Last night Nate Nelson and his blog, From the Rustbelt, started up a bit of a buzz in the right wing blogosphere.
Upon learning that Senator George Voinovich would be meeting one-on-one with the President today, Nelson showed some concern that based on previous “RINO” voting trends, we had to worry about Voinovich switching his vote.
This story first got blown up over at Ohio’s WMD, then even got carried nationally on Michelle Malkin’s blog.
Now don’t get me wrong, I can understand how conservatives can be unhappy with aspects of Voinovich’s voting record in the Senate. But with that said, Voinovich has never been one to be unprincipled. He believes what he believes, and he sticks to it. This same thing happened last year with the Employee Free Choice Act. Everyone was buying into the rumor that he was going to flip, when in fact, his vote was never in doubt.
And his vote IS NOT in doubt on Obamacare.
In his late December statement on the Senate version of the bill, Voinovich stated:
Americans watching the health care debate in Washington as they prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with their families know that today’s action will have far-reaching consequences on their lives and our entire economy. That is why they, like I, oppose this bill. It is not reform and it is not what the American people want.
He then went on to list six specific reasons he is opposing the bill.
But things change, right? It is politics, after all, and what does the Senator have to lose?
Well, other than his reputation as a principled Senator, not much.
I decided to go straight to the source and reach out to my contacts in the Senator’s office to get the lowdown.
First off, Voinovich’s press secretary, Garrette Silverman, went on the record to state:
I can tell you on the record that Senator Voinovich’s statement after his last vote against the partisan health care reform bill speaks for itself and his stance has not changed.
Additionally, I learned health care reform won’t even be a part of the discussion. The only items to be discussed are SAFE, NASA Glenn, energy, and transportation.
So there you have it. Voinovich will NOT be voting for Obamacare, and that is on the record straight from his press secretary.