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Rep. Jerry McNerney: Is he more liberal than moderate?

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Posted: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 12:00 am

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, proudly issued a news release recently showing his conservative side — he broke ranks with House Democrats on a bill that would raise the federal debt limit by $290 billion.

McNerney says he's not as liberal as his critics say, yet Republicans trying to oust him from Congress next year say he agrees with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about 97 percent of the time.

"Our district is a moderate district," McNerney said in a recent interview. "Sometimes I'm aligned with the speaker; sometimes I'm not. By and large, I'm a moderate."

McNerney, who was elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2008, faces what can be a stern challenge from Republicans who object to Congress' and President Barack Obama's policies. Six Republicans, and a seventh who is willing to be drafted as a candidate, hope to unseat McNerney next year.

The 11th Congressional District covers much of San Joaquin County, including the Lodi area, Brentwood, Morgan Hill and parts of the Delta, Livermore and San Ramon valleys. The district leans Republican, but the San Joaquin Valley is considered more conservative than Republicans in the East Bay.

A National Journal survey online reports that McNerney was the 196th most liberal congressman in 2008 and the 232nd most conservative. On economic issues, McNerney ranked in the 55th percentile among liberals. In other words, McNerney was more liberal than 55 percent of his House colleagues during what the National Journal considers key economic votes in 2008.

The bill that McNerney criticized, House Resolution 4314, titled "To permit continued financing of government operations," would allow the federal government to exceed the current debt ceiling of $12.104 trillion.

"So they're increasing their credit line, basically," said Carl Fogliani, campaign manager for Republican candidate Brad Goehring, of Clements.

Fogliani acknowledged that McNerney indeed strayed from Pelosi in the debt limit bill, but it doesn't compensate for his votes on the stimulus plan and health care, which added significantly to the debt.

"This is like me going to an all-you-can-eat buffet, ordering a Diet Coke and screaming, 'I'm on a diet.' That's exactly what this is," Fogliani said.

Fogliani and Stan Devereaux, spokesman for Republican candidate Tony Amador, who is also running for McNerney's seat, said that McNerney is distancing himself from Pelosi for his political survival.

Calling HR 4314 a short-term fix, McNerney said the bill is not well thought-out.

"I think it's time to take a breath and look at our spending and make sure it's responsible and being invested properly," McNerney said. "The debt is scary, believe me. We need a budget that shows a clear plan to reduce this deficit."

McNerney defended the House version of the health care bill, saying that it would reduce the debt by about $100 billion over the next 10 years. He described the stimulus package adopted earlier this year as a "difficult and necessary vote. We were on the verge, I think, of a great depression."

So how does McNerney rank with Pelosi's voting record?

The National Journal survey doesn't say. The speaker's voting record isn't included in the survey because, as speaker, Pelosi generally doesn't cast a vote unless it's very close, according to National Journal spokesman David Miller.

But to get an idea of Pelosi's liberalism, Miller suggested checking with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, who is second-in-command under Pelosi.

Hoyer ranks as the 124th most liberal member of Congress, compared to McNerney's 196 ranking, and the 303rd most conservative out of 435 members of Congress, compared to McNerney's 232nd.

McNerney said he also parts company with Pelosi over gun rights (he owns a shotgun and two rifles), a pay raise for Congress and a recent bill the House passed extending the estate tax without exempting farms and small businesses.

As for the $4,700 pay raise he was awarded in January, McNerney said he decided to donate it to charity. He chose the Emergency Food Bank of Stockton/San Joaquin, Catholic Charities of Stockton, Dignity's Alcove in Stockton, Tri-Valley Haven and Village Community Resources Center in Brentwood.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

All about the National Journal Web site

The National Journal has a Web site where people can see how conservative or liberal a member of Congress is. Sarah Hersh, a spokeswoman for Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, describes the National Journal as a highly respected, non-partisan site that is used as a reference tool by both parties.

However, Brian Kaveney, spokesman for Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, said that people in his office are aware of the Web site, but they don't rely on it for reference. Kaveney said Lungren and his staff know their colleagues in the House without using information from the National Journal.

Journal spokesman David Miller said the National Journal and other affiliated publications don't favor one party over another.

"All our publications are militantly non-partisan," Miller said.

Here are the rankings of McNerney and other Northern California members of Congress for 2008:

Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton
(Represents Lodi area)
196th most liberal congressman
232nd most conservative congressman
Economic issues: 55th percentile among liberals on key issues (more liberal than 55 percent of those in Congress)
Social issues: 48th percentile among liberals
Foreign policy: 59th percentile
Composite score: 55th percentile

Dan Lungren, R-Gold River
(Represents Galt)
371st most liberal
86th most conservative
Economic issues: 86th percentile among conservatives (more conservative than 86 percent of members of Congress)
Social issues: 91st percentile
Foreign policy: 74th percentile
Composite: 86th percentile

Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced
183rd most liberal
245th most conservative
Economic issues: 59th percentile among liberals
Social issues: 54th percentile
Foreign policy: 59th percentile
Composite: 58th percentile

Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento
55th most liberal
370th most conservative
Economic issues: 81st percentile among liberals
Social issues: 82nd percentile
Foreign policy: 78th percentile
Composite: 85th percentile

George Miller, D-Martinez
1st most liberal
416th most conservative
Economic issues: 85th percentile among liberals
Social issues: 82nd percentile
Foreign policy: 92nd percentile
Composite: 93rd percentile

Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland
House Majority Leader
124th most liberal in Congress
303rd most conservative
Economic issues: 81st percentile among liberals
Social issues: 75th percentile
Foreign policy: 59th percentile
Composite: 74th percentile

To see the House rankings, visit the National Journal Web site. (Wait for map to download at bottom of the page.)

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32 comments:

  • posted at 8:59 am on Mon, Jan 4, 2010.

    Posts:

    .Gee, RossWelcome to the real world. "McNerney as a liberal" actually SUPRISES YOU!???

     
  • posted at 7:37 pm on Thu, Dec 31, 2009.

    Posts:

    I love how The Sentinel mentions McNerney views on gun rights. So just because he has three guns, he is all for gun rights? Another biased story done by the sentinel.Goehring For Congress 2010! Unseat The Nasty Liberal

     
  • posted at 8:04 am on Wed, Dec 30, 2009.

    Posts:

    McNerney represents the interests of Nancy Pelosi and the wealthy lefties (Yes, they can be wealthy, too! Just like "evil" Republicans!) who put him in office. If what the people of the eleventh district want isn't what Nancy and Co. want, as far as he's concerned, we can go pound sand. But the unions who contribute to his campaigns might run a few commercials telling us to "thank him" for some bit of pork or another that we really didn't ask for.

     
  • posted at 1:40 am on Wed, Dec 30, 2009.

    Posts:

    Lenny: Is that now a "crime?"

     
  • posted at 12:43 am on Wed, Dec 30, 2009.

    Posts:

    McNerney is just a peon. obama is the radical liberal we should be worried about. In 2007, he was rated the most liberal in the entire senate. #1 most liberal. Yet a lot of people believed his lies about running as a moderate and that he was going to unite the country and end bi-partisanship.http://www.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/sen/lib_cons.htm?o1=lib_composite&o2=desc#results

     
  • posted at 12:35 am on Wed, Dec 30, 2009.

    Posts:

    dyan wrote on Dec 29, 2009 8:04 PM:" Bloggers: Try to understand our friend Lenny. When he gets painted into a corner, he lashes out with vicious name-calling.Are you denying that Pombo is currently employed as a lobbyist?

     
  • posted at 12:29 am on Wed, Dec 30, 2009.

    Posts:

    Neo wrote on Dec 29, 2009 6:49 PM:" Leonard, Pombo is a greater American Patriot than youWow!Neo, for you to say that I am less patriotic than Dirty Dick Pombo, well that is a grave insult indeed. In olden days, I would have had to challenge you to a duel for such a offense. In these more civilized times, I will just slap you with my open hand, since you don't warrant a fist.Pshaw!:)

     
  • posted at 3:33 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Nice try Ross Farrow, but McNebbishe's voting record parallels the water that he carries for Nancy Pelousey,...after he licks her shoes. Good try, but he is a hard left loooooser.

     
  • posted at 3:22 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Well, if you're going to mistake me for someone else you couldn't have made a better choice than voter. I'm flattered.

     
  • posted at 2:45 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Sorry, Lodian. I meant your companion, voter.

     
  • posted at 2:42 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    essayjay wrote on Dec 29, 2009 5:50 PM:"Funny how Mr. McNerney doesn't show his face around Lodi much."essayjay: Geez, you guys just don't get out much. I've met the guy in person twice this year and had conversations with him. This was all in Lodi. voter: Nice post @ 6:38pm.

     
  • posted at 2:36 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Neo 5:50 PM: Why are you and dyan addressing me before I've even shown up here on this blog? I just got here and you two are talking to me as if I have posted a comment already. Are you having trouble making your point with the facts so you have to make up an attack on me? What the heck!

     
  • posted at 2:31 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    mjp wrote on Dec 29, 2009 8:25 AM:" Agree with dyan. The man refuses to meet his constituents in person."Met him twice, and had a conversation, in Lodi at an open house.

     
  • posted at 2:29 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Neo 6:49 PM: Have some class.

     
  • posted at 2:28 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    dyan: Why are you addressing me?

     
  • posted at 2:14 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    So Lodian, what does the paper say about his refusal to face his constituants at town hall meetings?

     
  • posted at 2:11 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Gee: If Pombo is such a horrible criminal, I wonder why no charges were brought against him? could it be there is no evidence to support these political accusations?

     
  • posted at 2:04 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Bloggers: Try to understand our friend Lenny. When he gets painted into a corner, he lashes out with vicious name-calling.I don't think he can help it. It may be neurological.

     
  • posted at 12:49 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Leonard, Pombo is a greater American Patriot than you, your wife, kids, or grandkids could EVER hope to be in your wildest dreams!!! Keep on ranting on the blogs biatch!

     
  • posted at 12:38 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    essayjay wrote on Dec 29, 2009 5:50 PM:" Funny how Mr. McNerney doesn't show his face around Lodi much."This very newspaper reported a year ago that McNerney was far more accessible than Pombo and routinely made himself available to constituents with "plenty of visits to Lodi."http://www.lodinews.com/articles/2008/10/18/opinion/editorials/edt_mcnerney_081018.txt

     
  • posted at 12:20 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Washington is full of crooks. The Tea Party movement has given us all a second chance. Now we just have to take it. Every one of us should be out right now organizing and getting ready to elect new candidates in 2010, people who are not beholden to either party.Together, we can elect a Tea Party Congress that will change restore this country to the proud nation it once was.

     
  • posted at 12:08 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    dyan wrote on Dec 29, 2009 5:48 PM:" Oh, O.K. So being accused of wrong doing in our country by your political enemies is the same as a formal charge and conviction - is that what you are saying?No, I am saying that Pombo is a political whore who sold himself to Abramoff and a dozen like him.That is what I am saying. I notice that you don't try to deny it.

     
  • posted at 12:02 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    "constituents"

     
  • posted at 12:01 pm on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    I love a rep who hides behind a phone and can't look his constuents in the eye.

     
  • posted at 11:50 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Funny how Mr. McNerney doesn't show his face around Lodi much. McNerney isn't crooked, no not him, he'll just go along with spending our tax dollars until there's nothing left in yours and my wallet. If you call that "honest" you can have him.

     
  • posted at 11:50 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Pombo is, was and will forever be a GREAT American! The left-wing smear machine is Bull****!!! We need REAL representation here in Lodi!! No more wacked out left wing Pelosi puppets like McNerney, Leonard and Lodian!!!

     
  • posted at 11:48 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Oh, O.K. So being accused of wrong doing in our country by your political enemies is the same as a formal charge and conviction - is that what you are saying?

     
  • posted at 11:33 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    dyan wrote on Dec 29, 2009 3:15 PM:" So Pombo was a "crook?" Really? What was he charged with and what was he convicted of? "Not all charged crimes involve guilty people and not all guilty people are charged with crimes.Pombo was a crooked legislator. Now he is a crooked lobbyist. If those two things make him a "solid conservative" well, I guess that is semantics for you.

     
  • posted at 9:15 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    So Pombo was a "crook?" Really? What was he charged with and what was he convicted of?

     
  • posted at 7:22 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    mjp: Pombo was proven to be a crook. He is linked with Jack Abramoff - took over $500K in "contributions" from him. Not to mention all the family members he had on his payroll. I guess everyone has forgotten that. Or maybe conservatives view that as a virtue and what makes him a "man of the people."

     
  • posted at 2:25 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    Agree with dyan. The man refuses to meet his constituents in person. He hold phone town halls. A real man of the people, don't you think. When we lost Pombo, we lost a reliable conservative man of the people. Hope we can get real representation again next November.

     
  • posted at 1:13 am on Tue, Dec 29, 2009.

    Posts:

    To describe McNerney as something less than left is a fantasy. This is an old liberal trick. When you come from a moderate district, vote conservative on issues that you know liberals in Congress can't lose. Then you can go back home and say: "See, I'm not so left." Fact: How many Pelosi causes have gone down in flames because McNerney voted against them? Answer: Zero.

     

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