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Sunday, October 29, 2006

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Stealth Zealot

Pop quiz. Who’s Arizona’s other U.S. senator? Here’s a clue: He makes Dubya look like a liberal

By Robert Nelson

Article Published Apr 13, 2006


So here is the choice for Arizona voters:

If you want an Arizona senator more in the mold of past legends such as Carl Hayden, Goldwater and Dennis DeConcini -- guys who spent much of their time in Washington fighting for budgeted dollars to flow to oft-forgotten Arizona -- then your choice in November is our other senator's opponent, moderate Democrat Jim Pederson.


What isn't so simple, Kyl's critics say, is why a guy who is so seemingly thoughtful and civilized can have the voting record of a Jesse Helms, the retired Republican senator from North Carolina.

While John McCain is seen as an independent-thinking moderate Republican, Jon Kyl is considered in lockstep with the Republican Party's far right.

Kyl loves big American business. He is good to the very rich. He has backed the Bush administration on every significant position regarding the war in Iraq, the "war on terror" and growth in defense spending. He has continuously defended the actions of military interrogators at Guantánamo and has been supportive of widespread government eavesdropping powers to combat terrorism.

In an in-depth analysis of voting records, the National Journal gave Kyl a 91 percent conservative rating, topped only by Senator Craig Thomas (R-Wyoming) with 92 percent. John McCain, by comparison, had a 52 percent "moderate" rating.

Studying Congressional Quarterly voting records, Kyl has sided with the president's position 96 percent of the time. When Dubya was up for reelection in 2004, Kyl voted with him 100 percent of the time.

That was the year that the Sierra Club held a press conference announcing that Kyl had a "0 percent" voting record on pro-environment legislation.

One of those votes was against John McCain's legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Kyl on numerous instances has belittled research suggesting greenhouse gasses are contributing to global warming.

Kyl has voted nine times to open up Alaska to oil drilling.

He also voted against international cooperation to limit greenhouse gasses.

Sandy Bahr, longtime leader of the Arizona chapter of the Sierra Club, says Kyl has been "disastrous" on environmental issues. She says Kyl consistently put out false information essentially blaming environmentalists for the massive Rodeo-Chediski fire in east-central Arizona in 2002, pushed for Gale Norton for Interior Secretary ("who has done more damage administratively than we ever thought possible by one person," Bahr says), and has consistently supported a rollback of the Clean Air Act.

"Did you like the air over downtown Phoenix this winter?" Bahr asks. "If you didn't, talk to Jon Kyl, because he didn't think it was a problem."

Regarding war power, Kyl was one of 19 senators in 2005 to vote against requiring the president to submit a report to Congress every three months on U.S. policy and operations in Iraq.

He has consistently sided with federal interrogators and investigators in cases seemingly in violation of constitutional habeas corpus and privacy rights.

In 1997, Kyl opposed a treaty banning the use of chemical weapons.

At the same time, Kyl opposed the production of Humvees with improved armor to help protect soldiers from roadside bombs.

Kyl also has consistently sided with pharmaceutical companies on issues regarding Medicare and senior citizens.........

The article goes on to describe many more votes that puts Kyl in the same camp as The John Burch Society. You can link to it here.


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