Monday, October 20, 2008

Rustem on Walberg: "I'm Trying to Remember Anything He's Done"

One quote jumped out of the Detroit News article on the nasty battle that is going on down in the 7th District. It was a rather offhand comment from long-time Lansing political figure Bill Rustem - but it speaks volumes on Tim Walberg's legislative career, and the problem with electing Bush Republicans to Congress.

Asked to characterize Walberg's legislative career, Bill Rustem, president of Public Sector Consultants Inc., a Lansing-based think tank, said: "I'm trying to remember anything he's done."

You would think that that would be a problem for the voters in the 7th - just what has Tim Walberg accomplished for them? The article also cites Walberg's 16 years in the Michigan Legislature as part of the "no" caucus, refusing to legislate unless it fit the extreme right social agenda. Schauer summed him up nicely -

"Walberg has always stood on the sidelines, consistently voting 'no' on everything. He's part of the problem."

Yes, he is. He's a Do-Nothing. Like Hoogendyk, Walberg votes on ideology alone. He's not working to help his constituents, he's fighting for the far-right agenda - and apparently he doesn't do that very well, either. ranks Walberg at number 424 out of 435 House members on their "power rankings", which is a measure of a congresscritter's effectiveness, regardless of majority/minority status and other factors that would hold Tim back. He just doesn't do much of anything for anyone.

Another quote that jumps out - Bill Ballenger says Walberg is too conservative for the 7th. Coming from a grumpy conservative like Bill, that's sayin' something.

"Schauer probably is too liberal for the district and Walberg is too conservative," said Bill Ballenger, former Republican state senator and editor of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter. "Schwarz was just about right, but he's gone."

As far as Schauer being "too liberal" - well, no. Not really. For Ballenger he probably is, but for normal people, no. The Republicans like to paint Schauer as a "radical liberal" (their favorite words for every Democrat running it seems), but the truth is he is actually pretty moderate. When MIRS added it up, Schauer was the third-most conservative Democratic state senator in both 2006-2007, and, coming from MIRS, that is saying something as well.

Walberg has voted with Bush 83% of the time according to the DCCC. He has voted against protecting consumer interests in both predatory mortage lending (which contributed to the recent crash) and abusive practices of credit card companies. And he claims that outsourcing is a good thing. So, while Schauer is working to bring jobs to the district, Walberg supports policies that will send them away. This all comes from voting for the philosophy that demands that business be allowed free reign to do what ever they want because government is such a bad thing that it must be stopped.

Well, when you elect people that hate government, don't be surprised when government doesn't work for you. Walberg is a shining example of this theory.