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November 14, 2006
Lungren's Record

Earlier today, I wrote about Rep. Dan Lungren being a good option for Republican Conference Chairman. Commenters and e-mailers then sent conflicting information about Lungren's track record on abortion and gun control. Unfortunately, I was at the office and then at the hospital (long story, but nothing wrong) and could not do much more than advise readers to be careful.

Now, however, Lungren has issued a statement to bloggers about his record, and some research has developed a more specific picture of his positions on these two important issues:

As someone who supports the sanctity of human life and a definition of marriage which has served as a foundation for our society, it is my belief that the transformation of the judiciary into a third policymaking branch presents unparalleled challenges to the notion of the Separation of Powers. If unchecked this trend threatens to turn the political branches into little more than a lounge act if for no other reason than the Supreme Court claims to have the right to the last say. The recent practice of some Justices in relying on legal authority outside of the United States further erodes any notion of accountability and is in conflict with the Supremacy Clause which provides that the Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof: and all Treaties made...shall be the Supreme Law of the Land.

As the former Attorney General of the State of California, who has argued before our nation's highest Court I have had to craft arguments on complex issues and to be able to articulate our rationale in a manner which could be understood by the general public. It is essential that the Minority be able to present our case in a clear and winsome manner to the public. This must become a major priority of the next Chairman of the House Republican Conference.

Our Minority status will require us to return to a playbook which is once again driven by ideas. We have been here before and we must not forget the path which once led us to leadership. We understood then and must once again affirm that our policies must be driven by our principles. I look forward to serving your interests as Republican Conference Chair in the 110th Congress.

And in fact, Lungren gets a big fat 0% from NARAL-Pro Choice America. He has fought against abortion for his entire Congressional career, and NARAL must be disappointed in his re-election. However, his stance on gun control has been spottier. The NRA has opposed Lungren in the past, due to his support for the Brady Bill and his vote for the legislation that would have required a federal 7-day waiting period on the purchase of handguns. He also teamed with David Roberti to expand the reach of California's Assault Weapons Control Act (AWCA) in 1993. On the other hand, Common Dreams considered Lungren one of its Dirty Dozen on gun control issues in 1998, when the NRA supported Lungren against Gray Davis for Governor, apparently making a pragmatic choice between the lesser of two evils.

It's an interesting record, and one that Republicans will want to peruse at length.

UPDATE: The National Taxpayer's Union gives Lungren a 63% and a grade of B on tax issues. He's ranked 69th in this last session of Congress. Jack Kingston gets a 61% and a rank of 83rd, and that's typical over Kingston's terms in office. Marsha Blackburn, on the other hand, gets a 74% and a rank of 12th.

Who came in first? Jeff Flake, with a 91% rating.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 14, 2006 6:51 PM

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