By Michael Barone, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
In the roll call on final passage of the stimulus package in the House, the seven Democrats voting nay were: Bobby Bright of Montgomery, Alabama, Peter DeFazio of Springfield, Oregon, Parker Griffiths of Huntsville, Alabama, Walt Minnick of Boise, Idaho, Collin Peterson of Fergus Falls Minnesota, Heath Shuler of Asheville, North Carolina, Gene Taylor of Pass Christian, Mississippi. Bright and Griffiths are freshmen in Alabama seats that might have gone Republican in a less Democratic year (Bright's seat had been held by Republicans since 1964). Minnick is a conservative businessman who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate some years ago and won in 2008 by defeating an outspoken way-out conservative freshman Republican. Shuler was first elected in 2006 in a western North Carolina seat by running as a relative conservative against a Republican incumbent with ethics problems. Taylor is a temperamental maverick from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi who votes as he damn well pleases on everything.
Two others stand out. DeFazio is a Democratic generally on the left half of his caucus but who is something of an independent, and interesting, thinker. And Peterson is chairman of the Agriculture Committee, who represents a historically left but more recently rather Republican district in western Minnesota; I guess he gets a pass from the leadership.
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