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Rep. Griffith of Alabama leaves Democrats for Republicans


Rep. Griffith of Alabama leaves Democrats for Republicans


By Chris Cillizza

Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Freshman Rep. Parker Griffith (D-Ala.) switched his affiliation to the Republican Party on Tuesday, saying he could "no longer align myself with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country."
Griffith was elected last year to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Bud Cramer. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dropped more than $1 million in independent expenditures to keep the seat, and Griffith won with 51 percent, even though only 38 percent of voters in the north Alabama district chose Barack Obama for president.
"Democrats of every stripe and philosophy sweated and bled for this man," said Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Joe Turnham. "He narrowly became a congressman through the hard work, votes and financial contributions of thousands of Democrats. Today, they feel betrayed."
The DCCC's chairman, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), took that criticism a step further, citing Griffith's "duty and responsibility" to return all contributions made to him by Democratic members of Congress.
The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rep. Pete Sessions (Tex.), sought to cast Griffith's decision as symbolic of larger problems with the Democratic caucus. "His decision is emblematic of the message that millions of concerned citizens have been trying to send to a Democrat Party that has become increasingly unwilling to listen," Sessions said.
And the House Republican leader, Rep. John A. Boehner (Ohio), said, "Congressman Griffith has added his voice to the growing chorus of Americans who have had it with Democrats' wrongheaded policies."
Griffith had voiced his frustration with party leaders several times and had made it clear that he wouldn't back Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) again as speaker of the House. "I would not vote for her," Griffith told a constituent at a town hall meeting in August. "Someone that divisive and that polarizing cannot bring us together."
But he voted with the Democratic majority 84.5 percent of time, according to The Washington Post's votes database. Griffith did, however, vote against the health-care reform bill that the House passed in November.
In the immediate aftermath of Griffith's switch, his entire consulting team quit, according to a well-placed source.
The news of the switch was first reported by Politico.
Source

StolzeMama StolzeMama 4 years 36 weeks
I find it odd that someone can switch between the parties. Changing to an independent, I get. But tome the parties represent such different things It just doesn't make sense that they just happen to change. I don't specifically think it is wrong to the voters. Because its those voters faults that they just voted along party lines instead of voting with someone who agrees with their views (unlike the scozzafava situation) I would rather lose a repub seat then vote for a really liberal repub myself. But obviously as references in a thread on 4.0, democrats would rather get a democrat in that seat rather than vote for someone who shares your views (which seems to be the case in this situation) Some on that thread thought that was a good thing to sell yourself out to a party. I say you reap what you sow and that would be this situation.
syako syako 4 years 37 weeks
I just think it's dishonest to switch midterm. But like other have said, he is an autonomous person and can choose to vote on bills any way he would like, based on the voices of his constituents. You ran and were voted in as a democrat, that's what you should remain while in office and/or step down.
Grandpa Grandpa 4 years 37 weeks
apparently there will be a small select group deciding on the final "compromise" bill. The traditional committee chairmen are being excluded, all republicans, and apparently most democrats. Is there a reason the man should remain in a party where he has no input, let alone a say?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 4 years 37 weeks
I understand it's not entirely realistic, but I kind of agree with you, sy. I mean, I kind of think party affiliation should matter less than it does in terms of how our Reps vote and in terms of how people vote for their Rep, but a lot of people do vote based on party. I wonder how much his votes will really change or if the major change will be that he's running as a Republican. I also wonder if it will be easier for him to win now. I was more familiar with the situation in PA for Specter. On a side note, if he did resign, they would have an election since he's a Rep. and not a Senator. On another side note, I think the implications of this decision and of Bart Gordon's decision not to run (he was in danger of losing his seat) are interesting.
samantha999 samantha999 4 years 37 weeks
Can you imagine being called to the torture chamber known as Pelosi's office and her botoxed face saying "I AM THE FAIREST OF ALL AND YOU WILL VOTE MY WAY!" "Would you like an apple my dear or maybe you would like to have a go at my spinning wheel? You will be sooooo relaxed when you are done" Insert evil cackling laugh.
tiff58 tiff58 4 years 37 weeks
I think that he probably is receiving almost unbearable pressure as a Dem, and that's why he did it mid-term, but it would be nice if he just had a backbone, voted the way he wanted and switched during his reelection campaign.
UnDave35 UnDave35 4 years 37 weeks
That would also imply that politicians actually feel some sense of honesty and fair play....
samantha999 samantha999 4 years 37 weeks
stepping down leaves a void for appointment (think chicago fiasco) so then you have nepotism and/or cronyism
syako syako 4 years 37 weeks
But wouldn't it be more honest to step down and allow for a reelection and the constituents can vote for someone who will go the route they want to go? (I'm talking in non-bizzaro but more idealistic world here)
Grandpa Grandpa 4 years 37 weeks
I don't remember any Democrats stating that Arlen Spector return all the Republican contributions to his campaign when he changed parties. The hypocrisy know no bounds.
samantha999 samantha999 4 years 37 weeks
Unless he is getting a lot of complaints from them about the route congress is going.
syako syako 4 years 37 weeks
I do hate when they do this in the middle of the term. If your constituents voted for you as a dem, it's most likely because they wanted a dem in office (although probably not the only reason they voted). Switching sides seems misleading and dubious to those who voted for you.
samantha999 samantha999 4 years 37 weeks
He won't be the last. Congress might tilt right well before november. But he is wrong on the Pelosi point- she will unite many...... all against her and her foolish policies.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 4 years 37 weeks
come on over baby, the grass is greener! ha ha.
UnDave35 UnDave35 4 years 37 weeks
Given the last couple weeks have been dominated by the holiday season, this story isn't that old. Does anyone see this as a trend, and if so, is it something that we "republicans" welcome?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 4 years 37 weeks
Also, I realize it's kind of an old story, but I didn't see it posted elsewhere, so I thought it might be interesting to post and discuss.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 4 years 37 weeks
FYI, this is a public post.