Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bailing out or Bailout?

A Captain Renault Post: This post is a momentary respite from covering and uncovering AG/SC Corbett's partisan "investigation" and hypocritical and cynical campaign for re-election.

Every observer and commentator on politics and public policy has been watching and reading everything possible about the national bank and credit crisis.

It was quite a day of high drama in the US House yesterday. As the whole world knows now, the US House failed to pass The Bailout Bill yesterday. With a vote of this magnitude -- a "legacy" vote many members were calling it -- there is bound to be some electoral fallout with candidates and campaign managers scrambling all over PA trying to figure out how to spin this vote and decide what the new TV ads will look like. Make no mistake this was a very tough vote either way for many Members of Congress. The stakes are high.

I wanted to take a closer look at how the PA members of Congress voted and I was inspired by this article from the smart folks at the great website FiveThirtyEight.

Below is the list of how the PA delegation voted. I have used the relative rankings for the competitiveness of each seat based on the analysis provided in the above article. The "swing seat" analysis uses 7 levels to rank the competitiveness of a congressional race: safe, lean R, likely R, toss up, lean D, likely D, and races to watch. A Congressman in a "races to watch" seat is considered "safe" for the moment, but the analysts will watch it closely to determine if it will fall into one of the other categories in the weeks ahead. A Congressman who is in a "safe" seat is by definition not included on a list of competitive seats of course and are very unlikely to ever be included on such a list. Or they are unopposed -- in which case they are very safe.

Pennsylvania Congressional Seats and Votes on the Bailout Bill:

Safe ( Aye) PA-1 Brady, Robert [D]
Safe (Aye) PA-2 Fattah, Chaka [D]
Lean R (Nay) PA-3 English, Philip [R]
Lean D (Nay) PA-4 Altmire, Jason [D]
Retiring (Aye) PA-5 Peterson, John [R]
Race to watch (Nay) PA-6 Gerlach, Jim [R]
Safe ( Aye) PA-7 Sestak, Joe [D]
Likely D (Aye) PA-8 Murphy, Patrick [D]
Safe (Nay) PA-9 Shuster, William [R]
Lean D (Nay) PA-10 Carney, Christopher [D]
Toss Up (Aye) PA-11 Kanjorski, Paul [D]
Safe (Aye) PA-12 Murtha, John [D]
SAfe (Aye) PA-13 Schwartz, Allyson [D]
Safe (Aye) PA-14 Doyle, Michael [D]
Likely R (Nay) PA-15 Dent, Charles [R]
Safe (Nay) PA-16 Pitts, Joseph [R]
Safe (Nay) PA-17 Holden, Tim [D]
Safe (Nay) PA-18 Murphy, Tim [R]
Safe (Nay) PA-19 Platts, Todd [R]

So there they are. Courage? Political expediency? Political philosophy? Ideology? Following their leadership? Opposing their leadership? Demonstrating leadership?

All of the above? None of the above?

Everyone has their opinions of the Bailout Bill, the handling of this issue by the Bush Administration and Congress in general, and the rationale and motivation for how specific members of Congress voted on the bill. I have mine. You can email me with yours or post a comment.

No comments: