A Concerned Constituent of Congressman Ron Barber


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

A new
CNN poll
finds Congress’ approval rating is now all of … 10
. Perhaps the reason is things like this:

I received an end of third quarter fund raising email captioned "On The Brink" from Congressman Ron Barber this morning (after the midnight September 30 deadline) in which the congressman's pitch to contribute to his campaign read as follows:

That's what the Tea Party extremists who are threatening to shut down our government have on their agenda—targeting me for defeat because I won’t give in to their

If you are as outraged as I am with these extremists and their irresponsible political games that threaten our economic recovery then please stand with me now.

This poorly timed fund raising email came after Congressman Barber voted last night — twice! — to stand with the "Tea Party extremists who are threatening to shut down our government have on their agenda." "I won't give in to their demands"? You most certainly did, congressman. Imagine the choice language I used when I opened your email.

In an act of political cowardice, you voted for the second attempt by the Tea-Publican economic terrorists yesterday to delay the individual mandate of "ObamaCare" for a year — so that the GOP can run on "repeal ObamaCare" for the third election in a row — which also included a GOP spending plan that would cut support for victims of domestic violence:

Republican members of the House tossed
in an amendment to the spending bill that would not only delay
implementation of the new health law known as Obamacare but also allow
certain employers and insurers to opt out of specific provisions of the law based on moral or religious grounds.

Specifically, the continuing resolution says:

2713(a)(4) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg-13(a)(4))
shall not be effective for any period before January 1, 2015, with
respect to the requirement for specific coverage for any sponsor of a
group health plan (or, in the case of student health plans, the
institution of higher education offering such plans), health insurance
issuer, or individual opposing such requirement for coverage based on
religious or moral objections.

While the provision that has garnered the greatest attention is the ability to drop coverage for birth control, an equally important provision would also allow insurance providers to drop coverage for a host of preventative services — including counselling and screening services for domestic violence — on religious or moral grounds. The timing of this ban on coverage for domestic violence counseling is particularly ironic given that October 1 is the first day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

In fact, it’s the catch-all nature of the ban on a whole host of preventative services — coverage for an annual wellness visit, services for pregnant women, screening for HIV and cervical cancer, as well as for domestic violence — that may be the most objectionable feature of the ”conscience clause.”

Perhaps you were too busy yesterday to have caught Sen. Barbara Boxer's press conference in which Boxer called the GOP plan a 'war on women':

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) held a news conference Monday to
criticize a proposal by House Republicans to delay implementation of the
Affordable Care Act, and to include a “conscience clause” that she says
restricts benefits for women. Boxer, who was joined by Senators Mazie
Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), said the Republicans
were continuing “their war on women.”

She said the GOP plan would eliminate funding not only for birth
control, but for screenings for cervical cancer and sexually transmitted
diseases and services for victims of domestic violence.

“Any of us who has ever lost a loved one knows the critical
importance of these preventive services,” said Boxer, ”those very
services Republicans want to stop in their shutdown proposal.”

Congressman Barber, you were one of only nine Democrats who voted for this GOP spending bill — along with Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) who really has some explaining to do to her female constituents. Roll call results for roll call 504 http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll504.xml.

Congressman Barber, you were also one of only seven Democrats to vote for the last failed effort of the GOP to send the CR to a conference committee — which had already been declared DOA by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid before the vote — which any reasonably skilled politiician would have understood was the GOP punting on the CR and giving its rabid mad dog foaming at the mouth Tea Party radicals the government shutdown that they have been craving since 2010. Roll call results for
roll call 505 http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll505.xml.

So in your press statement following your votes last night when you state Tonight I voted to keep
the government from shutting down" — this is classic "doublespeak," a trademark of the GOP — you did exactly the opposite. The GOP bill was for a government shutdown in their political gambit. The only possible vote "to keep the government from shutting down" was for the Senate's "clean CR," which did not even come up for a vote in the House.

Let me ask you this Congressman, do you think your votes gained you a single Republican vote in your district? Do you think your demonstrated lack of political courage gained you a single "moderate" or so-called "independent" vote in your district? I can assure you, it did not. Voters respect principled politiicans, even when they disagree with them.

I can tell you what your votes did do, however. Once again, you have voted the "wrong way" on a bill of importance to your Democratic voter base, something for which you have been criticized in the past, on the core Democratic Party principle of health care no less. This is going to cost you donors and volunteers.

Your continued inexplicable willingness to vote the "wrong way" on matters of importance to your Democratic voter base and your president in an attempt to appear "independent" from your party in your district has adversely affected your standing and support among Democratic voters. I know of many Democrats who are deeply disappointed in you, and who are openly hoping for a primary challenger, or threatening to sit out 2014 and do nothing to assist your reelection, should you choose to run.

To those Democrats, I will remind them that Congressman Barber's potential GOP opponents, including Martha McSally, would have mindlessly voted in lockstep with the Tea-Publican majority for a government shutdown, and quite likely to default on the federal debt, causing an economic catastrophe. Any Tea Party challenger last night would have been ecstatic and yelling "burn it down!" Be careful what you wish for, people. Don't trade your occasional disappointments for the devil you really don't want.

I don't know who the advisers are on whom you rely, Congressman Barber, but I can tell you from your inexplicable "wrong way" votes that either: (1) you are receiving incredibly poor advice, or (2) you are exercising incredibly poor judgment. Either way, you are not demonstrating to me that you possess the innate political skills that a politician needs to survive in this business.

Congressman Barber, your Democratic supporters who have given you their time, effort, money and support expect and deserve better than this from you.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.


  1. Ron Barber is a major disappointment. He has voted with Republicans on virtually every issue. I believe that it’s time for a primary.

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