In 2007, Jason Altmire (D-PA 4th) routinely voted against mundane roll call-style votes in order to “pad his independence,” according to the Washington Post. Altmire voted against confirming the previous day’s meeting minutes in order to skew his voting record.
That way he could say, for instance, that he voted with his party only 85 percent rather than 95 percent of the time. He manufactured party dissent in order to paint himself as an independent-minded moderate.
Indeed, this week Altmire repudiated Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying, “I don’t think the issues she’s pursued are good for the district I represent.”
Yet Altmire has been a close ally of Pelosi, voting to confirm her as leader not only in 2007 but also last year. So when did he decide that “the issues she’s pursued” aren’t good for western Pennsylvania’s 4th district?
“Jason Altmire supported Nancy Pelosis agenda nearly 90 percent of the time,” Keith Rothfus, Altmire’s challenger, told Battle ‘10. “In 2008, he voted for a resolution that would’ve phased out [the Bush era] tax cuts, and now in an election year he says he supports extending tax cuts.”
“Altmire sat on the fence for 85 days while opponents of Obamacare fought against the bill,” a wry Rothfus told Battle ‘10, “and once speaker Pelosi got the votes, he came out to announce he was against it.”
And, now, Rothfus said incredulously, Altmire “says repeal is not an option.”
But “if you’re not for repeal, you’re for Obamacare,” Rothfus said.
Jason Altmire “voted for the stimulus, [was] for card check, voted for auto bailouts, [and] voted for raising trillion dollar debt ceilings,” charged Rothfus, “and he’s said he wouldn’t alter much of that agenda.”
In other words, with exactly what part of Speaker Pelosi’s agenda did Altmire disagree?
Or, as political consultant Charlie Gerow told Battle ‘10 yesterday, Altmire’s Pelosi denunciation — given his record — is “kind of cheap talk.”
Pennsylvania’s 4th district is a pro-Toomey, anti-Obama stronghold, but so far the only independent poll conducted shows Altmire leading Rothfus by more than 10 points.
Rothfus, for his part, says his team is “running on all eight cylinders” and spoke of a ground game comprising more than 700 volunteers in advance of Election Day.
“I’ve been a supporter of Pat Toomey since 2004 when he ran against Arlen Specter in the primary,” Rothfus told Battle ‘10, and he voiced optimism that a pro-Toomey wave, along with increasing his name recognition, would help put him over the top on Nov. 2.