NRSC: “Was Melancon Raising Campaign Cash At Trial Lawyers’ Canadian Convention While Oil Spill Ravages Louisiana’s Coastline?

July 12, 2010

WASHINGTON – As Louisiana families and small business owners deal with major developments regarding the tragic Gulf oil spill and tens of thousands of jobs hang in the balance, did U.S. Representative and Democrat Senate hopeful U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon (D-LA) make the decision to play politics and raise campaign cash this weekend at a trial lawyer convention in Vancouver, Canada?

Melancon has remained secretive as to whether he, in fact, traveled to Canada himself or if he instead employed one of his Democrat party bosses – such as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who made the trip – to pick up his campaign cash and bring it back to America.

In either case, the main event of Melancon’s foreign fundraising weekend appears to have been a ritzy reception of the “Committee for a Better Future,” a joint venture of the Democrat party establishment and the Washington, DC-based trial lawyers’ lobbying association, both of which have been under heavy fire in the United States for their out-of-control job-killing agendas. A new study released just last week by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) shows that small businesses – which have created 64 percent of all net new jobs in the United States over the past 15 years – shoulder a tremendous burden of the nation’s tort liability costs.

Notably, the front page of the trial lawyers’ association website features an oil-soaked pelican, which links to information on how its members can profit from law suits surrounding the Gulf oil spill.

“As oil continues to gush on Louisiana’s coastline, Congressman Melancon should come clean with Louisiana voters: Did he travel to Canada this weekend to raise campaign cash from trial lawyers, or did he send Senate Leader Harry Reid to do it for him?” asked National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Chris Bond. “Surely, as BP conducts a risky procedure impacting the flow of oil spilling onto the shores of his district, Charlie Melancon would not make the reckless decision to run off to Canada on a campaign fundraising junket. The voters in Louisiana will decide whether it’s appropriate to raise campaign cash from liberal trial lawyers in Canada, but Melancon needs to confirm his whereabouts either way.”

Background Information:

According To The U.S. Chamber Institute For Legal Reform, Small Businesses Bore 81 Percent Of Business Tort Liability Costs In 2008, And Lawsuits Cost Them $105.4 Billion. “Small businesses are the engine of job growth in this country. They have generated 64 percent of the net new jobs over the past 15 years. Particularly at a time when unemployment rates are high, it is important to understand the burdens small businesses bear, with the objective of creating an environment in which small businesses will thrive. To this end, the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform has commissioned a study of the tort liability costs of small businesses from NERA Economic Consulting (NERA). Their findings are as follows:

* The tort liability price tag for small businesses in America in 2008 was $105.4 billion.

* Small businesses bore 81% of business tort liability costs but took in only 22% of revenue.

* Small businesses paid $35.6 billion of their tort costs out of pocket as opposed to through insurance.” (U.S. Chamber Institute For Legal Reform, “Tort Liability Costs For Small Business,” July 2010)

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