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Center Urges Landrieu to Stand By Her Campaign Commitment on Estrada

Center urges Landrieu to stand by a campaign commitment made to tens of thousands of Spanish-speaking Louisianans on the nomination of Miguel Estrada



C e n t e r   F o r   I n d i v i d u a l   F r e e d o m


February 11, 2003

The Honorable Mary Landrieu
United States Senate
724 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Landrieu:

As the full Senate finally considers the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, I am writing on behalf of the Center for Individual Freedom to urge you to stand by a campaign commitment you made to tens of thousands of Spanish-speaking Louisianans.

During your 2002 re-election campaign, a radio ad, spoken in Spanish and paid for by "Friends of Mary Landrieu," specifically and prominently stated that you "supported the candidacy of the Honduran Miguel Estrada for the Federal Court of Appeals." To refresh your memory, the ad (translated into English) reads, in part, as follows:

"...Mary Landrieu has worked close to the Hispanic Community...."


"Mary Landrieu, has always been close to our community, she has grown, socialized and worked along our side.

"An announcement paid for by: Friends of Mary Landrieu."

Yet, according to a February 7 Times-Picayune article, you are withholding your decision on Estrada's nomination despite being "impressed with Estrada's intellect and his personal story of rising to an Ivy League education and top government and private legal jobs after coming to the United States from Honduras [as] a teenager."

Now, several of your colleagues, led by Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), are threatening a filibuster to derail Miguel Estrada's vote — an unprecedented, partisan tactic that, according to a February 6 Roll Call article, you initially opposed: "I would not be involved in a filibuster. I would either be for or against him." Later the same day, according to the same article, you developed an "open mind" toward a filibuster against Estrada's confirmation.

Well, which is it?

To blatantly deceive your constituents in an attempt to court Hispanic votes is disgraceful!

Your Louisiana colleague, Senator John Breaux, has risen above the partisan brinksmanship that has held Miguel Estrada's nomination hostage for an astonishing 643 days, and counting. Senator Breaux has announced he will oppose a filibuster and any other obstructionist delay tactic that serves to shirk the full Senate's constitutional responsibility to Estrada's nomination. As promised, you should do the same.

Miguel Estrada, who is slated to be the first Hispanic ever to serve the D.C. Circuit, deserves, and the constitution requires, an unobstructed yea-or-nay vote by all 100 Senators. To support further obstructionist parliamentary delay tactics against Estrada's confirmation is to abuse your "advise and consent"role in the process. Worse, it's lying to your constituents for the ultimate political gain — re-election.


Jeffrey Mazzella
Sr. Vice President, Legislative Affairs

To read the campaign commercial, in the original Spanish and in English translation, click here.

To read Mary Landrieu's response, click here.

[Posted February 12, 2003]