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Would Gov. Mark Warner Really Not Recognize Sen. Mark Warner, as “Enron Ed” Claims?

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You know how Republican U.S. Senate nominee “Enron Ed” Gillespie likes to argue that “Governor Warner wouldn’t recognize Senator Warner today.” The implication, obviously, is that Mark Warner has somehow moved “left” since he used to go by the title “His Excellency” (seriously, that’s what the Governor of Virginia is called!). Is there any truth to what Gillespie’s saying? In short, nope. Now, here’s a slightly longer answer, courtesy of the progressive scoring site Progressive Punch.



Note that Warner ranks 47th out of 100 U.S. Senators on the Progressive Punch scorecard, almost exactly dead center, similar to Maine Independent Angus King and conservative Democrats Joe Donnelly from Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota. Also note that Warner’s progressive score, relative to his state’s “tilt” politically, is only at a “tolerable” progressive level, one notch above “intolerable” and 3 notches below the top, 5-star Progressive Punch rating. So, bottom line: Warner Ghas absolutely NOT, as Ed Gillespie claims, moved to the “left” since he’s gotten to the U.S. Senate. As for the “97% of the time he voted with President Obama” statistic, what Enron Ed’s not telling everyone is that the vast majority of these votes were procedural, routine, confirmations, stuff like that. In short, it’s just another highly misleading statement from someone who’s had a long career of practice doing just that.

By the way, if you’re going to argue anything, it should be that Mark Warner’s actually moved more to the RIGHT since he was Governor. Think about what Gov. Warner was known for: a tax/revenue INCREASE package (a net tax increase of approximately $1.5 billion annually) that pulled Virginia’s budget out of the ditch Jim Gilmore had left it in. In addition, Gov. Warner vetoed an estate tax repeal bill, which as a strongly progressive move in my book (note that Tim Kaine SIGNED that bad boy into law when he was gov, in what was the worst single move he’s ever made IMHO). In contrast, since being elected to the U.S. Senate, Warner’s voted for multiple tax and budget CUTS, including making most of the Bush tax cuts permanent. So puh-leeze, whatever else you want to say about Mark Warner, it’s basically impossible to argue with a straight face that he’s moved in a progressive direction as U.S. Senator (much as I wish he had). Not that this has stopped Enron Ed – who has no positive agenda of his own, and is tied to a party that is far less popular than President Obama – from trying.

  • Jarew

    Earlier this year I sent Sen. Warner a statement of not voting for him; Instead choosing to vote Green party.

    I will not vote for a Democrat that acts like a Republican. These Carleton’s rely on the progressives to vote for them come election time.

    No More! Will vote progressive only or not vote at all.

  • poll finds that Warner leads by 20 points (!) among registered voters, but “just” 10 points (still good, but WTF with the 10-point dropoff among Dem voters – hello?!? anyone alive out there?!?) among likely voters. Could that 10-point dropoff in their likely voter model be wrong? Seems too high to me…

    Thinking about the 2014 election for U.S. Senator in Virginia… If the election were held today

    and the candidates were [RANDOMIZE: (Ed Gillespie, the Republican,) (Mark Warner, the Democrat,) and (Rob Sarvis, the Libertarian)], for whom would you vote?

    CURRENT TOTAL CURRENT RVS CURRENT LVS

    26 30 37 Gillespie

    49 50 47 Warner

    6 6 6 Sarvis

    * * 0 (VOL.) Other candidate

    7 5 3 (VOL.) None / Would not vote

  • True Blue

    Many I speak with via phone are familiar with Warner’s work as governor and senator, thus a favorability factor.  Although they might be Rs or Is, they won’t commit to other candidates but state support for Warner.  

    Anything left of extreme right is better for getting things done!

  • Harkov311

    Warner is a centrist with a few liberal tendencies, more or less in the same mold as Sam Nunn and David Boren.  And everyone who is familiar with him from the early 2000s knows this.  Gillespie apparently thinks nobody remembers the last 13 years.

    And to those who disdain his centrism, well, all I can say is I suppose I’m more worried about Republicans winning than I am about centrist Democrats winning.