By Kurt Feigel
Many people have brought into question Robert Hurt’s voting record. They say he is not a conservative. They say he is a moderate. Some even paint him to be the second coming of Satan himself. While he is part of the “establishment” It would seem that most of the arguments against him DO NOT check out.
There is currently a lot of anti establishment politics within the fifth district. I should know, I share in those same sentiments. This anti establishment wave has swept 11 unit chairs out and replaced them with, what we can all hope, will be a new fresh group of passionate conservative leaders. It has also led to a new 5th district chairman.
Having spent some time combing the voting records of Robert Hurt I wonder how much of people’s perceptions are based on facts and how much are myths based on a hatred for the establishment.
Here is a simple breakdown of his voting record. It is by no means a complete list. These votes were pulled from Project Vote Smart and only go back to 2006. I did look further but was unsuccessful in my search for the votes. I’ve no doubt that one of my haters out there will point out “how easy” it was to find them. Fine. Have at it. This post is not to serve to encourage you to vote for Robert Hurt. I remain a McPadden Supporter with McKelvey right after him. What this post is out to do is present the truth so that the VOTERS can educate themselves instead of relying on political pharisees with an agenda.
This started as a quest to find out “If Robert Hurt wins the nomination on June 8th, could I support him?”
Robert Hurts Voting Record
The site at Vote Smart is fairly accurate. I did find one anomaly with the site, in that it only records the first vote on a bill even if the bill had multiple votes. So in the instance of HB2035 (HPV Vaccine) it only recorded his initial Yes vote and not his later No vote (more details below)
Voting to prevent the funding of planned parenthood.
Voting to prevent forced or coercive abortion.
Voting to require Abortions clinics to get a license.
Voted to prohibit state funding of stem cell research.
Voted for Restaurant Concealed Carry
Voted against requiring a background check for gun show sales by private individuals
Has an A Rating from the NRA
Does not have a VCDL rating because ” Typically I do not do surveys. My vote in support of the second amendment speaks for itself. I believe the 2A goes to the heart of the government and the individual. If you believe the govt should trust the people then you will have no problems with the 2A”
Voted in favor of defining marriage between one man and one woman
Voted against a bill Prohibiting “Discrimination” for sexual orientation in State Government Employment
Voted for a bill that allows people to designate anyone that they wish as a beneficiary on their life insurance. This vote has been harped on by opponents (Mostly Feda Morton and her supporters) as a vote in support of homosexuals.
“In 2008 life insurance benefits could not be designated to a beneficiary other than your spouse or child. The bill was designed to allow those life insurance benefits to be designated to whoever the policy holder wanted. I never looked at this as something as a benefit to homosexuals. I’ve voted against civil unions. We’ve made it the law in VA for it to be impossible. Voted for the marriage amendment. [this vote] It wasn’t about that.”
Voted to enhance the seatbelt law and make it a “primary offense” so officers could stop someone for that violation alone.
Voted in favor of Driver’s License Suspension for Unexcused School Absences
Voted against a requirement to get a permit to fish, or ride a horse on lands under the control of the Department of Forestry.
Voted for a transportation bill that included massive excessive fines for speeding and other “infractions”
“That was part of a larger 2007 transportation package under Governor Kaine. We wanted to make sure that there were no tax increases and we did prevent a gas tax increase. That provision was later repealed and I voted for the repeal.”
Voted against forcing insurance coverage of children with Autism
Voted to allow a parent to decline medical treatment for a child with a life-threatening condition in certain circumstances.
Voted for State funded HPV Vaccinations Then later voted against final passage of the bill
When asked about this bill Robert Hurt said ” When it was first introduced the vaccine was optional and I voted for it” as the bill progressed Hurt said, “the government at the end of the day doesn’t have any business doing this…when it came back for final passage I voted against it.”
Voted against the Smoking Ban
Voted to prevent felons from having voting rights restored
Voted against “no excuse” absentee voting
” I’m not opposed to absentee voting with a reason. Elections should be held on election day and should be done at the polls. Absentee voting has problems from a big picture perspective including fraud. Most people CAN qualify with a reason.”
Crime & Death Penalty:
Voted to expand Death Penalty Eligibility to Accomplices
Voted to expand the “Triggerman” rule regarding death penalty cases (The bill allows an accessory before the fact to be tried as a principal in the first degree if he ordered or directed the willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing.)
Voted to make murder of a Judge a Capitol Murder charge
Voted against a bill that would have restricted the death penalty to those 18 and older only.
Voted to fund Anti-Gang programs
Voted to make employment of an Illegal Immigrant a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a $10,000 fine.
Voted to pass a bill preventing undocumented immigrants from receiving in-state tuition at public universities.
Voted to pass a bill preventing undocumented immigrants from attending state public universities.
Voted against flat tax on communications services
Voted against the Internet sales tax
Voted in 2004 for a $1 to 1.6 Billion dollar tax increase. (there are lots of numbers floating out there) He was one of 15 other republicans to vote for this bill. If you look back at his website from March 2004 it does appear that he did not want to vote for this bill. Hurt said ” I voted for it at the time because of a total failure of conservative leadership on how to combat Governor Mark Warner and the Democrats. We never had a plan and got steamrolled by the Governor and the State Senate. The Senate originally voted for a 4 billion dollar increase. The house NEVER offered a budget that had spending cuts. From March to May we had no budget. June 30 would have resulted in a government shut down. It was my duty and my constitutional obligation to my constituents to avoid a govt shut down. We voted for a compromise vote of 1 billion and that got increased as the process continued.“ He further explained that this would not have just been government offices but, Fire, EMS, Police, Etc would have had to shutdown.
When I brought up the fact that after the vote that there was a release of information that the state had a surplus he said ” That was a total outrage! Governor Mark Warner failed to forecast revenue and did not do that till after the vote” This sounds like typical Democrat play-book politics. Create a crisis that doesn’t exist to get your agenda passed.
All of Robert Hurt’s opponents claim that…the line of defense broke with him. Hurt disagreed, ” Everyone votes at the same time. I pleaded with our leadership ‘show us a way out of this that balances the budget without raising taxes.’ We were left with voting with what was on the table.” He added. ” I learned a lot in that session about leadership and about how it is important to stick your ground early. A train like that once it gets moving is really hard to stop. The Governor and the Senate out manuvered us. “
When asked about the recent furniture plant closing in Southside Hurt said, ” Virginia has been heralded in Forbes magazine as ‘The best place in the US to do business’ because of the pro business environment that we have adopted in the legislature. The biggest problem here in Virginia is not Virginia, it is the Federal Government. Tom Perriello’s voting record of Pro Regulation CRUSHES BUSINESS so that we can not compete abroad. More taxes on power companies will get passed on to companies like Stanley Furniture [ and they will leave.] because of legislation like Cap N Trade ”
I brought up the FairTax. Hurt was honest and admitted he is only half way though the book. He said about the FairTax that “I’m interested in it. It’s the kind of bold thinking we have to have. I agree that we need to eliminate the IRS. Taxes must be simpler. We have a system that punishes success, I like how the FairTax gets away from that.”
He wanted to make sure I understood one thing before I hung up, “Out of 9 years, my record shows that I have voted for numerous tax cuts. That’s the kind of leadership you’ll get out of Robert Hurt in DC.”
So my conclusion? Is Robert Hurt a conservative despite the rhetoric being spread by so many people? Yes!
Is he my kind of conservative, one that understands the depth of the Constitution like Mike McPadden? I don’t think so. But, I’ve met so few that do understand it like Mike. There are no Guarantees in this race, but I now know that if Robert Hurt wins the Primary I would have no second thoughts about supporting him in the race against Tom Perriello.
Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here. I still remain a supporter of Mike McPadden. I also like Jim McKelvey. But come June 8th I WILL be voting for Mike McPadden.
For a detailed history of the era of historic tax increases click here
Let the Ad hominid attacks begin!