Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's Kirk for the Green

It all started with a paragraph with this lede ...
The schemers:
Reps. Charlie Melancon and Mark Kirk

The paragraph is from a Politico story posted last Thursday. The Energy Bill was scheduled for a vote the next day in the House of Representatives. Politico was speculating on how Mark Kirk would vote.
Kirk remains on the fence, saying he has concerns about the lack of funding for nuclear energy and coal interests in his state. "We don’t want to de-industrialize Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin," Kirk said after a meeting with Pelosi and Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the sponsors of the legislation. Opposing the bill could hurt him, however, in Chicago and other more liberal corners of the state. So voting for the bill, note political observers, could indicate some serious senatorial ambitious.
The Illinois Review took quick notice. The not surprising take-away over there was Kirk would be betraying the Republican Party if he vote for the Bill. Kirk had his defenders, but the conversation mostly revolved around whether Kirk is a true Republican or an opportunist.

But for Politico the issue was framed as less a matter of political loyalty and more a matter of political calculation. In a follow-up story posted the same day:
Kirk’s affluent suburban Chicago district has next-to-no industrial presence and is quite environmentally-conscious. If he was looking to win over his constituents back home, he'd probably be more inclined to support the legislation. But the southern part of the state is home to vast coal deposits – and the legislation is viewed skeptically by many downstate voters whose support he’ll need to defeat a Democrat in a 2010 Senate race. His concern about the state's industrial base certainly suggests he's leaning towards a Senate campaign.
The stakes are contrasted in black and white. If Kirk votes against the Energy Bill that means he is running for the Illinois Senate. If Kirk votes for the Energy Bill that means he is running for re-election in the 10th Congressional District.

On Friday, Kirk voted Yea.

No comments: