Leonard Lance was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 in the hope that he would be part of the solution to big government, over-regulation, massive spending and excessive taxation. Four years later, it turns out that he's part of the problem: in many cases on very important issues and votes, his legislative record is no different than that of his Democratic colleagues.
Heritage Action PAC notes one area where Leonard Lance is consistent: of the 289 combined Republican Representatives and Senators who embrace and practice Conservatism (with 1 being the most conservative), Lance consistently ranks close to the 260 mark.
Before entering Congress, Lance signed a pledge not to take earmarks. Within four months on the job, he broke that pledge and eventually was named Porker of the Month by Citizens Against Government Waste for all the wasteful earmarks appropriations he took.
According to the Federal Elections Commission, as of March 31 of this year, Mr. Lance’s re-election campaign amassed over $652,000 in donations. However, a majority of the donations came from political action committees. It turns out that 4 of the top 10 PAC donors to the Lance campaign are trade unions – including the air traffic controllers union.
You can tell a lot about a candidate by the political action committees that donate to his campaign. From an FEC list nine noteworthy Lance donors emerge:
Who are these PACs?
1. Bluegrass Committee PAC is a pro-Republican candidate organization headed by Sen. Mitch McConnell – who personifies the GOP Establishment in the Senate.
2. Every Republican Is Crucial PAC is another pro-Republican candidate organization headed by Rep. Eric Cantor – who is part of the GOP Establishment in the House.
3. Public Service Enterprise Group PAC is the political action arm of Public Service Electric & Gas – an energy utility with which Mr. Lance has some interesting connections: PSE&G supported the Cap & Trade bill for which Mr. Lance cast his YEA vote.
4. International Union of Operating Engineers PAC is the political action arm of a private sector trade union.
5. Tuesday Group PAC is an organization that takes its name from a group of Republican moderates, centrists and liberals who meet weekly in the basement of the Capitol to discuss their policy priorities. The Tuesday Group was once co-chaired by former Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware.
6. National Air Traffic Controllers PAC is the political action arm of a public sector union. You might recall that Reagan fired them when they went on strike in the early 1980s.
7. Republican Main Street PAC is another political action organization that represents Republican moderates, centrists and liberals. Sen. Olympia Snow of Maine had this to say: “The Main Street PAC provides vital support to centrist candidates who face challenging elections. Their efforts greatly assist my campaign and others across the country.” Lance is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which also includes John McCain.
8. International Union of Painters and Allied Trades PAC is the political action arm of a private sector trade union.
9. Ironworkers PAC is the political action arm of a private sector trade union.
First Term in Congress
Second Term in Congress
Is Leonard Lance a Principled Conservative?
When incumbent Republican Congressman Leonard Lance launched his present re-election campaign, he did so in a congressional district that is far more conservative now than it was two years ago. Needless to say, the otherwise moderate, pro-choice, go-along-to-get-along Establishment Republican Lance rebranded himself as a "Principled Conservative" in a campaign that goes to great lengths to accentuate those aspects of his record in Congress that put him in a positive conservative light.
If, as Mr. Lance insists, he truly is a "Principled Conservative," it ought to follow that his voting record would closely match that of Rep. Scott Garrett, a Republican who is undeniably a principled and consistent Conservative.
Let's examine Lance’s voting record for his first term in office compared to that of Scott Garrett and liberal Democrat John Adler:
Now let's examine Lance’s voting record for his second term in office compared to that of Scott Garrett and liberal Democrat Bill Pascrell:
In both cases an unmistakeable pattern emerges: with the sole exception of his vote on Obamacare, Lance's record on votes of major consequence is the mirror opposite of Scott Garrett's but perfectly matches that of liberal Democrats John Adler and Bill Pascrell.
If Scott Garrett is truly a principled and consistent conservative and if Leonard Lance consistently trashes conservative principles and votes with the Democrats, what does that make Leonard Lance?
It makes him a moderate Republican politician who will say and do anything to convince voters that he is what the facts tell us he is not.