BATON ROUGE — This week equal pay advocates won a victory when the Senate voted 73-25 to move forward with the Paycheck Fairness Act, but Sen. David Vitter sided with extremists in trying to block the bill, despite the fact that Louisiana ranks second-worst in the nation for pay equity.
“Even as more and more Republicans are seeing the light, David Vitter continues to stand in the way of equal pay for equal work,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson. “Louisiana women earn only 67 cents for every dollar a Louisiana man earns, but Vitter refuses to take action to address this injustice. Louisiana’s working families deserve better.”
BATON ROUGE — As Sen. David Vitter prepares to tour the state to stoke his gubernatorial ambitions, the Louisiana Democratic Party today released a video of “highlights” from his Baton Rouge Press Club appearance, in which he admitted he still needed to do more “homework” on critical state issues.
“Louisiana needs a governor who has the experience and know-how to do the job on day one — not someone who has been running for the office for months, but still hasn’t done his ‘homework’ to know where he stands on issues like the state budget, Common Core or the levee board lawsuit,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson. “Vitter’s disregard for the issues facing this state isn’t surprising. He’d much rather campaign than do the hard work of governing. In that regard, he’s very much like his Republican friend and colleague, Bobby Jindal. The voters of Louisiana should send Vitter and Jindal to detention for remedial coursework in Government 101.”
BATON ROUGE — The least effective member of the U.S. Senate, David Vitter spoke at the Baton Rouge Press Club today and admitted he still needed to do more “homework” on issues like the state budget, Common Core and the levee board lawsuit.
“Our junior senator took some shots at the governor for campaigning for higher office, but he’s doing the same thing — ignoring his current job, as he positions himself to run for another gig,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson. “David Vitter is Exhibit A of why Washington doesn’t work — he voted to shut down the government, and he’s held up important legislation time and time again.
“On the issue of Medicaid expansion, we welcome the senator to the conversation about covering more than 240,000 uninsured Louisianians. It’s a shame that he waited until after session to make his opinions known — his voice would have been a welcome one during Senator Ben Nevers’ committee hearing on his constitutional amendment. Just as he’s been working the phones for Congressman Scalise’s leadership run, we hope he’s been working the phones on this issue, too. If he’s truly serious, we hope he will urge the governor and his legislative allies to call a special session to expand access to affordable health care.”
“Ultimately, Louisianians need a governor that is ready to do the job now, someone who has been fighting back against the devastating policies of our current governor, not someone who still needs to do his ‘homework.’”
Vitter Also Voted Against Clinton, McCarthy and Yellen
BATON ROUGE — In just the latest example of his hostility to women leaders, Sen. David Vitter today voted against the confirmation of Sylvia Mathews Burwell to become Secretary of Health and Human Services, despite bipartisan support for Burwell’s appointment.
“David Vitter’s record on supporting women nominees to top Cabinet posts is dismal,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson. “He voted against Sylvia Mathews Burwell, even though she lined up support from noted conservatives like Tom Coburn. It’s just another instance in a pattern of disturbing behavior from our junior U.S. senator.”
Burwell has served as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and she is a veteran of the Clinton White House. The final vote on Burwell’s confirmation was 78-17.
Nonpartisan Report Found More Than 550,000 Louisianians Would Benefit from Increase to $10.10 an Hour
BATON ROUGE — Sen. David Vitter today voted to block a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, legislation that would benefit more than half a million Louisiana workers, according to a recent report by the nonpartisan Louisiana Budget Project.
“Today’s vote by David Vitter is yet another example of how he has consistently put partisan politics ahead of what’s best for Louisiana,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk. “Whether it’s voting against equal pay legislation or blocking a bill that would mean an immediate raise for nearly 360,000 Louisianians, Vitter has shown time and time again that he is on the side of corporate special interests — not Louisiana families.”
Today Vitter voted with nearly all of his Senate Republican colleagues to block the Minimum Wage Fairness Act.
Earlier this month Vitter joined with Senate Republicans to block the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The Louisiana Budget Project report found that almost 360,000 Louisiana workers would be directly impacted by a minimum wage hike to $10.10 an hour, and more than 190,000 workers would be indirectly impacted. The report also found that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would create an estimated 3,300 jobs and pump $689 million into the state’s economy.
In Louisiana, nearly 62 percent of the workers who would benefit from an increased minimum wage are women. More than 300,000 Louisiana children live in a household with at least one parent that would be positively impacted by a minimum wage of $10.10 an hour.
BATON ROUGE — Despite the fact that Louisiana ranks 50th in the nation for pay equity, U.S. Sen. David Vitter today stood in the way of progress and voted against equal pay legislation yet again.
“It’s shameful that David Vitter is standing in the way of paycheck fairness, while Louisiana women earn 67 cents for every dollar a Louisiana man makes,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson. “Louisiana families can’t afford someone in the governor’s mansion who won’t fight for equal pay for equal work.”
BATON ROUGE — On Equal Pay Day, lawmakers and activists are highlighting Louisiana’s second-worst in the nation ranking on pay equity — a shameful fact that Sen. David Vitter would do nothing to correct, given his record of voting against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
“This week the U.S. Senate will take up equal pay legislation, and Sen. Mary Landrieu has been a champion on this issue,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Karen Carter Peterson. “Unfortunately, our junior senator has failed to stand up for Louisiana women. Vitter’s disastrous record on equal pay means that Louisiana women will fall further behind. When Louisiana women earn just 67 cents for every dollar a Louisiana man makes, we can’t afford to have someone in the governor’s mansion who won’t fight for us.”
“David Vitter thinks that being a political sugar daddy with an anti-Louisiana agenda makes you some kind of freedom fighter,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk. “Of course, Vitter also thinks Louisiana is holding an auction, not an election, so his warm embrace of the Koch brothers is hardly surprising. Louisiana voters don’t want more money in politics, and they certainly don’t want out-of-state billionaires coming into our state and trying to buy a governor.”
The Koch brothers’ dark-money group, Americans for Prosperity, recently fought against flood insurance reform, which will prevent devastating premium hikes for nearly 500,000 Louisiana homeowners. AFP is also trying to stop Louisiana from accepting billions in federal Medicaid funding to expand access to affordable health insurance.
BATON ROUGE — Jan. 29 is the fifth anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, and it is also a reminder that David Vitter voted against this legislation, as well as many women appointees, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“David Vitter’s record on women’s issues is extremely troubling,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk. “During last night’s State of the Union address, one of the biggest applause lines was for pay equity, but Vitter apparently believes corporations should be allowed to pay a woman less for doing the same job as a man.”
Another example of Vitter’s anti-women record was his vote against a 2009 amendment by Sen. Al Franken that that withholds defense contracts from companies like Halliburton if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.
“Vitter had the chance to stand up for women who have been sexually assaulted, and he chose instead to stand up for Halliburton,” said Handwerk. “Corporations were trying to stop their employees from reporting sexual violence, and Vitter decided to side with the corporations against rape victims. Vitter has a truly disturbing pattern of anti-women votes, and this is one of the most troubling examples.”
Vitter’s record also includes frequent votes against women appointees, including the following nominees:
Vitter Super PAC Wants More Money in Louisiana Politics
Fund for Louisiana’s Future Fighting $100,000 Contribution Limit, Threatening Lawsuit
BATON ROUGE — A super PAC backing David Vitter’s run for governor is working behind the scenes to ensure corporate special interests have even greater sway in Louisiana elections by fighting to end the state’s $100,000 limit on individual donations.
“If you think there isn’t nearly enough money in Louisiana politics, then David Vitter is the candidate for you,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk. “His super PAC lawyers are trying every tactic they can imagine to help Vitter’s corporate special interest donors dump millions into the effort to install him in the governor’s mansion.”
The Fund for Louisiana’s Future, a super PAC run by D.C. lawyer Charlie Spies that is supporting Vitter, petitioned the Louisiana Board of Ethics to rule the state’s $100,000 contribution max unconstitutional, a decision the board declined to take last week. During his remarks to the board, Spies raised the threat of a federal lawsuit and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to be paid by Louisiana taxpayers.