Once again, the cause of liberal Democrats and liberal Catholycs have aligned, this time in Virginia’s 5th congressional district, where incumbent Democrat Tom Perriello is trailing republican challenger Robert Hurt.
No one can say they didn’t try to save Tom Perriello. In the last days of the 2010 campaign, the first-term Virginia congressman’s reelection bid has become a rallying point for Democrats nationwide, as party leaders and left-leaning interest groups scramble to ensure that at least one vulnerable liberal lawmaker is left standing after Nov. 2.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the race. Outside Democrats groups have invested almost two million dollars in the race (an unheard of sum for a House race). President Obama was in the district last Friday to campaign for Perriello personally … so why all the attention?
Perriello is a Democrat team player:
“There’s got to be something more important than getting reelected,” he told POLITICO in July 2009, after voting for the House energy bill. “If I lose my seat, and that’s the worst that happens, I could live with that.” …That’s an attitude that ticks off Republicans almost as much as it leaves Democrats — including Obama — swooning. Where liberals see a principled legislator risking it all to do the right thing, Republicans see a down-the-line Democratic loyalist who’s closer to the White House than to his constituents.
More importantly, perhaps, Perriello helped found Catholycs in Alliance for the Common Good. He’s the poster boy for a liberal Democrat loyal to Democrat causes first, and who uses his Catholic faith and arguments in support of whatever agenda Democrats push.
Almost every Catholyc group is doing whatever they can to get Perriello reelected. Michael Sean Winters of NCReporter has been writing story after story about him. Perriello is buddies with Obama’s faith-based office. James Salt of Cathoylcs United credits Perriello with encouraging that org’s efforts (to mislead Catholics, that is). Perriello loves issues such as “attending to the challenge of climate change through the creation of green jobs” (which is how he justified voting for Cap-and-Trade). The Matthew 25 Network is running pro-Perriello ads throughout the district. No less a figure than pro-abortion billionaire George Soros is one of Perriello’s regular financial supporters.
But all of the Catholyc left’s horses and men probably won’t be able to elect Perriello again. Recent polling shows Perriello behind by about 8 points, and he is badly trailing among pro-lifers, 26% to Hurt’s 70%. Among folks that attend Religious services regularly, he is trailing 40% to Hurt’s 53%. Perriello votes with Nancy Pelosi’s agenda 90% of the time.
His Republican opponent Robert Hurt, meanwhile, is a straight shooter on social issues. He promises on his campaign website “As a Member of Congress I will: Support pro-life legislation, Continue support of the Hyde Amendment and oppose any attempts to bi-pass or replace it, Oppose Embryonic Stem cell research and Support a Constitutional Amendment to protect marriage.”
For these reasons, CatholicVote has also become active in this race. We are running a radio ad in the district supporting Robert Hurt against Tom Perriello. You can listen to it here on our YouTube channel.
Perriello isn’t the worst of the Democrats in Congress today. He is not an architect of harmful legislation nor is he particularly powerful, but he is a reliable YES-man for this agenda. And, more to the point, he represents the best effort of a Democrat congressman to use Catholic arguments, language and Catholyc organizations to justify supporting what Democrats offer. But what matters most when it comes to our elected officials is how they vote for us when in Congress. And by that litmus test, Perriello fails completely. In this town hall from 2009, Perriello promises (at the 5:10 mark) that he will not vote for legislation that includes federal funding for abortions. But he did, in March 2010.
The time has come, in Virginia’s 5th congressional district and across the country, to hold politicians accountable – especially Catholic politicians – for voting against the teachings of the Church, and therefore, against the dignity of the human person and the proper role and responsibility of government. The Catholyc left has decided that want to reelect Perriello as their last, best chance to continue deceiving Catholics about what they have a right to expect from their representatives in Congress.
It’s time for us to destroy the Catholyc firewall, in Virginia-5, and everywhere else too.