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Ellison’s Election Tip Sheet

Ellison Barber election tip sheet
• August 29, 2014 12:00 pm

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SENATE: LOUISANA

Republicans are reportedly considering legal action as questions are raised surrounding Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D., La.) residency.

The Washington Post reports:

NEW ORLEANS — In Washington, Sen. Mary Landrieu lives in a stately, $2.5 million brick manse she and her husband built on Capitol Hill.

Here in Louisiana, however, the Democrat does not have a home of her own. She is registered to vote at a large bungalow in New Orleans that her parents have lived in for many decades, according to a Washington Post review of Landrieu’s federal financial disclosures and local property and voting records.

On a statement of candidacy Landrieu filed with the Federal Election Commission in January, she listed her Capitol Hill home as her address. But when qualifying for the ballot in Louisiana last week, she listed the family’s raised-basement home here on South Prieur Street.

Landrieu isn’t the first or last politician to face these kinds of allegations. We only have to look back to 2012 to be reminded of the last senator who lost reelection in large part thanks to his residency, or lack thereof. It can be a political liability, but it also can be met with a collective shrug.

A big part of residency questions depends on how candidates handle them, and it’s difficult to tell if the attack will stick.

One thing Landrieu has on her side is her family. Her brother is the current Mayor of New Orleans, a position her father once held as well. Her family is engrained in Louisiana politics and that certainly helps her fend off criticisms, but it may put national Democrats in an awkward position.

Landrieu is already in one of the closest races this cycle. Real Clear Politics’ poll average puts Landrieu behind by one point. In a race this tight, any news that brings her negative attention is less than ideal.

SENATE: GEORGIA

Foreign policy has been a relatively small part of the midterms, a fact that’s been pointed out by the New York Times. It’s typically addressed when it’s prompted by a reporter’s question, and it tends to receive attention when candidates make egregiously ill-informed remarks or refuse to take a position on a specific crisis.

Midterms tend to focus on domestic issues, but given the current problems abroad, it’s refreshing to see a candidates actually champion it as an issue and make it an integral part of their campaign—it seems like that’s what the Republican candidate in Georgia, David Perdue, is doing.

Former United Nation’s Ambassador John Bolton is backing the businessman. Perdue’s campaign announced the endorsement on Thursday: 

ATLANTA, GA – Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, David Perdue, today received the endorsement of Ambassador John Bolton, a well-respected leader on foreign policy. Earlier this week, Perdue also expressed his interest in serving on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee if elected.

"I’m grateful for the support of respected leaders like Ambassador John Bolton. President Obama’s failed foreign policies have made America less safe at home and abroad. As Georgia’s next U.S. senator, I will advance policies to ensure that America is capable of protecting our interests and supporting our allies throughout the world," said David Perdue.

"David understands that economic security is the foundation for strong national security. His leadership and resolve is sorely needed in the U.S. Senate, especially at a time when America’s foreign policy has cast doubts among our friends and emboldened our enemies," added Ambassador Bolton.

SENATE: NEW HAMPSHIRE

Hypocritical politicians can always be found on both the left and right, but that doesn’t make it acceptable or any less obnoxious when we see one engaging in that very behavior.

For this week’s hypocritical politician, enter Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.).

From the Weekly Standard:

The 30-second spot from Shaheen's campaign says Brown, while representing Massachusetts in the Senate, voted to give companies in the oil industry "$20 billion in taxpayer subsidies."

"Big Oil gave Scot Brown thousands of dollars within days of his votes," the voiceover continues. […]

Shaheen, meanwhile, invests in some of the same oil companies her ad decries as "Big Oil." On her 2013 financial disclosure forms for the U.S. Senate, Shaheen reports her husband is invested in a mutual fund called Thornburg Value R5, an investment worth up to $100,000. The fund invests in a few oil and gas companies, including Chevron, Inpex (a Japanese firm), Weatherford International, and a French energy corporation called Total SA.

The ad suggests that "big oil companies" are problematic in general, which is why it’s appalling that Brown received money from the companies and voted in a manner that would benefit them. That line of attack should be entirely discredited when Shaheen invests in those companies. If Brown is in bed with Big Oil companies, so is Shaheen—she’s just trying to pretend she’s not, and that is worse.