Great news: My Congressional rep. ranked one of the “most liberal” in US House

Posted by: ST on March 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm


An annual list of how members of Congress stack up, ideologically speaking, has U.S. Rep. Mel Watt as the most liberal member of the state’s House delegation while U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry is the most conservative.

National Journal studied 97 roll-call votes that it used to establish where House members ranked in terms of how liberal or conservative they were.

Watt, a Charlotte Democrat, was among eight House members who were tied for the most liberal in the chamber. Watt was the 423rd most conservative House member.

McHenry, a Cherryville Republican, was the 17th most conservative member of the chamber and the 413th most liberal. Virginia Foxx, a Banner Elk Republican, was the 19th most conservative member and the 411th most liberal.

No other members of the state’s delegation cracked the top 20 as either conservative or liberal.

Not that this is exactly surprising, of course. Conservatives who have lived in his highly gerrymandered district know this all too well. Watt occupies one of those so-called “safe seats” because the district was drawn specifically over concerns that black people in North Carolina weren’t getting the best representation in the US Congress (which Watt has said in so many words that he agrees with), so the idea was to draw a district where primarly black Democrats could get elected over and over again. Mel Watt’s district is below:

12th Congressional District of NC


Various Republicans have ran against the multi-term, Cuba-friendly House rep over the years, but they are obligatory runs done by independent types as they can’t count on any substantial support from official GOP sources because the GOP pretty much knows it would be like throwing money out the window.

Watt filed papers seeking re-election back on Feb. 12th. He has no opponent yet. His last opponent, Ty Cobb, was/is almost as liberal as Watt is. Suffice it to say that there will be no Scott Browns in this district anytime soon – if ever.

Just for grins and giggles, let’s look at what Rep. Watt said back in 2003 about a proposal by the Bush administration that the NYT described as “the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago”:

”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

”I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,” Mr. Watt said.


RSS feed for comments on this post.

13 Responses to “Great news: My Congressional rep. ranked one of the “most liberal” in US House”


  1. NC Cop says:

    He’s my rep too, S.T. Joy.

    Alright, that’s it! I’M running against him!!!!

    I need some campaign staffers, who’s with me???

  2. Tango says:

    …it’s enough to make you cry, isn’t it? :((

  3. Anthony says:

    Reminds me of how some of the districts here are gerrymandered, both for state and national office: my congresscritter is Jane Harman, whose 36th district is mostly “south bay,” but I’m in a little flap that dangles off to the north because they wanted her to have more Democratic voters. Since then, she’s been almost unassailable.

    CA 23 takes the cake for the weirdest district in the state, however: have a look at this map and tell me that makes any sense other than for creating a safe seat. Covering three counties and at points less than 5 miles wide, that district is nothing more than a (successful) attempt to create a safe seat for coastal liberals.

  4. Good grief, Anthony! That’s just as bad as District 12!

  5. Anthony says:

    It’s a peach, isn’t it? I maintain that “safe seat” gerrymandering is a root cause of much of California’s problems, because it created nearly invulnerable incumbents who really don’t have to answer to their voters, anymore.

  6. Xrlq says:

    Good God, that’s you’re district, too?! That his district reaches from your area to mine says everything we need to know about gerrymandering. Anyone who runs against that twerp has my unqualified support, even though I can’t vote for him/her since my house is 5 feet east of his snake of a district and my apartment as many feet west of the other. Recommended ad slogan: “I know Watt’s wrong.”

  7. Xrlq says:

    Anthony: as a recovering Californian I’m reluctant to Californicate the Tar Hell State in too many ways, but one thing they DO have going for them is the ballot initiative. If North Carolinians got to vote on an initiative to end gerrymandering, I have little doubt it would pass handily. But we don’t, so it doesn’t.

  8. Xrlq says:

    Tar Hell == Tar Heel.
    Me == crappy typist.

  9. LOL! I was wondering what you meant by Tar Hell ;)

  10. Foxx says:

    Sounds like a district 9 moment :D

  11. Anthony says:

    Xrlq, ballot propositions do have their uses: it was through Prop 11 a couple of years ago that we finally took away from the legislature the power to draw their own districts. (Kid+candy store) It only applies to state elections, but it’s start.

  12. Lorica says:

    Talk about a jerry rigged map. – Lorica