Binderim's Blog

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Former Staunch Republican on Ted Poe

by Clement White, Kingwood, TX

As a former staunch Republican who feels his party has left him, I would like to bring to your attention just a few of the facts concerning the voting record of our current congressman, Ted Poe.

I. Poe voted against stem cell research and to sustain the President's veto over the overwhelming wishes of the majority of the country and the congress. This legislation would have funded research on excess embryos from fertilization clinics that will be discarded and destroyed in any case. More than 100 million Americans suffer from cancer, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes, spinal cord injuries and other debilitating diseases. The overwhelming consensus of the medical/scientific community is that stem cell legislation is vital. Even Bill Frist, the Republican Majority leader and a doctor, voted in favor of this bill.

II. In a speech on the “Liberation of Iraq” in March of this year Poe lauded the fighting men and women that are over there --- who doesn't? However, he goes on to say that he believes that we are winning!!

Many observers (including U.S. troops quoted in a August 6, 2006 Houston Chronicle article) believe that this conflict has degenerated into a low to medium grade civil war between the Sunni and the Shiite. Which side does Poe back in this conflict? How much American blood and treasure is he committed to spill in an open-ended commitment to insure the triumph for the ultimate brand of Muslim victor?

As matters now stand, we have an elected Iraqi government dominated by the Shiites that many think will ultimately be dominated by (Shiite) Iran. A very recent congressional report says financial corruption is out of control in Iraq. Poe says: “some things are just worth fighting for, and freedom is one of those things.” How many American lives is this brand of Iraqi freedom worth?

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, it was not a terrorist breeding ground before 9/11, but due to the ineffectual prosecution of the war many observers believe that it has been converted to one. Through all of this Poe delivers happy talk and calls for more of the same Bush policies.

American public opinion has turned against this war. Yet in a speech in the House Poe has the nerve to equate critics of the Bush failed policiesas being equivalent to the person accused of being the American traitor, Tokyo Rose, of World War II.

III. Poe voted for every tax cut (which predominantly benefited the extremely wealthy) and every spending bill presented to congress. As a result, the deficit is out of control and the national debt is approaching 9 trillion dollars (our Gross National Product is only about 12-13 trillion).

In a July 11, 2006 speech, the Comptroller of the United States claims that we are faced with a budget deficit, savings deficit, balance of payments deficit and a leadership deficit. He compares our current reaction to the modest declines in our budget forecast deficit to a beach party while a tsunami is building on the horizon. He says: “Too many people are saying, “party on” rather than heading for higher ground.”

Even conservative Republicans such as George Will are appalled at the financial mess this administration has brought us to.As a person who votes for tax cut for the very rich, benefits for the special interests, and unfettered spending, Poe is part of the problem.

IV. Are you enjoying the high cost of gasoline while Exxon makes $10 billion in one quarter? Ted Poe voted for Energy Policy Act of 2005 that was signed into law that provided $28 billion of tax breaks to the oil, coal, gas, nuclear, and electrical industries. Furthermore, he has delivered speech after speech extolling the virtues of drilling. No informed observer believes that a domestic drilling program can solve our oil importation problems.

Conservation, higher mileage standards, serious consideration of non- fossil fuels, you will not hear speeches on these issues from Ted Poe. I guess these issues do not have the lobbyists to compete with the oil money that bankrolls Ted Poe. In the meantime, our dependence on Mideast oil increases and we ship more petrodollars to governments that bankroll terrorist organizations. In addition, of course, total dependence on oil only exacerbates the global warming problem.

V. In the last week of July, 2006, the House voted 279-131 to pass a bill that would shore up defined-benefited pension plans by requiring some 30,000 companies to fully fund their pension liabilities over seven years. POE VOTED AGAINST THIS BILL!

VI. Remember poor Terry Schiavo? She was the lady in Florida that had been conclusively determined to be brain dead and was kept artificially “alive” over the objections of her guardian husband. The American Public was 70% against congressional intervention in such a private family matter. Nevertheless, when Tom DeLay mobilized Congress to intervene in this case, Ted Poe voted to send this case to the Supreme Court. You may recall the final outcome: the Supreme Court refused to intervene and when Mrs. Schiavo passed away her autopsy confirmed her hopeless condition.

VII. Poe voted against a ban on cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of detainees held by U.S. forces and to require the military to follow its own field manual for interrogations. Fortunately, due to the efforts of John McCain legislation prohibiting torture of prisoners was signed by the President.

VIII. If you like Tom DeLay and Dick Cheney, you should love Ted Poe. Poe voted with Tom DeLay 92% of the time and accepted money from Tom DeLay's PAC. Poe even contributed $5,000 from his own campaign funds to the Tom DeLay Legal Defense Fund. Cheney campaigned for Poe in the last election.

IX. In a vote that passed the House by two votes and the Senate by a tie breaking vote by the Vice President, Poe voted with the majority to cut the student loan program and to increase payments and co-pays for Medicaid recipients and at the same time allowed states to offer scaled-back Medicaid programs with fewer benefits.

X. In June of this year, after the several mine disasters that have occurred, Poe voted against the Mine Improvement and New Emergency and Response Act. This is curious because this bill received support from both the GOP and the Democrats.


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