02 September 2011

Why does Vitter tell such obvious lies?

A new email for Diaper Dave:

Dear Friend,

All too often we hear about radical environmentalist groups attacking Louisiana’s energy industry and threatening our jobs and economy. That’s why last year I requested a full audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to find out just how much taxpayer money was being spent to fund lawsuits by these radical environmentalist groups who sue the federal government.

Turns out it’s a lot – tens of millions. GAO finally completed the report I requested and it shows that taxpayers have been on the hook for years while ‘Big Green’ trial lawyers have raked in millions of dollars suing the government.

Even worse, because of sloppy record keeping by federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a lack of cooperation by the U.S. Justice Department, we're not even sure how bad the problem really is. This is unacceptable and I'm going to continue working to demand greater transparency.

One particularly absurd example is the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group actively litigating against oil and gas exploration. This is the group who’s currently trying to shut down the entire Gulf of Mexico from offshore drilling. In 2008, the NRDC received $3.5 million from taxpayers, even as it pursued litigation that would imperil the jobs of tens of thousands of energy industry employees in Louisiana alone.

Additionally, between 2003 and 2010, the Treasury Department paid out approximately $14.2 million from its “Judgment Fund” to environmental plaintiffs who had filed suit against EPA.  

Allowing hard earned tax dollars to be carelessly paid out to these environmentalist groups is a threat to our ever increasing deficit, and it’s a threat to Louisiana’s economy. This report is a good start to helping expose this.

David Vitter Signature
David Vitter
United States Senator

So Dave makes it look like the "radical environmentalists" are being paid by Obama to destroy the economy of Louisiana. He fails to mention that the "'Big Green' trial lawyers" who have "raked in millions of dollars suing the Federal government" have been paid that money because they won their cases and the courts ordered, in some cases, the Feds to pay lawyer and court costs. This is legal and a very common practice.

He also makes the Treasury Dept seem careless in its paying of $14.2 million to environmental plaintiffs from its ""Judgment Fund"", as though the "Judgment Fund" is some bogus fund. The "Judgment Fund" is exactly that, the Judgment Fund, it is a fund created by  31 U.S.C. 1304 to pay legal costs when a government entity loses a court suit. Those "Big Green trial Lawyers" won their cases and the court order the Judgment Fund to pay them

If you click on the link  report  in Vitter's email, it will take you to his website, not to the GAO report which is here. No, you go his website and read more of the same sniveling lies that were in his email. There is a link to the report at the bottom of the page, but how many people will bother to click on it after they have read what he tells them it says? But if you actually read the GAO Report, you will find that he cherry picked the data, and that the report says just the opposite of what he tells us it says.
For instance:

Justice defended approximately 2,500 EPA-related cases filed from fiscal year 1995 through fiscal year 2010, but the number of environmental litigation cases from which plaintiffs received payments was small, representing about 8 percent of all cases (page 22 of the GOA Report).

It is notable that Vitter links to a piece in the Washington Examiner, a free daily paper in the D.C. area that is a Conservative rag that has a mottled history of questionable business practices.  The piece is an opinion column by Ron Arnold, man who has waged a life long war against Environmentalists.

Also, shutting down offshore drilling is not a bad thing--California and Florida banned it--but it would be bad for Vitter. He makes hundreds of thousands of dollars from Big Oil.

SO the question remains: Why does David Vitter tell such obvious lies?

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