ere they are, with an art hat-tip to Michelle Malkin, the Cap and Tax 8. Mary Bono Mack was a known commodity going in, apparently having suffered some transfer of her former husband’s fatal brain injury. Who are these other losers-to-be?
Mike Castle of Delaware doesn’t even have “energy” as in issue on his Web site, but the environment section makes it clear his green runs pretty deep and he’s a long supporter of cap and tax because he’s bought into the gloom and doom faction’s global warming myth. He links to this story in the local rag:
Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., said several developments bode well for climate-change legislation: the arrival of a new president and new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the growing cooperation of businesses and the realization that such legislation will open up new market opportunities.
“I think all these things combined will give us the opportunity to see something happen in the course of this year,” said Castle, who supports a cap-and-trade program.
So his vote is really no surprise; just his party designation is. He’s thinking about running for the Senate and this vote may have been calculated to shore up his green base for that statewide campaign.
Mark Kirk, who has signaled he’d like to run for gov, leads his web site with a video in which he promises to read every page of the bill before voting, saying he’s got a couple hours and a few hundred pages to go before the vote – how thorough a read was that? Like Castle, he has no “energy” issue paper on his Web site. His environment paper notes that he has been ranked one of Congress’ top 13 environmental champions, for his work “saving” Lake Michigan – there’s that enviro-egomaniacal behavior again. He believes government must force America off it’s “addiction to oil,” was a co-sponsor of legislation for higher CAFE standards and is a big alternative energy funding proponent – including, of course since he’s from Illinois, ethanol – a fuel which makes no sense whatsoever, just like cap and trade.
The NY after John McHugh’s name is for upstate NY of course – it’s hard to elect a Republican anywhere else in the state – but he’s Obama’s designee for Sec. of the Army and this was payback time, pure and simple. His environment paper gives no hint that he’d vote for cap and tax, and his energy paper shows him to be pro-nuke and concerned about rising gas prices. So despite all that alligator-tear concern, he voted yes in return for a new gig. Politics!
Now for the New Jersey trio, who could have turned the vote around if they’d all stayed with the GOP. Let’s start with the man with the totally NJ name, Frank LoBiondo. He with the head Sarah Palin could easily poke fun at … or mistake for a football and kick. His Web site boldly leads off with a news release proclaiming his vote for cap and tax:
U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) today voted in favor of H.R. 2454, the “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009” – comprehensive legislation that seeks to make the United States energy independent by focusing the nation’s energy policy toward clean, renewable sources such as wind, solar and nuclear.
“For South Jersey residents who lived through the energy crisis of the 1970s, the nation witnessed the rationing of gas, stations sold-out of fuel, and our country’s absolute reliance on foreign nations to save us from our increasing consumption. Jobs were lost. The economy sank further into recession. And the nation did not take action.
“Then, in the 1990s, there was a bitter debate over increasing fuel efficiency standards in automobiles, yet minimal action was taken despite the technological capabilities to go further. I have long said that if Congress had passed higher standards in the 1990s – standards I supported – then our consumption and annual fuel costs now would be half. However, the oil corporations and automobile makers were against such standards and now lose billions of dollars to foreign competitors who were forward-thinking, developed fuel efficient technologies and sell hybrid vehicles that get 40 to 50 miles per gallon.
“The ‘American Clean Energy and Security Act’ is the opportunity to break the cycle of inaction and finally move our nation towards real energy independence.
The Rep would do well to remember the oil excess profits tax, which dropped US oil production by 8 percent and increased imports by 13 percent. He’s a loon if he thinks cap and tax will have a less negative impact. His pre-election platform was almost straight party line – except he opposed opening off-shore oil leases and the construction of new oil refineries. We could easily see this vote coming.
Leonard Lance, the former NJ GOP senate leader, is not held in high regard by this commenter at New Republic:
Most people know that New Jersey is only second to California for financial trouble. First term Congressman Leonard Lance who lives in one of the most affluent areas of New Jersey, Hunterdon County was an unsuccessful lawyer in Clinton New Jersey and practiced under the wing of his father, a useless State Senator.
Like LoBiondo, Lance has a news release on his site heralding his monstrous vote as “a vote for energy independence:”
I am voting for this bill because it is time America turned the corner and took bold action to clean the environment and develop alternative energy. We cannot allow countries whose opposition to democracy and support for terrorism grow with every barrel of oil they sell to continue to dominate energy politics.
Yeah, I’m with him on that; he just picked the wrong legislative vehicle to accomplish that end. The computer didn’t become dominant because Congress put a hefty tax on typewriters. Like LoBiondo, Lance is blitheringly ignorant of basic economy, which makes him de facto not a Republican.
Rounding out da three guys from Joisey is Chris Smith of Trenton, who unlike his gang brothers, isn’t discussing his vote on his Web site. Smith co-authored a bill with cap and trade co-author Ed Markey that would spur global investment in alternative energy (a great alternative to cap and tax!) and writes on his environment paper:
As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I believe it is equally imperative that we address environmental issues—such as climate change—on a global scale. Global warming is a real threat and an increasing danger to our environment. All major greenhouse emitting countries need to cooperate in reducing and stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of these gases, and the United States must play a leadership role in bringing nations together for a global solution to climate change.
That sure isn’t what Waxman-Markey will accomplish. By penalizing the US, it will only encourage cheaper, dirtier uses of energy elsewhere. NJ conservative political blogger Chris Wysocki writes of Smith’s vote:
And Chris Smith? WTF? He’s usually a level-headed thinker. He fights the good fight for children and victims of the bureaucratic behemoth. So why in the world did he vote to escalate the power of that behemoth by a thousand fold? He just consigned hundreds, if not thousands, of his constituents to the unemployment line. Their employers won’t be able to afford to keep the lights on, never mind maintain their current staffing levels. Thanks Congressman, you screwed us, and we’ll work to screw you back.
That brings us to Dave Reichert of the Peoples Republic of Washington, whose “yes” vote was long suspected. In a news release on his Web site, he admits “this bill is not perfect.” He should have ended it there, before the “but” that took us to the now-expected explanation that it’s all about energy independence – the standard RINO excuse for voting for this bill. He even goes so far to laud the progressive Teddy Roosevelt – you know, as in “Progressive” – for his conservation ethic, without noting that Teddy pushed America down the road to big, obtrusive government.
There was no decent excuse to be had from any of the eight. Those that are seeking higher office obviously thought this an intelligent political play – but it’s unlikely now that any of them will survive the primaries in their states. A couple appear to be dyed in the wool greens. All of them certainly are going to be recipients of future earmarks – keep your eyes open for that! And none of them deserve the honor of having an “R” after their names.