The Spectacle Blog

Louisiana Tea Party Candidate Looks to Expose Landrieu, GOP Establishment

By on 5.2.14 | 12:17PM

Unless the Republican Party nominates a candidate in step with Louisiana’s conservative convictions, incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu will be re-elected later this year. That’s what Rob Maness, a retired Air Force colonel, told TAS in an exclusive interview.

Although Congressman Bill Cassidy is widely viewed as the Republican frontrunner in the open election on November 4, Maness says he is better equipped to flush out Landrieu’s left-leaning record on health care, energy, and education policy. He also expressed concern about actions taken by President Obama’s Department of Justice against Louisiana state officials, which appear to be rooted in partisan politics.

Maness said:

The voters are ready to turn Landrieu out of office. But they have been for the past several election cycles. The problem is the Republican Party establishment continues to put up candidates that allow her to appear more conservative than she is. I’m the candidate who can expose her record and make this election about her record, which is very far to the left of where the state is.

Maness, who identifies with the Tea Party, is running in the November 4 open primary against Landrieu, Cassidy, and Paul Hollis, a Republican state representative. Candidates of all parties will be listed on the same ballot and the voters are not required to limit themselves to the candidates of one party or another. But unless a single candidate emerges with over 50 percent of the vote, a run-off election will be held on December 4 between the top two contenders.

Landrieu has been playing defense for voting in favor of the Affordable Care Act in a state the president lost by double digits in 2012. Polls show that 54 percent of state residents are less likely to vote for Landrieu because she supported Obamacare. The backroom deal Landrieu negotiated with Democratic leaders that resulted in an additional $300 million in Medicaid funding for Louisiana in exchange for her vote in favor of Obamacare was widely derided as “The Louisiana Purchase.”

“Obamacare will certainly be an issue, but Landrieu also voted against Louisiana’s best interests in other areas,” Maness observed. “Let’s also talk about her record on defending Second Amendment Rights.”

While Louisiana is a very “strong, pro-gun state,” Maness said state residents should know that Landrieu voted in favor of the UN Treaty on Small Arms Control.

“Take a careful look at the details of that treaty and you will find it is an attack on Second Amendment Rights here at home,” Maness said. “But if you’re part of the Republican establishment and you don’t have firm stance in this area, and others, how can you make this an issue?”

Landrieu is the daughter of former New Orleans mayor Moon Landrieu. She won re-election by three points in 2002 and seven points in 2008, but last cycle coincided with a bad Republican year. This time around the political climate works to the GOP’s advantage. But if she can find a way to once again pass herself off as someone who is looking out for the state’s best interests, despite what her record actually says, then Louisiana will probably be stuck with Landrieu until she’s ready to retire.

“I will vote to defund Obamacare and pull it out by its roots,” Maness said. “That’s not something other Republicans are willing to do. Democrats constantly talk about choice, but they are taking away your choice where health care is concerned.”

The Real Clear Politics average shows that Landrieu is in trouble in a head-to-head matchup against Cassidy, who is a medical doctor. But the margins are close and Maness anticipates that Landrieu will begin to pivot and move to the right as Election Day nears. Landrieu, has for example, come out in favor of the Keystone Pipeline.

“She has been an adroit, smart campaigner in the past,” Maness warns. “That’s why I say we need the contrast.”

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