Monitoring Mary Mack

Representative Mary Bono Mack (R-California) has been a thorn in my side for years. An RMSP ‘moderate’, she’s been shifting left ever since she took the seat vacated by the late Sonny Bono, her first husband. But now that she’s one of the difference makers for the Cap and Tax bill, suddenly the whole party’s grumbling about her.

Welcome to the club. Have a seat and we’ll catch up to the latest.

I’m not the greatest fan of American Conservative Union (or any) legislative ratings, because they’re in practice too opaque and difficult to analyze, but in looking at Rep. Bono Mack’s record, the ratings are illustrative of the point. In 1997, Sonny Bono’s last full year in office, the ACU gave him a solid 87 in then-District 44. Then-Mary Bono’s first year, 1998 she missed the first five votes, but in the last 20 she compiled a 95 with the ACU. After the special election she seemed like a great choice, so she easily won the general that year after winning the special election.

There’s just one problem: she didn’t stay that way. Her ratings since, according to the ACU: 76, 68, 68, 71, 68, 56, 71, 68, 65, and in 2008 she capped things off with a 74. It’s clear, then, that her votes when she finished Sonny’s term were just a ruse to win the special election and get the seat for life, this being a solid Republican seat and all. You don’t drop from a 95 to a pretty steady 70 by accident.

So here we are. Bono Mack has drifted so far left that she now supported the President’s foolish Cap and Tax plan to manage “carbon dioxide pollution.” She has an excuse though, says Flash Report:

The last thing I want is the EPA coming in and regulating every small business and farm in California. This federal bill is actually LESS stringent than the regulations we’re seeing coming our way as a result of AB32. Furthermore, this legislation REMOVES the authority for the EPA to regulate GHG’s, and also puts the brakes on the State’s regime. Allowing for a more national approach to this issue is vital to me, as we aren’t in this alone. California has already taken steps to embrace clean energy options, and this bill will reward those efforts, rather than allowing AB32 to force Californians to foot the burden alone.

I worked hard to improve a bill that I never cosponsored and agree still needs improvements. This includes more domestic energy production like nuclear power, a clean, viable energy option California should aggressively pursue, along with enhanced focus on innovation and technologies that will put us ahead of the rest of the world.

I’ve snipped the statement down to the meat. Are we truly to believe that California will be better off with this bill, should it pass? Are we supposed to think that President Obama will fight California and force our state to have less taxation and regulation? I don’t buy it.

Neither do the area’s Republicans. She has at least two potential challengers in the wings, says Red County via Flash Report. It seems former Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia and former state Senator Jim Battin are both out there as possibilities. I’m not taking a stand on either at the moment, but I hope at least one of them steps up to the plate.

District 45 did squeak by for Barack Obama 52-47 in 2008, but that was an outlier (as was this election for many otherwise-Republican areas). We still voted Republican for other offices, as we’ve done for many years (President Bush won this district twice by more than Obama did once). Our district deserves better than a tax hiker like Mary Bono Mack.