Sunday, December 30, 2007

Is a Liberal Minnesota Congressman Electable?

Dick Day has described current First District Congressman Tim Walz as “the most liberal" while Minnesota GOP Party chairman Ron Carey issued a press release stating : "Walz's out-of-touch, left-wing agenda is wrong for the First District."

That got me thinking.

Assuming that Democrats would vote for their party’s nominee, would Independents and for that matter Republicans embrace a candidate who voted :

- FOR : Implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations including creating an independent civil liberties watchdog group within the executive branch Roll Call Vote #15
- FOR : Increasing the federal minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour over two years 18
- FOR : Allowing the government to negotiate directly with drug makers for lower prescription drug prices for individuals using Medicare. 23
- FOR : Assist in the provision of affordable housing to low-income families affected by Hurricane Katrina. 172
- FOR : A resolution to improve the management of medical care, personnel actions, and quality of life issues for members of the Armed Forces who are receiving medical care in an outpatient status.(aka the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act ) 204
- FOR : Ensuring the independence of United States attorneys 397
- FOR : Protecting consumers from price-gouging of gasoline (aka Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act) 404
- FOR : College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 link
- FOR : Approving funding for Transportation projects 715
- FOR : Moving the United States toward greater energy independence and security, developing innovative new technologies, reducing carbon emissions, creating green jobs, protecting consumers, increasing clean renewable energy production, and modernizing our energy infrastructure (aka New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act) 832
- FOR : Expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program 906
- FOR : To restore the financial solvency of the national flood insurance program and to provide for such program to make available multiperil coverage for damage resulting from windstorms and floods, etc. (aka Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007) 921
- FOR : To establish the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund in the Treasury of the United States to provide for the construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of decent, safe, and affordable housing for low-income families 958

I should mention that all these roll call votes were opposed by a majority of Republicans (although many did have a significant number of supporters.)
Therefore, I would presume that these votes would indicate that rank-and-file Republicans would not support this Congressman for re-election.
As an Independent voter, I would support this Congressman after all he has been called “a true giant on behalf of all Minnesotans.”
The votes cited are the votes of Jim Ramstad – Minnesota’s Congressman for the Third District.

Are these the votes of a Liberal?
And For Dick Day and Ron Carey’s Information, Ramstad's votes were joined in the affirmative with First District Congressman Tim Walz.

When politicians, like Day, use the term Liberal it really is to denigrate their opponent … its childish characterization and illustrates the weakness of their own inability to articulate their own positions. Name calling may excite the Republican base, but it does not tell Independent voters the positions that the candidate would embrace. Looking at the Roll Call votes, it is pretty easy to see that MN-03 voters can look at the issues and know where Ramstad stands ... and the results is 65% of the voters embracing Ramstad.

Regarding Congressman Ramstad, who has announced that he will not seek reelection, he may be reconsidering that decision.
That would be welcome news not only for MN-03 but for the country.
Ramstad is currently the fourth ranking Republican on the Ways and Means Committee (which I consider to be the most powerful committee in Congress.) Jim McCrery, the ranking Republican, announced that he will not seek re-election.

Considering the need to address the exploding national debt and inequity of the current tax system, Congress will need to level-headed leaders like Jim Ramstad.

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