Politics! Politics!

Panelists introduced...all present except for Jeff Crouere. He's missing out.

Jason Berry of the American Zombie discusses his current postings on Cedric Richmond's slush funds shenanigans.

Clancy Dubos talking about the history of the slush funds. Related to the hotel-motel tax that more than covered the cost of the Superdome in the '70's - extra money had to go somewhere, so the legislature set up a system to allow individual legislators to get that extra money. Why didn't the LSED call bullshit? Because the lege set up the system and it has the potential to be abused.

Stephanie Grace goes further into the slush funds. MSM question, according to Grace: Is this a breakage of the rules or is it well within the (badly drawn up) rules?

Jacques Morial - There are always two sides to every story.

Jeff Crouere arrives in the middle of Morial's discussion.

Clancy: Smoking gun on the Richmond slush funds is the Rolex - where's the receipt for it? The rest is simply bad policy. Berrry: correction - the diamond bezel is one smoking gun, and the other is some $60,000 for renovations, and two 501(c)3s operating out of the same building, which is clearly against the rules.

Jeff Crouere: quick introduction. Congratulates Jason on his work. Hopes that the story will get more traction than it has in the MSM.

Primary elections takes -
Crouere: Joseph Cao will win reelection. He might face a damaged Cedric Richmond in the general election.
Clancy: Thinks Cao also has a good chance due to his uniqueness among Republicans - "one of the more sincere politicians on the political landscape today." But he's in a district built to elect black candidates. Once there is an increased black turnout, how will Cao fare?
Berry: A Democratic runoff would be good. Would have liked to see Karen Carter-Peterson run. Berry is a registered Democrat, and the GOP is using his information, which wasn't necessarily his intention - but he thinks Cao will pull it out.
Morial: Cao will pay for voting against health care. Do you want the congressman to take his cue from the voters or from the GOP and the archbishop?
Grace: Cao was in favor of many of the more controversial parts of the health care bill, and stood up for it initially. He voted against it for personal reasons and feels the need to explain that, and people may understand, but they don't care. Embraces earmarks in a good way. People like him, but they don't necessarily want to vote for him. Could be a heavily partisan election in terms of changing balance of power in House.
Morial: The rumors concerning abortion in health care are bullshit.
Crouere: Stood up to BP, which could play well in the election. Can conserve his energies for the general election because no one challenged him from the GOP.

Melancon: Does he have a chance?

Grace: Vitter - chosen to run against Obama, not Melancon directly.
Morial: Vitter wouldn't have a chance if the Zombie were on the story. Vitter aide who held his girlfriend hostage was supported by Vitter, and the man himself is a whoremonger and a criminal.
Clancy on the trial that never happened - Vitter could have been charged under RICO as part of the ongoing criminal investigation against the D.C. madam. The hanging of the D.C. madam, statistically speaking, is suspicious.
Berry: History of car bombings against people who oppose Vitter. He'll win the election, however, because melancon is running a shitty campaign.
Clancy: People who have voted for Vitter don't care about the facts behind his philanderings and his criminal acts. We live in a Republican state and the timing is good for Vitter.
Crouere: Melancon hasn't a prayer. Vitter'll have a funding advantage over Melancon, and he'll "tie Obama around Melancon's neck", as well as Nancy Pelosi. Got the advantage of running against people who are not strong politically.
Clancy: Never underestimate the power of luck in Vitter's campaigns.
Grace: The GOP here has rallied around Vitter as well.

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