Local party heads react to Vitter

July 10, 2007
Reported by Pam Dixon

U.S. Senator David Vitter's actions and his own campaign words are coming back to haunt the Louisiana Republican after his phone number was linked to a Washington, D.C., escort service. Michael McHale is the chairman of the Calcasieu Parish Democratic Party. McHale says, "I think the hypocrisy is really considerable. Here's a fellow who ran as a family values republican. This flies in the face of any family values I know of."

But for John Hoffpauir, chairman of the Calcasieu Parish Republican Party, Vitter's admission of a past indiscretion is old news. Hoffpauir says, "This is not something David has kept from us. This was out even when he was considering running for governor." And Hoffpauir is ready to forgive and forget. Hoffpauir says, "As far as I'm concerned he has taken care of it with the people he needs to take care of it with and that's good enough for me."

But even Vitter's public apology is not enough for McHale. McHale says, "I think he should resign the office. I think this is going to hurt Louisiana. It's going to hurt his clout on Capitol Hill considerably, particularly at a time when we need it the most, especially when we're trying to, recover from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita." Hoffpauir says, "David is a man of integrity. Did he make a mistake? Yes."

So far, Vitter's is the first lawmaker known to be linked to the so called D.C. madam. In an interview with CNN, the alleged madam said she didn't remember Vitter's, but she thinks he used her company's service in 2001.