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(27,670 posts)
Tue Dec 27, 2011, 03:24 PM Dec 2011

Selective info for Progressives/Liberals: Senator Ben Nelson (NE), A DLC/Third Way Senator [View all]

Here is some selective information that I found disturbing from my perspective as a 99% liberal Democrat.

Voted with Democratic Party 77.8% of 325 votes. (Sep 2007)
Voted YES on confirming Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice. (Jan 2006)
Voted YES on confirming John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. (Sep 2005)
Supports Hyde Park Declaration of "Third Way" centrism. (Aug 2000)
New Democrat: "Third Way" instead of left-right debate. (Nov 2000)
Member of the Senate New Democrat Coalition. (Jan 2001)
Rated 0% by the AU, indicating opposition to church-state separation. (Dec 2006)
Member of Democratic Leadership Council. (Nov 2007)
Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
Rated 11% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)
Strongly opposes “Abortion is a woman’s right”. (Sep 2000)
Rated 7% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
Rated 83% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-Family-Value voting record. (Dec 2003)
Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
Rated 60% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
Voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005)
Rated 86% by the US COC, indicating a pro-business voting record. (Dec 2003)
Supports the death penalty. (Sep 2000)
Voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. (Apr 2011)
Rated 33% by CAF, indicating a mixed record on energy independence. (Dec 2006)
Rated 21% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes. (Dec 2003)
Opposes linking Human Rights to trade with China. (Sep 2000)
Progressive Internationalism: globalize with US pre-eminence. (Aug 2000)
Supports expanding Free Trade. (Sep 2000)
Voted YES on promoting free trade with Peru. (Dec 2007)
Voted YES on free trade agreement with Oman. (Jun 2006)
Voted YES on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (Jul 2005)
Voted YES on establishing free trade between US & Singapore. (Jul 2003)
Voted YES on establishing free trade between the US and Chile. (Jul 2003)
Voted YES on extending free trade to Andean nations. (May 2002)
Voted YES on granting normal trade relations status to Vietnam. (Oct 2001)
Voted YES on removing common goods from national security export rules. (Sep 2001)
Build a rule-based global trading system. (Aug 2000)
Supports spending on Missile Defense (“Star Wars”). (Sep 2000)
Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps. (Feb 2011)
Voted NO on cutting $221M in benefits to Filipinos who served in WWII US Army. (Apr 2008)
Voted YES on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad. (Aug 2007)
Voted YES on limiting soldiers' deployment to 12 months. (Jul 2007)
Voted YES on implementing the 9/11 Commission report. (Mar 2007)
Voted NO on preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees. (Sep 2006)
Voted YES on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods. (Sep 2006)
Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. (Mar 2006)
Voted YES on extending the PATRIOT Act's wiretap provision. (Dec 2005)
Voted YES on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism. (Jul 2005)
Voted YES on restoring $565M for states' and ports' first responders. (Mar 2005)
Rated 40% by SANE, indicating a mixed record on military issues. (Dec 2003)
Voted YES on limiting farm subsidies to people earning under $750,000. (Dec 2007)
Voted YES on restricting employer interference in union organizing. (Jun 2007)
Rated 62% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a mixed record on union issues. (Dec 2003)
Rated 40% by the ARA, indicating a mixed record on senior issues. (Dec 2003)
Rated 0% by the CTJ, indicating opposition to progressive taxation. (Dec 2006)


Nelson played a vital role in passing the 2001 tax cut. In 2001, Nelson was one of a handful of Democratic Senators that helped craft the proposal to cut taxes by $1.3 trillion that was ultimately signed into law.
On March 15, 2007, Nelson was one of two Democratic Senators to vote against invoking cloture on a resolution aimed at withdrawing most American combat troops from Iraq in 2008.
Nelson's votes in the Senate have often placed him at odds with the leadership of his party. A National Journal congressional vote rating from 2006 placed him to the right of five Senate Republicans (Gordon Smith, Olympia Snowe, Arlen Specter, Susan Collins, and Lincoln Chafee). Mary Landrieu was the only other Democrat to place to the right of any Republicans (she placed to the right of Chafee).[49] A similar 2007 National Journal congressional vote rating went even further, placing him to the right of eight Senate Republicans (the above five as well as Richard Lugar, Norm Coleman, and Mike DeWine), with Landrieu once again placing to the right of Chafee and being the only other Democrat to place to the right of any Republicans.[50] Most recently, the American Conservative Union rated his overall performance for 2010 at 48 percent, the highest given to any Democratic senator.[51]

Nelson was one of only two Democratic senators to vote against the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. Nelson is strongly opposed to replacing the income tax with a national sales tax, a position that finds favor with increasingly many conservatives. He has voted with Republicans on matters of bankruptcy reform, environmental protection, lawsuit reform, and trade. In 2004 he was one of only three Democratic senators to vote to invoke cloture on the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment; in 2006 he was one of only two Democratic Senators to vote that way.[52][53] He was the only Democratic senator to vote against a 2006 bill that would have extended federal funding for Stem Cell Research. He has, however, voted consistently against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He has also opposed President Bush's plan to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq.[54] Early in Bush's first term he voted with the majority of his party against scrapping President Bill Clinton's expansive new rules on ergonomics regulation for workers; many of his fellow conservative Democrats like John Breaux, Max Baucus, Blanche Lincoln, and Zell Miller voted with Republicans on the issue. On April 26, 2010, Nelson was one of two Democratic senators in attendance to vote against the motion to move a financial regulations bill forward, siding with Senate Republicans. The other was Harry Reid, who voted against his own proposed bill out of procedure.


Surely we can find a non-Third Way moderate Democrat to replace Senator Nelson that will represent our interests better than this.

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