His misuse and abuse of office budget, followed by sudden resignation from Congress, has put Andrew Schock’s name in the headlines of recent news. You might want to look below the fold to see who wants to be his replacement, though. Because if you were “schocked” by that news, then you might want to insulate yourself against Darin LaHood, who announced on March 18 that he’ll seek to be Schock’s replacement. This guy carries some static, too.
Don’t expect him to be anything like his moderate-leaning father, Ray LaHood, a Republican who held that same congressional office for 14 years until 2009, when he was appointed Sec. of Transportation by President Obama. Son Darin recently told media of his partisan-inclined differences from father Ray: “He has different views.”
And those different views are ones of a far-right flavor, accentuated with odor of corporate donors and a more-than-gentle whiff of “what’s in it for me?” Just note his voting record as state senator in Peoria, Illinois, as compiled by VoteSmart.
LaHood regularly voted against citizens but for business interests, including votes that were:
- Against ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment
- Against increasing minimum wage in Illinois
- Against expanding Medicaid eligibility
- For limiting Medicaid funding
- Against improving pensions for employees of the city of Chicago
- Against authorizing legal use of medical marijuana
- Against increasing cigarette taxes
- Against improving recycling in the state
And his pocket isn’t occupied by Big Business alone. He’s also influenced by the immoral “Moral Majority,” it seems, as seen in these votes:
- Against preventing school bullying of minority and gay youth
- Against allowing same-sex marriage in Illinois (twice)
- Against modifying sex education standards beyond an “okay to tell students false information” format
Other votes he’s made indicate LaHood’s more concerned with himself than with his constituents:
- Against allowing citizens to register to vote on election days
- Against redistricting that would allow more non-Republicans in his District 37
LaHood is, however, rated 100 percent by the American Conservative Union. He also voted for, as well for veto override of, a bill that allows weapons to be carried concealed without specific license, and even if that gun carrier had recently been convicted of irresponsible behavior such as drunken driving. (Hmm…wonder if the fact that he’s accepted $15,000 in campaign contributions from beer distributors – his biggest industry supporters overall – had anything to do with that?)
He didn’t begin his political career with success, though, losing a 2008 bid to be the state Attorney General. LaHood only got his state senator’s spot by appointment in 2011 to fill in for the retiring incumbent. (He did get elected to that spot in ’12, but was unopposed.) And before his stumbling into the world of elections, he was a Bush-appointed U.S. attorney to the District of Nevada.
His success in that role? In less than two years, three of the cases he tried were overturned specifically due to LaHood’s use of improper arguments in those trials.
Hopefully, voters in Illinois’s 18th Congressional District will look for and select another candidate to replace the outgoing Andrew Schock – one who won’t subject them to such electrified hazards.