June 13 2005, 10:18 AM
The Rocky Mountain Newsprofiles Colorado's freshman Representative John Salazar today. Salazar serves in the Third District, occupying a seat previously held by Scott McInnis. Salazar, it appears, like his brother (Senator Ken Salazar ), does not feel constrained to vote the party line.
Nearly a third of his votes have sided with Republicans, which is even more often than his independent-minded younger brother, U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar. Among other GOP priorities, John Salazar supported controversial immigration reforms and voted to tighten parental notification laws on abortion. He supported elimination of the estate tax and voted for changes on bankruptcy laws and class-action lawsuits. "Every single vote I cast, I have to (consider) what my beliefs are and what my district's beliefs are," John Salazar said. He said he tries to "defend my district, defend rural values" and ignore the party line.The Congressman voted for the Real I.D. Act, which would prevent undocumented workers from obtaining a drivers' license and which many have characterized as tantatmount to a national identity card. Progressive groups, like Colorado Progressive Action, are not pleased.
"Rep. Salazar has definitely let us down with the REAL ID Act, which will have dangerous and negative impacts on immigrants and, we think, the broader Latino community," said Bill Vandenberg, co- director for Colorado Progressive Action, an advocacy group.Political Analyst Floyd Ciruli thinks this switch-hitting type of voting record will help Salazar get re-elected because his district is heavily Republican.