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Is Del. Glenn Davis a RINO?

I received three comments (one using the same email address but different names) on my favorable but not endorsing article on Del. Glenn Davis and the implication of all three comments was that Davis is a RINO.  Not a conservative.

Let’s look at a few things:

Gun rights:  VCDL gave all three LG candidates a high pro-gun mark (Sen. Vogel gets 100& and Del. Davis and Sen. Reeves 98%) on their 2016 General Assembly voting record.

Social issues:  The Family Foundation of Virginia has a report card on legislators, in HOD and senate and the latest out in print is 2014-2015 and there is a surprise for all those who say Davis is not conservative:

Overall scores for the three LG candidates:  Reeves 95, Vogel 78 and Davis 83.

Davis voted for:  Tebow bill, virtual school district, expanding school choice, defunding Planned Parenthood, and that the AG must defend the state’s laws or designate someone else to do it (which is actually the only ethical way to do it!)

Davis voted against:  Common Core, Medicaid expansion and expanding the state anti-discrimination laws to sexual orientation.

Three “bad” votes:  Davis voted to keep Off-Track Betting parlors open (I agree even though gambling rights can be abused they should be legal), voted not to defund the AG’s office to punish his refusal to defend the marriage law (unworkable – AG Herring should either be impeached or censured), and voted against a ban on abortion funding for low-income persons (depending on wording I might disagree here).

That kind of voting record sounds like a movement conservative.

STOP THE PRESSES:  I just heard and seen TODAY (5/12 – here it is) the 2016-2017 Family Foundation report card of the General Assembly and some surprises:

Senator Reeves got a 100% perfect voting record and Senator Vogel garnered only a 81% which was the lowest GOP score in the state senate.  Delegate Davis got a 94 percent mark.

In other areas:  Majority Leader and likely Speaker Kirk Cox of Colonial Heights has endorsed Davis.

I suppose the issue is what is a RINO?  Davis is well within the mainstream of the Republican party on guns and social issues.  What about spending and taxes?  One anti-tax group (the Americans for Tax Reform) opposes Davis.  But they misrepresent his so-called Medicaid expansion in a way to make it sound like the idea was liberal:

But wait, there’s more

Delegate Glenn Davis supported Obamacare expansion in Virginia. When his colleagues were rejecting the misguided expansion of Medicaid for able-bodied adults, Davis was penning op-eds and spending his time arguing, “We take the money, or it goes someplace else.”

I have reviewed this bill and it is not classic Medicaid expansion.  Again, here is part of Davis’ explanation in one of the op-eds (in the Virginian-Pilot):

  First is an acknowledgement and expectation of personal responsibility. For many, including the severely disabled, Medicaid will always be a part of their life. However, that same expectation should not exist for the majority of “able-bodied and able-minded” recipients. For them, Medicaid is meant to be temporary. Work search and community service requirements would become part of their personal responsibility as both can provide a path to personal independence.

Second, a key component of Virginia’s welfare reform success was delivery of services utilizing the private sector. The same would be true of Medicaid reform. Virginians under 133 percent of the poverty level not able to be covered under an employer plan will receive subsidized health care administered by the Medicaid system. However, those able to be covered under an employer plan would utilize the existing program for premium assistance receiving coverage through the private sector.

 Third, the disincentives for people to work themselves off Medicaid would be removed. No longer would people be faced with the loss of benefits if they take a small raise or promotion. Instead of a fiscal cliff, recipients would now encounter a bridge, smoothing their transition off Medicaid and encouraging their independence.
This to me sounds more like the Gingrich/Clinton welfare reform bill that as you recall the libs hated (and still do!).  I am not endorsing the idea.  But it is not the liberal throw money at it as described by ATR.
I actually spoke with the delegate today (5/12) over the phone and he sounds like a fervent in getting rid of useless state (non-federally mandated) regulations and do not affect safety.  A bit wonky actually (I have been accused of that too!) on these and other issues.   But a RINO Davis is not.

At the end of the day, Republicans will have to soothe enough suburban women in NOVA to win the election.  Davis might well be that soother.  So might Senator Frank Wagner.  If the election were today, I’d vote Wagner (very reluctantly!) for Governor and Davis for LG.

 

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

2 Responses to “Is Del. Glenn Davis a RINO?”

  1. Paul Blumstein says:

    Sandy,

    Take a look at conservative.org (ACU). Davis got 60% which puts him in a three-way tie for the lowest GOP rating. (Disclaimer: I haven’t had the time to see which bills he “failed” on but the ACU ratings seemed reasonable to me in the past).

    Paul

    • Paul, thanks for coming by – you are a regular reader and I appreciate it. I did not consider the ACU and I have just now looked at it and found couple of disturbing votes but also some votes like the standardized post-labor day school calendar, Senator Chap Petersen’s open doors bill, civil asset forfeiture and solar/wind energy. I guess extreme wonkiness and openness to new ideas can make up for some minor heresies on traditional conservatism.

      Thanks again for coming by, Paul!

      Sandy

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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