Now that John Warner has announced his retirement from the Senate, the race for what may well be one of the most hotly contested Senate seats in the country has started.
Among the leading candidates for the Republican nomination is Congressman Tom Davis who, as The Club For Growth reports, has a less than stellar record:
Washington – As Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) prepares to launch his campaign for John Warner’s Senate seat, Virginia Republicans should take a long look at Davis’ thirteen-year record as one of more economically liberal members of the Republican Conference.
Before Tom Davis even entered Congress, he was already to the left of his Republican colleagues, telling the Wall Street Journal that spending cuts “may get out of control” (12/19/94). Unfortunately, little changed over his thirteen years in Congress. His record is riddled with anti-growth votes, from his support for out-of-control government spending, his fondness for increased government regulation, and his bristling hostility for political free speech and property rights. Some of his most egregious votes and positions include:
* Only 1 of 11 Republicans to vote against the Contract with America Tax Relief Act that cut taxes by $189 billion over five years, including lowering the capital gains tax rate and easing the marriage penalty (RC #295, 04/05/95)
* Support for a local sales tax hike in northern Virginia to fund transportation projects in 2002 (Washington Post, 11/03/02)
* A vote for the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill (RC #669, 11/22/03)
* A vote against cutting appropriations spending by 1% across the board (RC #197, 05/19/05)
* Numerous votes against the Republican Study Committee budget (RC #343, 05/18/95; RC #144, 05/21/97; RC #79, 03/20/03)
* A vote for the anti-free speech 527 bill (RC #88, 04/05/06)
* A vote against drilling in ANWR (RC #209, 05/25/06)
* A vote against the Private Property Rights Implementation Act of 2006 (RC #511, 09/29/06)
Representative Davis ranked 204th (only 24 Republicans scored worse) on Citizen Club for Growth’s 2005 scorecard, receiving a paltry score of 44 out of a possible 100. He also received a dismal score of 28% on the Club for Growth’s 2007 RePORK Card, voting against 36 of the 50 anti-pork amendments.
“Tom Davis has one of the most economically liberal records among Republicans in the House,” said Club for Growth President Pat Toomey. “Since Republican voters in Virginia are decidedly economic conservatives, it’s hard to see how Davis could win a statewide primary.”
And that’s just the beginning, back in April I noted the fact that Davis, especially once he assumed his role as Chairman (later, minority member) of the committee that oversees the District of Columbia, seemed far more concerned with the interests of the District of Columbia than the interests of his constituents.
That, combined with what the Club for Growth cites, leads me to think that there’s got to be a better Republican candidate than Tom Davis.