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LA: 48% Vitter, 36% Melancon (Clarus 8/15-16)

Topics: Louisiana , poll

Clarus Research Group for WWL-TV
8/15-16/10; 600 registered voters, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(WWLTV story)

Louisiana

2010 Senate: General Election
48% Vitter (R), 36% Melancon (D) (chart)

2010 Senate: Republican Primary
74% Vitter, 5% Traylor, 3% Accardo

2010 Senate: Democratic Primary
43% Melancon, 3% Chauvin, 2% Deaton

 

Comments
Bob in SJ:

This looks like it was taken prior to the current Vitter scandle regarding his aide, who appears to have trouble with assaulting women and drunk driving. Vitter's problem is that he said he knew nothing of either incident, when it appears that he did. Still, tough year, tough race.

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sjt22:

@ Bob

That scandal broke a long time ago, along with the prostitute scandal. One of Vitter's republican primary opponents is bringing it up now in a last ditch effort. Probably won't affect either the primary or general.

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Farleftandproud:

How long is it going to take the VOters of Louisiana to wise up. Trust me, if VT or NY had a liberal Democrat who did the same thing as Vitter, there is no way they would make it past the primary. Melancon is as Conservative of a Democrat as you could get, and as far as I know is honest. If Vitter is re-elected I doubt there will ever be any hope for that state, and any women who vote for him are self flagelating.

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Farleftandproud:

The media must suck in Louisiana too. I am surprised that Vitter didn't get a stronger primary challenge.

I predict one of two things will happen; Melancon will pull an upset, or Vitter will win, and his ethics investigations will continue and he'll resign. Louisiana will have a Special election and Bobby Jindal will run for the seat and win.

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Bob in SJ:

@sjt22

I'm talking about the aide using taxpayer money for personal purposes:

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/vitters_office_paid_for_aides_trips_home_for_court.php

It brings Vitter's denial of knowing about the issue into question.

I imagine that this is only the tip of the iceburg. Why else would Vitter be threatening to sue?

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/vitter-threatens-to-sue-over-brutal-radio-ad-audio.php?ref=fpblg

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Farleftandproud:

It would be a nice thought Bob in SJ that using taxpayer money for personal purposes would be a good thing, but I am not expecting too much. Why is Vitter threatening to sue?

I doubt that Jindal will want to campaign for Vitter this year, and doubt that any other politicians would, other than perhaps Sarah Palin and Tom Tancredo, and maybe Jim Demint. I think they would campaign for Ghengis Khan if that was the only way they could defeat the Obama Agenda.

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Farleftandproud:

Actually in my opinion, Vitter's acts makes George Allen's Maccaca comment pretty minor in comparison.

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Field Marshal:

If this was 2008, i would say Vitter is in trouble. As its 2010 and a heavy GOP environment, he is will win. I would have preferred another GOP candidate but whatever. Politicians will be politicians.

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Farleftandproud:

I don't care what party someone is from or if the political climate is good or bad from them; if these alegations are true, about him spending taxpayers money for a legal defense of his abusive aid that is just atrocious.

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Paleo:

At one time there was some hope for Louisiana (it voted for Clinton twice). Now, it's no different than Mississippi or Alabama.

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Field Marshal:

Yes, the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are hopeless. Maybe BECAUSE they voted for Clinton twice!

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Farleftandproud:

Wait, Bill Clinton didn't win MS or Alabama. I am not looking at any statistics or actual results. In 1992 the southern states he won were LA, GA, Ark. TN, WV, KY and Missouri, if you include them as the south.

In 1996 Clinton didn't get Georgia, but got Florida plus KY, WV, TN, KY, LA, Ark and Missouri.

My God, SC hasn't gone Democratic since 1960. They go back as far as Goldwater for voting Republican. Goldwater didn't do well in the south, but won about 4 states and it was the anti-civil rights issue that worked.

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Farleftandproud:

It is interesting that the two southern states that have been moving in a bluer direction with more new residents from out of state is NC and Virginia.

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nick283:

Yeah, I wouldnt mind if Vitter was gone. I really dont care to much about the prostitution thing since i think the government has no business getting involved in that, but still not a fan of his cheating on his wife. Hope he gets beaten in the primary. LA is gonna be a pretty safe republican state for a while... thank you bobby jindal. FarLeft, I agree it is interesting that liberals move from states in the northeast to escape high taxes and other results of their liberal governance, but they continue voting for the same policies...

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AlanSnipes:

@Farleftand proud:
Don't worry about the south we don't need it.
Read Tom Schaller's book "Whistling Past Dixie"

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Farleftandproud:

Well, Democrats do need to win Florida, but besides from that we don't need to win the south.

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Farleftandproud:

But the cost of living in the south is cheaper than NJ or Boston, so the Taxes of course will be lower. The pay rate is also lower too.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"But the cost of living in the south is cheaper than NJ or Boston, so the Taxes of course will be lower."

Quality of life and public health is a lot lower in Louisiana than in Boston. Boston is regularly listed as one of the better places in the U.S. to live. At least according to Forbes, which is the one that makes a lot of those lists. Of course the categories they use may not be important to some people. If you care about taxes than LA would be the place for you.

LA's unemployment went up from 7% to 7.2% in this last report, which was strange to me...I would have thought oil cleanup would bring a lot of jobs.

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Field Marshal:

Quality of life is in the eyes of the individual, not some psuedo-journalist who is 23 years old and making up some list.

I would bet most people out here in Colorado would say that their quality of life is SIGNIFICANTLY higher than the people who live in Boston. Having lived in both locations, i would agree- there is no comparison. But, i would bet some people in Boston would feel differently.

That's why i have issues with these lists or rankings.

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Farleftandproud:

States that sometimes have the higher quality of life, are states that are moderate in cost of living, but strong in education and other services. I find the most mentioned ones that come to mine are Iowa, MN, Maine, Oregon and VT

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Farleftandproud:

The prostitution thing isn't what bothers me as much as his recent cover up of an abusive staffer. Governor Patterson in NY had a similar situation of ethics violations but he ended up letting the staffer go who was engaging in inappropriate behavior with young women in the office.

The trend with Vitter is a huge connection between his voting record on women's issues excluding abortion. He has voted against a few bills that passed that protected against women from violence. These were bills that I think even President Bush supported.

When you can connect his voting record to protecting a staffer who was charged with aserious violent crime, there is clearly a pattern. Some politicians vote a certain way to please their conservative base and it is sometimes just an act, but when I look at Vitter, I see a true man who really has a low regard for any kind of women's rights.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"That's why i have issues with these lists or rankings."

Yes, they always have vaguely defined categories. Usually it's some sort of matrix based on quality of education, public facilities, recreation options, health of the population and more vague generalities like "stress level" CO also scores high because of lots of outdoor activity options and better public health. But of course such things are very subjective. My base observation is that the higher income areas everywhere are nicer than low income areas everywhere. It's not fun to be poor anywhere, whether it's Appalachia or Roxbury.

Personally my favorite state is Maine.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"That's why i have issues with these lists or rankings."

Yes, they always have vaguely defined categories. Usually it's some sort of matrix based on quality of education, public facilities, recreation options, health of the population and more vague generalities like "stress level" CO also scores high because of lots of outdoor activity options and better public health. But of course such things are very subjective. My base observation is that the higher income areas everywhere are nicer than low income areas everywhere. It's not fun to be poor anywhere, whether it's Appalachia or Roxbury.

Personally my favorite state is Maine. New Hampshire, Connecticut, Washington, and Montana are pretty nice too. I would take most of the west, northeast, midwest and southwest, and stay away from the plains, middle south and the deep south, except maybe parts of GA and FL. OH kinda sucks too. No wonder Lebron James left.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"Having lived in both locations, i would agree- there is no comparison."

I don't know about you, but the most annoying thing for me living in Mass was that so many business closed ridiculously early. You are SOL if you want to anything other than watch a Sox game at a bar after about 9PM.

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Farleftandproud:

One thing about NY, VT and Mass is the cigarette tax is a lot more than some of the southern states. I have a friend in OK, and she said a pack of cigarettes are $4.50. In NY it is over $9. I think the new trend in Canada and the northeast is to raise taxes on food items that have the lest nutritional value. VT is close to having a tax on sugary drinks. NH may have no sales tax but their meals tax is wicked. Perhaps, they could keep taxes lower on healthier food items, but on whoppers tax it higher.

I bet Ben and Jerry's in VT being liberal guys would not mind if there was a tax on ice cream. I mean in small quanities it is enjoyable, but in larger quanities can be as bad for your arteries as alcohol is for your liver.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"I think the new trend in Canada and the northeast is to raise taxes on food items that have the lest nutritional value. VT is close to having a tax on sugary drinks."

This is exactly what should happen, since soft drinks have NO nutritional value whatsoever, and arguably cause as many health problems as cigarettes if you drink them regularly starting in childhood. The rise of sugary drinks, and sodium and fat-laden fast foods as part of our diet is a MAJOR reason for our health care problem.

One of the reasons Europe has better health outcomes (probably THE reason) is that they don't eat the sh** that we do.

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Farleftandproud:

Well it depends on the country. I know Denmark has laws against fatty foods, and perhaps Great Britain too, but that is going to be a little hard to do in Italy with all their sausage and cheeses. Of course the younger Italian gals like to keep their figure, and health food is pretty common as it is in France.

One thing I have noticed is Great Britain and Ireland have very low alcohol taxes. They pay for their social programs through other means because drinking in public, at work and on the train is a way of life. Ontario Canada, in contrast the drinking age may be 19, but I was at a Jazz fest a few years back in Ottawa they weren't even serving beer past 9 o clock at night.

The beer stores close at 9. The alcohol tax in Canada is close to 20 percent, but if paying more for my beer, wine whiskey and Vodka will narrow the deficit I am all for it.

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Farleftandproud:

Maine is a great state. I think my 5 favorite states are Vermont, Mass. Oregon, California and CT

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Farleftandproud:

I actually think from what I have seen Alcoholism is high in much of Europe, especially Russia. The diet is not good over there either.

I would say that all things considered, Japan probably has the best longevity based on their lifestyle and healthier diet, with the exception of Suma Wrestlers. I think in life expectancy Japan has the highest life expectancy, except for maybe some of those European principalities.

It would make sense because they may have some saki once in awhile, and Asians love to drink but they are also disciplined and work so hard and so many hours a week they don't have time for it.

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lat:

FlAP,

Jimmy Carter won SC in 1976. He won every southern state east of the Mississippi except VA that year.

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lat:

FlAP,

Jimmy Carter won SC in 1976. He won every southern state east of the Mississippi except VA that year.

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Farleftandproud:

I'll be darned. Msnbc was wrong about SC saying that Kennedy was the last Democrat to win that state. 1976 is an interesting election map because CA, NH, Maine, and CT went Republican while much of the South did vote for Jimmy Carter. I guess Utah, Idaho and Wyoming have the longest streak of not voting Democratic.

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Pollz:

I hope this guy loses his seat, and goes to prison. SHAME on anyone who votes for Vitter.

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lat:

Flap,

It goes to show you how much things have changed. Jimmy Carter ran on a religious platform back then (sort of) and Gerald Ford was considered the more moderate of the 2 in that regard. I was not old enough to vote then, but would have voted for Ford. The GOP would never run a Gerald Ford today on a national ticket nor a Dwight Eisenhower for that matter and what is so scary is it was not that long ago.

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Farleftandproud:

The GOP would never run Ford or Eisenhower today, you are right. They could even win Vermont, CA or Washington state. Instead they will likely nominate extremely Conservative candidates who will make liberals look like Godless, inhumane people, and that will probably be their best strategy to keeping their base energized.

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MikeyA:

"It goes to show you how much things have changed. Jimmy Carter ran on a religious platform back then (sort of) and Gerald Ford was considered the more moderate of the 2 in that regard. I was not old enough to vote then, but would have voted for Ford. The GOP would never run a Gerald Ford today on a national ticket nor a Dwight Eisenhower for that matter and what is so scary is it was not that long ago."

Thanks for telling us what we would or wouldn't do. I was unsure until then.

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lat:

Mickey,

If you honestly believe the modern day GOP could run someone like Eisenhower you are smoking something. The man was responsible for the huge expansion of the interstate highway system which at the time was an enormous government expense. This would be political suicide in today's GOP. Gerald Ford was the only post Roe v Wade Republican president who was pro-choice, in addition he was in favor of some form of national health care. Again, both these positions would be at odds with today's GOP.

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StatyPolly:

The expansion of the interstate highway system under Ike was sold as a national defense project, and not as the public works projects under FDR. So yeah, today's GOP could have easily sold it that way as well. If it was a realistic sell, which it was back then.

Besides, the national debt was declining under Ike, so it was a different fiscal perception environment compared to today.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"The expansion of the interstate highway system under Ike was sold as a national defense project,"

No it wasn't. Or perhaps that's how he sold it to conservatives. The words "national defense" were attached to discussions about it but it was rarely explained exactly what defense applications the highways had. Eisenhower's defense strategy was based on the air force, not the movement of ground troops. No serious strategic planners were envisioning a ground war with the Soviets on American soil.

He got the idea from decades prior and had also been very impressed by the German autobahn. He had harbored ideas of a highway project since the 1920s. However, he sold it as a public works project that would contribute to America's modernization, as another way to one-up the Soviets and as as economic stimulus. Most importantly it was sold as an infrastructure project America needed. Any defense associations mostly had to do with concerns about evacuating an area due to nuclear attack.

It's a pet peeve of mine, but if you're going to attribute motivation to historical actors, it's best to use their own words:

Quote Eisenhower in 1954: "We are pushing ahead with a great road program. A road program that will take this nation out of its antiquated shackles of secondary roads all over this country and give us the types of highways we really need for this great mass of motor vehicles. It will be a nation of great prosperity, but will be more than that: it will be a nation that is going ahead every day. With Americans being born to us--with our population increasing at five every minute, the expanding horizon is one that staggers the imagination."

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=10117&st=&st1=

Granted he was speaking in Detroit at that time and the auto industry heavily lobbied for the Interstate project. But he's clearly selling it as a public works project.

Here is his special message to congress on February 22, 1955 concerning what would ultimately become the Federal Highways Act of 1956. Note it took one and a half for it to pass, and then 2 more years to really put teeth into it.

"First: Each year, more than 36 thousand people are killed and more than a million injured on the highways. To the home where the tragic aftermath of an accident on an unsafe road is a gap in the family circle, the monetary worth of preventing that death cannot be reckoned. But reliable estimates place the measurable economic cost of the highway accident toll to the Nation at more than $4.3 billion a year.

Second: The physical condition of the present road net increases the cost of vehicle operation, according to many estimates, by as much as one cent per mile of vehicle travel. At the present rate of travel, this totals more than $5 billion a year. The cost is not borne by the individual vehicle operator alone. It pyramids into higher expense of doing the nation's business. Increased highway transportation costs, passed on through each step in the distribution of goods, are paid ultimately by the individual consumer.

Third: In case of an atomic attack on our key cities, the road net must permit quick evacuation of target areas, mobilization of defense forces and maintenance of every essential economic function. But the present system in critical areas would be the breeder of a deadly congestion within hours of an attack.

Fourth: Our Gross National Product, about $357 billion in 1954, is estimated to reach over $500 billion in 1965 when our population will exceed 180 million and, according to other estimates, will travel in 81 million vehicles 814 billion vehicle miles that year. Unless the present rate of highway improvement and development is increased, existing traffic jams only faintly foreshadow those of ten years hence.

To correct these deficiencies is an obligation of Government at every level. The highway system is a public enterprise. As the owner and operator, the various levels of Government have a responsibility for management that promotes the economy of the nation and properly serves the individual user. In the case of the Federal Government, moreover, expenditures on a highway program are a return to the highway user of the taxes which he pays in connection with his use of the highways."

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=10415&st=&st1=

Three out of four justifications are public good, economic in nature, and the defense reasoning is vague. There would be congestion no matter what roads existed in the event of a mass evacuation.

Here's his budget message to congress for FY1957:

"Obviously, a greatly improved highway system is vital for both economic development and national defense, as well as to reduce traffic deaths and injuries. The Federal Government has a special interest in completing as early as possible the 40,000 miles of the Interstate Highway System, which connects major centers of population and industry."

Here's what he said when he signed the federal highway act of 1958 that expanded the funding of the interstates:

"The principal factors influencing me toward favorable action are three. The first is the desirability of speeding up construction of our badly needed system of Interstate Highways, as was proposed in recommendations I recently submitted to the Congress. The second is the hope that in the acceleration of work on this system and on the other federal-aid highway programs some impetus may promptly be given to public and private efforts to increase employment. The third is the temporary character of what I believe to be the faulty provisions of the bill; only because these are not permanently contemplated can I give my approval to this legislation."

He had some concerns about long-term funding.

Interesting to note that he said things you'd probably never hear a republican say today...most notably the federal government's responsibility to build these highways. I'm not sure what the U.S. would be like without them. Huge swaths of our economy are based on them.

____________________

Aaron_in_TX:

"The expansion of the interstate highway system under Ike was sold as a national defense project,"

No it wasn't. Or perhaps that's how he sold it to conservatives. The words "national defense" were attached to discussions about it but it was rarely explained exactly what defense applications the highways had. Eisenhower's defense strategy was based on the air force, not the movement of ground troops. No serious strategic planners were envisioning a ground war with the Soviets on American soil.

He got the idea from decades prior and had also been very impressed by the German autobahn. He had harbored ideas of a highway project since the 1920s. However, he sold it as a public works project that would contribute to America's modernization, as another way to one-up the Soviets and as as economic stimulus. Most importantly it was sold as an infrastructure project America needed. Any defense associations mostly had to do with concerns about evacuating an area due to nuclear attack.

It's a pet peeve of mine, but if you're going to attribute motivation to historical actors, it's best to use their own words:

Quote Eisenhower in 1954: "We are pushing ahead with a great road program. A road program that will take this nation out of its antiquated shackles of secondary roads all over this country and give us the types of highways we really need for this great mass of motor vehicles. It will be a nation of great prosperity, but will be more than that: it will be a nation that is going ahead every day. With Americans being born to us--with our population increasing at five every minute, the expanding horizon is one that staggers the imagination."

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=10117&st=&st1=

Granted he was speaking in Detroit at that time and the auto industry heavily lobbied for the Interstate project. But he's clearly selling it as a public works project.

Here is his special message to congress on February 22, 1955 concerning what would ultimately become the Federal Highways Act of 1956. Note it took one and a half for it to pass, and then 2 more years to really put teeth into it.

"First: Each year, more than 36 thousand people are killed and more than a million injured on the highways. To the home where the tragic aftermath of an accident on an unsafe road is a gap in the family circle, the monetary worth of preventing that death cannot be reckoned. But reliable estimates place the measurable economic cost of the highway accident toll to the Nation at more than $4.3 billion a year.

Second: The physical condition of the present road net increases the cost of vehicle operation, according to many estimates, by as much as one cent per mile of vehicle travel. At the present rate of travel, this totals more than $5 billion a year. The cost is not borne by the individual vehicle operator alone. It pyramids into higher expense of doing the nation's business. Increased highway transportation costs, passed on through each step in the distribution of goods, are paid ultimately by the individual consumer.

Third: In case of an atomic attack on our key cities, the road net must permit quick evacuation of target areas, mobilization of defense forces and maintenance of every essential economic function. But the present system in critical areas would be the breeder of a deadly congestion within hours of an attack.

Fourth: Our Gross National Product, about $357 billion in 1954, is estimated to reach over $500 billion in 1965 when our population will exceed 180 million and, according to other estimates, will travel in 81 million vehicles 814 billion vehicle miles that year. Unless the present rate of highway improvement and development is increased, existing traffic jams only faintly foreshadow those of ten years hence.

To correct these deficiencies is an obligation of Government at every level. The highway system is a public enterprise. As the owner and operator, the various levels of Government have a responsibility for management that promotes the economy of the nation and properly serves the individual user. In the case of the Federal Government, moreover, expenditures on a highway program are a return to the highway user of the taxes which he pays in connection with his use of the highways."

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=10415&st=&st1=

Three out of four justifications are public good, economic in nature, and the defense reasoning is vague. There would be congestion no matter what roads existed in the event of a mass evacuation.

Here's his budget message to congress for FY1957:

"Obviously, a greatly improved highway system is vital for both economic development and national defense, as well as to reduce traffic deaths and injuries. The Federal Government has a special interest in completing as early as possible the 40,000 miles of the Interstate Highway System, which connects major centers of population and industry."

Here's what he said when he signed the federal highway act of 1958 that expanded the funding of the interstates:

"The principal factors influencing me toward favorable action are three. The first is the desirability of speeding up construction of our badly needed system of Interstate Highways, as was proposed in recommendations I recently submitted to the Congress. The second is the hope that in the acceleration of work on this system and on the other federal-aid highway programs some impetus may promptly be given to public and private efforts to increase employment. The third is the temporary character of what I believe to be the faulty provisions of the bill; only because these are not permanently contemplated can I give my approval to this legislation."

He had some concerns about long-term funding.

Interesting to note that he said things you'd probably never hear a republican say today...most notably the federal government's responsibility to build these highways. I'm not sure what the U.S. would be like without them. Huge swaths of our economy are based on them.

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