Lose-Lose: Who Is Beto O'Rourke?
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is a hard line Conservative and a gold standard activist. He is anti-taxation, anti-spending, pro-gun, pro-deportation, pro-keystone, anti-ACA, anti-renewable energy, and anti-choice. But when it comes to this homophobic, climate change denier returning to the Senate in 2018, the 2016 Republican Primary showed us that even many of his own peers want to see him gone.
Now, that is becoming a very real, very possible future in the fresh new face rising up to unseat Senator Cruz. Representative Robert "Beto" O'Rourke has been a member of the House since 2013 and is now seeking to bring change to the Senate.
After all, Rep. O'Rourke is a refreshing contrast to Cruz. "Beto" is 100% individual contributions funded, his #3 highest donating industry is Retired Americans, and he has a consistent track record of voting against restrictions on research. Also, he was rated 0% by NumbersUSA (Anti-Immigration), 7% by the NRA (Pro-Gun), 100% by Bread For The World (Pro-Foreign Aid), and 100% by Population Connection (Pro-Choice). But, how much of a real, progressive change will Beto really be, if he were to defeat Ted Cruz?
5 Things You Should Know About Beto O'Rourke
1. His Personal and Business Ties Are Questionable
One of the least talked about issues regarding Beto O'Rourke is his questionable personal and business ties. First issue is that he started an internet services and software company in 1998 that is still run by his wife, which ties him into the telecoms and internet industry. This wouldn't be as worrying if telecoms wasn't his 6th highest donating industry.
But, an even bigger issue, with the rise of charter schools and the increasing threat to public education, is that Beto O'Rourke's wife, Amy, is an executive director of a charter school.
Both of these create very questionable conflicts of interest for O'Rourke in the Senate.
2. His Campaign Finance Background Is Sketchy
Yes, Beto receives 100% of his funding from individual contributions but 87% of that is large contributions.
Even more sketchy is his top individual contributors and industries.
Top Contributing Industries
1. Commercial banks
2. Real estate
5. Hospitals/Nursing Homes
Top Individual Contributors
1. Strategic Growth Bank
2. Hunt Companies
5. Bravo Cadillac
See any problems there?
3. His Lack of Voting is Troublesome
One of the major arguments used against candidates in the 2016 Primaries was "political laziness," or how often you failed to be present for your job and cast votes. This was, especially so, used against both Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as they both had tarnished records of being "absent representatives."
But the trouble with Rep. O'Rourke is what he SPECIFICALLY chooses to miss or not cast votes on.
Not only did Rep. O'Rourke not vote on 1/9/15 for HR 3, Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which passed, or on 5/24/16 for HR 897, Zika Vector Control Act, but he also failed to cast a vote on a very critical amendment. On 5/25/16, Beto O'Rourke missed the vote on House Amendment 1128, Prohibits Use of Funds for Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity, which failed to pass on an earlier try, only 6 days prior.
This doesn't exactly show the most progressive ideologies in his priorities.
4. When He Does Vote, It's Still Pretty Troublesome
The big deal is that, when Representative O'Rourke does actually vote, it continues to stay troublesome.
First, he tends to vote in an establishment, or non-progressive manner. Like how he voted against House Amendment 1079 which would have prohibited the IRS from issuing employee bonuses.
But more importantly is his very apparent hypocrisy that can be clearly seen through his voting record.
Perfect examples of this include how on 9/9/14 he voted "Yay" on H Res 644, condemning President Obama for moving detainees from Guantanamo, but on 9/15/16 voted "Nay" on HR 5351, prohibiting the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo. Another example is how on 9/7/14 Beto voted "Nay" on House Amendment 1141, Authorizes Aid to Syrian Opposition, and voted "Nay" on 9/28/16 for S 2040, Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.
Both showed a refusal to take a stance to either aid the fight against terrorism nor punish those who fund groups and acts of terror.
These examples show a clear lack of understanding of his own ideologies or a lack of political courage.
5. His Political Ratings Are Worrying
To top this all off, the political ratings that O'Rourke has received are definitely worth worrying about.
Not only did he only receive C ratings from the Center for a Livable World, Alliance for Retired Americans, and National Journal on Liberal Economic Policy, but he also received several more shocking ratings.
Beto was only able to improve his rating with Federally Employee Women from an F (20%) in 2014, to a C (70%) in 2015. He also received a rating of only 55% from the Americans for Art Action Fund and a mere 14% from EarthRights International.
But, what may be most worrying about Beto O'Rourke's political ratings is the fact that the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors rated him... 100%.
Ted Cruz must go. This is becoming an ever increasingly bipartisan opinion. His antiquated ideologies and policies belong in our government no longer. But, is it worth replacing him with a Rubio or a Wasserman-Schultz. I think not.
We need to be searching for and campaigning for real progressives. We need to be working towards real change. Beto O'Rourke says that he is going to be that progressive change, but his business ties, campaign funding, voting record, and political ratings sure say otherwise.