Thursday, January 12, 2006

2006 Elections

There are a number of reasons to be deeply concerned about the upcoming Congressional elections. We're seeing a dangerous effort by the Bush administration to eliminate or sidestep constitutional checks and balances of the legislative and judicial branches of government. In addition, influences of fundamentalist Christians are having bizarre effects on both domestic and foreign policies. [ed. Let me hasten to add that I know fundamentalist Christians do not represent most Christians. It's the "fundamentalist" part I have a problem with - not the Christian part.]

This year, more than ever before, it's extremely important for everyone to become as well informed as possible, to find candidates with rational positions and support them as strongly as possible. This is not strictly a partisan issue. Irregular Times points out that has targeted several Republicans (Reichert, Gerlach, Fitzpatrick, Weldon, Pryce and Wilson) whose voting records shows support for less than half of the seriously conservative legislation that faced the 109th Congress. These six Republican Representatives are vulnerable in their districts but are not the most serious threats to progressive values.

Irregular Times ranks legislators based on their votes on key issues (see House rankings). In New York State, for example, the least progressive Congressmen are Fossilla (R Richmond County), King (R Suffolk County) and Reynolds (R Genesee County). Boehlert, by comparison, scores nearly as well as the least progressive Democrats. Yes, we want to regain a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. But let's be sure we're working on the most important districts, not just the easiest ones.


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