Virginia’s swing district Republicans, a list that now includes Reps. Randy Forbes and Robert Hurt, vote with the most extreme wing of their party on the vast majority of issues, according“Tea Stained,” a groundbreaking new legislative scorecard compiled by Americans United for Change.
Forbes voted with the Tea Party 78 percent of the time and Hurt showed an even higher tendency toward Tea Party loyalty with a score of 85 percent. Together with Scott Rigell who voted with the Tea Party 81 percent of the time, Virginia’s swing district Republicans voted with the Tea Party and average of 81 percent of the time in 2013.
“Tea Stained” released earlier this year, details the voting records of Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are running for reelection in statistically swing districts, who are facing significant reelection challenges or are running for the U.S. Senate. Forbes and Hurt were added when additional information about swing districts became available.
The scorecard measures Tea Party loyalty based on 48 recorded votes. The votes scored either appear in the scorecards of Tea Party-affiliated groups Americans for Prosperity or Freedomworks or both or represent the Tea Party’s core values – obsession with the Affordable Care Act – or the Tea Party’s major accomplishment for 2013 – shutting down the government.
“Americans United undertook this project in the wake of the two-week, Tea Party orchestrated government shutdown that brought America to the brink of economic disaster,” Americans United for Change President Brad Woodhouse said. “During all these manufactured crises, many of the Republicans in less ideologically partisan districts kept silent, let the extremists run the show, and then tried to distance themselves from the fallout. We felt it was important for voters who have a choice in the upcoming election to have a tool to help understand their representatives’ roles in creating the gridlock and dysfunction in Washington. What we found is that the Republican Party to a Member participated in no small way in moving forward the Tea Party agenda. Voters can do with that information what they believe is best.”
Americans United for Change is a 501c4 issue-advocacy organization established in 2005 to beat back President Bush’s effort to privatize Social Security and that has been working ever since to advance a progressive agenda in Congress including health care reform, reversing climate change, ending the war in Iraq, wall street reform, protecting Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security from benefit cuts, minimizing gun violence, and requiring millionaires and big corporations to pay their fair share in taxes.