In this weeks house roll call vote to push through Cap and Trade, the democrats passed the bill 219-211. But 8 GOP congressmen defected! Now, this is still considerably less then the number of Dems who defected (hence the margin being narrow) but nonetheless, it is clear that some of our conservative friends should have a guilty conscience. If only four of those GOP congresssmen had stuck to their side of the aisle, the vote would have been a tie. Three of these GOP congressmen are from New Jersey.
Well, one truly guilty face is Seattle's own Dave Reichert. Representing the 8th District, and the only Republican congressioanl district West of the Mountians in Washington State, Reichert has long been known to be considerably more environmentalist then is normal for a Republican. In a previous life, he was awarded Sheriff of the Year in 2004 for his exceptional conduct as King County Sheriff, including catching the Green River Killer, but has since held few significant policy stands or achievements.
Another guilty face is Matt Kirk in his district to the north of Chicago. Like Reichert, he too has been known to support environmentalism. His agenda, however, is much more clearly suburban. Both Reichert & Kirk's districts are Obama Republican, meaning that despite a Republican congressman, they voted for Obama in the Presidential election.
Mary Bono Mack's district in Southern California also voted for Obama, but by only 51%, unlike 60% for each of Reichert & Kirk's districts. The district used to be clearly Republican, but in recent years has slid more and more liberal. She is a fiscal-environmentalist conservative who has won simultaneous awards from both Sunline Transit Agency & Americans for Tax Reform.
Our fourth fiend is Mike Castle from Delaware's At-Large district. He's mostly a social conservative anyways, representing a state that is liberal to the bone, a district even more liberal then those previously mentioned.
Chris Smith of New Jersey's 4th has considerably less of an excuse. His district voted a comfortable 52% for McCain in 2008 and 56% for Bush in 2004. He, however, is primarilly a social conservative, being a major figure in the pro-life movement and the author of several antiabortion bills. He has strong ties to ORGANIZED LABOR, and as such can be considered a member of the Christian Left.
Congressman John McHugh represents the 23rd District of New York as a Republican moderate. He recently received several earmarks in a defense appropriation bill that he celebrates on his website...
Representative Lance of New Jersey's 7th votes with his party 88% of the time, making this particular exception somewhat odd. On his website, he justifies this vote with his strong commitment to renewable energy. Overall, however, he has very little policy information (total: 10 long sentences, though 4 on the environment) on his website (circa 06-27-09) and so one finds his sincerity of intent questionable. His district is obviosly very gerrimandered, like an ameoba on his district map, and has not had a Democrat representative since 1980. Its' median income is 75 grand.
Lastly, Representative Frank LoBiondo of New Jerseys 2nd (includes Atlantic City) voted in support of this bill. LoBiondo is a member of Newt Gingrich's freshmen class, having taken his seat in the 1994 congressional sweep after a failed 1992 run. He is a member of the moderate "Republican Main Street Partnership." Unlike Lance, his policy stands are very detailed, almost too detailed, and his "news" section on his website holds very candid and angry stands on almost every detail of Economic, Energy, Defense, Veterans, and legislation related to local beaches.
Ahn Cao, interestingly, did not vote for it, despite being a moderate republican from an obscenely liberal district (Downtown New Orleans, voted 85% for Barack Obama, 65% African American). He also did not vote for the stimulus, and, according to Orange Juice, may be facing a recall attempt as a result. This immigrant came to America as the son of a former South Vietnamese army officer, attended law school after almost becoming a Catholic Priest, and built his own law firm in New Orleans.
Of the 8 who did vote for Cap and Trade, Smith, Bono Mack, Lance, and McHugh would probably have been the easiest to persuade. Reichert is a maybe, as is Kirk. The other two could not have been persuaded, as one district was too liberal.