Friday, August 23, 2013

Better know a politician: Steven Palazzo

Name: Steven Palazzo

Position: Member of Congress

District: Mississippi's 4th Congressional (MS-4)

Political Party: Republican (R)

Tenure: 2011-present

Previous position: Mississippi House of Representatives, 116th district (2006-2011)

Future position: With both Senate seats in Mississippi up for election in 2014, he might be able to primary or run for either of the seats should one of them retire.  Out of the two Senators, I think it is more likely Thad Cochran would retire or be primaried.  While he has not announced whether or not he will retire, he did vote for expanding background checks.  That vote might open him up to a primary challenger.  Palazzo could potentially do that.  If Palazzo has political aspirations for a Senator it would be in 2014 otherwise he would have to wait either for a death (read: special election) or 2020.  I am not familiar if Palazzo has political aspirations beyond the House.

Previous election: 2012, House Steve Palazzo: 64% Matthew Moore 29%.

Next election: House, 2014

Leadership: Committee on Armed Services
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Fundraising, 2014 cycle, source: OpenSecrets:

Raised: $230,876
Spent: $64,966
Cash on hand: $435,706
Debts: $19,501

Top contributors:
1. Northrop Grumman: $15,000
2. Lockheed Martin: $6,500
3. Chevron Corp: $6,000

Recent elections:
2012: Steve Palazzo (R): 64% Matthew Moore (D): 29%
2010: Steve Palazzo (R): 52% Gene Taylor (D): 47%

Taylor, who was a conservative Democrat, even by Mississippi standards breaking with his party multiple times.  Palazzo criticized Taylor for supporting Nancy Pelosi for the position of Speaker of the House.  By making it a national race, Palazzo was able to ride the Tea Party wave and unseat a ten-term incumbent.

Notable endorsement: Sarah Palin (2010)


Abortion.  Palazzo considers himself pro-life.  He has advocated for cutting federal funds to family service organizations such as Planned Parenthood that offer abortion services.  He has been endorsed by the Mississippi Right to Life at every level that he has been elected.  He has voted to ban federal health coverage that includes abortions.

Animal rights/welfare.  He has received a 0% rating from the Humane Society indicating an anti-animal rights record.

Budget/Economy.  Palazzo voted for the Ryan budget in his rejection of Obama's budget plan.  He does not believe in cutting defense spending in order to balance the budget.

Rep. Palazzo has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge which indicates that he is not in favor of raising the taxes on any income bracket.  He believes taxing the wealthy will, in fact, destroy jobs.

He has supported a balanced budget Amendment to the Constitution and would like to see the balanced budget by only cutting federal spending.

He was a critic of the bailout and the economic recovery stimulus funds.  He thinks that the spending does not create jobs but it actually destroys jobs.

Civil Rights.  Palazzo does not believe in same sex marriage.  He adamantly opposes same sex marriae and he believes that marriage should only be between one man and one woman.  He thinks that the federal government should not be able to change what individual states have decided on marriage.  Unless, of course, the state government believes that same sex marriage should be legal.  In those cases, he believes the Defense of Marriage Act should be kept around.

He voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

Corporations.  Palazzo wants there to be lower taxes and less regulations.

Energy/environment.  Palazzo does not think that the EPA should be regulating greenhouse gases.  He also believes that we should start drilling offshore for more oil.

Foreign Policy.  He has a -4 rating from the American Arab Institute which indicates that he has an anti-Arab, anti-Palestine voting record.  He would like to withhold funding for the United Nations.  He would like a continued presence in Afghanistan.  He does not support a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.  He voted to bar any troops in Libya without congressional approval.

He has been critical of the Iranian nuclear program and wants to focus on prevention instead of containment.  He would like to enforce sanctions on Iran until the end of the nuclear program.

Gun control.  Palazzo does not believe that there should be restrictions on gun purchases and ammunition.  He has an A rating from the NRA and has endorsed him in various campaigns.

Health care.  He has decided to fight to repeal Obamacare voting to repeal it multiple times.  He has voted to repeal any federal health care takeover.  Voting for the Ryan budget was another way of repealing Obamacare.

Immigration.  He wants to enforce all of the immigration laws currently on the books.  He said he would welcome a similar law of SB 1070 to the state of Mississippi.  He has also stated that he does not support any amnesty bills.

Technology.  He has voted for termination of federal funding for National Public Radio. 

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