Vitter’s grandstanding could cost thousands of Louisiana jobs

December 12, 2008

As one of five Republicans who led the charge to defeat a bridge loan for struggling U.S. automakers last night, Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter showed that he’s perfectly willing to put politics over Louisiana’s auto industry and thousands of Louisiana families and jobs. In addition to the General Motors plant in Shreveport, there are also more than 200 auto dealers in Louisiana that sell vehicles made by Detroit’s Big Three automakers.

Vitter and Senate Republicans were offered multiple bipartisan options on the bridge loan, including ones from the White House and conservative Senate colleagues. They chose to reject any effort to help this struggling American industry and protect millions of American jobs – including thousands based here in Louisiana.

Blake Corley’s family has been in the automobile business for three generations, and here are some eloquent excerpts from his post on the potentially devastating effects of Vitter’s grandstanding:

Vitter fails to see that many Louisiana dealers, like my family, who combined owns four dealerships and employ 300 people total, would completely lose everything if this ‘bailout’ were to fail. Lafayette alone has about 7 domestic car dealerships that would all close their doors if Vitter had his way. I would lose everything, if my Senator had his way in Washington.

… We are not corporate CEOS flying to Washington asking for your help. We are a small Louisiana family trying to make a living. We are the people you represent. What about the General Motors plant in Shreveport? That plant alone employs 1,500 people and had plans to employ 1,500 more. Every 1 in 10 person’s job in America is related to the domestic car industry. 65% of car dealerships in Louisiana are domestic and on average employ 60 people each. How could you let Louisiana down? Your plan to filibuster this ‘bailout’ in the Senate shows me, every dealer in Louisiana, and every person in Louisiana affected by the auto industry that you are not qualified to be in Washington. See you in 2010, Senator, me and the 20,000 other people in LOUISIANA whose jobs rely on the DOMESTIC car industry.

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