Senator Rubio Slams Commie-Loving Obama Over Irresponsible Cuba Deal (Video)

Marco Rubio: Cuba Deal Part Of Obama’s ‘Long Record Of Coddling Dictators And Tyrants’ – Business Insider

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) fiercely criticized President Barack Obama on Wednesday for moving to ease US-Cuba relations.

“It’s absurd and it’s part of a long record of coddling dictators and tyrants that this administration has established,” Rubio said in a Fox News interview.

Rubio, a potential presidential candidate in 2016, was reacting to the White House’s decision to beginning normalizing relations with the Cuban government following a prisoner swap between the two countries. Like Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), who also slammed Obama Wednesday, Rubio warned that the deal will encourage other countries to kidnap Americans.

“It puts a price on every American abroad. Governments now know that if they can take an American hostage, they can get very significant concessions from the United States,” he said.

In a separate interview with the Associated Press, Rubio further said the deal will help the Castro regime in Cuba become “permanent fixtures in Cuba for generations to come.” The US has placed an economic embargo against Cuba since Fidel Castro overthrew the previous government. His brother, Raúl Castro, now leads the country.

“This is going to do absolutely nothing to further human rights and democracy in Cuba,” Rubio said. “But it potentially goes a long way in providing the economic lift that the Castro regime needs to become permanent fixtures in Cuba for generations to come.”

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Rubio also released a lengthy statement vowing “to make every effort to block this dangerous and desperate attempt by the President to burnish his legacy at the Cuban people’s expense. “

View his full statement below:

“Today’s announcement initiating a dramatic change in U.S. policy toward Cuba is just the latest in a long line of failed attempts by President Obama to appease rogue regimes at all cost.

“Like all Americans, I rejoice at the fact that Alan Gross will be able to return to his family after five years in captivity. Although he is supposedly being released on humanitarian grounds, his inclusion in a swap involving intelligence agents furthers the Cuban narrative about his work in Cuba. In contrast, the Cuban Five were spies operating against our nation on American soil. They were indicted and prosecuted in a court of law for the crimes of espionage and were linked to the murder of the humanitarian pilots of Brothers to the Rescue. There should be no equivalence between the two, and Gross should have been released unconditionally.

“The President’s decision to reward the Castro regime and begin the path toward the normalization of relations with Cuba is inexplicable. Cuba’s record is clear. Just as when President Eisenhower severed diplomatic relations with Cuba, the Castro family still controls the country, the economy and all levers of power. This administration’s attempts to loosen restrictions on travel in recent years have only served to benefit the regime. While business interests seeking to line their pockets, aided by the editorial page of The New York Times, have begun a significant campaign to paper over the facts about the regime in Havana, the reality is clear. Cuba, like Syria, Iran, and Sudan, remains a state sponsor of terrorism. It continues to actively work with regimes like North Korea to illegally traffic weapons in our hemisphere in violation of several United Nations Security Council Resolutions. It colludes with America’s enemies, near and far, to threaten us and everything we hold dear. But most importantly, the regime’s brutal treatment of the Cuban people has continued unabated. Dissidents are harassed, imprisoned and even killed. Access to information is restricted and controlled by the regime. That is why even more than just putting U.S. national security at risk, President Obama is letting down the Cuban people, who still yearn to be free.

“I intend to use my role as incoming Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Western Hemisphere subcommittee to make every effort to block this dangerous and desperate attempt by the President to burnish his legacy at the Cuban people’s expense. Appeasing the Castro brothers will only cause other tyrants from Caracas to Tehran to Pyongyang to see that they can take advantage of President Obama’s naiveté during his final two years in office. As a result, America will be less safe as a result of the President’s change in policy. When America is unwilling to advocate for individual liberty and freedom of political expression 90 miles from our shores, it represents a terrible setback for the hopes of all oppressed people around the globe.”

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Menendez Blasts Obama On Cuba – Philadelphia Inquirer

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), whose parents immigrated from Cuba and who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued a blistering critique Tuesday of the Obama administration’s decision to release Cuban spies as the Castro regime freed American Alan Gross from imprisonment.

“President Obama’s actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government,” Menendez said in a news release. “There is no equivalence between an international aid worker and convicted spies who were found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage against our nation.”

Menendez added, “Trading Mr. Gross for three convicted criminals sets an extremely dangerous precedent. It invites dictatorial and rogue regimes to use Americans serving overseas as bargaining chips.”

Gross was an American contractor who was serving a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba. He was trying to bring internet service to the country.

dministration officials have said the simultaneous releases were not part of a “swap” but part of a larger agreement. Menendez was not convinced.

“Let’s be clear, this was not a “humanitarian” act by the Castro regime. It was a swap of convicted spies for an innocent American,” Menendez said in his statement.

Menendez, a hard-liner on Cuba policy, will give up the gavel on the foreign relations committee in January. He has butted heads with Obama over several foreign policy flare-ups.

He did call Gross’ return “a moment of profound relief for Alan Gross and his family.”

“He should have been released immediately and unconditionally five years ago,” Menendez said. “He committed no crime and was simply working to provide internet access to Cuba’s small Jewish community. His imprisonment was cruel and arbitrary, but consistent with the behavior of the Cuban regime.”

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U.S.-Cuba Policy Overhaul Sends Shockwaves Through Miami Exile Community – Miami Herald

The political ground shook in South Florida on Wednesday when President Barack Obama announced plans to restore full diplomatic relations with Communist Cuba.

Miami, the heart of the Cuban exile community, reacted with a collective shock. Hardline opponents of the Castro regime lambasted the president for what they called a betrayal.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo, a Republican whose father was a pilot in the 1996 Brothers to the Rescue mission, called the Democratic president a sellout.

“The Cuban exile community that has made a foundation out of standing firm against the Castro government has been, in essence, sold out,” he told the Miami Herald. “Those that have lost themselves to the straits of Florida, that have drowned, I feel that their memory has been sold out. The Brothers to the Rescue pilots – those American citizens – that were blown up, their memory and their families’ misery has been sold out.”

Maggie Khuly, the sister of Armando Alejandre Jr, one of the four Brothers to the Rescue members shot down, said the families of the failed mission’s victims were outraged.

“I was expecting this, but I can’t believe it,” Khuly told the Herald. “No one [in the federal government] had the decency of telling us anything.”

People across the city tuned in to watch Obama address the nation at noon. In Cuba, Raúl Castro spoke at the same time.

Several people gathered around a television set showing CNN at a waiting room at Doctor’s Hospital in Coral Gables to watch reporting from Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana, where a small group of hardliners were protesting. Early on, though, there were more reporters than demonstrators.

Then, Obama spoke.

“Wow. Wow. Wow,” an unidentified woman said when the president finished.

“Maduro is screwed,” said another, referring to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, a Castro ally. The crowd remained as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, appeared on the screen and criticized Obama from Capitol Hill.

The day began with the news that Cuba had freed American political prisoner Alan Gross on humanitarian grounds – and that the U.S. would swap three imprisoned Cuban spies in exchange for a U.S. intelligence officer detained on the island.

“We’re giving them a lot of stuff in payment for the exchange of a hostage,” Khuly told the Miami Herald. “What about human rights? It’s just incredible. I’m extremely disappointed in the president.”

Commissioner Bovo also called the move bad precedent.

“I don’t know what that does for other Americans traveling in Venezuela, in Nicarague – name your country – where now, literally, if want to extract something from the U.S., take a prisoner, trump some charges, and send them to jail,” he said.

County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a Wednesday morning interview with the Herald that he was on his way to a phone briefing by the White House on the upcoming announcement. He said he didn’t know enough to critique the White House plan, but was critical of normalizing relations.

“The Cuban government hasn’t done anything to deserve this,” said Gimenez, who was born in Cuba. “If it’s going to happen, I hope there will be positive results.”

Miami police said it was monitoring local reaction in case Obama’s announcement drew crowds or protests. Police Chief Manuel Orosa said resources would be deployed as needed “to keep everything under control and let people demonstrate peacefully.”

The department placed all personnel on alert but did not activate any special plans. Orosa said police would pay particular attention to Spanish-language talk radio in case calls go out for rallies, either for or against the policy changes.

Despite criticism of the policy overhaul, there was widespread relief over Gross’s release after five years.

The Greater Miami Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council issued a statement welcoming Gross, a Washington resident, back to the country. Gross was arrested in December 2009 while working as a subcontractor with the United States Agency for International Development to help a small Jewish community in Cuba.

The statement thanked advocates who signed petitions and wrote letters to elected officials to keep them from forgetting about Gross’s imprisonment.

“We wish Alan Gross a full recovery from the ill health that resulted from his unjust and inhumane incarceration and we send our warmest wishes to his family who has suffered such great distress during this terrible ordeal,” the statement said.

“Last night, Jews around the world kindled the first light of Chanukah, celebrating a historical victory. Tonight, as we kindle the second Chanukah candle, we know it will burn that much brighter for us in gratitude for the release of Alan Gross and for all those who championed his cause for so long.”

Local public figures also applauded Gross’s release.

“On the first day of Hanukkah, #AlanGross is released from a Cuban prison. What a great gift for his family,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle, a Cuban-American Democrat, posted to her Twitter account, @KathyFndzRundle.

Annette Taddeo, the former chairwoman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, linked to an ABC News story about the release. “Happy #Hannukkah indeed!” wrote Taddeo, who is Jewish, on her account, @Annette_Taddeo.

Miami Herald staff writers Douglas Hanks and Charles Rabin contributed to this report.

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RINO Jeb Bush Tosses His Sombrero Into The 2016 Presidential Ring

Jeb Bush: ‘I Have Decided To Actively Explore The Possibility Of Running For President’ – The Blaze

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Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor whose father and brother have both occupied the White House, announced Tuesday he is considering running for president in 2016.

Bush said on his Facebook page that after talking it over with his family during Thanksgiving, he has decided to formally explore a run.

“As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for president of the United States,” he wrote. “In January, I also plan to establish a Leadership PAC that will help me facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation.”

Bush said the purpose of his political action committee would be to “support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.”

“In the coming months, I hope to visit with many of you and have a conversation about restoring the promise of America,” he added.

Bush’s decision will likely please some Republicans who are looking for some sort of established leader to win the White House from presumed Democratic frontrunner, former first lady, senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But it will also likely lead to grumbling among conservative Republicans who say Bush is too moderate. The former governor has been outspoken in his defense of the Common Core State Standards, a major conservative sticking point.

On Monday, the Christian Science Monitor reported that radio host Mark Levin called Bush a “very good moderate Democrat,” and that former GOP presidential candidate Pat Buchanan said Bush is “too moderate for the Republican base.”

Clinton has not officially announced that she is exploring a run or that she will run. Bush is the first GOP candidate to explore a run, and former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) is the only Democrat to take the same step.

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Corruption Update: Emails Show Lois Lerner Met With DOJ Election Crimes Division One Month Before 2010 Midterms

Judicial Watch Documents: Lois Lerner Met With DOJ Election Crimes Division One Month Before 2010 Midterm Elections – Townhall

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New documents obtained through a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show former IRS head of tax exempt groups Lois Lerner met with the Department of Justice Election Crimes Division as early as October 2010, just one month before the historic 2010-midterm elections when Republicans regained control of the House and at the peak of the tea party movement.

From Judicial Watch:

As result of a court order, the DOJ last month produced only two pages of heavily redacted emails (832 pages were withheld in entirety) that show the Obama Justice Department initiated an October 8, 2010, meeting between the IRS and top criminal prosecutors at the DOJ Public Integrity Section and Election Crimes Division “concerning 501(c)(4) issues.” On September 29, 2010, a DOJ official (whose name is blacked out) emailed a staff assistant at the IRS (whose name is also redacted):

“As we discussed this afternoon, we would like to invite Ms. Ingram [apparent reference to Sarah Hall Ingram former commissioner, IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities] to meet with us concerning 501(c)(4) issues, and propose next Friday at 10:00 a.m. We are located in the Bond Building, 12th Floor, New York Avenue, NW, Thank you for your assistance.”

The document shows that the unknown DOJ official setting up the meeting is with the Election Crimes Division of the Public Integrity Section of the DOJ’s Criminal Division. (Judicial Watch believes the redacted name of the DOJ official is Richard Pilger, Director of the Election Crimes Division.) The DOJ email setting up the IRS meeting is cc’d to the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section Chief, Jack Smith, and Principal Deputy Chief Raymond Hulser. The documents show that Ingram was not available but arranged for her deputy, Lois Lerner, then-Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations branch, to meet with the DOJ senior officials.

On September 30, 2010, the Election Crimes prosecutor emails Lerner:

“Hi Lois-It’s been a long time, and you might not remember me, I’ve taken on [REDACTED] duties. I’m looking forward to meeting you, Can we chat in advance? I’m a [REDACTED]”

Lerner responded on October 2, 2010:

“Sure-that’s a good Idea [sic]. I have a meeting out of the office Monday morning, but will try you when I get back sometime early afternoon. You can try me at 202 283-8848.”

The Justice Department has withheld in full at least 832 additional pages of documents, citing various “taxpayer privacy,” “deliberative privilege,” and other exemptions to keep the records secret.

“These new documents dramatically show how the Justice Department is up to its neck in the IRS scandal and can’t be trusted to investigate crimes associated with the IRS abuses that targeted Obama’s critics. And it is of particular concern that the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, which would ordinarily investigate the IRS abuses, is now implicated in the IRS crimes. No wonder the Department of Justice under Eric Holder has done no serious investigation of the Obama IRS scandal,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “It is shameful how Establishment Washington has let slide by Obama’s abuse of the IRS and the Justice Department. Only as a result of Judicial Watch’s independent investigations did the American people learn about the IRS-DOJ prosecution discussions of Obama’s political enemies and how the IRS sent, in violation of law, confidential taxpayer information to the FBI and DOJ in 2010. Richard Nixon was impeached for less.”

As a reminder, previously reported emails show Lerner was in contact with DOJ officials about criminally prosecuting members of tea party groups for “lying” about political activity, with an end goal of getting at least one person thrown in prison to prove a point.

It wasn’t just the IRS targeting conservative groups, DOJ was heavily involved too.

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*VIDEO* Jonathan Gruber Testifies Before The House Oversight And Government Reform Committee On Obamacare



………….Click on the image above to watch the complete hearing.

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DARRELL ISSA (1)

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DARRELL ISSA (2)

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JIM JORDAN

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JASON CHAFFETZ

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TIM WALBERG

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PATRICK MCHENRY

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PAUL GOSAR

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TREY GOWDY

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BLAKE FARENTHOLD

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THOMAS MASSIE

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MARK MEADOWS

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KERRY BENTIVOLIO

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RON DESANTIS

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DOUG COLLINS

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CYNTHIA LUMMIS

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SCOTT DESJARLAIS

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TOM RICE

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Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu Gets Stomped Like A Bug In Louisiana Runoff Election

Landrieu Loses Reelection Bid In Louisiana To Republican Challenger Cassidy – Fox News

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Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu lost her reelection bid Saturday in a runoff race with Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy, despite a relentless, against-long-odds effort.

Landrieu, who was seeking a fourth term, trailed by double digits and had lost most of her support going into the election. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting late Saturday, Cassidy had received 56 percent of the vote, to 44 percent for Landrieu.

Landrieu barnstormed the state this week, driving some 1,200 miles in a rented SUV, stopping in little towns and bigger cities, making one last appeal to voters to give her another term in Washington.

“There is no quit,” Landrieu said in her concession speech. “It’s been nothing but a joy to serve this state for over 34 years.”

Cassidy’s win extends the GOP’s domination of the 2014 midterm elections that put Republicans in charge of Capitol Hill for the final two years of President Obama’s tenure.

Republicans will hold 54 seats when the Senate convenes in January, nine more than they have now.

“Once again, voters have spoken clearly,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said. “They have rejected the Democrat agenda and the Obama-Clinton policies that have produced higher healthcare costs and job-killing regulations.”

The race mirrored contests in other states that Obama lost in 2012, with Landrieu joining Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan and Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor in defeat. Democrats ceded seats in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia after incumbents opted not to run again.

Like victorious Republicans in those races, Cassidy, 57, made his bid more about Obama than about his own vision for the job. An Illinois native and medical doctor, Cassidy made few public appearances during the runoff, seeking to avoid missteps that could change the race.

But in a state where 73 percent of white voters on Nov. 4 told pollsters they “strongly disapproved” of the president, that was enough to prevent Landrieu, 59, from finding her footing. Cassidy also enjoyed a prodigious advertising advantage in the runoff: Of every dollar spent by outside groups during the one-month runoff, 97 cents benefited the congressman.

Landrieu had narrowly led a Nov. 4 primary ballot that included eight candidates from all parties. But at 42 percent, she fell well below her marks in previous races and endured a one-month runoff campaign that Republicans dominated via the airwaves while national Democrats financially abandoned her effort.

In the South, Democrats will be left without a single governor or U.S. senator across nine states stretching from the Carolinas to Texas. The House delegations from the same region are divided almost entirely by race, with white Republicans representing majority-white districts, while majority non-white districts are represented by black or Hispanic Democrats.

Landrieu tried several messages over the course of her losing effort.

Most recently, she had hammered Cassidy as being unfit for the job and interested more in partisanship than helping Louisiana. She directed her most pointed criticism at Cassidy’s medical teaching job with the Louisiana State University hospital system. Calling Cassidy “Dr. Double Dip,” Landrieu suggested the congressman collected a $20,000, taxpayer-funded salary for little or no work, describing gaps and discrepancies in Cassidy’s LSU time sheets. LSU said it’s looking into the time sheet questions.

She argued that the race shouldn’t be about Obama, but also targeted advertising on radio stations geared to the black community, where the president remains popular.

Her anchor argument was that her senatorial seniority was a boon for Louisiana, particularly her chairmanship of the Senate’s energy committee, an important panel for this oil-rich state. But that argument was gutted on Nov. 4 when Republicans won the Senate majority, meaning Landrieu would have lost her post even had she won.

Landrieu, who said a campaign canvasser was fatally struck by a vehicle Saturday, managed last month to get the Democrat-controlled Senate to vote on her bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have helped with voters in oil-rich Louisiana. But the measure failed when she could not get one more Democrat to vote in favor of the plan.

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Landrieu’s Ugly Exit (John Fund)

Landrieu’s Ugly Exit – John Fund

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Senator Mary Landrieu comes from a political dynasty in Louisiana – her father was mayor of New Orleans, and her brother is the current mayor. But as she heads into Saturday’s runoff election as a clear underdog, she is tarnishing her political inheritance by fighting ugly. She is resorting to lies and distortion to accuse her GOP opponent of backing the impeachment of President Obama and endorsing a documentary that, as she describes it, says slavery was better for blacks than welfare.

“Landrieu has flailed, veering from one issue to another,” concluded a Washington Post article this Thursday. When it hasn’t been haphazard, her campaign has been, at best, factually challenged.

Take the following radio ad airing on African-American stations, approved by Landrieu and paid for by the Democratic State Committee of Louisiana:

I’m Mary Landrieu, candidate for Senate, and I approve this message.

Man: News flash – Bobby Jindal endorses Bill Cassidy 100 percent. That troubles me. Jindal, our absentee governor, and Doc Cassidy, a medical doctor, oppose affordable health care for working families. These millionaire Republicans are against equal pay for women and have opposed the Violence against Women Act. And can you believe, Doc Cassidy has endorsed a documentary that claims slavery was better for black folks than welfare.

Woman: Oh, no, he didn’t!

Man: Yeah, well he sure did, my friends. But worse than that, Cassidy and Jindal are trying to impeach our president. Back in the day, there was a TV cowboy named Hopalong Cassidy. I don’t know if they’re related, but why don’t you just hop along, Doctor Cassidy, to wherever your No, 1 supporter, Bobby Jindal, is headed this week, and let Senator Landrieu continue doing a great job for the people of Louisiana?

Cassidy/Jindal – bad for Louisiana, disastrous for black families.

Paid for by the Democratic State Central Committee of Louisiana.

A Landrieu campaign aide told BuzzFeed.com that the slavery analogy was based on Cassidy’s appearance in the 2010 film A New America. Cassidy didn’t address slavery, but African-American syndicated columnist Star Parker did. A former single mother who spent years on welfare, Parker appears in the film and attacks the “government poverty plantation.” “With slavery, people generally want out,” she said. “But with welfare, folks are comfortable.”

Tough words, but hardly an endorsement of slavery. Parker is appalled at how Landrieu “dug into the gutter” to try to save her Senate seat. “I did not say slavery was better. I did say that the same political party that enslaved blacks 150 years ago is now full of overseers who ensure that no discussion of freedom from welfare is conducted in African-American communities.”

As for impeachment, another radio ad approved by Landrieu claims that Governor Jindal and Cassidy have “disrespected” President Obama. “If Cassidy wins, they will impeach him.” Neither man has embraced impeachment, but facts are immaterial to Landrieu. Her evidence for Cassidy’s “disrespect” of Obama is that “he refers to him by his last name, constantly.” Instead, he should always refer to him as President Obama.

The desperation of Landrieu’s campaign doesn’t stop there. Donald Cravins Sr., the mayor of Opelousas and the father of Landrieu’s chief-of-staff, was caught on videotape last month addressing a crowd just before the first round of voting in the Senate race: “If you early-voted, go vote again tomorrow. One more time’s not going to hurt.” Just in case anyone doubted that Cravins was serious, he told the crowd they had an insurance policy: The local prosecutor would look the other way: “Tomorrow we’re going to elect Earl Taylor as the D.A., so he won’t prosecute you if you vote twice,” he assured the crowd. When criticized for these remarks, Cravins says he was “joking.”

It’s ironic that the issue of voter fraud should enter Louisiana’s Senate race in 2014, given that in Landrieu’s first election in 1996 it also played a role. She won that year by 5,788 votes over Republican Woody Jenkins. Journalist Quin Hillyer noted that she was helped by “boatloads of gambling money turning out liberal voters to support a referendum for a land-based casino.”

Morris Reed remembers the 1996 casino cash well. A former judge, the African-American Reed was one of two Democrats on the same ballot running for district attorney in New Orleans. Reed, who crusaded against corruption, lost to the longtime incumbent, a white man who was nonetheless backed by the local black political machines. Reed claimed that gambling interests financed the use of dozens of vans to pick up New Orleans voters, pay them, and then haul them from one voting precinct to another to vote. Then New Orleans mysteriously became the only one of 64 parishes to violate state law in that election by opening all of its voting machines without any candidate present as a witness. Reed told me in 1996 that there was no doubt Landrieu’s victory was questionable given the dozens of irregularities, some of which led a New Orleans assistant city attorney to resign in protest.

Senator Landrieu began her Senate career under a cloud in 1997 – she was seated only provisionally owing to the controversies swirling around the New Orleans vote. Now, nearly two decades later, it appears she will be leaving office under a different cloud – an ugly, dark campaign that invents facts, stirs up racial animus, and distorts reality. If she loses, it will be a shame that she couldn’t have exited stage left with more grace and less vitriol.

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