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I was a strong supporter of Ron Barber for the CD8 special election. Ron Barber was the perfect choice for the remainder of Gabby's elected term in office. And compared to Teabagger Jesse Kelly, it was an incredibly easy choice. I was here with my fellow Baja Arizona Kossacks liveblogging on election night, cheering Barber's strong victory. But challenging Barber in the August 28 primary for a full term in the new Congressional District 2 is State Legislator Dr. Matt Heinz. I was leaning toward Dr. Matt Heinz in that race, he is a more progressive choice, a stronger voice for Democratic ideals. Now Ron Barber has made my choice much easier in just his first two votes as a member of Congress: I strongly support Matt Heinz as the better choice in the CD2 Democratic primary.

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I think Gabby Giffords was the best Representative in Congress I've ever had. She didn't always vote the way I preferred, but I always respected her, and she always carefully and thoughtfully explained her decision. And nor do I expect a Representative to always tow the party line - no one is right 100% of the time; independence and independent thinking and decision making are excellent qualities in an elected official. I didn't like Barber's first vote in Congress to side with the Republicans in waving environmental rules & regulations for the Border Patrol within 100 miles of the border. The cities of Tucson, Benson, Sierra Vista, and several others - not to mention border cities of Nogales and Douglas - are within 100 miles of the border. Over one and a half million Arizonans live within 100 miles of the border! And the waiver of environmental laws - including the Arizona Wilderness Act - is not needed.

And I also don’t I respect Barber’s vote.  His explanation? "This legislation is far from perfect and I will work to make changes as it moves through the process". Translation: Yeah, it’s a boneheaded bill, but an easy one for me to support and claim the cherished “bipartisanship”. And no, Mr. Barber, you don’t get to “make changes as it moves through the process”. It’s a done deal, with your vote it’s passed the House and on it’s way to the Senate. Here’s what Matt Heinz has to say on this issue:

I would have voted no because it disregards the advice of agents who work in the field. In a report released by the Government Accountability Office, 22 of 26 Border Patrol Agents-in-Charge agreed “federal land management laws had no impact on the overall security status of their jurisdiction.” Without addressing actual problems, proponents of the bill use border security for political gain by undermining valuable interagency cooperation efforts while putting our environment and historical sites at risk.
No, Mr. Barber, I didn’t like you vote on that, but I can just grumble and move on. But your vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in civil contempt is irresponsible, indefensible, and well, contemptible.You tried to have it both ways, voting against criminal contempt, but for civil contempt – which allows the Republican House to pursue this political circus through the courts. You are the only one of 435 members of Congress who voted for one and not the other. 17 Democrats and all but 2 Republicans voted for criminal contempt. 17 Democrats – and YOU – and all but 2 Republicans voted for civil contempt. And in your statement attempting to justify your vote you even admitted:
I am equally disturbed that the 16-month investigation conducted by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform appeared to be a partisan undertaking, in which requests by minority members for witnesses and hearings were rejected.
You even acknowledge Issa's political circus as a "partisan undertaking", but voted to let them to pursue it???? Sorry Mr. Barber, your political pandering to try to appear "bipartisan" doesn't cut it.Here's what Matt Heinz had to say about your vote:
"We need to put politics aside and confront the root of the gun smuggling problem. We should be creating a clear federal mandate to crack down on gun trafficking that funnels thousands of weapons daily to violent drug cartels. This political distraction is exacerbating the problem - while the ATF has been under political attack, gun seizures in Arizona have dropped by 90 percent.

This is a politically motivated vote that will go nowhere. Barber is endorsing this distraction and inaction instead of working toward real solutions to ensure what he claims to be his top priority, actual border security.

In regards to findings in the investigation, even Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) admitted that the White House had nothing to do with this scandal; attacking the Attorney General Holder as an agent of the White House is unacceptable political posturing”.

Some actual leadership on the issue, instead of vote pandering. How refreshing. And here's Matt's views on the recent Supreme Court decision regarding SB1070:
"Today, the Supreme Court rendered a decision on Arizona v. United States to reaffirm the federal government’s role as primary enforcer of immigration policy. Thankfully, this decision prevents states from creating their own immigration policies in violation of the constitution while recognizing the need for cooperation between state and federal authorities in the enforcement of existing, constitutionally sound laws. Unfortunately, a portion of the law remains which continues to threaten the rights and liberties of our citizens and legal residents.

I oppose SB 1070’s reckless threat to the civil rights and liberties of my constituents and fellow Americans. “Arizonans should take advantage of the Supreme Court's affirmation of our right to coordinate with federal agencies in enforcing immigration laws while respecting the ultimate authority of the federal government".

You can read more of Matt's positions on the issues at HeinzForCongress.com.

Ron Barber was the perfect choice for the remainder of Gabby's elected term in office, and I'm very glad he won. But Democrats - and Independents who wish to participate in the Democratic primary by choosing a Democratic ballot - have a clear choice of who will best represent our values and ideals in a full term for Congress in the Congressional District 2. The better choice is Dr. Matt Heinz.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    David Koch, a teacher and a Tea Partier sit down a table with a plate of a dozen cookies. Koch quickly stuffs 11 cookies in his pockets, leans to the bagger and says "watch out, the union thug will try to steal your cookie".

    by Dave in AZ on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:19:26 AM PDT

  •  Well said. (4+ / 0-)

    Forwarding a link to my Arizona friends.  

    Leonard Boswell (D-IA3) also voted to hold Holder in contempt.  For all I know he voted for the border legislation too.  I am so done with Blue Dogs.  If Nancy Pelosi can't get the House back without people who vote against everything Democrats used to say they stood for, then to hell with it.  We don't need more and better Blue Dogs.  We need more and better Democrats.

  •  BTW, I'm a fan of the 1930s comedy, Ninotchka - (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tiponeill, oceanview

    Which has the memorable scene in which Greta Garbo's character meets three other Russian agents meet at the train station where she gives them an update on developments in their Stalinist Russian homeland. "The last mass trials were a great success,” she says in a thick Russian accent. “At zee end, there will be fewer, but better Russians!"

    Meaning I don't normally advocate "purging" Democrats who don't vote the party line 100% of the time, which could lead to fewer Democrats in office. But the new CD2 is a safer district for Democrats, it's almost evenly split between registered Dems & Republicans. The Republicans had an 8 point edge in the old district 8. And Jesse Kelly has dropped out of the CD2 primary leaving only Martha McSally and some dude no one has heard of. McSally only recently moved to the district and is very conservative.

    So I think if Matt Heinz defeats Barber in the primary, I think he would have just as good an opportunity to win in November.

    David Koch, a teacher and a Tea Partier sit down a table with a plate of a dozen cookies. Koch quickly stuffs 11 cookies in his pockets, leans to the bagger and says "watch out, the union thug will try to steal your cookie".

    by Dave in AZ on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:45:56 AM PDT

  •  I'm confused (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in AZ

    so please clear this up for me.

    I saw Barber's comment, but I also checked the voting rolls for the vote and I thought I saw Barber as voting "no" on the contempt charges. There were a couple of listings of "blue dog Democrats who voted against Holder" in diaries this past week and I did not see Barber's name on those lists.

    So could you point me towards the roll call where it says that he did vote to hold Holder in contempt?

    Again, I am not disputing what you say. I would just like to see the actual role call vote because I apparently looked at the wrong one.

    There were a number of votes that day, I admit. And his statement was rather wishy-washy.

    Clarification, please?

    OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

    by hillbrook green on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:19:27 PM PDT

    •  Sure, no problem. Here's the info: (7+ / 0-)

      There were 3 votes with regard to the contempt charges against Holder. The first was sponsored by the Democratic leadership to refer the matter back to the Oversight Committee. No Republicans voted for it, 172 Democrats voted for it, including Barber. 237 Republicans and 14 Democrats voted against it.
      http://clerk.house.gov/...

      The second vote was to hold Holder in (criminal) Contempt of Congress. That was the one that all but 2 Republicans voted for, and 17 Democrats joined them. That's the one you read about.
      http://clerk.house.gov/...

      The third vote was to authorize the Oversight Committee to pursue civil court lawsuit to enforce the subpoena. That's what I'm calling "civil contempt" because it didn't say he was in criminal contempt like the 2nd vote, but authorizes the committee to get a civil court to demand Holder comply with the subpoena demanding the documents.
      http://clerk.house.gov/...
      21 Democrats supported that, including Barber.

      The 17 "Democrats" who voted for criminal contempt:
      Jason Altmire (Pa.)
      John Barrow (Ga.)
      Dan Boren (Okla.)
      Leonard Boswell (Iowa)
      Ben Chandler (Ky.)
      Mark Critz (Pa.)
      Joe Donnelly (Ind.)
      Kathy Hochul (N.Y.)
      Ron Kind (Wis.)
      Larry Kissell (N.C.)
      Jim Matheson (Utah)
      Mike McIntyre (N.C.)
      Bill Owens (N.Y.)
      Collin Peterson (Minn.)
      Nick Rahall (W. Va.)
      Mike Ross (Ark.)
      Tim Walz (Minn.)

      The 21 "Democrats" who voted for civil court proceedings (the add'l 4 are in italics):
      Jason Altmire (Pa.)
      Ron Barber (Az)
      John Barrow (Ga.)
      Dan Boren (Okla.)
      Leonard Boswell (Iowa)
      Ben Chandler (Ky.)
      Mark Critz (Pa.)
      Peter DeFazio (Or)
      Joe Donnelly (Ind.)
      Kathy Hochul (N.Y.)
      Ron Kind (Wis.)
      Larry Kissell (N.C.)
      Jim Matheson (Utah)
      Mike McIntyre (N.C.)
      Mike Michaud (ME)
      Brad Miller (NC)
      Bill Owens (N.Y.)
      Collin Peterson (Minn.)
      Nick Rahall (W. Va.)
      Mike Ross (Ark.)
      Tim Walz (Minn.)

      David Koch, a teacher and a Tea Partier sit down a table with a plate of a dozen cookies. Koch quickly stuffs 11 cookies in his pockets, leans to the bagger and says "watch out, the union thug will try to steal your cookie".

      by Dave in AZ on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:55:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a matter of fact, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in AZ, oceanview

    I just rechecked and he voted "yea" on the motion to Refer the Resolution to Oversight and Government Reform, which was supported by the Dems and opposed by the Repubs - I believe it would have delayed the vote on the contempt motion - Roll Call Vote #440

    He also voted NO on the actual motion to hold Holder in contempt - Roll Call Vote #441

    Now he did vote YES on HRes 706 Authorizing the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform - Roll Call Vote #442 - to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce certain subpoenas. I believe that one was to allow the House to undertake civil proceedings if the Justice Dept refused to prosecute the matter.

    That last vote was not to hold Holder in contempt, but simply to enforce House authority in the matter, which is more like saying the we think Legislative Branch has power over the Executive Branch and let's send it to the Supreme Court to find out.

    Maybe not the greatest vote in the world, but it was NOT a vote to place Holder in contempt.

    here's a link to the votes

    2012 House roll call votes

    Can you possibly clear this up, Dave?

    OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

    by hillbrook green on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:35:57 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, see my reply to yours. And yes, that last (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hillbrook green, oceanview

      vote that Barber & 3 more Dems voted for didn't explicitly say "contempt" in the resolution. But if you're authorizing the Oversight Committee to try to get a court to enforce the subpoena for documents, you're pretty much saying the Justice Dept. should have turned them over, and Holder is in contempt of Congress for not doing so.

      I just think Barber & the 3 other Dems who voted against contempt but then for the authorization for court proceedings are wishy-washy at best, trying to have the best of both worlds - being able to tell Democrats in a Democratic primary that they voted against contempt, but also being to tell Republicans & Indies in the general election that they supported forcing Holder to turn over the documents.

      David Koch, a teacher and a Tea Partier sit down a table with a plate of a dozen cookies. Koch quickly stuffs 11 cookies in his pockets, leans to the bagger and says "watch out, the union thug will try to steal your cookie".

      by Dave in AZ on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:05:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can't argue with you on that. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave in AZ, oceanview

        And I entered another message below that you can just disregard.

        Anyway, I'm now in CD-01, so I'll be paying more attention to Flagstaff and Navajo and Hopi issues, I presume. A somewhat screwy boundary for a district - I live just adjacent to the southern Marana city limit, but at least it's presumably a Democratic district.

        OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

        by hillbrook green on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:13:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  CD-01? I like Wenoa Baldenegro, but she seems to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hillbrook green, oceanview

          have not raised much of a profile, and Ann Kirkpatrick seems to have it sewed up, and should easily win.

          And we'll just have to agree to disagree. I'm not "outraged". As I said I was already leaning toward Matt Heinz, and Barber's pandering just makes it an easy choice now to vote for Matt Heinz.

          David Koch, a teacher and a Tea Partier sit down a table with a plate of a dozen cookies. Koch quickly stuffs 11 cookies in his pockets, leans to the bagger and says "watch out, the union thug will try to steal your cookie".

          by Dave in AZ on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:20:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  We always knew Gabby was a bit (7+ / 0-)

    of a Blue Dog, but she was just so damned cute and perky. Barber is neither. The conventional wisdom was always that Giffords was as liberal as she could be and still get elected in the 8th. The new 2nd will be more competitive. Does this mean our candidate can be more progressive ? I'm willing to find out. I will vote for Matt in the primary. Even if he loses, it may send a message to Ron.

    The GOP ... Government of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

    by Azazello on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:42:45 PM PDT

  •  I like Heinz's views but the sleepover (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello

    disqualifies him. Unless that tweet has been discredited and I missed it, there's no way in hell he'll win the general.  He showed an apalling lack of ethics and judgement.  You don't cross party lines to funnel border fence money to the sheriff of a non-border county, and then, just a few days later, go out partying with that same sheriff and have him over for a "sleepover".  I'm sorry. Heinz is better on the issues than Barber, but he's done.

    To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

    by sneakers563 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:45:02 PM PDT

    •  Wow, that was under my radar! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sneakers563, Azazello

      I never even heard that rumor and I'm from Tucson.

      Since it is based on a tweet from the guy who is now suing Babeu, I'm really surprised that it didn't get more coverage here in Tucson. I suppose when that goes to court, this will be part of the testimony....

      The "possible" sex part - I could care less. But the fact that he broke ranks with the Democrats and voted to give Babeu a pile of money will not go over well here in Tucson.

      OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

      by hillbrook green on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:07:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. I don't care about Heinz's private life (0+ / 0-)

        But Paul Babeau? Of all people? And coming on the heels of a head-scratching vote by someone who portrays himself as a progressive on border issues, it is too much.

        To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

        by sneakers563 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:29:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I wish Heinz would explain that "sleepover" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sneakers563, Azazello

      but then it clearly is something that is a lose-lose for him. Obviously they had a friendship. (Not that it matters, but it was clearly nothing more than a friendship - Babeau said he was staying with Matt and his boyfriend)

      I'm pretty sure I wouldn't invite them for a "sleepover", but I do have friends who are Republicans, we just agree to disagree.

      David Koch, a teacher and a Tea Partier sit down a table with a plate of a dozen cookies. Koch quickly stuffs 11 cookies in his pockets, leans to the bagger and says "watch out, the union thug will try to steal your cookie".

      by Dave in AZ on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:12:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Alright, I reread your diary (0+ / 0-)

    So you're outraged that a Representative in Congress voted to ask the Supreme Court to rule on a disagreement over jurisdiction between the House and the Executive.

    I get it. I also feel the Holder thing is a witch hunt, but wasn't the crucial issue here whether or no to hold Holder in contempt? And didn't Barber vote "correctly" on that issue?

    I realize you're a Heinz man now, but shouldn't internal Democratic squabbles at least be honest about the underlying issues? The "real" vote to hold Eric Holder in contempt was Roll Call # 441, on which Barber voted "NO". Roll Call Vote #442 was not exactly a vote to place Holder in "civil contempt". It was a vote to take the matter to the Judicial Branch, anticipating that the Executive Branch would not defer to the subpoena power of the House in this matter.

    I am presuming that you would have felt the same way if it were a Democratic Congress and a Republican member of the Executive Branch who was being subpoenaed.

    I didn't like the environmental override either.

    But right now, Barber is representing a district that has more Republicans than Democrats. That district will continue to have more Republicans than Democrats in the next election, although the count will be closer.

    While you and I agree that there is no need for this environmental override, there are a lot of people in the are that do want this "extra layer of protection".

    OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

    by hillbrook green on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 12:57:37 PM PDT

    •  "Protection"? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paul Ferguson

      Really, what do you think that protects you from? It's just cover for the ad hoc militia types to rip up the desert chasing their imaginary "illegals".

      No thanks!

      Reality has a well-known liberal bias -- Stephen Colbert

      by ItsaMathJoke on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:08:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what the quotes were for. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ItsaMathJoke

        That is the justification that "they" use.

        I'm on your side. Calm down.

        These people are idiots. There is no justification for their beliefs. They just do  and say what they are told to do and say by their ministers and bishops and FOX TV.

        Next time try reading and understanding the whole comment instead of being in a rush to label someone.

        OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

        by hillbrook green on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 01:19:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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