Republican Rep. Jeff Landry. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Saturday, October 13, 2012 8:14 PM
U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry told the Republican Roundtable on Friday that bringing responsible government back to Washington, D.C., is a team effort. The New Iberia congressman urged GOP members to “go in the booth and make that tough vote.”
Landry is one of five candidates seeking the redrawn 3rd Congressional District seat. U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, who served the eliminated 7th Congressional District for four terms, is also in the race along with Democrat Ron Richard, Republican Bryan Barrilleaux and Libertarian Jim Stark, all of Lake Charles.
The federal government isn’t headed in the right direction and that is why he first ran for Congress three years ago, Landry said. He added that he was tired of politicians making promises and not delivering. His goal is limited government and less spending, he said.
Landry said people told him he couldn’t win when he ran against former state House Speaker Hunt Downer of Houma, but Landry said he “just put the truth out there, told people about his beliefs and won by 30 points.”
Leadership is needed in Washington and the problem isn’t just with Democrats, he said.
“The two parties fight over the checkbook and keep sending us the bill,” he said.
Landry said he cut his congressional budget office operating expenses by 16 percent and with others they saved $1.6 million a year. The press criticized them for grandstanding, he said.
“I would love to see Cabinet level officials grandstanding so we could get the deficit under control,” he said. “It’s what you call leadership by example. The problem up there is people.”
Landry said he couldn’t sit back and allow someone to represent him that doesn’t share his values. Many congressmen worry about the next election, but “I go out there and tell the truth.”
Although he didn’t mention Boustany by name, he said the candidate has distorted the truth about Landry not paying his property taxes.
“The election isn’t about property taxes. It’s about whether we get the country out of $17 trillion in debt,” he said.
Landry said he opposes a lame duck session of Congress that would be held after the Nov. 6 election but before new officials take office in January. He said those who are retiring and those who lost wouldn’t be accountable to the people who voted when deciding major policy issues.
“How do you negotiate with (President) Barack Obama in two months?” he asked.
“My message to you all is to find the truth and get involved in making sure everyone knows the truth and recognizes distortions,” he said. “Ignorance is not having all the facts; stupidity is having all the facts and still making the wrong decisions.”
Landry said, “Make sure you can separate fact from fiction. When people are distorting the truth, call them out. The only way to change Washington is to break the culture there. At the end of the day, it’s about truth. Americans will always do what’s right.”
Landry denied he supported efforts to put Calcasieu Parish in a Shreveport district when the Legislature redrew the state’s congressional districts. He said he supported one district across all of coastal Louisiana. He blamed a reporter who didn’t “get it quite right” for what he called a misconception.