Louisiana Political News Wire
La. Senator In National Spotlight
by Deborah Barfield Berry - The Town Talk (excerpt)
WASHINGTON -- Weeks before the start of this year's hurricane season, Sen. David Vitter was in the national spotlight again - this time for holding up the confirmation of the man nominated to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It's been that kind of year for the Louisiana Republican.
An April poll of 600 likely voters across the state found that about 57 percent had an overall positive view of Vitter. That's down about 10 points from before the Palfrey scandal, said Bernie Pinsonat with Southern Media and Opinion Research, a nonpartisan, independent polling company.
"How many people can be caught in that kind of scandal and still come out with 57 percent, which is pretty good?" Pinsonat said. Soon after the scandal, Vitter disappeared for about six months. "But when he did re-emerge, he re-emerged with a vengeance," said Pinsonat.
Early this Congress, Vitter introduced bills to combat illegal immigration and to ban the use of taxpayer funding for abortions. He voted against the $787 economic stimulus bill pushed by President Barack Obama and against many of the president's Cabinet nominations, including the nomination of former Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York for secretary of state.
"He basically came in and dumped the entire play list from the conservative right into the Senate hopper," said (Professor Pearson) Cross at the University of Louisiana. He said Vitter acted "with an eye toward the early election cycle in 2010 and shoring up what is a perceived weakness on his right flank."
Political experts say Vitter is aggressively pushing a conservative agenda, much as he did when he served in the Louisiana state legislature and later in the U.S. House
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