State of Louisiana Archives: on Principles & Values


Buddy Roemer: Placed third in 1991 re-election bid

Roemer made a splash more than two decades ago in the Louisiana governor's race with his "slay the dragon" cry, defeating an incumbent snared in corruption investigations. Four years later, Roemer made an ignominious exit from the governor's mansion when in a bid for re-election, he came in behind David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard.

Mr. Roemer, who switched from the Democratic to the Republican party while governor, made one more failed run in 1995, then retreated to the private sector.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Longshot from Louisiana" Mar 16, 2011

Buddy Roemer: Publicly described himself as "a church-going Methodist boy"

Roemer described himself at the forum as "a church-going Methodist boy" and added a fervent "thank you, Jesus" when he recounted meeting his third wife, a church pianist.

Roemer talks proudly of his successes in Louisiana: overhauling campaign-finance laws, strengthening environmental protection, testing teachers for competency and balancing the state budget. But he also gained a reputation in the state as arrogant and aloof. "He wouldn't return calls. To anybody," said one state Senator.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Longshot from Louisiana" Mar 16, 2011

David Vitter: OpEd: robo-response to "Did you break the law" with DC Madam

At last night's debate, Vitter was once again in robo response mode when it came to questions regarding his "serious sin" and exposed ties to the D.C. Madam prostitution ring. One panelist asked Vitter directly whether the "serious sin" he admitted to in 2007 broke the law. "You're a lawyer," the panelist said. "Did you break the law?"

Vitter's response: "You can look back. You can continue to write stories in the media about it. That's your decision. It's a free county. I looked the voters of Louisiana in the eye. I spoke to them sincerely. I think they heard me and I think they understood me. And now I'm looking forward, I'm not looking back." The panelist and moderator followed up, asking Vitter the question again: "Did you break the law? Yes or No." Vitter repeated his staid response. After the debate, Vitter was swarmed by reporters on his way out, who again peppered him with the question of whether he broke the law.

Source: Independent Weekly coverage of 2010 Louisiana Senate debate Oct 29, 2010

Charles Melancon: OpEd: Vitter broke the law, and lied about it, with DC Madam

One question Vitter repeatedly dodged had to do with whether he broke the law when he was linked to a D.C. prostitution ring in 2007. When a panelist told Vitter he would give him the opportunity to say "yes" or "no" and explain himself, Vitter responded, "I'm not going to take that opportunity, because I think the voters of Louisiana have understood exactly what I said to them."

"You've lied, broken the law, and embarrassed the state," responded Melancon.

Source: WWLTV Eyewitness coverage of 2010 Louisiana Senate debate Oct 28, 2010

David Vitter: I've stumbled in my marriage; but it's my greatest strength

Family values were addressed right out the gate in Wednesday's debate, with Sen. David Vitter briefly addressing his "serious sin." When asked by the moderator about how their values affect their candidacy, Vitter briefly referenced his tie to a Washington, D.C., madam in 2007. "My greatest strength in life is my family, and their love and prayers and support. Obviously I've stumbled in my marriage, obviously I've committed serious sin, which I've discussed in the past," Vitter said.

Melancon took the opportunity to set themselves apart from Vitter and his values. "It's the family unit that brings us all together... It's about honesty and integrity in Washington," Melancon said.

There were no other direct references to the call-girl issue at the forum, though Melancon has run attack ads seeking to remind voters of the controversy.

Source: WDSU New Orleans coverage of 2010 Louisiana Senate debate Oct 28, 2010

Charles Melancon: Ran based on Vitter's integrity issue from call-girl scandal

Republican Sen. David Vitter again acknowledged unspecified "serious sins" but offered no new information on the prostitution scandal that broke in 2007 when he was linked to a Washington call girl ring run by the "D.C. Madam." In July 2007, Vitter was linked by phone records to a Washington, D.C. escort service run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who committed suicide in 2008 after being convicted of running a prostitution ring.

When the scandal broke, Vitter said in a news release that he had committed a "serious sin," but he has steadfastly refused to say more about the matter and has avoided questions. With polls showing him leading in the current race, he has limited campaign appearances and used television ads to boost his conservative profile and attack his Democratic opponent, Rep. Charlie Melancon.

Melancon said that issues of honesty and integrity were what prompted 11 people to seek Vitter's seat. "It's the reason everyone got into this race, to challenge Mr. Vitter," Melancon said.

Source: Miami Herald coverage of 2010 Louisiana Senate debate Oct 27, 2010

John Neely Kennedy: Ran for US Senate in 2004 as Democrat; & endorsed John Kerry

Kennedy never referred to McCain [at the latest debate], after two previous debates and several stump speeches in which he regularly talked of his support for the presidential nominee and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin. Kennedy also didn’t mention Landrieu’s endorsement for Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, an endorsement Kennedy has used to describe Landrieu as a “tax-and-spend liberal.”

While Kennedy shifted his rhetoric, Landrieu largely continued hers--calling Kennedy “confused” because he switched parties last year after running for the U.S. Senate in 2004 as a liberal Democrat who endorsed John Kerry for president.

Kennedy’s received significant fundraising and campaign help from the national GOP, but some of that assistance appeared to be drying up Wednesday with reports that the National Republican Senatorial Committee will pull its ads next week and focus attention on embattled incumbents in other states.

Source: 2008 Louisiana Senate Debate by Associated Press on NOLA.com Oct 16, 2008

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