Delahunt pictured with Hugo Chavez - image from blog enemy of the left
William Delahuntthe Massachusetts 10th Congressional District Representative in the U.S. Congress, recently told the Boston Globe he is considering retirement. Delahunt has held the office in what was, until recently, “The Bluest State”, since 1996. The Globe suggests Delahunt’s ties to the CITGO, through Citizen’s Energy – a non-profit company headed by Joe Kennedy which give heating oil to those in need, is the key issue that the GOP will use in a campaign against Delahunt. The sticking point: CITGO is the nationalized oil company of Venezuela, (see: Hugo Chavez), which has partnered with the group, who has business initiatives globally. Frankly, in the global economy and most Democrat’s penchants for espousing the values of certain dictatorships, Delahunt’s ties to the organization are the least of his concerns. The fact of the matter is that the group does supply heating oil to those who need it most, and that regardless of any proverbial deals with the devil, they do good work.
The real problems that Delahunt faces are twofold: 1) he has held the seat in the 10th district since 1997. The election was extremely close, and although it appeared the Republican candidate had won, Delahunt sought legal means to ensure a recount, taking his quest for the seat, to the Massachusetts Supreme court, where he was declared the winner by a recount margin of 108 votes. Since that time his career in Congress has had a few highlights, he is part of Nancy’s Pelosi’s “30 something” working group, which attempts to engage youth in the political process.
In June of 2008, during hearings involving the use of water boarding as torture, Delahunt made a somewhat offhanded comment to Cheney Aide, David Addington, which Delahunt later backpedaled and noted he meant “no ill” towards the aide.
It is not so much his remarks or his close association with Speaker Pelosi that is at odds, it is the rejection of career politicians that pervades the nation’s independent voters (as well as voters in either political party), that is a real issue.
Therefore, for all intents and purposes Delahunt appears to be like so many other “Progressive Democrats” in Congress. Each week a Cape Code Today feature ”How Bill Delahunt Voted for Us Last Week”
An example from the February 7th edition:
House Vote 3:
BANNING EARMARKS IN CYBERSECURITY FUNDING: The House passed an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., to the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act (H.R. 4061) to prohibit earmarking cybersecurity grant funds. Proponents said: "We need to continue down the path to earmark reform" and that restoring the public trust demands more action from the government because, in the past, programs that were set up to be competitive or merit reviewed were simply earmarked later. The vote, on Feb. 3, was 396 ayes to 31 nays.
YEAS: Rep. Michael E. Capuano D-MA (8th), Rep. William D. Delahunt D-MA (10th), Rep. Barney Frank D-MA (4th), Rep. Stephen F. Lynch D-MA (9th), Rep. Edward J. Markey D-MA (7th), Rep. James P. McGovern D-MA (3rd), Rep. Richard E. Neal D-MA (2nd), Rep. John W. Olver D-MA (1st), Rep. John F. Tierney D-MA (6th), Rep. Niki Tsongas D-MA (5th)
At first glance, it appears that Delahunt and every single Massachusetts Democrat felt the same way about this particular bill: They all voted “Yea”.
When on reviews the balance of the House Votes: provided here by Cape Code Today a pattern emerges. Every single member of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation votes strictly along Party lines.
One can also visit the official site of the U.S. House of Representatives: Roll Call Votes (here) and, (this also includes archives), one can look back from this week through the decades to find the Massachusetts Delegation voting in lockstep – as if with one voice – as if for one party.
Until recently, average citizens of the commonwealth weren’t paying a lot of attention to “how they voted”, and now they are – which is why the most recent poll on Delahunt’s race, bode trouble for yet another Massachusetts career Democrat. The Poll taken February 11th by McLaughlin & Associates, showed Republican Joe Malone with a 3 point lead over the incumbent.
Although Delahunt has not made his “retirement” official, and is merely “thinking about it”, the writing in on the proverbial wall – should he run, he’ll face a battle, one which, he is not guaranteed to win, and one which, will by no means be close enough to challenge a recall. (Given very recent Massachusetts electoral history). The poll referred to above, cites one Republican seeking Delahunt’s seat, however, as in every race, in every Congressional District in the Commonwealth, several Republicans and independents are challenging Delahunt. The list includes: Sandwich Rep. Jeff Perry, Don Hussey of Hingham, Ray Kasperowicz and Joe Malone.
As the polling gets though, one might find more retirements in the various districts in the Commonwealth. Internal polls from one campaign suggest that Barney Frank may also face an uphill battle for his seat and rumors of his retirement (unconfirmed) are beginning to surface.