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Arlen Specter on Principles & Values

Republican Sr Senator (PA)


In 28 years in GOP, stood with Dems on their top priorities

The two Democratic candidates attacked each other relentlessly--Specter on Sestak's Navy record and Sestak on Specter's Senate votes that defied Democratic Party efforts.

Specter repeatedly asked Sestak to release his service records to explain a 2005 reassignment by the Navy. Sestak ignored the requests, called his service honorable and aggressively worked to tie Specter to the policies of former President George W. Bush and even Wall Street practices that led to the evaporation of nest eggs and jobs. "There is no record except the Republican record for Arlen Specter," Sestak said.

Specter countered that he had stood with Democrats on their top priorities, even during his 28 years as a Republican. He noted his support for abortion rights and endorsements by the state AFL-CIO, as well as his opposition to the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping. "I have stood with Democrats and Democratic values on the big issues," Specter said. Specter switched parties last year.

Source: Lehigh Valley Live coverage of 2010 PA Senate debate May 1, 2010

Voted with Republican Party 67.1% of 322 votes.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), was scored by the Washington Post on the percentage of votes on which a lawmaker agrees with the position taken by a majority of his or her party members. The scores do not include missed votes. Their summary:
Voted with Republican Party 67.1% of 322 votes.
Overall, Democrats voted with their party 88.4% of the time, and Republicans voted with their party 81.7% of the time (votes Jan. 8 through Sept. 8, 2007).
Source: Washington Post, “US Congress Votes Database” Sep 8, 2007

Senate speaks to entire Supreme Court during hearings

SEN. SPECTER: Let me take up the Americans with Disability Act. Justice Scalia criticized [Congress’ ADA policy. That policy was based on] a voluminous record--13 congressional hearings, 30,000 people were surveyed.

ALITO: [Scalia’s dissent] addresses a difficult problem the court has grappled with over the years, and that is the scope of Congress’ authority under the 14th Amendment. Justice Scalia’s [argument] is that Congress doesn’t have additional authority to enact prophylactic measures outside of the area of race.

SPECTER: It’s up to the Congress to have hearings, up to the Congress to find facts, up to the Congress to find out what goes on in the real world. We’re speaking not only to you, Judge Alito, but to the court. The court watches these proceedings. They ought to know what the Congress thinks about making us schoolchildren or challenging our method of reasoning. We’re considering legislation which would give Congress standing to go into the Supreme Court to uphold our cases.

Source: Sam Alito Senate Confirmation Hearings Jan 11, 2006

#3 on Human Events’ list of Top Ten RINOs

Specter ranks #3 on the list Top 10 RINOs, ranked by the editors of Human Events (a conservative publication).
“Snarlin’ Arlen” warned Bush not to nominate judges who might overturn Roe v. Wade, voted for reducing tax cuts and supported Democrats on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, HMO and overtime regulation. Also opposed school choice in Washington, D.C.
What’s a RINO? Wikipedia.com explains:
RINO stands for Republican In Name Only, a disparaging term for a member of the Republican Party who is thought to be too fiscally or socially moderate or even liberal. It has replaced the older term Rockefeller Republican. The term is used by conservatives to delegitimize moderate Republican office holders. Those labeled RINOs counter that the conservatives who call them RINOs are too far right and politically naive. They point out that they win in moderate and liberal areas and without their votes the Republicans would lose control of Congress.
Source: HumanEventsOnline.com, end-of-year issue Dec 27, 2005

I’m in the center in this campaign

Clymer over on my right says the government shouldn’t be doing anything. Hoeffel on my far left says the government should be doing a lot more. It’s sort of a “cannons to the right of me, cannons to the left of me.” I’m in the center. Perhaps I’m doing something right.
Source: 2004 PA Senate debate, on WTAE Oct 2, 2004

Voted YES on confirming of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. In her opening statement, Judge Sotomayor pledged a "fidelity to the law:"
"In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law--it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress's intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand."
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination; Bill PN506 ; vote number 2009-S262 on Aug 6, 2009

Voted YES on confirming Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice.

Vote on the Nomination -- a YES vote would to confirm Samuel A. Alito, Jr., of New Jersey, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Reference: Alito Nomination; Bill PN 1059 ; vote number 2006-002 on Jan 31, 2006

Voted YES on confirming John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Vote on the Nomination (Confirmation John G. Roberts, Jr., of Maryland, to be Chief Justice of the United States )
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination of John Roberts; Bill PN 801 ; vote number 2005-245 on Sep 27, 2005

Religious affiliation: Jewish.

Specter : religious affiliation:

The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).

What’s an adherent?

The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.

Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.

Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH6 on Nov 7, 2000

Profiled in "Jews in American Politics".

Specter is profiled in the book "Jews in American Politics":

When one reads accounts of Jews in American politics, the common theme is that Jews have achieved prominence in art, literature, academia, certain businesses, and entertainment, but not in politics or government. The Jewish politician was the exception, not the rule.

In the last third of the 20th century, however, that pattern changed. By 2000, Jews had become as prominent in the political realm as they have been in other aspects of American life. And Jewish participation is accepted for the contributions these activists make, not because of their Jewishness. Nothing could symbolize this trend more cogently than the nomination of Joseph Lieberman for vice president in 2000 and the national reaction to his candidacy. [Lieberman says]:

Although politics was not exactly a Jewish profession, individual Jews did throw themsleves into the democratic process. Some were traditional politicians; others machine politicians. Many more, such as Emma Goldman and the radicals of the early 20th century, were inspired by the ideal that they had a duty to repair the world—Tikkun Olam.

Many reasons account for the broader representation of Jews in American civic life today. The forces of antisemitism have been relegated to the extreme margins of society, the principle of meritocracy has increasingly opened the doors of opportunity. Moreover, the idealism and purpose that were spawned by the movements for civil rights, opposition to the war in Vietnam, environmentalism, and other causes drew many Jewish Americans into the political arena. Jews are admonished tp help perfect the world by the ancient wisdom of Rabbi Tarfon, who tells us, “You are not required to complete the task, yet you are not free to withdaw from it.”

[This book] provides brief biographical sketches for more than 400 Jews who have played prominent roles in American political life. The roster provides much of the basic information that we felt was previously lacking in one place.
Source: Jews in American Politics, Sandy Maisels, ed., pp. xii-xxiii 01-JIAP0 on Jan 1, 2001

Member of the Republican Leadership Council.

Specter is a member the Republican Leadership Council:

Dedicated to building a stronger Republican majority by promoting the fundamental conservative ideals of lower taxes, less government and more personal freedom....

The Republican Leadership Council was formed in 1997 by leading Republicans throughout the country concerned that the Republican Party is being increasingly defined by the actions of an intolerant vocal minority that divides the GOP.

The Republican Party is at a crossroads. We now face a situation similar to that of the Democrats of the 1980`s who were dominated by a vocal minority from the far-left liberal wing of their Party. Our challenge now is to unite all Republicans behind a common agenda that helps us expand our majority.

The RLC believes that we must articulate a vision, and a message, based upon the Reagan legacy of limited government and expanded personal freedom. The GOP must unite around the core Republican principles of less government, lower taxes, substantive education reform, anti-crime initiatives and a strong national defense.

The RLC seeks to promote these core issues that unite Republicans, and as Ronald Reagan successfully accomplished, attract conservative Democrats and Independents to forge a winning electoral coalition in congressional and presidential elections. This is the RLC`s vision for the 21st century.

The Republican Leadership Council is committed to playing a key role in electing common-sense conservatives and promoting the core issues of the Republican Party.

Source: RLC web site 01-RLC0 on Jan 1, 2001

Member of the Republican Main Street Partnership .

Specter is a member the Republican Main Street Partnership:

The Republican Main Street Partnership was founded in 1998 to promote thoughtful leadership in the Republican Party, to serve as a voice for centrist Republicans and to partner with individuals, organizations and institutions that share centrist values.

The Partnership pursues public policies that reflect a limited, but responsible role for government and that are designed to achieve fiscal responsibility, economic growth, improvements in the human condition and a nation that is globally competitive and secure. Partnership members include individuals who are interested in moderate Republican policies, focusing on governance and on finding common sense solutions to national problems.

The Republican Main Street Partnership is an organization of party members and public officials committed to building America's principled but pragmatic center within the Republican Party and throughout the nation. The Partnership contributes to the nation's governance through developing and promoting creative public policies for implementation at appropriate levels of government.
Source: RMSP web site 01-RMSP0 on Jan 1, 2001

Rated 33% by the AU, a mixed record on church-state separation.

Specter scores 33% by the AU on church-state separation

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 AU scores as follows:

About the AU (from their website, www.au.org):

Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom. AU is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.

Americans United is a national organization with members in all 50 states. We are headquartered in Washington, D.C., and led by the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director. AU has more than 75,000 members from all over the country. They include people from all walks of life and from various faith communities, as well as those who profess no particular faith. We are funded by donations from our members and others who support church-state separation. We do not seek, nor would we accept, government funding.

Source: AU website 06n-AU on Dec 31, 2006

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Arlen Specter on other issues:
PA Gubernatorial:
Ed Rendell
PA Senatorial:
Bob Casey
Joe Sestak
Pat Toomey

Newly appointed in 2009;
special election in 2010:

DE:Kaufman (D)
CO:Bennet (D)
IL:Burris (D)
MA:Brown (R)
NY:Gillibrand (D)

Announced retirement as of 2010:
CT:Dodd(D)
DE:Kaufman(D)
FL:Martinez (R)
FL:LeMieux(R)
IL:Burris(D)
IN:Bayh(D)
KS:Brownback(R)
KY:Bunning(R)
MO:Bond(R)
ND:Dorgan(D)
NH:Gregg(R)
OH:Voinovich(R)
PA:Specter(R)
UT:Bennett(R)
WV:Byrd(D)
WV:Goodwin(D)


Senate races in 2010:
AK:Miller(R) vs.McAdams(D) vs.Murkowski(I)
AL:Shelby(R) vs.Barnes(D)
AR:Lincoln(D) vs.Boozman(R)
AZ:McCain(R) vs.Glassman(D)
CA:Boxer(D) vs.Fiorina(R) vs.Lightfoot(L)
CO:Bennet(D) vs.Buck(R)
CT:Blumenthal(D) vs.McMahon(R)
DE:Coons(D) vs.O`Donnell(R)
FL:Rubio(R) vs.Crist(I) vs.Meek(D) vs.DeCastro(C) vs.Snitker(L)
GA:Isakson(R) vs.Thurmond(D)
HI:Inouye(D) vs.Cavasso(R)
IA:Grassley(R) vs.Conlin(D)
ID:Crapo(R) vs.Sullivan(D)
IL:Giannoulias(D) vs.Kirk(R)
IN:Ellsworth(D) vs.Coats(R)
KS:Johnston(D) vs.Moran(R) vs.Bellis(Rfm)
KY:Conway(D) vs.Paul(R)
LA:Vitter(R) vs.Melancon(D)
MD:Mikulski(D) vs.Wargotz(R)
MO:Carnahan(R) vs.Blunt(D)
NC:Burr(R) vs.Marshall(D)
ND:Potter(D) vs.Hoeven(R)
NH:Ayotte(R) vs.Hodes(D)
NV:Reid(D) vs.Angle(R)
NY6:Schumer(D) vs.Townsend(R)
NY2:Gillibrand(D) vs.DioGuardi(R)
OH:Fisher(R) vs.Portman(D) vs.Deaton(C)
OK:Coburn(R) vs.Myles(D)
OR:Wyden(D) vs.Huffman(R)
PA:Toomey(R) vs.Sestak(D)
SC:DeMint(R) vs.Greene(D)
SD:Thune(R) unopposed
UT:Lee(R) vs.Granato(D)
VT:Leahy(D) vs.Britton(R) vs.Freilich(I)
WA:Murray(D) vs.Rossi(R)
WI:Feingold(D) vs.Johnson(D)
WV:Manchin(D) vs.Raese(R)
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Page last updated: Oct 28, 2010