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STAFF PHOTO BY G. ANDREW BOYD The Louisiana state capital building in Baton Rouge, LA, with the Exxon chemical refinery in the background, in this 1992 file photo. ORG XMIT: NOLA2016012911291110 ORG XMIT: NOLA1704071906228255

I write to express frustration and grief about the utter lack of leadership exhibited by U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy.

You know, l know, they know and even Donald Trump knows he lost the election. Joe Biden has 306 electoral votes and at least two states’ elections, perhaps three, would need to be overturned to change the result. Trump’s lawsuits are being roundly dismissed by state and federal courts as quickly as they have been filed. His lawyers are quitting rather than continue to embarrass themselves and risk sanction by filing meritless and baseless suits.

Despite this, both of Louisiana’s senators refuse to stand up for the nation. I have written to each and gotten mealy-mouthed letters about giving Trump time to pursue his options.

Trump has no options and instead seems bound and determined to sabotage the nation on his way out while he continues to deny the incoming administration access to the vital information needed to prepare it to take over Jan. 20. They know delaying the transition to a new administration weakens our country. They know that Biden is not being briefed on the pandemic. They know that he is not getting security briefings. They know continued delay will slow down each and every agency and department.

Our Defense and Homeland Security departments are being drained of leadership at breakneck speed. They know we need the Biden administration to be ready to go day one to fill this vacuum of leadership. They know that during a pandemic they risk lives by their inaction.

After all, we all know what happened the last time when we had a close election between Al Gore and George W. Bush, Bush’s transition time was cut in half. As the 9/11 commission found, that delay likely contributed to the 9/11 disaster.

Yet neither senator demands or even suggests quietly that Trump authorize the transition. They must demand that we begin the transition. This is not simply foolish but a reckless endangerment of all of us and our nation.

I know these men are afraid of Trump and afraid that the people of Louisiana will turn on them if he tweets something nasty about them. But it is time to get a backbone.

Cassidy just won an overwhelming victory for six years. Are they really so wracked with fear they can’t see that Trump is powerless without their fear? It’s time our senators act like the leaders they claim to be and stand up and speak up for the nation they promised to serve.

JAN HAYDEN

lawyer

Metairie