Walter Pierce

Tea parties target Landrieu, Reid

by Walter Pierce

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu will be in her home town this weekend, no doubt to do some glad handing for her newly minted mayoral candidate brother, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu. But also on Sen. Landrieu’s agenda is a fundraiser for a fellow Senate Democrat, Harry Reid of Nevada, and one logistical slip-up could bring them face to face with a mob of Tea Party members from across the state, including the Acadiana Tea Party. The groups plan to convoy to New Orleans Saturday morning to turn Uptown into a town hall meeting.

In an e-mail alert sent to members, Acadiana Tea Party organizer Glenn Ellerbe writes that the purpose of the trip “is to give Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Mary Landrieu a real Louisiana welcome. It is to let Senator Reid know how much we appreciate him using $300 million of our money to buy Senator Landrieu’s recent vote on the health care bill. And to let Senator Landrieu know how much we appreciate her voting against the overwhelming majority of her constituents.” The groups plan to sing some modified Christmas carols for the solons as well. (See the video below produced by the Baton Rouge Tea Party.)

Acadiana Tea Party members will gather at the Target parking lot on Louisiana Avenue near Interstate 10 at 7 a.m. Saturday; they’ll meet Baton Rouge Tea Party members at a Wal-Mart in the capital and head to New Orleans to target the Reid event on St. Charles Avenue.

Landrieu’s fundraiser for Reid is more or less a reciprocal gesture: Landrieu made a critical yeah vote in November to move the health care bill forward in exchange for getting $300 million inserted into the bill to help cover part of the state’s anticipated Medicaid shortfall next year. Reid, the Senate majority leader, gave his colleagues in the upper chamber the weekend off from debating the legislation to clear some time in the schedule.

Meanwhile, Landrieu’s junior counterpart, Sen. David Vitter, finds himself in a tough spot pitting the prerogatives of his party against the interests of his state: As the INDsider reported this week, Vitter has yet to indicate how he will vote on a Republican amendment to the health care bill that would strip Louisiana’s $300 million Medicaid allotment.