The RNC has been targeting Congressional Democrats who represent GOP-leaning districts in a desperate attempt to stop health care reform. Two of these Representatives are Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and Tom Perriello of Virginia. And recently, Giffords and Perriello told them to shove it: they are both voting yes.
Perriello might be my favorite member of Congress. He represents Virginia’s 5th district, which covers much of the state’s southside, and has a cook PVI of R+5. Not only did Perriello defeat the odious Virigil Goode in the 2008 elections, but he represents a particularly compelling brand of conviction politician: he worked as a human rights prosecutor in Sierra Leone and has founded a series of faith-based political activist organization, including Faithful America and 24 Hours for Darfur.
Giffords represents Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, which is sort of ground zero for nativist sentiment. Her district borders Mexico, but she has resisted crude anti-immigrant bias and has called for a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Recall that the Arizona GOP has brought us such winners as JD Hayworth, Matt Salmon, john Shadegg, Trent Franks, and Rick Renzi. There must be something in the cactus juice.
Both Giffords and Perriello are endangered incumbents this year: Stuart Rothenberg listed Perriello as one of the most endangered house members this fall. You know the drill.