A little Louisiana politics.
Jim Gill has a confusing Op-Ed out in Louisiana papers this morning. See Sen. David Vitter is still shameless: An editorial
Gill of course mentions the sex scandal in the past and says:
...So long as he publicly espouses the agenda of the Christian right, his private betrayal of its principles is jake with Louisiana voters.....
Gill needs to look at Driver's License. I assume it says Louisiana. Much of this agenda by the Christian RIGHT as he calls it is shared by many Louisiana democrats, blue dogs ,and assorted populist that still have "social conservative values". They still exists and in great numbers.
However that is not the real complaint Gill has which makes one wonder why Gill brought it up.
But, though his sexual peccadilloes no longer shock, Vitter is by no means in the clear because his latest stunt raises much more serious doubts about his fitness for public office. We expect senators to abuse the power of office more subtly than this. Vitter, when he decides to try a little blackmail, puts out a press release.
Vitter is miffed at Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who has somehow gotten it into his head that deep-water drilling in the Gulf can be dangerous, and who has therefore been wary about issuing new permits.
Vitter, being gung-ho for drilling, decided to lean on Salazar by threatening to block his scheduled pay raise in the Senate. Only when permits were issued at a pace that met Vitter's approval would he allow Salazar to collect the extra $20,000 a year to which he was entitled.
Salazar turned up his nose in disgust and announced he would reject the raise whatever Vitter did. If Vitter didn't feel any shame then, he never will.
He did not, to judge from remarks made by his spokesman Luke Bolar after one of those watchdog outfits that abound in this country pointed out that offering monetary award for official action appears to meet the definition of bribery. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington suggested an ethics investigation or maybe prosecution.
Bolar scoffed. "They'll make fools of themselves in court and make my boss a Louisiana folk hero at the same time," he said.More calumny. Vitter's constituents may be long-suffering, but I can't sit back when Louisiana is accused of an unlimited tolerance for his sordid politics.
Well what to say about all that!! This "bribery" charge seems to be all the rage on twitter and social networks. Cable news legal pundits and other legal sites seemed to be a lot more less interested with this "issue" which should tell folks something.
First most people don't try to "blackmail" do "sleazy" or "torrid" things that are looked at with public disdain or could be criminal through a press release.
What Vitter is doing , is similar to putting an hold on appointment, which I have to admit Vitter does a lot too. But so do many other Senators.
To be honest the people in the New Orleans area would perhaps be more interested on his thoughts about maybe a real abuse of this power much closer to home. See Former Sen. Ann Duplessis rejected for LSU board .
As you can read on that matter Sen. Cynthia Willard-Lewis, D-New Orleans , unlike Vitter, issued no Press release to tell us of her reasoning.
Returning to Vitter its hard to see how this is "bribery" and it is pretty silly for people to say it is.
In fact Gill should be really outraged about this path so many want to go down. That is the criminalization of politics. I find that a lot more concerning than what Vitter is doing here to be quite frank. I don't like when either sides does it and it's happening more and more. Don't like David Vitter or any other politicos well bring on the PROSECUTORS!! What is this? a banana republic?
Democrat Senator Landrieu has a practice a using holds on nomination till she gets satisfaction on how the World should operate in her view. As I mentioned I think this is very close to the Vitter situation. See here.
Now Mary Landrieu is witholding a thing of value , a job for a person, a job with a paycheck, till she gets her way. Is that Bribery?
What if some if on some committee someone blocks legislation as politico pay raises on Bill X till his legislation he has a personal issue is passed? Is that unethical? Is that "blackmail"? Should we bring in the FED PROSECUTORS?
One can disagree with David Vitter. Further one can disagree with the various power U.S. Senators have that I have mentioned. But to call them unethical and torrid seem a tad too far.
Vitter knows he will not get his way here. This is a form of public protest and to bring attention to a issue Louisiana folks have concerns about.