By Ben Geman - 10/05/10 04:48 PM EDT
“David VitterDavid VitterDavid Duke will bank on racial tensions in Louisiana Senate bid Former KKK leader David Duke running for Senate Six senators call on housing regulator to let Congress finish housing finance reform MORE introduced a bill capping BP's liability at $150 million. Damages could top $30 billion. Vitter was caught bailing out BP,” it continues, later adding, “David Vitter wanted to bail out BP. Charlie Melancon fought for Louisiana. That's the difference.”
The ad is a reference to legislation Vitter introduced in May that would increase a company’s liability limit for offshore spills to $150 million, or its combined profits during the preceding four quarters, if they’re above $150 million.
In BP’s case, they are much higher. The company’s combined profits in the four quarters before the spill were roughly $20 billion. Vitter also floated a plan that would require BP specifically to pay claims regardless of its legal liability.
BP, under intense pressure from the White House, agreed months ago to a $20-billion, independently administered claims fund.
Vitter’s campaign accused Sen. Robert MenendezRobert MenendezGMO labeling bill advances in the Senate over Dem objections Overnight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Menendez rails against Puerto Rico bill for 4 hours on floor MORE (D-N.J.), who heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, of blocking Vitter’s legislation – a three sentence rebuttal to the new TV ad that manages to attack Melancon, Menendez, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and President Obama.
“Melancon hasn't met a bailout he didn’t like and vote for. And it's clear he hasn’t read Sen. Vitter’s legislation that would have held BP accountable for all costs without any cap, if only his liberal campaign chair in the Senate hadn’t blocked the bill. Melancon is clearly trying to distract from the billions of wasteful spending and bailouts he joined Obama and Pelosi in voting for,” Vitter spokesman Luke Bolar said.
Polls in recent weeks shows Melancon trailing Vitter by double digits.