The reaction to our letter sent last week has been overwhelmingly positive. Many of you who have traditionally voted Republican will vote for John Bel. Some of you, however, have asked us to further explain this statement in our previous letter: “The contrast between this conservative, caring, and reasonable gentleman and his opponent is obvious.” I can explain this best as the “Vitter Hypocrisy.”
Vitter says publicly he is anti-Jindal. But like Jindal, Vitter labels himself as a conservative Republican. Jindal came into office with a budget surplus of about $1 billion. He leaves office with a huge budget deficit and shortfall which, for 2016, has not yet been determined. Did Vitter criticize his conservative brother on this issue until this campaign? NO. Did Vitter issue an alarm to the citizens of our state on this issue until this campaign? NO.
Jindal refused Medicaid expansion for Louisiana citizens – a loss of about $16 billion dollars in Federal funding for healthcare. Medicaid funds are derived from your taxes – money we sent to Washington. Why would a true conservative deny our citizens Medicaid funds when that money was paid by our own tax dollars in the first place? Instead, that money is being sent to other states. Did Vitter criticize his conservative brother on this issue until this campaign? NO. Did Vitter issue an alarm to the citizens of our state on this issue until this campaign? NO.
Jindal cut the LSU budget so severely that the university announced in April that it was looking into preparing a financial plan as a prelude to bankruptcy. Did Vitter criticize his conservative brother on this issue until this campaign? NO. Did Vitter issue an alarm to the citizens of our state on this issue until this campaign? NO.
Finally the hypocrisy of David Vitter is clearly illustrated by the following chronology over the past 15 years or so of his public life while serving in elected office as a “family values” conservative. Here is the timeline of hypocrisy for a person that secretly violated his professed conservative values to the embarrassment of us all:
- October 29, 1998 – Vitter wrote a self righteous letter to the Times Picayune criticizing Clinton for his transgression and emphasizing morality and family values. Of Clinton, Vitter said the following:
- “…when an officeholder commits serious offenses, the negative reaction of the citizenry would make it impossible for him to govern effectively.”
- “…he is morally unfit to govern.”
- “The writings of the Founding Fathers are very instructive on this issue. They are not cast in terms of political effectiveness at all, but in terms of right and wrong – moral fitness.”
- “…created a crisis of leadership.”
- “…his leadership will only drain any sense of values left to our political culture.”
- 1999 – Vitter’s relationship with prostitution begins – as far as we know.
- 1999 – With Vitter’s help, the Louisiana Family Forum is founded.
- 2001 – February 27, 2001 – Vitter leaves the floor of the Senate to take a call from his prostitute friend instead of voting on a resolution honoring our veterans who made the “ultimate sacrifice.”
- 2007 – July 9, 2007 – Vitter finally admits his extramarital activities.
Vitter’s insensitivity to our veterans demonstrated by his absence on the Senate resolution in 2001 (see above) carried throughout his Senate career:
- 2012 – 11/30/12 – Vitter Voted To REDUCE Annuities Paid To Surviving Spouse of Military Personnel
- 2012 – 9/19/12 – Vitter Voted AGAINST Veterans Job Training Bill.
- 2007 – Vitter MISSED Multiple Votes on Defense Bill during DC Madam Scandal.
- 2005 – 9/25/05 – Vitter Voted AGAINST Readjustment Counseling for Returning Soldiers.
- 2005 – 4/14/05 – Vitter Voted AGAINST Funding for Troop Health Care.
- 2005 – 4/21/05, 10/5/05 – Vitter Voted AGAINST Funding for Armored Humvees.
- 2003 – 10/16/03 – Vitter OPPOSED Equipment Repair and Quality of Life Enhancements for Troops.
While invoking conservative principals of family values, love of country, support for veterans, higher wages, favorable business climate etc. (as if we all don’t believe in these things), when it came time to stand up for the citizens of the state in their fight for compensation for the damage caused by felons like BP, Vitter supported attempts to limit BP’s liability. Vitter has chosen to support felons over the citizens of Louisiana that they harmed.
By some perverse logic, Vitter blames lawyers for Jindal’s budget crisis, Jindal’s education crisis, Jindal’s medical funding crisis, Jindal’s Medicaid refusal, and on and on.
These are not the actions of a true honest conservative. These are the actions of a person shielding himself from scrutiny while hiding behind a banner of conservatism. Vitter has ignored the very conservative principals he publicly espouses but secretly violates. These are the actions of someone blindly beholden to another agenda. Vitter has clearly shown that he does not believe he should be held to his own standards.
Vitter’s moral transgressions are between himself and his family. He apologized to them but has never apologized to the public. While publicly announcing at every turn of his public life his deep commitment to morality, family and religion, David Vitter was himself guilty of violating those same commitments. This hypocrisy as contrasted by his private and public life should be enough evidence.
WE ask you to vote for John Bel Edwards. There isn’t a hypocritical bone in his body. Whether he is labeled conservative or Democrat or a conservative-democrat is irrelevant. Vitter has shown us those labels do not matter. The simple fact is that John Bel Edwards is a good, honest family man, and he and his wife, Donna, will bring intelligence and respect back to Baton Rouge and our state.
HERMAN, HERMAN & KATZ, L.L.C.