound good to you?
We thought not. Last week, however, we personally tasted our first Vitter-tinged teabagging as citizens under the rule of what could very possibly be the State’s next Governor. The Vitter-Kennedy tea-tard alliance gummed up the State House so badly that Gov. Jindal’s kabuki thuggery couldn’t put humpty back together again.
Jindal, in the end, is simply a privatizer, not a small-government advocate. He doesn’t want to make “government” smaller, he just wants the money to go to private corporations owned by his friends. If you actually shrink government, those guys might get less money! Aghast. That’s what the one-time money fight is all about. Jindal wants to keep the revenue veins open for his corporate vulture buddies. Vitter just wants to kill the patient dead. Oh yeah, and the patient is regular Louisianians struggling with one of the nation’s poorest, least healthy, and worst-educated states. But we digress.
Back to our story: So, Vitter had been warning Jindal over the use of “one-time” (sweeping revenues from other purposes to pay for Government operations) money in the State budget for weeks. Even as Vitter endorsed Jindal last year, Vitter made it clear that he was coming for Jindal. It was one of those tongue-in-cheek endorsements, sort of like this:
Here, Godfather of right-wing tea-bagging David Vitter kisses his brother-in-arms, signaling his brother’s death.
Vitter’s allies in the legislature aren’t quite willing to cop to the game, lest they lose what independent balls they have left. Yet, it is undeniably the work of a dark-master of strategy:
Denials aside, Vitter has been peppering House members with emails and phone calls asking them to oppose Jindal on this issue.
For instance, last week Vitter emailed some representatives: “I think it’s crucial that we take the tough, but important, fiscal stand to end the use of ‘one-time’ money to balance the state budget … Please stand tall — and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with like-minded colleagues and the great majority of Louisianians.”
Vitter, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004 after serving in the Louisiana House for 12 years, also emailed constituents suggesting they contact their legislators and voice their “rejection of the tired and wasteful ways of the good ’ol boys who used to run things in Louisiana.”Of course, legislators receive all manner of communications from constituents exhorting the representatives to stand this way or that on various issues. But few correspondences have much impact among the House majority, if the way they’re urging differ from what Jindal’s aides say.
Jindal’s own political apparatus apparently spends its quality time with reporters attacking David Vitter, off the record of course:
About 30 minutes after the request Thursday to interview Vitter, his press secretary released a prepared statement that acknowledged the U.S. senator was “reaching out to legislators” and quoted the senator congratulating House conservatives “for standing tall” when they refused to accept “one time” money in the budget.
Timmy Teepell, Jindal’s political adviser, said, “Sen. Vitter and the U.S. Senate have not passed a budget in almost three years. Until they do, he should probably spend his time focused on that.”
Both Ivy League-educated officials repeatedly profess love and admiration for the other. But both Jindal and Vitter practice scorched-earth politics, and their aides in casual conversation are quick to belittle the other big elephant in the house — all off the record, of course.
The strongest will survive, so let’s see them rumble! Of course, Timmy Teepell is home-schooled, so he doesn’t know anything about natural selection. But he does know the Governor’s politics fairly well. And we would venture to guess that’s not the toughest thing he says about the Sinator behind closed doors.
Vitter’s not-so-silent partner in all of this is Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy. As many would acknowledge, Kennedy is held in high esteem around Baton Rouge by the business crowd at the Camelot club, and his dark alliance with Vitter only works in Kennedy’s favor overall.