Jerry Mander’s Political Corner – Has Your Congresscritter Been Naughty Or Nice?

Jerry Mander

Congress:Naughty or Nice

Is Your Congresscritter On The Naughty List?

Condensed and adapted from an Opinion article at Conservative Review. The article itself lists the worst votes of each of these Congresscritters in 2015.

Your congressman better watch out. She better not cry. He better not pout, we’re telling you why. Conservatives are going to vote.

Conservative Review has made a list. They’re checking it twice. They’ve found out who’s been naughty, not nice. Conservatives will kick the bums out.

Here are 14 House Republicans with the worst Liberty Scores® in 2015. If your representative is on this naughty list, consider making a New Year’s resolution to find new representation.

14. Rep. Pat Meehan (PA-07) Liberty Score® – 30% F

Patrick Meehan represents Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District in the United States Congress. Currently serving his third term in Congress, Meehan serves on the influential House Ways and Means Committee, as well as the Committee on Ethics.

Since being elected to Congress, Meehan has been anything but conservative. He has shown a clear propensity for big government and big labor priorities, all under the guise of “economic development.” He has voted for four separate debt-ceiling increases in the four years he has been in office. He is also a member of the Main Street Partnership, a group of moderate members.

13. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) Liberty Score® – 30% F

Mario Diaz-Balart was first elected to Congress in 2002. He had previously served in the Florida legislature for a combined fourteen years between the state House and Senate. Diaz-Balart is a senior member of the House Committee on Appropriations and is chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, in addition to serving on the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs and the Defense Subcommittees.

Diaz-Balart’s voting record is one of the most liberal among Republicans in the Florida delegation. Although Diaz-Balart has been a solid vote for the sanctity of life, his votes in nearly every other area regularly depart from limited government and Conservative principles.

He is noteworthy for his support of amnesty legislation and was a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act.

12. Rep. Richard Hanna (NY-22) Liberty Score® – 29% F

Congressman Richard Hanna was first elected to Congress during the Tea Party wave of 2010, after running and narrowly losing to Democratic incumbent Mike Arcuri in 2008. He was first elected to serve the 24th congressional district of New York.

Hanna is a liberal Republican. He is a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus in the House of Representatives, and in 2013, he became only the second Republican in Congress to support gay marriage. Hanna is also a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership, a liberal caucus of Republican senators and members of the House. The Partnership’s electoral arm is funded, in part, by the left wing allies of George Soros.

Hanna is pro-abortion, pro-amnesty, in favor of increasing the debt limit, and went on record saying “I’m frustrated by how much we – I mean the Republican Party — are willing to give deferential treatment to our extremes in this moment in history.” – a clear attack on the Conservatives in his own party.

11. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) Liberty Score® – 28% F

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was first elected in 1989 to Florida’s 18th congressional seat with Jeb Bush serving as her campaign manager.

Overall, Ros-Lehtinen is one of the most fiscally moderate and socially liberal Republicans in the House. She has consistently voted against any attempts to rein in federal spending and is one of the most liberal Republican voices when it comes to immigration. Ros-Lehtinen is a strong proponent of same-sex marriage; a stance heavily influenced by her daughter Amanda’s decision to live as a transgender man named Rodrigo Lehtinen.

Ros-Lehtinen was just one of three Republicans who refused to sign the 1994 Contract with America Republicans made leading up to the 1994 midterm election cycle.

10. Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06) Liberty Score® – 25% F

Ryan Costello, an attorney by trade, was elected to Congress in 2014. Costello sits on both the Transportation and Veterans’ Affairs Committees.

In his short time in office, Costello has not demonstrated any willingness to take on House Leadership, stand up for a Conservative governing vision, or challenge the big government mentality that rules over so much of the Republican Party. He has supported a $500 billion “doc fix” deal that was the bipartisan handiwork of Speaker Boehner and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Costello has likewise joined his colleagues to refill the defunct Highway Trust Fund with more taxpayer dollars and abandoned Conservatives in the battle to defend the Constitution from the president’s lawless executive amnesty program.

Costello has come to Washington to get along and follow the crowd. As he himself explained, he is frustrated by “folks putting in amendments which I believe can demonstrate how we oftentimes make the perfect the enemy of the good… We need to find a governing coalition that is going to moving the country forward in a positive direction. And we need to understand that there is an element of compromise here, because, in the end, if the president doesn’t sign it, it doesn’t become law.” Costello’s philosophy prioritizes press releases and superficial fixes that only succeed in perpetuating careerism and the D.C. status quo. Rather than show up to fight on behalf of true American values, Costello’s mission is peaceful surrender: “I try to work with people. That’s where my pragmatic streak comes in. I can’t shake it, and I won’t shake it.”

9. Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21) Liberty Score® – 25% F

In 2014, Elise Stefanik became the youngest woman elected to Congress at only 30 years old. Stefanik replaced retiring Democrat Rep. Bill Collins, serving in New York’s 21st Congressional district.

Before her election, Stefanik worked at her family’s plywood wholesale company in upstate New York. Before that, she worked in a number of public policy roles ranging from the G.W. Bush White House to Governor Pawlenty’s presidential campaign. She also worked as the director of debate prep for Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Stefanik graduated with honors from Harvard University.

Two of Stefanik’s first actions as a member of Congress have indicated the moderate stance she will likely take. First, she voted to reelect elected Rep. John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Second, she joined the Main Street Partnership, which is a liberal group of Members. Stefanik also serves on the House Armed Services Committee.

A local profile of Stefanik’s political maturation and past writings notes an absence of any particular governing philosophy and surmises that her overall stances “seem to hint at more centrist, moderate and even bipartisan instincts.” The press has repeatedly identified her as a protégé of former Speaker Boehner, and her votes and policy ideas seem only to compound the notion that hers will be yet another establishment voice among many.

8. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (ME-02) Liberty Score® – 25% F

Bruce Poliquin was elected in 2014 to represent the 2nd Congressional District in Maine, which encompasses nearly 80 percent of the state’s total land area. Poliquin is the first Republican in 20 years to represent the district.

Poliquin is a well-credentialed fiscal Conservative who is serious about finding free-market solutions to the problems in our economy. Nonetheless, his often-nuanced policy positions give way to some anti-Conservative votes, and in the long run, could prove problematic. He also suffers, it would seem, from an inflation of ambition that allies him with Leadership when he could and should be standing up for grassroots Americans in his district and across the country. Whether Poliquin’s firm constitutional philosophy will win out over the establishment pulls of Washington remains to be seen.

7. Rep. Barbara Comstock (VA-10) Liberty Score® – 25% F

Barbara Jean Comstock has represented Virginia’s 10th congressional district since 2015.

In 2014, while running for election, Comstock distanced herself from Conservative voters by blaming the Tea Party for Republican struggles in the state of Virginia. She was also critical of the 2013 government shutdown, laying the blame on conservatives as well.

While Comstock takes every opportunity to refer to herself as a Conservative, she’s yet to take actions to support her words. She claimed she would be powerless during the 2015 floor vote for Speaker, announcing her intention to vote for John Boehner (R-OH) because “There hasn’t been a campaign or any phone calls that anyone has received, so expect that will move forward very smoothly,” despite the fact that doing what’s right wouldn’t have required an alternative candidate to vote for. And Comstock has called the fight over funding for Obamacare that led to the 2013 government shutdown “unconservative” and “irresponsible.”

Comstock has also played politics with important issues like Common Core standards, reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and the debt ceiling – bobbing and weaving around taking a firm position on these clear-cut issues.

6. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) Liberty Score® – 25% F

Congressman Carlos Curbelo represents the 26th District of Florida. He serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Education and the Workforce Committee, and the Small Business Committee.

While Curbelo claims to understand the need for urgent entitlement reform he has rejected some Conservative reforms to Medicare out of hand. Additionally, his wayward position on immigration is cause for concern among Conservatives. Curbelo not only supports amnesty but also has actively worked to advance it in the halls of Congress. Curbelo also breaks with Conservatives in his support for Common Core and opposition to traditional marriage. He has shown a strong preference for cozying up to House Leadership rather than challenging members to become more Conservative, and seems more loyal to a case-by-case style of governing than he does to any particular constitutional philosophy.

5. Rep. Mimi Walters (CA-45) Liberty Score® – 25% F

Mimi Walters was a Republican State Senator in California up until her successful 2014 bid for the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Walters brings some Conservative credentials to Congress, having fought at the state level on behalf of property rights and sensible pension policies.

When former Congressman John Campbell announced he would not be seeking another term, Walters was quick to declare her candidacy to replace him, earning the endorsements of several fellow Republican Congressmen from California, including Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Ed Royce (R-CA). With the growing debt and fiscal restraint as centerpieces of her campaign, Rep. Walters has shown some signs she intends to fight on behalf of these values. However, many of her media interactions have also indicated her values may shift when in the face of confrontation.

Her predecessor’s voting record left much to be desired, earning low marks from Conservatives. While Rep. Walters’ rhetoric has thus far been somewhat aggressive, she has joined the ranks of House Leadership, pushed its agenda of surrender and refused to challenge status quo establishment methods.

4. Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12) Liberty Score® – 25% F

Mike Bost is the freshman representative of Illinois’ 12th congressional district. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary and defeated one-term incumbent Democrat Bill Enyart, becoming the first Republican to win the district in over 70 years.

During his campaign, Bost was named a “Young Gun” by the National Congressional Campaign Committee (NRCC) and received extensive support from Speaker John Boehner.

While campaigning, Bost stuck mostly to GOP talking points and at times, seemed to concede that he still had a lot to learn on some federal issues. As a state legislator, he took clear stances against same-sex marriage and abortion. He is also pro-union and has said he is willing to vote with Democrats depending on “how radical Republicans go.” Overall Bost looks to be a moderate establishment member.

3. Rep. Martha McSally (AZ-02) Liberty Score® – 25% F

Congresswoman Martha McSally represents the people of Arizona’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she serves on the Committees on Armed Services and Homeland Security and as the chair of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications.

After Rep. Gabrielle Giffords resigned from the House of Representatives in 2012, McSally announced her candidacy to replace her, but lost in the primary to Jesse Kelly. In 2014, McSally defeated Chuck Wooten and Shelley Kais for the Republican primary nomination. This set up a rematch between McSally and Barber for the general election, with McSally eventually defeating Barber by 167 votes.

Conservatives have expressed hesitancy about McSally’s congressional service as several of her positions have become more progressive over the course of her campaign. She does not appear to have arrived in Washington with any specific resolve to roll back the federal Leviathan and is often content to carry out the will of the establishment absent concern for her constituents. To complicate matters more, McSally frequently takes multiple positions on an issue appearing as a political chameleon. This is not a leader one would expect to lead the charge for conservative values.

Note added by “Jerry Mander:”  McSally has made some noises about challenging John McVAIN for the Senate. Based on her voting record thus far, she would not be an improvement over the current RINO.

2. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) Liberty Score® – 25% F

Congressman John M. Katko was elected to represent the 24th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2014.

One of Katko’s first official acts in the House was to cast his vote in favor of re-electing Rep. John Boehner as Speaker. It is anticipated that Katko, who has stressed that working “across the aisle” will be his priority in Congress, will be one of the more moderate GOP members in the House.

At a time when several Conservative members with years of seniority were kicked off of their committees or stripped of their subcommittee chairmanships, Katko, as a freshman, was given a subcommittee chairmanship on the Homeland Security Committee.

The fact Katko will be determined to keep his district – historically blue – in GOP hands does not bode well at all for his Conservative prospects. He has already taken every opportunity available to him to side with Democrats and President Obama and it is entirely probable that on major issues his voting record will be more consistent with his colleagues on the other side of the aisle.

1. Rep. David Valadao (CA-21) Liberty Score® – 22% F

In 2012, Congressman Valadao was elected to represent California’s 21st Congress District. Valadao serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, specifically the Agriculture, Energy and Water, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittees.

Valadao heavily favors agriculture subsidies, is pro-amnesty, supports CISPA, and takes a variety of anti-free market positions.

He has the lowest Liberty Score of all the Republicans in the House of Representatives.

The original article was written by Chris Pandolf at Conservative Review.

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  1. Imma have to agree with Harvey on this one@!


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