Democrat Bill Owens was sworn in Friday after being declared the winner of the controversial NY-23 special election, but that may have been too soon. Votes are still being counted in the district and Owens’ lead continues to shrink. Stay tuned.
Once in Congress, Owens wasted no time in proving himself a true Democrat — but that may augur his own defeat in 2010. By voting for H.R. 3962, the PelosiCare health bill, he broke no fewer than four promises he made to voters on the campaign trail. Owens said he would not support a public option, but he voted for it anyway. He also said he would not support cuts to Medicare, taxing health care benefits or increasing middle class taxes to pay for the health care bill. The bill he voted for, however, contains billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare and language that will allow the government to raise taxes on pretty much any group it chooses in order to pay for nationalized health care.
It’s important to keep in mind that, if the results hold, Owens beat third-party Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman by only four percentage points. It wasn’t the drubbing that the media machine would have us believe. Owens likely won by that relatively slim margin in part because of the promises he made with regard to health care legislation. Now that he’s broken those promises and betrayed the trust of his constituents, he may be looking forward to a rather short career as a United States Congressman.