LA-SEN: Vitter not just a criminal but a birther, too

We already knew David Vitter doesn’t know when to close his zipper. Apparently he doesn’t know when to close his mouth, either.

Vitter told the New Orleans Tea Party yesterday that he supports birther lawsuits against the President of the United States, and it’s caught on video:

This comes on the heels of last month’s news that Vitter has knowingly employed a woman-beater as his legislative aide for women’s issues for two years, until the news was made public just a few weeks ago. Brent Furer pled guilty in 2008 to stabbing his girlfriend with a knife and had an active arrest warrant for drunk driving – his fourth. Vitter knew all of this but didn’t care. In other words, Furer was a violent, wanted criminal but Senator Vitter looked the other way and kept paying him with your tax dollars.

In the above clip, Vitter said “We need to fight the Obama agenda at the ballot box, starting this fall.” The Obama agenda includes following the law which, of course, is not a part of the Vitter agenda. As we learned in 2007, the “family values” candidate Vitter has a taste for cheating on his family by hiring illegal prostitutes and making them wear diapers.

Rep. Charlie Melancon is the Democratic nominee against Vitter this fall.

New Polls: Senate Races in KY, PA, FL, LA, & MO and Generic Ballot

All sorts of new polls out this week; it’s a junkie’s dream. Good news for Democrats on the generic ballot and presidential approval, and in Senate races, decent news in Kentucky and Pennsylvania, bad but expected news in Florida and Louisiana, and just plain bad news in Missouri.

In Kentucky, a new PPP poll shows Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo leading AG Jack Conway in the Democratic primary for Senate, 36-27. I’m not sure what to make of this poll – the last public poll, from SurveyUSA, had Mongiardo up just 3, and that was before a number of corruption scandals became public. Conway internals had him leading after the scandals broke. I’m going to continue to assume that this race is a toss-up. Also in Kentucky, PPP finds Rand Paul leading Trey Grayson 46-28 in the Senate GOP primary, a much more expected result, and Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin tied at 24 in a way-too-early presidential primary poll.

Still in KY-SEN, Rasmussen finds that Conway is competitive in a general election while Mongiardo is not. You might find that odd, given that Conway is the progressive and this is Kentucky, but hey, ethics are ethics. Anyway, Rasmussen shows Conway with a 47-36 approval spread, as compared to Mongiardo’s 40-48. In the four hypothetical general election head-to-heads, no Repub candidate ever cracks 50%, and Conway always outpolls Mongiardo, trailing Grayson by 5 and Paul by 9 as compared to Mongiardo’s 14 and 16. Pretty compelling numbers, if electability is what you look for in a primary.

Leaving the south, in PA-SEN, two new polls show Admiral and decorated veteran Joe Sestak catching up with Swift Boating incumbent Arlen Specter, but he still has a long way to go. A new poll from Muhlenberg, their first with 402 LV Democrats and a 5% MOE, shows Sestak within the MOE at 46-42. Quinnipiac shows a much wider gap, with Specter leading 47-39, but Quinnipiac’s previous poll from a month earlier had it at 53-32. The takeaway is that Specter is still easily the favorite but that Sestak now has a real chance. At Pollster.com, Harry Enten analyzes different types of polls and their history in recent cycles, concluding that “this election is probably going to be a close one, and Specter better hope for a healthy turnout.”

Conway’s general and Sestak’s improving numbers are about the only good news out there for progressives. The first FL-SEN poll, from Rasmussen, to come out since Crist’s party switch is the worst news yet for Democrat Kendrick Meek: Crist 38, Rubio 34, Meek 17. The poll shows Rasmussen’s desire for money and speed – it’s N=500 in a one-day frame – but it nonetheless underlines what I’ve been saying for days. Crist’s move hurts Meek more than Rubio. Meek’s previous three-way low, also from Rasmussen, was 22, and his previous non-Rasmussen low was 24.

More bad news in both MO-SEN and LA-SEN. In Missouri, allegedly a toss-up and one of our best shots, Rasmussen has Repub Roy Blount leading Democrat Robin Carnahan 50-42. The good news is that it’s the right-leaning, automated phone response Rasmussen. Still, a trend is a trend, and Rasmussen’s previous two polls showed this race at 48-42 and 47-41. RCP gives him a lead of just one point, but that includes a September poll so it’s complete bunk. So far no good in Missouri. Louisiana isn’t much better, either. No, this race was never considered a toss-up, but with a horny felon running against a Blue Dog, you’d think we’d at least have a chance. And yet, admittedly Republican pollster Lane Grigsby of Opinion Research shows David “I like my prostitutes in diapers” Vitter leading Rep. Charlie Melancon 49-31. Vitter has a favorable/unfavorable of 55036, lower than Gov. Jindal (R)’s but higher than senator Landrieu or President Obama’s. The RCP average is Vitter by 15.3, which would actually be higher if they didn’t include numbers from last July.

But let’s end on a bright spot. In the Gallup generic ballot, Democrats are holding steady in a tie at 45-45. On the one hand, Democrats are in their worst generic ballot position ever, but on the other hand, this is the second week in a row Gallup has found a 45-45 tie, and it follows Democratic leads from YouGov/Polimetrix and ABC/Washington Post. Only the right-leaning Rasmussen finds a Repub lead.

The new CBS/New York Times poll also gives good news for Democrats. The President clocks in at a 51-39 approval rating. In previous monthly CBS polls, he was at 50-40, 49-41, and 46-45. Quibble with the numbers, but a trend is a trend. Maybe he’s above 50, maybe not, but President Obama and even Congressional Democrats have only improved their position over the past few months. CBS/NYT finds similar trends on specific issues, even those where the net remains negative.

Vitter Gets Strongest Challenger in Melancon

We have been waiting on this news for a long while -- at least since June, and as far back as May -- but now it's official: Democratic Congressman Charlie Melancon will challenge Louisiana's scandal-ridden GOP Senator David Vitter in 2010.

Melancon clearly isn't going to be running as a liberal -- he cites his 100 percent rating from the NRA, his business experience, and his work as an advocate for the state's sugar industry -- but he isn't shying away from his party affiliation, either. Indeed, Melancon is the type of Southern Democrat we haven't seen in some time -- moderate to conservative, yes, but also proud to be a Democrat. Back in 2004, before many other Democrats in the region were willing to make the plunge, Melancon ran and won in a toughly fought contest to succeed Billy Tauzin in the House, a race not many predicted he would be able to win (particularly considering that his competition was Tauzin's eponymous son). No doubt this will be a tough race for Melancon. But with all of Vitter's problems during his first term in office, this just might be the type of contest the Democrats might be able to sneak away with in 2010.

There's more...

LA-Sen: David Vitter Had a Lousy Week

Hookerlover David Vitter is having a pretty rough week.  And the week didn't even feature the sleaziness of soliciting prostitutes and cheating on his wife and children or the cowardice of turning constituents away from a town hall event in favor of stacking the audience with Teabaggers.

First, Vitter came off like a Senator Strangelove in declaring that he wanted to import prescription drugs from Canada specifically to destroy Canada's health care system.  Got that?  Yeah, me neither.

Second, Vitter came off like a mindless partisan zombie by attacking Democratic Congressman Charlie Melancon for taking the exact same position on legislation as Vitter did:

Vitter compared his stance on health care to that of his likely future opponent, U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville.

Melancon voted against certain amendments in the health-care bill that Vitter plans to support, such as a provision requiring all members of Congress to enroll in the proposed government-run program, Vitter said.

But Melancon then voted against the entire package, something Vitter said he would be likely to do with a senate version.

Vitter "took swipes" at Congressman Melancon for not supporting amendments to legislation that both Vitter and Melancon are planning on voting against anyway.  Vitter must work awfully hard to make this little sense.

Third, the Louisiana Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee against Vitter for using public funds for events that were more political than official in nature, which would violate Senate standards.  By using public funds for events at which Vitter politically attacked a likely political opponent (Congressman Melancon):

Senator Vitter has likely violated 31 U.S.C. § § 1301(a) and has engaged in activity that reflects poorly upon the United States Senate.

Said Louisiana Democratic Party Spokesman Kevin Franck:

Once again David Vitter has given into the temptation to cross an ethical and legal boundary.

Hookerlover David Vitter does seem to have a recurring problem resisting temptations that cross ethical and legal boundaries, doesn't he?

For daily news and analysis on the U.S. Senate races around the country, regularly read Senate Guru.

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Does John Ensign Think David Vitter Should Resign?

Y'all remember John Ensign, right?  He's the Republican U.S. Senator from Nevada who recently announced that he cheated on his wife with an aide.  But he's not resigning - despite the fact that he called on President Clinton to resign for his marital infidelity.  Why the different standard?

Nevada U.S. Sen. John Ensign told The Associated Press on Wednesday that his affair with a friend's wife was different from former President Bill Clinton's affair in the White House because Clinton committed a felony when he lied about it to a grand jury.

"I haven't done anything legally wrong," the Nevada Republican said.

"President Clinton stood right before the American people and he lied to the American people," Ensign said. "You remember that famous day he lied to the American people, plus the fact I thought he committed perjury. That's why I voted for the articles of impeachment."

John Ensign is arguing that President Clinton should have resigned because his marital infidelity broke the law, while Ensign's own infidelity didn't (which is arguable if you follow the $96,000 in hush money that the Ensign family sent to the family of his mistress).

Well, what about Hookerlover David Vitter's infidelity?  What about his Very Serious Sin?  If Republican Senator John Ensign's standard for resignation is whether or not one's marital infidelity is also "legally wrong," then wouldn't soliciting prostitutes qualify, as Republican David Vitter's, um, personal life included?

In short, according to his own explicit standard, Republican Senator John Ensign must think that Republican Senator David Vitter should resign.

For daily news and analysis on the U.S. Senate races around the country, regularly read Senate Guru.

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