Just weeks after ship builder Boyse Bollinger endorsed US Senator Mary Landrieu in a commercial, the lawmaker from Louisiana today announced she included $318 million for six Fast Response Cutters for the Coast Guard in the bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security.
The vessels are built at Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, Louisiana.
"Even though I am a Republican and don't always agree with her, Louisiana can't afford to lose Mary Landrieu," Bollinger said in the ads. "She is chairman of the Energy Committee, the most powerful position a person can have for Louisiana. It means more boats, more jobs and more oil and gas."
Watch the Bollinger Commercial:
That was in April.
Today, Landrieu announced that the number of new Coast Guard boats to be constructed at Bollinger is four more than President Obama requested.
"We must replace the Coast Guard's aging fleet for it to keep carrying out its vital role in protecting our nation. Today's funding will provide the Coast Guard with these exceptional boats, allow the Coast Guard to carry out critical lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security missions and support 3,000 jobs in Southeast Louisiana," Sen. Landrieu said in a news release.
LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says this both helps and hurts the incumbent because it shows she does indeed have the power to bring home the bacon for Louisiana, but also may well be ammo for her opponents to accuse her of doing political favors for a big supporter.
Listen to Prof. Robert Hogan:
Hogan says although it's good news for Louisiana, he fully expects Landrieu to be attacked for helping a supporter
''They will most certainly try to say that this is a quid pro quo if you would,'' said Hogan.
Hogan added, ''the benefit is also directed at a contractor who is a supporter of hers in the campaign is something her opponents will certainly want to point out.''