Sunday, March 08, 2009

Why Did 24 Democrats Vote Against The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009?


Frank Kratovil, Maryland Blue Dog, tells 26,844 victims of predatory banksters to go to hell-- in his own district!

As we mentioned, The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 passed last Thursday 234 to 191 with 7 Republicans (profiled earlier today) crossing the aisle to vote with the Democrats for their beleaguered constituents instead of sticking with the banksters and special interests, as Republicans are wont to do. On their way across the aisle they passed two dozen renegade Democrats heading in the other direction.

Most of the Democrats-- though not all-- who voted with the banksters and Republicans on this are habitual working family abusers: your Dan Borens, Gene Taylors, Chris Carneys, Bobby Brights, Travis Childers, Parker Griffiths... No surprises there. What did shock me was that a couple of usually dependable Democratic congressman who do stand up for working families as a matter of course and with no prodding, deserted to the other side on this. One is Eric Massa (D-NY), a tireless fighter for working families. He sent a press release explaining his position which bragged about his independence from the leadership, a kind of craven thing to do and not what I'd expect from him. But it got worse.
"I campaigned on a platform of standing as an independent voice and voting in the interests of my constituents, not a political party. Today I did just that because I didn't think the Housing bill delivered a proportionally fair amount of relief to the families of my district," said Congressman Massa moments after the vote. "With this in mind, I could not rationalize further deficit spending in the face of minimal assistance to the working families in our district. While there are a number of things that I did like in this bill, the projections in it demonstrated that it was largely targeted to States like California, Nevada and Florida where the housing crisis has hit the hardest, not Western New York. I support helping families refinance their adjustable rate mortgages to stay in their homes, but compared to many other states, Western New Yorkers would not benefit enough to warrant my vote."

For a man who spent his career honorably defending this nation in the military, his attitude against victims of predatory banksters who happen to not live in his district was pretty startling. I guess there is a way of doing a cost/benefit analysis as to the share NY-29, which takes far more federal aid than its residents pay in taxes, residents will pay in relation to how this bill will impact the 6,867 families who will be foreclosed on in Massa's district over the next 4 years. I'm not sure if this was Larry Kissell's reasoning too-- but he's another stalwart fighter for working families who went over to the Dark Side on this one. His district stands to lose 12,306 homes to foreclosures in the next 4 years.

That said, what about the Blue Dogs and fellow reactionaries whose sojourn over to GOPville is nothing out of the ordinary? The two arch-conservatives from Alabama, fake Democrats Bobby Bright and Parker Griffith always side with the special interests against their constituents. The foreclosure epidemic hasn't hit either's district disastrously-- over the next 4 years 9,378 foreclosures in Bright's district and 10,518 in Griffith. I guess Bright is counting on them not voting since his margin of victory in 2008 was 1,766. Parker is a little safer from the ire of 20,000 angry couples whose homes were foreclosed on because of him since his margin of victory was a more hearty 9,339.

The closest call at the polls last November for any New York incumbent was for Mike Arcuri, an actual moderate Blue Dog who also belongs to the Populist Caucus. Only 6,400 votes separated him from his Republican challenger-- in an upstate New York district which will lose 7,284 homes to foreclosure in the next four years. Hard core Blue Dog Jim Matheson, on the other hand, could have a real problem on his hands. UT-02 is a very Republican district. McCain beat Obama 57-39% while the GOP didn't bother fielding a serious challenger to their Blue Dog ally, Matheson. If they do in 2010, they can be thinking about 17,426 foreclosed homes, probably around 40,000 voters.

Frank Kratovil won with less than half the votes and only beat his extremist Republican opponent by 2,852 votes. If the GOP wises up and runs a mainstream conservative or even a moderate against him, Kratovil is likely to be toast in one of only two districts in Maryland that McCain won (Obama took 40%). The PVI is R+10 and with 26,844 houses projected for foreclosure in the next 4 years, Kratovil could be swamped.

Maybe they're counting on their constituents not finding out who sided with the banksters against them. Maybe they're counting on their constituents not to bother finding out that their representative, supposedly from a party that stands up for working families, voted to get them evicted from their homes. They better hope their constituents don't read DWT.

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At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Howie.

Glad to see that Bill Foster, IL14, who twice won the deserted Denny Hastert seat has not turned out to the be the Blue Dog some had predicted, so far.


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