by David Safier
I got Ron Barber's constituent campaign newsletter yesterday [Note: I mistakenly called the email a "constituent newsletter" when in fact it was a campaign newsletter. I regret the error]. Very nice. Very bland. Very incomplete.
The first heading is BIG VOTES IN CONGRESS. Listed are his votes for the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill and against subsidies for the oil industry. Also mentioned is an amendment he offered to help homeless veterans. Not mentioned are his votes for waiving environmental protections at the border or for the civil contempt measure aimed at Attorney General Holder.
I guess the game plan is to ignore the concerns of progressive Democrats, make it through the primary against Matt Heinz, then get progressives to vote for him in the general because it's either Ron or Martha McSally. And the strategy may work. But it doesn't instill much confidence out here in activist land.
Another vote that went unmentioned was an amendment that would close the Essential Air Service program,
. . . which subsidizes daily commercial flights to more than 120 smaller cities and rural outposts nationwide. The amendment sought to shift the program's $114 million fiscal 2013 appropriation to deficit reduction.
Barber voted for the amendment to close the program along with Franks, Quayle, Schweikert and Flake. Voting no were Pastor, Grijalva and Gosar.
I've never heard of the issue before, so I won't comment on which was the better vote. But I do know Barber was one of only 9 Democrats voting for the amendment, while 74 Republicans joined Grijalva, Pastor and the remainder of the Democrats voting no.