Conservative Joe Pitts Likely To Retain House Seat

Wikipedia reports Joe Pitts is the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 16th congressional district, serving since 1997. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district is based in Lancaster and includes much of Amish country. It also includes most of Reading and the far southwestern suburbs of Philadelphia in Chester County.

He has a very conservative voting record, which is not surprising given that his district has historically been one of the most Republican districts in the Northeast (though Barack Obama barely lost it in 2008). He received 100% ratings from the American Conservative Union in 2005 and the Christian Coalition in 2004.[3]

In 2002 Pitts was angered after a federal judge ordered the removal of the Ten Commandments from the Chester County courthouse, releasing a press statement that said, “I think that religion and the Ten Commandments in particular should have a role in our public life” and supported The Ten Commandments Defense Act (H.R. 2045).[4] Since his first term Pitts has been chairman of the Values Action Team, a subgroup of the Republican Study Committee that coordinates legislation with the Christian right.[5]

Over the years Pitts has received 100% ratings from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 0% ratings from Public Citizens Congress Watch. In 2008 the ACLU gave him an 18% rating, the Human Rights Campaign gave him a score of 0%, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights gave him a score of 4%. In 2007-08 the John Birch Society gave him a score of 67%, and the American Conservative Union gave him a 100% rating, as did the Christian Coalition. Others: American Association of University Women, 2007-8, 16%; Republicans for Environmental Protection, 7% in 2007; and the Children’s Health Fund, 2007-8, 0%; National Rifle Association, 2008, A; Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, 2003, 0%; National Breast Cancer Coalition, 2007-8, 0%; Children’s Health Fund 2007-8, 0%. Ratings from labor groups are consistently at or near 0%; the Alliance for Worker Freedom, 2008, 100%.[6]

Pitts visited Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban and Pakistan in 2002. He visited Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, and Israel in 2008 as part of a Congressional Delegation.[7]

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