by Darryl, 06/19/2013, 10:56 AM

Yesterday, Washington state’s Republican delegation joined the House Republicans and voted in favor of a bill that would severely restrict women’s access to safe and legal abortions. Bill H.R. 1797 goes under the Orwellian title “Pain-capable unborn child protection act.”

The bill goes to some lengths to argue that the fetus (referred to in wingnut-speak as “unborn child”) feels pain by “no later than 20 weeks after fertilization.” The claim is scientifically dubious. Recent reviews conducted by bona fide scientists (rather than, you know, wingnuts) cast doubt on this assertion.

For example, in a recent review article, Bellieni and Buonocore (2012, Journal of Maternal, Fetal, and Neonatal Medicine 25:1203–1208) weigh the anatomical, endocrinological, behavioral, and electrophysiological evidence. They cautiously conclude:

Our data show that there is consistent evidence of the possibility for the fetus to experience pain in the third trimester, and this evidence is weaker before this date and null in the first half of pregnancy.

Less ambiguity was found in a 2010 “Working Party” report by The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists titled “Fetal Awareness”. Their conclusions are rather concrete. From the summary…

In reviewing the neuroanatomical and physiological evidence in the fetus, it was apparent that connections from the periphery to the cortex are not intact before 24 weeks of gestation and, as most neuroscientists believe that the cortex is necessary for pain perception, it can be concluded that the fetus cannot experience pain in any sense prior to this gestation. After 24 weeks there is continuing development and elaboration of intracortical networks such that noxious stimuli in newborn preterm infants produce cortical responses. Such connections to the cortex are necessary for pain experience but not sufficient, as experience of external stimuli requires consciousness. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that the fetus never experiences a state of true wakefulness in utero and is kept, by the presence of its chemical environment, in a continuous sleep-like unconsciousness or sedation. This state can suppress higher cortical activation in the presence of intrusive external stimuli. This observation highlights the important differences between fetal and neonatal life and the difficulties of extrapolating from observations made in newborn preterm infants to the fetus.

These recent reviews summarize the broad scientific literature relying on hundreds of previous scientific studies and empirical observations that weigh in on all sides of the argument. The House Republicans relied on cherry picking a handful of papers that favor their position. They come to a “scientific conclusion” for the bill using amateur methods unworthy of an undergraduate term paper, let alone a House bill!

The bill prohibits abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization, and provides limited exceptions:

  • To “save the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury…not including psychological or emotional conditions.”
  • If “the pregnancy is the result of rape,” but only “if the rape has been reported at any time prior to the abortion to an appropriate law enforcement agency
  • If “the pregnancy is the result of incest against a minor” but only “if the incest against a minor has been reported at any time prior to the abortion

The scientific record is clear on another aspect of abortion: “Abortion-related deaths are more frequent in countries with more restrictive abortion laws”. The more restrictive the laws, the higher the rates of abortion-related maternal mortality.

The World Health Organization estimates that there are about 20 million unsafe abortions annually. The practice result in about 68,000 unnecessary deaths to women, and an additional 5 million women who suffer long-term health complications from the unsafe practices. The public health consequences of anti-abortion laws are profound.

Republicans, by voting for Bill H.R. 1797, have ignored (in fact, abused) science, and have voted, essentially, to kill women.

And I am sad to see that Washington state’s G.O.P. delegation, Dave Reichert, “Doc” Hastings, Jamie Herrera Beutler, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, all voted in favor of killing women.

Death is a pretty harsh punishment for unintentionally getting pregnant…particularly for women who were too embarrassed to report a rape, or girls too ashamed to report incest.

You know what…It’s time to get rid of these puritanical women-killing fucking troglodytes!

by Darryl, 11/15/2012, 2:50 PM

The Seattle Times has more on Rep. Dave Reichert’s (R-WA-8) role in the Petraeus affair.

Humphries took Kelley’s concerns to the FBI cybercrime division, but later was worried that the FBI was dragging its feet — possibly for political reasons — and took his worries to U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert.

My read: Shortly before a presidential election, a renegade FBI agent is annoyed with how slowly the FBI is investigating the incumbent President’s CIA Director. He decides to leak information about the investigation in a way that might affect the election.

Reichert is duped into playing the intermediary. Rather than taking the disgruntled FBI agent to the House leadership (you know, the leadership position as defined in the Constitution), Reichert connects the man with Eric Cantor, who is the G.O.P. leader.

Clearly, this was an attempted political hit. But, Cantor isn’t as stupid as Reichert, and decided to not meddle in the investigation.

by Darryl, 11/10/2012, 10:33 PM

The tale of Petraeus’ resignation now involves two jealous women, a threatening note from one to the other and, ultimately, an FBI investigation of intimate relationships and potential security breaches.

The F.B.I. found no security breaches.

But one F.B.I. employee wasn’t convinced:

Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, said Saturday an F.B.I. employee whom his staff described as a whistle-blower told him about Mr. Petraeus’s affair and a possible security breach in late October, which was after the investigation had begun.
[...]

Mr. Cantor talked to the person after being told by Representative Dave Reichert, Republican of Washington, that a whistle-blower wanted to speak to someone in the Congressional leadership about a national security concern. On Oct. 31, his chief of staff, Steve Stombres, called the F.B.I. to tell them about the call.

Here is what I don’t understand. If the whistle-blower wanted to speak to “Congressional leadership,” shouldn’t Reichert have taken this person to Speaker Boehner? Reichert brought this person to Majority Leader Cantor, who is only the leader of the House Republicans, not Congress.

What’s wrong with Reichert? Is the man brain damaged or something?

by Darryl, 03/29/2012, 7:01 PM

In 2005, Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA-8) was one of only 21 Republicans to vote against House Resolution 639 that, essentially, authorized drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). HR-639 passed the house only to be killed in the Senate (thanks to a big show of leadership by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)).

Reichert has gotten a lot of mileage out of these types of “courageous” votes against his own party…but he shouldn’t. After all, Reichert stupidly admitted that his voting record was built on a strategy of keeping himself and Republicans in power—even on this very ANWR vote:

Sometimes the leadership comes to me and says, “Dave, we want you to vote a certain way.’ Now, they know I can do that over here, that I have to do that over here. In other districts, that’s not a problem, but here I have to be able to be very flexible in where I place my votes. Because the big picture here is, keep this seat, keep the majority, keep the country moving forward with Republican ideals…. Not the vote I place on ANWAR that you may not agree with, or the vote that I place on protecting salmon.”

With redistricting, Reichert finds himself moving from a very competitive district to a safe district. So today, when the House Republicans took a vote on the Ryan budget—you know, the one that would dismantle Medicare and replace it with a coupon system–how did Reichert vote?

He voted in favor of it (via Publicola):

Perhaps it’s because he’s in a safer Republican district now thanks to redistricting (and the only person running against him has raised just $12,000), but US Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA, 8 ), who has broken with his party on some high-profile and highly politicized votes in the past, stuck with his party today. (In the past, Reichert voted against his party to override President Bush’s veto of a children’s health care bill, voted for the employee non-discrimination act, i.e., for gay rights, voted with President Obama and the Democrats to extend emergency unemployment benefits, and, most dramatically, voted for the cap and trade bill.

Today, the liberated Congressman from the redrawn 8th (no more rich Microsoft liberals coming after him), voted for the controversial budget pushed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) in a party-line 228-191 vote.

Last year, Reichert skipped this vote…not out of political strategy, but because his mother had just died after an 18-month bout with pancreatic cancer (and, no doubt, Medicare prevented another bankruptcy). His office suggests he would have voted for it with the caveat that:

I’ve heard from my constituents and share their concerns about reductions in Pell Grants for low-income students, oil drilling expansion in our wilderness, and how entitlement reform could affect seniors and those approaching retirement.

Today he really did vote for a extremist right-wing bill. Sure…this version is a bit less extreme than the previous version, but it is still extreme. Yes, this one lets Senior’s use their coupons to purchase their way into a Medicare-like system. (This particular modification came about with the assistance of Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).) It’s still extreme.

The bottom line is that the bill gives tax breaks to the wealthy at the same time raising health care costs for Seniors by thousands of dollars a year. And it does lots of other bad things, like repealing key parts of “Obamacare” and cutting Pell Grants.

If this bill were to become law millions of Americans would be affected by loss of insurance, increased health care costs, uncertainty and bankruptcy.

As Publicola suggests, Riechert is free now—free from having to take strategic votes that appease his constituents against his conscience.

Reichert still represents the OLD 8th Congressional District. What his vote today did was tell many of his constituents (the soon-to-be ex-constituents from the liberal parts of the old 8th) to fuck-off. And why shouldn’t he? Yeah…as he said last year, he’s heard from them, he knows their concerns. But they no longer hold anything over him, so screw ‘em.

by Darryl, 12/06/2011, 2:42 PM

…and says things like:

“The guy’s got stamina.”

and

“Say what you like about Reichert (and I do), but at least he’s not a coward like Ryan.”

and

“And no, Reichert did not appear to be particularly brain-damaged…”

Obviously, Goldy is just there to parrot points from the other side.

by Darryl, 10/28/2011, 1:53 PM

Publicola has a tip about a robopoll concerning the 2012 election for the seat currently held by Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA-8):

Two-time Reichert challenger, onetime Microsoft exec, and now lefty leader at ProgressiveCongress.org, Darcy Burner, is looking at getting in.

I hope so. Darcy is smart and energetic.

Oh…and she’s right on the issues.

Reichert? Yeah…not so much.

I’m not saying he’s brain damaged, or anything silly like that. Plainly put, Reichert is a third-tier Congressman who hasn’t show much of anything resembling initiative or influence.

And he is wrong on the issues. Sure, he occasionally casts pro-environment votes…that’s nice. As it turns out, he does so for self-confessed cynical reasons. That he got caught, unforced, fessing-up doesn’t speak well to his intelligence or his understanding of his job.

Washington’s congressional delegation is weakened by having among their members this listless, ineffective, and uncommunicative third-rate congressman. Let’s hope that the voters in Reichert’s 8th (possibly reshaped) district realize in 2012 that they’ve outgrown him.

I mean, they shouldn’t have to wait 20 years for Reichert to figure out how to do his job….

by Darryl, 10/14/2011, 6:04 PM

Publicola announces the Friday Jolt winner of the day:

Anyone who’s thinking of running against US Rep. Dave Reichert.

US Rep. Dave Reichert tainted his reputation as a green Republican—one of the Democrats’ big problems when taking him on—by voting for a coal bill today that will weaken coal ash regulations and take the EPA completely out of the picture.

Reichert goes from a pale green to ashen….

by Darryl, 08/23/2011, 10:28 AM

Rep. Dave Reichert is, perhaps, best known for compulsively talking about his bravery. He has, after all, stared down the business end of a loaded gun…or some such thing.

When it comes to politics…not so much.

Yesterday The Atlantic took up the apparent decline in town hall style meetings on the heels of the 2009 teabagger-infused raucous town hall season.

During this year’s recess many congresscritters are replacing town hall meetings with other forms of constituent contact like individual meetings, themed meetings, and small venues. These alternatives tend to make constituent contact more difficult, but…

Congressional aides insisted that their events are well publicized through e-mail, website announcements, or alerts in local newspapers. They cited scheduling issues as the top reason for announcing an event on short notice.

There are notable exceptions (emphasis added):

But not all members make their schedules public. The office of Rep. Dave Reichert, (R-Wash.) declined to release his schedule of events.

“Aside from various other tours and visits in the community, we are currently planning his tele-town hall schedule,” spokesman Charles McCray wrote in an e-mail. More than 200 protesters gathered outside Reichert’s office on Thursday, the third such incident this month.

Oh, great. Reichert is afraid of his constituents and the national press has picked up on it.

Thanks for embarrassing us…fucking coward.

by Goldy, 10/21/2010, 11:50 AM

The Seattle Times editorial board routinely posts video of its endorsement interviews with political candidates. They posted video of the Patty Murray/Dino Rossi interview, and they recently posted video of the interview with Jay Inslee and his Republican opponent (whose name escapes me at the moment, but is not really worth the effort to Google).

Unfortunately, there were no camera’s present at the recent Suzan DelBene/Dave Reichert interview, which explains the lack of video there, but the Times did record audio, which as far as I know, has never been publicly released. Which is a shame, because I hear that Reichert threw a bit of a fit at the end, pounding his fist on the table when pestered about his unwillingness to debate.

I’m not sure why the Times won’t release this audio, but given that this is the only time during the entire campaign that the two candidates have answered questions face to face, they are surely doing 8th CD voters a disservice by withholding it. And, assuming the audio disproves my assertion that the incumbent is brain-damaged and/or stupid, they are doing Reichert a disservice as well.

by Goldy, 10/20/2010, 4:11 PM

The folks at the Stranger have briefly rescued me from the Siberian gulag that is Slog (little known fact: “Slog” is a contraction of “Siberian” and “gulag”), giving me temporary refuge in their print edition. The result: this week’s feature story, “Dave Reichert’s Brain,” in which I take a slightly different whack at the three-term congressman’s head:

Seven years before whacking himself in the head with a tree branch, Dave Reichert was on the fast track to the governor’s mansion.

This was in 2003, nearly two decades since a Republican had occupied the residence, and in the silver-haired sheriff from King County, GOP muckety-mucks were convinced they had found their savior. Brawny and photogenic, with the kind of common-folk touch that could only come from being… well… very, very common, the self-proclaimed made-for-TV “hero” of the Green River Killer case would be the Republican party’s best shot at the governorship in years.

But at a meet and greet with the state House Republican Caucus, the Reichert Express quickly jumped off the rails. While the hair and the biceps were as dazzling as promised, once Reichert opened his mouth, it quickly became apparent that the candidate was not. Rambling and incoherent, unknowledgeable and unprepared, Reichert was so bad at answering even the softest of softball questions that he had his fellow Republicans literally shaking their heads in disbelief.

Then-Republican state representative Rodney Tom, now a Democratic state senator, recalls listening to Reichert in stunned silence on a caucus room couch with two colleagues when one of them leaned in and whispered, “If he’s running for governor, the three of us should run too.”

According to another caucus member present at the meeting, Reichert had walked into the room the presumptive Republican nominee for governor, but by the time he walked out, talk had already turned to recruiting eventual two-time loser Dino Rossi. And the rest is history.

[...] This depiction of Reichert as unstudied, confused, and bafflingly incoherent—if not, you know, kind of stupid—these are all testimonials from his fellow Republicans! So when longtime Reichert observers started speculating that his recent head injury may have resulted in permanent brain damage, the first question I had to ask myself was: “How would you know?”

Stupid or brain damaged? Read the whole thing, and then decide for yourself.

by Goldy, 10/18/2010, 8:52 AM

So, only a week after the Seattle Times lauds Democratic challenger Suzan DelBene for her nuanced and knowledgeable stance on reviving the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act — a subject that came up at their joint editorial board interview — you’d think Republican incumbent Rep. Dave Reichert would at least be able to bullshit an answer on the issue.

Um… nope. In fact, at a candidate forum in Newcastle this weekend, Reichert said he doesn’t even know what Glass-Steagall is.

I don’t know what’s more insulting, the suggestion that Reichert is brain-damaged, or the insistance that he’s not.

More snark at Slog.

by Goldy, 10/12/2010, 6:26 PM

No surprise after the primary endorsement, but the Seattle Times officially endorsed Democrat Suzan DelBene today:

The Seattle Times endorses Democrat Suzan DelBene. The technology entrepreneur from Medina is politically untested but offers tremendous promise.

And on that we agree: DelBene has tremendous upside. She’s smart, she’s energetic, she’s thoughtful. She’s probably not as progressive as me on some issues, but then neither is her district, so I can live with that.

Reichert, on the other hand, no upside at all. What you see is what you get: a back-bencher warming the seat for Republicans until heir-apparent Reagan Dunn outgrows his political peach fuzz.

So here’s hoping the Seattle Times editorial board is more influential with voters than I give them credit for.

by Goldy, 10/12/2010, 9:58 AM

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, and I just said it over on Slog: Dave Reichert did not catch the Green River Killer.

He simply didn’t. In fact, if anything, it was Reichert’s investigative bungling that allowed Gary Ridgway, one of the earliest suspects in the case, to go on killing for 18 more years.

Of course, the inspiration for both these posts is Michael Hoods excellent series on BlatherWatch, the re-posting of which has become a much looked forward to biennial media event.

Read the whole thing.

by Goldy, 10/11/2010, 11:04 AM

Our friend Joan McCarter’s got the scoop at Daily Kos, with new polling data showing the race in WA-08 between Republican Dave Reichert and Democratic challenger Suzan DelBene closing to within the margin of error:

Dave Reichert, for the third election in a row, remains among the most vulnerable Republican House members. This is the swing district where Darcy Burner nipped at Reichert’s heels in both 2006 and 2008. It could be that voters in the 8th have finally decided to stop grading Reichert on a curve, and expect their congressman to start doing more than just showing up….

Most of the public polling in the race has been done by SUSA, which has had some pretty funky numbers in the Seattle Metro area in polls this cycle. Nonetheless, the SUSA numbers have shown an increasingly tight race here, with their latest poll showing a seven-point gap, Reichert leading 52-45. An internal poll released by DelBene last week confirms PPP, with Reichert leading by the skin of his teeth, 48-44.

In other words, we’re off to the races!

And a quick look at the cross-tabs shows that there’s still plenty of upside for DelBene, with 31% of WA-08 voters still having no opinion of her, and plenty of opportunity for her to pick up support with women, who she currently splits 47-47, despite Reichert’s anti-choice record. As far as I know, there’s little or no outside money committed to defending Reichert’s seat, so if DelBene can continue her air assault while perhaps doing a little better job of introducing herself to voters, this one appears winnable.

And, as Joan astutely points out, given the Seattle Times’ primary abandonment of him, “it doesn’t seem likely that Reichert can look forward to another October surprise hatchet job coming from them.” Cross your fingers.

by Goldy, 10/07/2010, 7:42 PM

Apparently, I’ve offended the delicate sensibilities of the TNT’s Patrick O’Callahan, who thinks my posts on Dave Reichert’s brain are “vile.”

A rather vile post on the thestranger.com two weeks ago, “What’s wrong with Reichert’s brain?,” speculated that the head injury U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert suffered last February had more or less left the 8th District Republican a confused punch-drunk unfit for Congress.

The author, David Goldstein, cut-and-pasted excerpts from a UCLA medical website into lurid accounts of Reichert’s injury and theorized that the congressman had an atrophied brain – “Which leaves me wondering if the 8th CD is on the verge of re-electing a congressman with an… um… intellectual disability.”

Uh-huh. You know what some people might also find kinda “vile” Patrick, especially coming from the editorial page editor of an almost-major daily newspaper? Completely mischaracterizing somebody else’s words. For example, far from describing Reichert as “a confused punch-drunk unfit for Congress,” I merely quoted Reichert’s own “lurid account” of his injury, cited the medical literature, and then posited this rather measured conclusion:

Thus it is not unreasonable to expect that a brain trauma as severe as that described by Reichert, in a man of his age, and untreated for so long, could very well have resulted in some degree of permanent neurological impairment.

To be honest, Reichert has always struck me as “a confused punch-drunk unfit for Congress,” even before his injury, but those are O’Callahan’s pithy words, not mine.

Of course, it’s not really my words that O’Callahan and others find vile, but rather, the subject matter. What offends O’Callahan is that I would dare speak publicly what his colleagues have been whispering quietly for some time. So in my own defense, I’d like to suggest the following analogy:

Let’s say the Mariners were about to sign a particularly sought after free agent pitcher who, one of the TNT’s sportswriters discovers, had failed to disclose the severity of an injury to the elbow on his throwing arm, suffered during a freak, off-season gardening accident. Would it be vile to report on the details of this injury, and to speculate whether he may have suffered any long term or permanent damage?

No, of course not. We pay pitchers to hurl balls, so an elbow injury would be rather relevant.

Congressmen, on the other hand, we pay to make decisions. To deliberate. To negotiate. To, dare I say, debate.

In other words, we hire our congressmen to use their brains, in the same way we hire pitchers to use their arms.

Dave Reichert, by his own admission, suffered a severe brain trauma — much, much, much more severe than he or his staff at first let on — and while it may be an uncomfortable and sensitive subject to broach, it is completely and utterly relevant to the job he is seeking. And that, I assume, is why both Politico and the Seattle Times eventually picked up the story.

No, if there’s anything “vile” about this incident, it’s the way some local journalists, out of politeness or civility or whatnot, have been complicit in Reichert’s effort to hide his condition from voters.

by Goldy, 09/30/2010, 9:17 PM

From: David Goldstein

Subject: Rep. Reichert’s medical records

Date: September 30, 2010 9:27:31 PM PDT

To: Darren LIttell, Dave Reichert for Congress

Darren,

While my recent Slog post, “What’s Wrong With Reichert’s Brain?” was generally well received, some readers wondered if it was fair to Rep. Reichert to speculate about his health, based on such limited information. And so in an effort to maintain the highest level of journalistic integrity, I am writing to formally request that Rep. Reichert release the medical records regarding his recent brain trauma.

Please rest assured that I fully understand the confidential nature of these documents, and as an advocate for the disabled, will treat their content with the utmost respect.

Sincerely,

David Goldstein

http://www.horsesass.org/
“Politics as unusual.”

by Goldy, 09/30/2010, 6:55 AM

I remember once in elementary school being absolutely mortified to quickly lose a game of chess to an opponent who… well… let’s just say he wasn’t one of the brightest kids in the school. And that’s how I imagine the League of Conservation Voters should feel after endorsing Rep. Dave Reichert:

The League was aware of the comments Reichert made this summer — revealed on political blog Horsesass.org, in which Reichert can be heard referring to environmental votes as “chess pieces” for re-election — but Palamuso said those comments didn’t stop the group from endorsing him.

And neither apparently did Reichert’s own voting record, forcing the LCV to establish a new low for endorsements, at least in regards to its own widely promoted National Environmental Scorecard. For example, in 2009, Reichert earned a 64% score from the the LCV for his environmental votes (two points up from his lifetime average), the lowest of any of the 42 House and Senate candidates they’ve endorsed this cycle thus far.

To put that in perspective, at 64%, there are actually 351 members of Congress with a higher LCV score than Reichert… 310 of whom did not earn an LCV endorsement.

That’s some curve they’re grading on, at least when it comes to Reichert. And that’s some awfully bad chess those duffers at the LCV must be playing, to get outsmarted by a guy with a fist-sized blood clot in his head.

by Goldy, 09/29/2010, 11:41 AM

Dave Reichert says he won’t debate Suzan DelBene because his schedule has “already filled up,” but, he adds, “We’re not ruling out debates.”

Nope… doesn’t sound brain-damaged to me.

by Goldy, 09/24/2010, 2:54 PM

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtNxpn6NltU[/youtube]

I’m kinda busy today on a side project, but over on Slog I’ve posted a rather massive piece I’ve been working over the last few days, in which I ask, is Rep. Dave Reichert brain-damaged?

And I’m not asking it in a snarky, mean-spirited, metaphorical sense. I’m asking it literally, based on medical literature and recent events that suggest that Reichert’s brain may actually be damaged.

Now, I’m not suggesting that Reichert’s hand-sized cerebral blood clot is necessarily an indication of prior brain atrophy or wasting, or that such a severe head injury, untreated as it was for two months, would have certainly caused permanent impairment.

[...] But extended or even permanent impairment is far from out of the question … thus it is not unreasonable to expect that a brain trauma as severe as that described by Reichert, in a man of his age, and untreated for so long, could very well have resulted in some degree of permanent neurological impairment.

You’ll need to read the whole thing for the background, but I ask you, if President Obama had suffered a similar injury, and then gave an interview like the one in the clip above, don’t you think this would be the number one story on talk radio and cable news?

I’m just sayin’.

by Darryl, 08/04/2010, 5:14 PM

By now it’s a familiar pattern to those who really pay attention. Rep. Reichert (WA-08) equivocates on an issue. He refuses to take a stand on an issue that anyone can really pin to him. And then he votes against the interests of his district—and hopes nobody notices.

This time it is about big oil. Reichert recently voted against the CLEAR Act, that was in response to the BP gulf catostrophy. The act got rid of the $75 million oil spill liability cap and revamped Federal oversight of the offshore oil industry.

And…

…[i]n addition to a number of Gulf Coast restoration and research programs, the bill also fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million, using money generated from oil and gas drilling royalties, and closes a loophole that exempts oil and gas projects from the storm-water runoff regs under the Clean Water Act. Another major onshore reform is the removal of “categorical exclusions” used to exempt some drilling applications from environmental review on public lands.
[...]

“Americans will be asking, ‘Will Senators stand with the people or the polluters?’” Todd Keller, senior manager of Public Lands Campaigns for National Wildlife Federation, said in a release.

We now know where Reichert Stands…with the polluters.

This is precisely the type of vote that Reichert could have used to make a bold statement in favor of his more-environmentally-aware-than-average constituents. Hell…he could have used this vote to do a little damage control following his embarrassing semi-private statement about pandering to the environmentalists. Instead, he voted with the Party of NO!™ (ideas) and against the interests of his constituents. Apparently, Republican obstructionism is more important to Reichert.

Fortunately, Reichert is pretty much impotent as a legislator—the act passed in the House without any acts of courage on Reichert’s part.