NRSC launching extended attack on Landrieu's lobbyist ties

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The campaign launched Wednesday with a standalone site, LandrieuForSale.com, which outlines recent reports that Landrieu's husband, Frank Snellings, has conducted real-estate deals for a number of high-powered Washington lobbyists with business before Landrieu.

According to the Huffington Post, NRSC Communications Director Brad Dayspring said the website is "Phase I" of an extended offensive against the senator.

The Washington Examiner reported last month that Snellings was in the process of selling a Capitol Hill townhouse owned by Tony Podesta, co-founder of the Podesta group, which lobbies for Lockheed Martin and BP, among other companies.

Landrieu, in her position on the Senate Appropriations Committee and as a senator from an oil-producing state, has influence over policies affecting both of these companies.

And the Huffington Post recently reported that Snellings also conducted real-estate deals for a number of lobbyists with ties to Louisiana politics, who have also contributed to or hosted fundraisers for Landrieu.

Among Snellings' clients are former Louisiana Sen. John Breaux, a lobbyist for Patton-Boggs, employees of which have been Landrieu's second top source of campaign donations; Richard Zuschlag, a health care industry CEO whose clients have donated more than $85,000 to Landrieu throughout her career; Melissa Maxfield, a lobbyist for Comcast who has hosted at least three fundraisers for Landrieu; and former Louisiana Rep. Chris John, who now works as a lobbyist for the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association and, in a Washington Post piece, defended a tough vote Landrieu took in favor of providing subsidies for the oil industry in 2007.

There's no clear evidence of wrongdoing, however, and a spokesman for Landrieu has said the senator and her husband consulted with the Senate Ethics Committee on Snellings' real-estate work and are careful to comply with all rules.

Republicans, however, sense an opening for an attack on a senator they believe to be one of the most vulnerable Democrats this cycle.

Landrieu has won a number of tough races before, and had nearly $5 million cash on hand at the end of June for her reelection bid.

But the increasingly red tint of the state, coupled with some politically difficult votes she's taken since her last reelection fight — namely a vote in favor of ObamaCare — have Republicans believing they might be able to take her down this time.