October 30, 2006

Dave Reichert: Unsafe In Any Congress

Dave Reichert (R WA-08) defends himself from accusations of being in lockstep with the Republican leadership like this:

... Reichert points to those hours on Air Force One in June and other meetings in the White House as examples of how he has been able to press his own agenda directly with Bush.

He told that group of veterans in Orting that he has voted to increase spending on veterans benefits, but the issue will need to be revisited later because rising cuts could cut those benefits in the future. ...

Dave Reichert likes to present himself as an independent voice, as a congressman whose law enforcement experience makes him uniquely qualified to help keep the country safe.

But the nonpartisan Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) only gave Reichert only a D+ for supporting their issues, which include veterans' and military families' healthcare and providing equipment to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the Senate, no Republican scored higher than a C, while the lowest ranked Democrat received a B-. Out of the entire Washington State congressional delegation, Reichert scored second worst on the IAVA scorecard, beaten only by Rep. Cathy McMorris (R WA-05).

Dave Reichert: Unsafe for veterans and troops serving on the frontlines. Just like the majority of the Republicans in Congress.

As a former police officer, Reichert's department used $15 million from the federal COPS program to pay for the salaries of 142 additional police officers. As a congressman, he voted with the Republican majority to cut funding for the COPS program. But the Seattle Times, whose editorial board has now endorsed Reichert, wrote an article last June that highlighted Reichert's unsuccessful attempt to restore some COPS funding, while ignoring that he'd voted to cut it only days before.

Dave Reichert: Unsafe for police. Just like the Republican majority in Congress.

A major loophole in protecting America from attack is the security of our ports and the inspection of foreign cargo. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee lists the port security bills Dave Reichert voted against, including a Democratic amendment that would have required screening of 100% of all cargo coming into United States ports and another that would have provided $825 million for communications preparedness and radiation monitoring. If you'd like to get more information on this from a nonpartisan source, you can look up each of the bills listed at the link by the reference number at the THOMAS service of the Library of Congress.

Dave Reichert: Unsafe for America's ports. Just like the Republican majority in Congress.

Dave Reichert voted yes for the Military Commissions Act of 2006. George Washington University Constitutional Law Professor Johnathan Turley explains that this law makes it possible to suspend the 700 year old right of habeas corpus for U.S. citizens. This means that merely by declaring a citizen of the United States to be an enemy combatant, they could be deprived of the right to be told in court why they were arrested and to challenge the merit of that arrest.

Dave Reichert: Unsafe for the Constitution. Just like the Republican majority in Congress.

There's a reason Dave Reichert is now claiming that he's an independent, that he bucks the will of the Republican leadership. That's because when it comes to protecting the soldiers and veterans that they use as political body armor, protecting emergency responders, protecting ports, they don't sound like they're doing a very good job. When it comes to protecting constitutional rights that have survived enemies such as the British Empire, the Japanese Empire and Nazi Germany, Republicans have been unable to protect the Constitution from a few thousand guys who were trained in caves in Central Asia and are led by a geriatric on dialysis. And Dave Reichert is their faithful lackey.

Dave Reichert: Unsafe in any Congress. Just like the Republican leadership he votes with 90% of the time.

Posted by natasha at October 30, 2006 04:55 PM | WA Politics | Technorati links |

Comments

If you had any idea of what you were talking about you would know that Reichert offered his own COPS amendment to restore funding and took on a "cardinal" in his own party on the floor of the house. In fact, that cardinal - Frank Wolf of Virginia AND the democrat ranking member, Alan Mollohan of West Virgina - both fought Reichert's efforts. Anyone reading this with enough courage to accept the idea that this posting is wrong, read this article:

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=reichert15m&date=20050615&query=reichert+COPS

It makes sense for the other side to paint Reichert as a lockstep Republican in their quest for power but the fact is he was the ONLY member of the WA delegation (in either party) rated as a "centrist" by the non-partisan National Journal.

WA has 6 Democrats in the delegation already; you are proposing to get rid of the one Republican who crosses party lines to get things done to create your own "rubber stamp" delegation.

Posted by: anonymous at October 30, 2006 09:23 PM

Well, oh anonymous commentor from Campobello, South Carolina, if you'd bothered to read the link provided, you would know that an amendment wouldn't have had to be submitted if the funding wasn't cut in the first place. Reichert voted with the Republican majority to cut it, then tried to cover his bum by offering a doomed partial restoration. Another member of Washington State's congressional delegation, a Democrat, finally put up a successful amendment, though they were only still able to restore some of it.

Reichert only votes against the Republicans when they tell him to, just enough to pass under the radar. He admitted it himself. In public. In front of the TVW videocameras.

The real question is: Do his views on the issues represent his district well? The answer is no. He's a hard right footsoldier representing a district that votes for Democrats in high profile, national races. More specifically, beyond the partisan issues, it's a district that would be helped by a sensible health care policy, an energy plan that doesn't depend on dead dinosaurs, a representative who understands technology issues well enough to answer a question about network neutrality without having it explained to them, and someone who reflects the district's pro-choice ethic. Right now, that means voting for a Democrat, because Reichert only breaks with his party when it doesn't matter.

Posted by: natasha at October 30, 2006 10:35 PM