Taking Vitter to Task in His Heartland

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A noted political science professor at the University of Louisiana-Monroe — in the heart of U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s north Louisiana stronghold — has penned a scathing criticism of Vitter’s fast-and-loose treatment of the facts surrounding various issues (particularly health care reform) in his desperate attempt to win re-election after getting caught chasing whores (again).

Prof. Joshua Stockley of ULM is past president of the Louisiana Political Science Association. In a Nov. 14 op-ed for the Monroe News Star, he predicts that the 2010 Senate race between Vitter and Congressman Charlie Melancon will be “a knockdown, mud-slinging affair.” He goes on to note how Vitter has routinely distorted Melancon’s record on health care reform as well as the facts behind a pending climate-change bill.

“Whatever happened to campaigning honestly?

“Another story about Vitter caught my attention this week. Paul Anastas, a former White House environment director, was unanimously approved in July by a Senate committee to head the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development. However, Vitter placed a hold upon his nomination that will effectively prevent his nomination from being confirmed for several months.

“It turns out that the EPA has signaled plans to assess formaldehyde's health effects and its concomitant usage in building materials and household products because studies have found a link between formaldehyde and cancer. An EPA under Anastas would likely restrict the use of formaldehyde in building materials, like the FEMA mobile homes that sickened thousands of Katrina evacuees.

“It turns out that Vitter has received $9,000 from Dow Chemical's PAC, $5,000 from Monsanto's PAC, $5,000 from ExxonMobil's PAC, and $2,500 from the American Forest and Paper Association PAC. The American Forest and Paper Association is a member of the Formaldehyde Council; the other companies are known producers of formaldehyde.

"Money talks, cancer victims don't."

That a political science professor would put forth such analysis is not surprising. That it would appear in the daily newspaper in the middle of Vitter territory is surprising — and refreshing.

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