Saturday, October 08, 2005

Mitch Landrieu defends Louisiana and its publis servants

Buried in this article is a good defense of Louisiana against its reputation for corruption. This sort of defense is necessary, since it is already costing us in Congress. Other states were not forced to pay back emergency loans for municipalities and other local governments. Louisiana will be because of our reputation.
Landrieu, who was in Washington to discuss the future of the state tourism industry, was stung by the attitude he found on Capitol Hill. On Friday, the Senate voted to send $750 million in aid to struggling municipal governments - but attached a provision requiring the state to pay the money back, something no other disaster-stricken state had ever been asked to do.

"They say Louisiana is corrupt, that the money will be misplaced," said a frustrated Landrieu. "To say these things about Louisiana because of our storied past, because it was colorful, is a cheap shot. The last thing we want to do is waste one dollar (of hurricane relief money)."

Louisiana, he said, did not corner the market on political corruption. In the past 10 years, governors of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio and Alabama have all been indicted.

"These cries of caution never surfaced in Florida last year, never surfaced in Mississippi or Texas this year, or in New York after 9/11," Landrieu said. "Don't hold the fact that Louisiana had a corrupt governor 10 years ago against us now."

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