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Salazar (D-Co) Breaks Campain Pledge, Considers Filibuster

It looks like Salazar is trying to play both sides of the fence. Claim to be for one thing when you need the votes, then magically change your mind when you get to Washington. Or is he?

Salazar retreats from no-filibuster position

Sen. Ken Salazar has backed off the position he took during his campaign last year that Democrats should not filibuster President Bush's judicial nominees.
    Republicans had been counting on Mr. Salazar, a Democrat from Colorado, as a key vote against the filibusters. His defection is a serious blow to the hopes of Senate Republicans who wanted more bipartisan weight behind their "nuclear option" to dislodge filibusters.
    "Senator Salazar has made no decision on any judge," spokesman Cody Wertz told The Washington Times when asked if Mr. Salazar still planned to vote against the filibusters.
    However, during his campaign in centrist Colorado, Mr. Salazar said he favored an up-or-down vote in the full Senate for judicial nominees.
    Mr. Salazar pledged during an interview with the Rocky Mountain News in Denver that he would not take part in the filibusters of judicial nominees.
    "In a pre-election interview with the News editorial board, Sen.-elect Ken Salazar said he favored an up-or-down vote in the full Senate on judicial nominations," the paper's editorial board wrote Nov. 8. "We hope he sticks with that position even if his Democratic colleagues-to-be lean on him, as they are almost certain to do." ...
    Mr. Salazar was traveling in the Middle East and unavailable for comment, but Mr. Wertz dismissed any suggestion of a reversal.
    He said Mr. Salazar has not taken a position on filibustering any of the nominees and said his boss made no such pledge during the interview with the Rocky Mountain News.

Interesting. The Rocky Mountain News runs it as part of an editorial piece, not a news story. It was published in September, so it was clearly from one of those "candidate sitdowns" with the media. Now his staff is denying the quote. I wonder if the RMN taped the session. I assume they did. If so, they could bust him.

It's already a tenuous claim. If they ran the piece in September, he had over a month to correct the issue. Plus, Salazar left a little bit of a paper trail.

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to take up stalled judicial nominations in March. Republicans are about five votes short of the 60 needed to break the Democratic filibuster on Myers. They hope Salazar will cross party lines because last year, as Colorado attorney general, he joined 14 other state attorneys general in signing a letter urging senators to confirm Myers.

The Jan. 30, 2004, letter said Myers showed "outstanding legal reasoning" in his work on endangered species, Indian affairs, federal lands and water, timber, and fish and wildlife issues.

But not so fast, Salazar said this week.

Now that he is a U.S. senator, he said he has broader responsibility to examine the nominee's record. He said he won't decide how to vote on Myers' nomination until the confirmation process is completed.

"The perspective I had (at the time of the letter) was one that came from serving as attorney general and working with Bill on Western issues," Salazar said Tuesday. "I now have a broader responsibility of voting up or down. I have to look at his record."

Although he hasn't decided what action to take on Myers, he opposes Republican proposals to do away with Senate filibuster rules and allow all judicial nominations to get up-or-down votes on the floor of the Senate.

In fairness to Salazar, it look like he is trying to be a fairly moderate Senator. The problem is that, Washington is more partisan that he apparently likes. After siding with Republicans on a few issues, the heat got turned up on him dramatically. Both sides lean on their people to keep them in line, they especially beat on newbies. The Dems just have a way of being nastier about it. It will be interesting to see if this guy really can ignore the party bosses. It looks like he's tilting on this one.

How the media handles him will also be interesting. If a Republican Senator, (cough - John McCain - cough) breaks with the party line, the media holds him up as a paragon of virtue. Salazar clearly doesn't have the name recognition of McCain, but it will interesting to see if the media dubs him a golden boy. I suspect not. Iconoclasts are only interesting to the media if they are Republican.

Comments (10)

Not nearly as bad as the li... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

Not nearly as bad as the lie we were told 12 times an hour in 88 - "Read my lips. No new taxes"
With the exception of Ronnie - politicians lie and lie most of the time. One of lthe reasons Ronnie was the best Pres ever was that his word was his bond.
When he said "Im a conservative" he really was.

If you believe a politician you are as Abe said "Some of the people can be fooled all of the time."

The reason the founding fathers tried to set up a government that would be small and provide little more than national defense was that histroy shows that people with bad motives generally get into government.

What would piss me off is i... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

What would piss me off is if I was a moderate Coloradan who voted for Salazar thinking he would go to Washington and not be obstuctionist.

While both sides do a lot of leaning, seems like the GOP probably has more mavericks than the DNC would be willing to put up with.

People have come to expect ... (Below threshold)

People have come to expect their elected leaders to talk out of both sides of their mouths. Whatever respect he may lose from the small segment of people in CO who will care about this, he'll pick up from the libs who see his change of heart as an act of courage.


Not to nitpik, but the spel... (Below threshold)

Not to nitpik, but the spelling of campaign in the title really bothers me.

Bringing up Bush's "no new ... (Below threshold)

Bringing up Bush's "no new taxes" is lame. He had no idea he'd have Desert Storm to pay for, and every time a lefty brings it up he'll defend Bill Clinton saying he never had sex with Monica, something he can hardly claim was a surprise after the fact. At least Bush didn't know that he was making a promise he couldn't keep, Clinton knew he was lying through his teeth when he said it and half of everything else he said.

Bullwinkle points out clear... (Below threshold)

Bullwinkle points out clearly the difference between garden variety political waffling and out-and-out perjury. It is simply the difference between "What I will do" and "What I did."

Forty-one made a pledge he wanted to keep, but didn't, bacsed upon his judgment of how things had changed. Some of us still think he made a mistake, but he knew when he made the decision he'd suffer for it, and did it anyway, which at least indicated that he had the courage of a statesman. Clinton was just a cowardly, lying sack of shit.

I agree that Bill was a cow... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

I agree that Bill was a cowardly sack of shit. But what Bush did got Bill into office - and with only about 42% of the vote. It also got Bill the coward re-elected with again less than a majority. Bush told a big lie and he told it out here in Cal every 5 min. He got a lot of vots because of the lie and lost a lot of votes when he broke his word. The Republican party was damaged by his duplicity. Fortunately Newt showed up to bring it back to life.

It would be fine with me i... (Below threshold)

It would be fine with me if Salazar voted against every one of Bush's nominees as long as he votes to allow an up or down vote.
I do object to these phoney filibusters. I believe that they are extraconstitutional. At the very least the Pubbies could force the Donks to actually talk for days on end. Lord knows the Democratic Party has plenty of institutional practice defending slavery and Jim Crow.

You mean campaign.... (Below threshold)
Jack Tanner:

You mean campaign.

Didn't the word "campaign" ... (Below threshold)

Didn't the word "campaign" used to have a g in it? What a dumb ass.






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