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  • dawnisbreaking dawnisbreaking Aug 28, 2008 1:53 PM Flag

    Barry Represents--Who(?)

    Obama votes cast him left of his own party
    Jerry Seper and Joseph Curl
    Thursday, August 28, 2008

    Sen. Barack Obama will portray himself Thursday night as an agent of change for mainstream America, but his eight-year voting record in the Illinois Senate shows the Democrat was on occasion an agent of isolation who took stands - particularly on anti-crime legislation - that put him to the left of his own party.

    Mr. Obama was the only member of the state Senate to vote against a bill to prohibit the early release of convicted criminal sexual abusers; was among only four who voted against bills to toughen criminal sentences and to increase penalties for "gangbangers" and dealers of Ecstasy; and voted "present" on a bill making it harder for abusive parents to regain custody of their children, a Washington Times review of Illinois legislative records shows.

    "On the one hand, I give him credit for being true to his beliefs. But certainly with concerns that there were, even for his own party in Illinois, he would be to the left on some of those key votes," said Illinois state Sen. Dave Syverson, a conservative Republican.

    The pattern has continued since Mr. Obama joined the U.S. Senate, according to National Journal magazine.

    Its respected legislative scorecard rated the Illinois Democrat, based on his 2007 voting record, as the most liberal member of the Senate, even more liberal than Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, a self-described "democratic socialist." Mr. Obama ranked No. 16 and No. 10 in the previous two years.

    His running mate, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, ranked third in the 2007 National Journal survey, with only Sen. Edward M. Kennedy between him and Mr. Obama.

    Mr. Obama's left-leaning pedigree has concerned some of his party's moderate and conservative members. Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma has publicly refused to endorse Mr. Obama, describing the presumptive presidential nominee as the "most liberal senator" on Capitol Hill.

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