Tags: Peter | King | Democrat?

Peter King to Go Democrat?

Wednesday, 01 November 2000 12:00 AM

Could it be that yet another New York Republican congressman will reveal himself as a turncoat, aligning himself with the Democrats in the next Congress?

Well, just such an unfortunate prospect has been reported and therefore poses some serious questions.

Renegade New York Republican Rep. Peter King was designated yesterday as a possible party-switcher should the election results Tuesday yield an ultra-slim majority in the new 107th Congress, according to the nonpartisan Politics1.com Report, which analyzes congressional races.

Some Capitol Hill observers posit that an extremely close majority could cause either party to attempt to "persuade” a few sympathetic members of the other party to jump across the aisle for a price, such as a prime committee assignment or "more."

Reports to the contrary notwithstanding, the fact that King would be so regarded is not surprising given his history of backing Democrat positions and personalities during his eight rocky years in the House.

King has inspired much consternation among conservatives nationwide, as a result of his willing support for President Clinton on numerous issues on the House floor, not the least of which were his votes against the four resolutions of impeachment passed by the House.

Unlike his soon-to-be-former Long Island colleague, party-switcher Rep. Mike Forbes, who, many would say, at least had the nerve to actually change his affiliation from Republican to Democrat, King has long been viewed as a pariah, having demonstrated his affinity for Democrats whenever such opportunities have presented themselves.

He’s also publicly and vociferously advocated the side of the left-wing media, especially during the Republican presidential primaries when he outspokenly provided fodder to those in the fourth estate who so enthusiastically touted the candidacy of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

This, at a time when Gov. George W. Bush was engaged in the important New York primary, which he eventually won by a margin of better than two to one over that other media-hound, McCain.

In fact, Pete King raced to make himself readily available to the mainstream media at a time when such self-absorbed visibility could have only been seen as fostering and burnishing his personal media image at the expense of his own, supposed, Republican Party.

And his regular appearances with ultra-left-wing Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., on MSNBC’s "Hardball With Chris Matthews" have been more lovefest than arm’s-length debates. In fact, Matthews continually refers to King as his "favorite Republican" on the Hill.

Care to hazard a guess why?

But that’s not all.

Early on during the 104th Congress, the first Republican majority in 40 years, King let loose with his signature invective, castigating his colleagues from the South and West as "barefoot attendees of revival meetings."

Should Republicans be concerned?

It depends.

If things should ever, in the most unlikely of circumstances, get so close as to have to count on King to actually stand up and be counted to support the Republican majority, who knows what he'll do?

Will he stand up and be counted? Or, will he cave and fold for the Dems?

You’ve got to wonder.

In assessing just such a likelihood, some would harken back to Junior Gore, who calculatingly "sold" his vote supporting our troops in the Gulf War to the side in the Senate that would cede to his demand for a prime-time speaking assignment, soley to get the maximumn media exposure.

(The esteemed former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., has recently personally attested to this sorry episode on numerous public occasions.)

None of which is to say that King would actually bail on his party should things ever wind up so close. But his track record is so squishy as to readily invite such tawdry speculation.

As the old saying goes: "You reap what you sow."

Thankfully, given realisitc estimates, House Republicans will maintain, and even likely increase, their majority.

Which is, when you think about it, a rather good thing considering who is in the foxhole with us.

By the way, King's office was contacted in an effort to ensure a fair opportunity to include his views in this column, but NewsMax.com received no response from the congressman.

Sort of makes you wonder.

Dan Frisa represented New York in the United States Congress and served four terms in the New York State Assembly. E-mail:

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Could it be that yet another New York Republican congressman will reveal himself as a turncoat, aligning himself with the Democrats in the next Congress? Well, just such an unfortunate prospect has been reported and therefore poses some serious questions. Renegade New...
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Wednesday, 01 November 2000 12:00 AM
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