Friday, November 03, 2006

News Roundup and Walberg Voting Record - 4 Days

Four days until Election Day! Regardless of who wins in the 7th District race, I think this election cycle has been good for the district. True, well-respected incumbent Republican Congressman Joe Schwarz was defeated in a brutal primary by Tim Walberg, and both Walberg and Democratic nominee Sharon Renier haven't exactly had a cordial relationship.

But this year, it's become a real race, and not just a coronation for the Republican candidate. Both our political parties function best when there's a credible opposition in every district and for every seat, and this year, with no assistance from the national Democratic Party, Sharon Renier has given new energy to the 7th District Democrats. Even if we stay in the minority, this is a fantastic development, and I hope it carries forward into future elections.

Anyway, here's the latest:
  • First Lady Laura Bush was in Battle Creek to campaign with Tim Walberg and Senate candidate Michael Bouchard. She's probably the most popular person in the Bush White House right now-- certainly more popular than Walberg's last visitor, Vice President Cheney-- and her visit is another sign that the national GOP is worried about the district.
  • Both the Renier campaign and the Walberg campaign have distanced themselves from the fake "robo calls," in which a woman impersonates Sharon Renier and makes personal attacks against Tim Walberg. Read more here and here.
  • The Jackson Citizen-Patriot endorses Tim Walberg. However, I still encourage you to read it, because the endorsement itself is telling. Rather than praise Walberg for his conservative record and "pro-life" stances, it's clear that they endorsed Walberg only because they couldn't bring themselves to endorse Renier. In their view, her rhetoric is too crude for Congress. I say, I'd rather have a crude representative that tells the truth and works for the district than a smooth, well-spoken career politician that works for the Club for Growth.
  • Retiring Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) was in Jackson this evening, campaigning for Michigan candidates-- including Tim Walberg. Even if Frist's chances at winning the GOP presidential nomination don't look too good, he's still a powerful player. Why does he have to campaign in Jackson, the birthplace of the Republican Party?
  • WLNS gave Walberg and Renier a minute each to describe their positions. An interesting, if short, read.
Now, tonight's sample of Tim Walberg's voting record in the Michigan Legislature:
HB 5888
Department of Agriculture Budget

Outcome: Passed 86-18

Tim Walberg: NO
Roll Call 327

Passage of MEGA (Michigan Economic Development Authority) which allowed the state to provide special tax breaks to recruit new job creation

Outcome: Passed 68-35

Tim Walberg: NO
Roll Call 285

Amendment requiring that no money allocated to the Department of Labor could be used to promote a "right to work" philosophy

Outcome: Passed 83-17

Tim Walberg: NO
Roll Call 259

Now, I haven't been as consistent as I had intended to be when highlighting these votes, and tonight is the end of the series, because I think I've made my point. Walberg voted repeatedly against common-sense measures that had the support of the vast majority of the state legislature in his quest against government spending. Some might call that principled. But then there are these votes:
HCR 12
Rejection of the SOCC recommended pay raise

Tim Walberg: NO
Roll Call 4

Rejection of the SOCC recommended pay raise

Tim Walberg: NO
Roll Call 14

Tim Walberg: NO
Roll Call 15

Just to be clear, these "NO" votes were votes in support of giving himself a pay raise. Meanwhile, he voted against raising the minimum wage.

I don't know about you, but that bothers me.

In the comments, feel free to mention the Walberg votes you find most revealing, after browsing the collection the Renier campaign has made available.

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