Congressman Harry Teague of New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District has a big problem. No, it’s not that former Congressman Steve Pearce has decided to take back his seat. Actually, that fact simply exponentially compounds the problem.
Congressman Teague’s problem is that his first major vote impacting the lives of his constituents was a vote against their best interests:
As a Democrat from a right-leaning part of the state that is largely dependent on gas and oil, Congressman Harry Teague had to walk a fine line on the cap-and-trade bill that passed the House on Friday.
Teague stopped by Roswell on Wednesday, in part to explain and defend his vote in favor of the bill to constituents here.
“I had an idea it wasn’t going to be popular with everybody,” he said.
The bill that passed the House drew fire from both the right and left. Conservatives argued that placing any kind of restrictions on carbon would be economically damaging, especially given the current recession. Some commentators claimed that it would raise energy bills by 30 percent, although the Congressional Budget Office said it would cost the average household closer to $175 a year by 2020. Americans for Tax Reform issued a release estimating that the law would cost New Mexico’s Second District $383.76 million in lost income in 2012, the year the bill starts to take effect.
Congressman Teague knew the vote was going to cost people living in the District more. He knew that it was going to cost the area jobs. Most importantly he knew “it wasn’t going to be popular” with his constituents, but he did it anyway.
That’s a problem. That’s a big problem.
I spent a lot of the primary season of last election cycle running from one end of the district to another. And, I have to say that the people down there really impressed me with their hospitality and there no nonsense approach to life. They don’t take kindly to spin, and they call it as they see it.
There not going to be fooled by silly statements:
Teague argued that there will still be substantial benefits to the bill, citing estimates that 40 percent of the people in his mostly-rural district will actually see a decrease in their electricity rates. He also believes that it will create new jobs in the renewable energy sector.
Because they know that if 40% are seeing a decrease in their electricity rates, that means that 60% – otherwise known as the MAJORITY – will SEE AN INCREASE in their electricity rates. They also know that oil and gas provides the jobs that puts food on their tables keeps a roof over their families heads and builds New Mexico schools.
I doubt very much they are going to take kindly to a man who made his millions from oil and gas talking about the fantasy of renewable energy jobs. It won’t be lost on them that those incentives for the supposed new renewable energy jobs are going to solar plants in Albuquerque, not to Roswell or Hobbs, Capitan or Carlsbad.
And, if the best the DCCC can do is to attack Steve Pearce on fiscal policy, then they are in trouble:
The DCCC said that votes by Pearce for policies advocated by former President George W. Bush “created the economic crisis, growing the federal debt by $2.3 trillion from $3.5 trillion to $5.8 trillion.”
Okay, let’s just state the obvious. We can all agree that Republicans spent too much while they held power. We can also say unequivocally that the Democrats are set to outspend them. So, this line of attack just isn’t going to work.
Moreover, the truth is that there are three things you can say about Steve Pearce without question:
- Steve Pearce is a fiscal conservative and has a long record of voting “No” to frivolous spending regardless of who was introducing it.
- Steve Pearce is a social conservative who walks the talk just like the folks I met in the 2nd Congressional District – R and D alike.
- Steve Pearce didn’t forget where he came from in two terms in Congress. He knew how he made living, and he knew that raising the cost of energy for the majority of rural New Mexicans hurts.
That last point is of vital importance. See no matter what kind of attacks come out of the DCCC or the statewide Democratic Party, nothing changes the fact that it only took six months for Congressman Harry Teague to forget what got him where he is today and to stop representing the interests of his constituents.