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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

Regaining Control When Your Congressman is Out of Control

Editor’s Note: Starting last week and each week from here on, I’ve decided to focus on a Republican in the House or Senate the Tea Party should consider primarying. I think we are too distracted by Presidential politics and cannot afford to keep on keeping on in the House and Senate.Last week I started with Martha Roby. This week, another one. Each week, based on finding pitiful scores in the Heritage Action for America rankings and considering the districts at stake, I’ll highlight a new one. This should be fun.

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He was elected in 2002. He is serving his fifth term in Congress.In 2003, his first year in Congress, he voted for a massive omnibus spending bill and the Medicare prescription drug benefit. In 2004, he voted for an energy bill bloated with subsidies (ethanol, clean coal, loan guarantees, etc.), and he voted against long-needed conservative reforms to the federal budget process, but ones opposed by the appropriators. In 2005, he voted for a highway bill loaded with earmarks and billions more than the Highway Trust Fund had collected in gas taxes. He voted to keep funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, and to postpone savings from realigning defense bases. He voted against at least seven across-the-board amendments to cut just 1% from various of the annual spending bills. He voted to increase funding for Big Bird and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. And he voted to keep Fannie and Freddie’s line to the U.S. Treasury wide open.In 2006, he never seems to have found an earmark he didn’t like, including: the Leonard Wood Research Institute, the Bronx Council for the Arts, the Kentucky tourism industry, and a city-owned pool in California. Oh, and he voted for campaign finance restrictions. When Democrats took control, his votes got worse.

In 2007, he voted to increase the minimum wage and for card check. He voted to maintain ten of the most underperforming Amtrak routes. He again voted to keep the flood gates of pork open: lobster and shellfish research, local parking lots, county courthouses, economic development conveniently located near the home of former Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis, and…the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service (the infamous earmark authored by Congressman Rangel that was used as seed money to solicit private donations in his honor). He voted to expand and reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and to override one of President Bush’s few vetoes to control spending. In 2008, he voted to block new regulations from the Bush Administration designed to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicaid. He voted to expand federal student loan subsidies and against capping farm subsidies. He again voted to reauthorize Amtrak and to bailout the federal highway program. He voted for a $300 billion bailout of Fannie and Freddie and to suspend a warning trigger designed to keep Medicare from going broke.In 2009, he voted to reauthorize Bill Clinton’s Americorps program and to provide cash for clunkers. He voted to subsidize research on gas turbines and extend unemployment benefits (unpaid for, of course) and small business subsidies. He voted for new solar technology programs. In 2010, he voted to bribe senior citizens with $250 payments and to again preserve Amtrak. He voted to bail out state governments and provide subsidies to the manufacturing sector. This year, in this new era of fiscal responsibility, he has voted to block funding for federal employee pay increases and against returning spending to the already high level when Democrats took control. He voted against the RSC’s balanced budget. He has again voted to preserve funding for the NEA and energy efficiency programs. And of course, he voted for both versions of the final trillion dollar debt limit increase and the recent continuing resolution that violated the Republicans’ own budget. His current Heritage Action for America score is 58%. His district voted for George W. Bush and John McCain for president, and Tom Corbett recently for governor. It is +6 GOP district. It is not a marginal Northeast district. Think he might be just a reasonable moderate but a good and honorable elected official? He was accused of using taxpayer resources for campaign purposes by a member of his own staff, fired the staffer, and then got huffy in public when confronted by the media. His name is Tim Murphy, and he needs to be primaried. PS: This is an ongoing series at Redstate about pathetic Congressmen who need to be primaried. Solid diary entries that provide updated local reporting of these potential primary fights will likely find themselves promoted to the front page.

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