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Mark Zaccaria, one of three Republicans hoping to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. James Langevin in the 2nd District, issued a news release June 3 reacting to a Providence Journal story that concluded with this paragraph:
"People are tired of partisan politics in Washington and they are tired of the bickering," Langevin said. "People know that I'm not [partisan]. They know that I try to find commonsense solutions to problems."
Zaccaria's news release said:
"Mr. Langevin is right that people are tired of partisan politics," Zaccaria said. "But I find it laughable that he would describe himself as 'non-partisan.' Langevin has been the most reliable vote for Speaker Pelosi, voting the party line about 98 percent of the time. If he doesn't see that as being partisan, then he is delusional. Rhode Island cannot afford to allow Mr. Langevin and Speaker Pelosi to continue to put people out of work and drive businesses out of this country while catering to their special interests."
We were interested in two elements: Has Langevin voted the party line as often as Zaccaria says, and has he been "the most reliable vote for Speaker Pelosi?" We deal with the Pelosi claim in a separate item.
We called Zaccaria’s campaign manager, Parker Lacoste, who told us that the actual percentage is even higher -- 99.2 percent -- and he referred us to a WashingtonPost.com web page of votes during the current Congress, which also shows whether Langevin’s votes conformed to the Democratic party line.
The site reported that "James Langevin has voted with a majority of his Democratic colleagues 99.2% of the time during the current Congress. This percentage does not include votes in which Langevin did not vote."
That's well above the 92.2 percent rate among all Democrats, which seems to bear out Zaccaria's point that Langevin, at least by his voting record, can't claim to be non-partisan.
If anything, Zaccaria's original statement understates Langevin's Democratness. We rate it as True.
The Providence Journal, Rep. Langevin seeks 6th term in Congress, June 3, 2010
Mark Zaccaria for Congress website, Zaccaria Responds to Langevin Announcement, accessed June 17, 2010
Interview, Parker Lacoste, campaign manager, Mark Zaccaria for Congress, June 17, 2010
WashingtonPost.com, The U.S. Congress Votes Database - James Langevin, accessed June 17, 2010
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