Landrieu touts fight for oil and gas jobs in new ad

CNN via U.S. Senate
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 1:00pm

Pushing back after months of negative television commercials from pro-Republican outside groups, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is taking to the airwaves Tuesday with a new ad that touts her efforts on behalf of the oil and gas industry, which employs 300,000 people in the state.

The spot shows Louisiana residents at home, at a restaurant, and at work, watching news clips of the three-term senator.

"For years she's forced Washington to respect Louisiana," says the narrator in the commercial, followed by a clip of Landrieu saying "the administration's policies are simply wrong when it comes to oil and gas production in this nation."

The ad then highlights Landrieu's efforts in ending the federal government's moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling, which was implemented following the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and her successful battle to force the federal government to share offshore royalties with Louisiana and other oil and gas producing states.

The narrator in the spot goes on to say that "now as the new chairman of the Energy Committee, she holds the most powerful position in the Senate for Louisiana."

Landrieu's campaign says they're spending $250,000 to run the commercial statewide for a week.

The message in the ad that Landrieu's fighting for Louisiana by pushing back against President Barack Obama and Washington stands in contrast to the slew of spots by outside conservative groups that portray the senator as a strong supporter of the President and his federal health care law.

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group backed by the deep pockets of the industrialist Koch brothers, has spent more than $3 million to run ads in Louisiana that highlight Landrieu's 2010 vote in favor of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

Landrieu's new spot is her second commercial of her re-election campaign. Her first ad, released at the beginning of the year, touted her efforts to convince the President to make sure that people who lost their health insurance because of new Obamacare requirements could keep it for another year, holding Obama to his earlier promise.

Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states, like Louisiana.

Landrieu--along with fellow Democratic incumbent Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Mark Begich of Alaska--faces a challenging re-election, as she has in the past. She won 50% of the vote in her 1996 election, and 52% of the vote in her 2002 and 2008 re-elections. In presidential elections, the state has become reliably red, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney carrying Louisiana by 17 percentage points in 2012 and Sen. John McCain of Arizona winning the state by 19 points in 2008.

This time around Landrieu faces a Republican field that includes two major candidates: GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness, who's backed by more conservative groups.

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