Voting Smart Essay

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Voting Smart

Congressman Ron Klein is the current representative of the 22nd District of the State of Florida to the United States Congress. Klein, a Democrat, has a colorful political history. He has been a part of the United States politics since 1992 where he won his first seat in the Florida State House of Representatives. In 1996, he tried to bid a seat in the Florida State Senate and succeeded. He became a Senator from 1996 until 2006 (“Ron Klein,” 2009a). During his tenure in the Senate, he earned the title of Minority Whip and became the Senate Leader of the Democrats.

After his Senatorial stint, he decided to run for a position in the United States House of Representatives. He won the Congressional seat and outvoted Clay Shaw, a 13-term Congressman. Klein officially started his Congressional duties on January 4, 2007. He was named as the Rookie of the Year by The Politico, during his first year in the US House of Representatives (“Ron Klein,” 2009). As a law maker, Congressman Klein is known for his ability to cross borders in order to meet his legislative goals.

He does not let the boundaries of politics fence him and let his legislative visions go down the drain. Congressman Klein comes from a Jewish family in Ohio. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1957 from a school teacher and a small business owner. He graduated in 1979 from the Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He finished law at the Case Western Reserve University School of law. He received his title as a Juris Doctor in 1982. On the same year, he got married to Dori Dragin with whom he had two children.

After their wedding, the couple moved to Boca Raton, Florida. It was in this place where Klein practiced his law profession and emerged as Director of the Sachs, Sax and Klein Law Firm (“Ron Klein,” 2009). As a member of the US Congress, Klein has missed 12 votes or almost four percent of the legislations passed during the current Congress. Klein has constantly voted with majority of his colleagues in the Democratic Party (Washington Post). Among the notable bills that he has passed is the Homeowners Defense Act, a bill which will provide relief from homeowner’s insurance.

With regard to his advocacies, Klein holds the view that foreign oil dependency should be ended and accountability measures in Iraq and the people thereof should be extended by the government (“Congressman Ron Klein Biography,” n. d. ). In terms of rating by interest groups, the American Civil Liberties Union has given Klein a rating of 18 percent in 2007. In 2008, the American Conservative Union gave him a rating of four percent. Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign has given him a high rating of 90 percent.

The American Democratic Association also gave him an all time high of 95 percent. Education interest groups such as the National Education Association has constantly given him a grade of A. Planned Parenthood also gave him a 100 percent rating (Project Vote Smart, 2008a). Among the other sectors that gave Klein a high score include the agriculture, environmental, and labor sectors, among others. Klein posed low ratings provided by interest groups in the budget, spending and taxes sector, civil rights and liberties, and the conservative sector, to name a few (Project Vote Smart, 2008a).

Based on the ratings provided by different interest groups in various sectors, it can be said that Congressman Klein is inclined towards the liberal side. Interest groups pushing for planned parenthood have given him high ratings, and the same goes true for liberal interest groups. 22nd Congressional District Florida The 22nd District of Florida is being represented by Ron Klein in the United States House of Representatives. Based on the Cook Partisan Voting Index, the Congressional District has registered a score of D+1.

The score indicates that during the last two Presidential elections, the Democratic candidates received one percentage point more that the registered national average (“Florida’s 22nd Congressional District,” 2009). The 22nd Congressional District of Florida was created in 1990, and since then, it was represented by the Republican Clay Shaw, Jr. For six terms, he constantly won the Congressional seat. However, this stint started to change when he lost in the 2006 Congressional bid. Ron Klein took over the coveted seat of Shaw (“Florida’s 22nd Congressional District,” 2009).

Despite being a new addition to the Congressional districts of the state of Florida, the 22nd district has already been the subject of a national political controversy. During the 2000 Presidential elections, the said district was the center of the presidential elections controversy. An election recount was conducted for the whole of the state of Florida (“Florida’s 22nd Congressional District,” 2009). Based on the voting statistics of the district, it can hardly be concluded that it is a leaning Republican or a Democrat.

The figures in the recent Presidential elections indicate that the people are divided, thus making the district a good battleground for politicians. Last 2000 Presidential elections, Al Gore, a Democrat, won at 51-46 percent difference. In the 2004 election, a slimmer vote difference was registered in favor of John Kerry, another Democrat. The figures were 51-49 percent. In recently concluded elections, Obama won at 52-48 percent (“Florida’s 22nd Congressional District,” 2009). Senator Melquiades Martinez Melquiades Martinez is a United States Senator who hails from Florida. Originally, Senator Martinez is from Cuba.

He came to the United States when he was 15 year old as an evacuee from his home country. He arrived in the United States with his brother and other children as a result of the Operation Pedro Pan. He first stayed in Camp Matecumbe, and subsequently, he and his brother were adopted. However, the siblings’ stay with their foster parents did not last long as they were reunited with their biological parents in 1966. Martinez completed his bachelor’s degree in Florida State University, and subsequently, he also earned his Juris Doctorate from the College of Law in the same university (“Mel Martinez,” 2009).

In 2004, Martinez became a Republican nominee in the United States Senatorial elections. He was set to replace the retiring Democrat Bob Graham. Armed with support from Washington as well as his Cuban background and popularity in Florida, Martinez was able to secure a seat in the United States Congress in November 2004. However, Martinez’s sweep of victory was not an easy path to traverse. He faced a series of controversies during the election period and even after he was declared as Senator (“Mel Martinez,” 2009). Martinez is also controversial for being one of the three Senators who signed the Pal Sunday Compromise.

Through the said compromise, the case of Terri Schiavo was moved to the federal court. In November 2006, Martinez became the chairman of the Republican Party. However, many conservatives objected to such selection. Among the reasons cited is his lackadaisical performance in the Senate. In October 2007, Martinez decided to step down from the position (“Mel Martinez,” 2009). Martinez has been seen to espouse a conservative view of controversial issues such as abortion and same sex marriage. He objects to the practice of abortion regardless of the cause of the pregnancy and vehemently opposes gay unions or marriages.

He also has expressed a deep desire to go against the provision of amnesty to illegal aliens and reiterates the need to be strict in the monitoring of entry in the country’s boarders (Project Vote Smart, 2008b). Interest groups concerning abortion issues, immigration, civil liberties, education, and labor, among others, have given him a very low rating. For instance, the American Civil Liberties Union has given him a 14 percent rating. Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America have consistently given him a zero rating.

However, the United States Chamber of Commerce has given him a 100 percent rating. Conservative interest groups as well as those groups that are concentrated in delving into business and consumer issues have given him a high rating (Project Vote Smart, 2008b). State of Florida The State of Florida has not only served as the home of many American retirees and people belonging to different racial backgrounds; it has also been the battleground of recent Presidential elections. Compared to many states in America, Florida appears to be the most evenly divided state.

The votes derived from this territory more often than not determine the outcome of the election. However, 60 years ago, this was not the stature of the Florida. The state used to be one of the smallest in the country. Having an initial congressional district of five and electoral votes of seven, Florida flourished politically. Today, it has 25 congressional districts and 27 electoral votes. This statistics is recorded to be the fourth largest in the country (National Journal Group, Inc. , 2007). In the previous decades, Florida used to vote in favor of the Republicans.

However, this voting scheme changed in 2000 when contradicting preferences of the voters became apparent. One part of the state voted in favor of the Republicans while the other voted in favor of the Democrats, thus leading to small margins of the votes of the Republicans and the Democrats. Despite the exhibition of small margins between Republican and Democratic candidates, the statistics of the country show that in terms of voter registration, the Democratic Party holds the greater number. However, the governorship of the state is controlled by Republicans (National Journal Group, Inc. , 2007).

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