Which brings me to the next point. Davis is no centrist either. On issue after issue that would define a moderate, his votes rank with the solid conservative wing of his party.
For example, on children, family and education issues, Davis earned a solid 61% favorable rating from the very conservative Family Research Council and only 8% from the National Parent-Teacher Association. The liberal Children’s Defense Fund gives him a 0% rating. Meanwhile, the National Education Association (NEA), a non-AFL-CIO teachers’ association, which tends to tack liberal, gives him a 25% rating.
Generally, even pro business Republicans are labeled moderate if they are pro-choice, like Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe or Arlen Spector. And Tom Davis, at some point in his past, was considered moderate on this issue. But lately Davis has received a 91% rating from Right to Life, the granddaddy of the pro-life groups, and 40% from Planned Parenthood, and 0% from the pro-choice NARAL.
In addition, he famously signed a subpoena to have Terri Schiavo appear before the Government Reform Committee, which he chairs, so members could observe how she was fed and provided with hydration. It was a cheap ploy engineered by Davis, Tom DeLay and Dennis Hastert to whip up support among the most extreme elements of the pro-life base and which the rest of the public reviled as heavy-handed government interference in a private family decision.
So, Davis can no longer even claim the center on social issues where even the most pro-business Republicans usually go in order to keep the coveted centrist mantle in moderate swing states.
And he doesn’t tack to the center on the business issues either.
Davis received a 100% rating from the Chamber of Commerce and 15% from the AFL-CIO.
But those statistics get comical when you realize how much union support Davis actually pulls in. Looking at Open Secrets, Davis received $10,00 from the National Association of Letter Carriers. He also received substantial contributions from the American Postal Workers. In the 2004 election cycle the following government employee unions contributed to his campaign coffers: AFGE, NEA, NTEU ,and International Firefighters.
Let’s do the math here. The NEA gave Davis a 25% favorable rating but contributed to his campaign? So did he American Postal Workers, AFSCME and AFGE, both of which also rated him at 0%. Meanwhile, the National Association of Government Contractors gave him a 100% favorable rating.
And it’s no wonder. With support for legislation like the following, they’d be nuts not to continue supporting him:
PRIVATIZING FEDERAL JOBS—H.R. 3058—A rule by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) covering outsourcing and privatization of work by federal agencies (Circular A-76) is tilted heavily in favor of private corporate contractors. The Bush administration has made privatizing government services a top policy priority. An amendment was introduced to the fiscal year 2005 Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill to prohibit funds from being spent to implement OMB's privatization plan. The bipartisan amendment would allow lawmakers the opportunity to rewrite the privatization process to be fairer to federal workers and more accountable to taxpayers. It passed June 30, 2005, 222-203 (R: 24-202; D: 197-1; I:1-0) AFL-CIO Position: Y=Right; N=Wrong
Davis voted this down. In other words, he voted wrong from the point of view of the people who enriched his coffers by thousands of dollars. Seems like these folks aren’t getting the bang for their bucks. If private industry trade groups consistently voted against their members’ interests at these rates they’d find their fannies out on the street in a membership rebellion. Maybe rank and file labor union members ought to start questioning what their union dues are being spent on too.
And, incredibly, in an area that has lots of military and retired military, Davis even managed to receive a 0 rating from the Disabled Veterans of America.
But Davis supported President Bush on the war in Iraq and voted in favor of it twice.
In addition, Davis voted in favor of extending the Patriot Act, for a Constitutional Amendment on flag burning. He voted to extend Bush’s tax breaks, which benefit the wealthiest 1% of the population, he voted for a Constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage, and he’s even voted for the privatization of Social Security.
Meanwhile, the 11th CD is trending blue. Its citizens are mostly not pro-life. Nor are they in favor of the privatization of Social Security, an unending conflict in Iraq, or the continued erosion of well paying federal jobs to private contractors whose workers do not enjoy the same health and pension benefits as federal workers.
From the snapshot of Tom Davis’ record, he does not appear to be in step with his district anymore. But at least you can’t really say he’s a RINO.