U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, received endorsements last week from the Republican Party executive committees in Acadia, Iberia, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermilion parishes.
Landry is running against fellow incumbent U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, to represent the redrawn 3rd congressional district in southwestern Louisiana. Also in the race are party-backed Democrat and Lake Charles lawyer Ron Richard, as well as Republican Bryan Barrilleaux and Libertarian Jim Stark.
Landry rode the tea party wave to Congress in 2010 and he is running again on the far right to win the most conservative voters from Boustany.
“It is clear that these leaders have looked at my voting record and that of Mr. Boustany,” Landry said in the announcement. “They have found I remained true to my conservative principles, while Mr. Boustany has not.”
Boustany has fought back against allegations that he is not a true conservative. He said he is not concerned about the endorsements.
“That’s a small minority of Republican voters in those parishes,” Boustany said. “They’re the most ideologically driven.”
Boustany said he expects to win, as he has in the past, through a strong base of Republican, independent and conservative Democratic voters.
Pickens visits Lafayette
U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, is being joined by prominent oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens on Monday in Lafayette to promote domestic energy production.
They are expected to discuss increased natural gas production and a push toward American energy independence by promoting more domestic drilling at the free public event.
The Oklahoma-based Pickens currently chairs the hedge fund, BP Capital Management. The so-called “Pickens Plan” involves reducing American reliance on foreign oil by creating more domestic production and also in heavily investing in more alternative wind power.
The event is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Apache CNG Pump at 515 E. Verot School Road in Lafayette.
Two days later, Boustany is hosting a town hall event and military veterans health care enrollment drive at the VA.
Boustany will be joined by U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas.
The enrollment drive will run 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Stanley Martin-Felix Ducrest American Legion Post 69 in Lafayette.
The town hall event will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the American Legion post.
Veterans also will be given an opportunity to provide their military histories with the Veterans History Project.
The Louisiana congressional delegation received a “D+” average grade in the “Inequality Report Card” by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies.
The first “Congressional Report Card for the 99 percent” is critical of the nation’s growing wealth gap and graded members of Congress based on their House or Senate voting records.
U.S. Reps. John Fleming, R-Minden, and Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, were the only members of the delegation to receive “F” grades.
U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, and Sen. David Vitter, R-La., received “D” grades while Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, got the delegation’s only “C” grade.
Louisiana’s two congressional Democrats —U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans — both received “B” grades.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, who is a freshman member of Congress, got an “Incomplete.”
The left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies describes itself as a community of public scholars and organizers backing peace, justice and environmental issues.
Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming all received lower grades than Louisiana.
Landrieu announced $3.35 million in grants to expand mobile broadband coverage along 2,100 miles of highway in five central Louisiana parishes.
The funding is from the Federal Communications Commission’s first “Mobility Fund” auction. Alexandria-based Cellular One won a bid to expand wireless broadband along 2,100 miles of I-49 and roads in Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine and Vernon parishes.
“It’s no longer enough for businesses and towns to be located along a river, railroad or highway,” Landrieu said. “To be truly competitive in today’s global economy your community must be on the Internet superhighway. With these upgrades to local infrastructure, Louisiana businesses will be able to reach new customers, and residents will be connected faster than ever to libraries, hospitals and other resources around the world.”
Jordan Blum is chief of The Advocate Washington bureau. His email address is jblum@theadvocate.
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