Do they match up?
According to Open Congress, a non-profit, non-partisan civic organization, this is how they stack up against one another.
When Renacci ran against the-then Congressman John Boccieri in 2010 in the 16th Congressional District (which then included all of Stark County), he made a big deal out of the fact that Boccieri voted with Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party 95% of the time.
And the Stark County Political Report agrees 95% is way too high of a percentage for party line voting.
But now we learn that nearly two years into his first term that Renacci has voted with John Boehner and the Republican Party 93% of the time.
What a disappointment, no?
And, we should add, what a hypocrite!
Recently, LaTourette (first elected in 1994) announced that he was not running for reelection to the 113th Congress which begins in January of 2013. He represents the 14th congressional district.
According to LaTourette (Retiring Rep. Steve LaTourette: You have to ‘hand over your wallet and your voting card’ to extremes, The Washington Post, July 31, 2012, Rsoalind Helderman):
“I have reached the conclusion that the atmosphere today and the reality that exists in the House of Representatives no longer encourages the finding of common ground,” ...
... [to rise in party ranks, politicians must now hand over] “your wallet and your voting card” [to party extremes] ... .Because of his inclination to try to find common ground with Democrats in Congress and because he did not raise enough money for the Republican Party cause, LaTourette likely was not going to be named chair of the Labor-HHS subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee according to Roll Call (a Washington-based political publication).
Coupled with other frustrations, the prospect of highly partisan politics playing large in his committee assignment and chairmanship as a senior ranking Republican was likely "the straw that broke the camel's back" in terms of LaTourette running for reelection.
But none of the "selling out to my political party" apparently bothers Jim Renacci.
He is right in line with a trend that has been manifest since the early 1990s.
When LaTourette entered Congress, it was much more likely that a congressman would seek to work across the aisle to do the people's business and he fit right in.
In 2012, "finding common ground" is viewed as being politically naive and is the perfect environment for Renacci who obviously believes that the Republican Party is the reservoir of all that is good for America.
Apparently, his opponent Democrat Betty Sutton (currently 13th District congresswoman forced to run against Renacci because of decentenial redistricting) is cut out of the same cloth as Renacci. Her Democratic Party loyalty factor is 94%.
Undoubtedly, they deserve each other.
But the election of either one will mean that tens of thousands of 16th District constituents will go unrepresented because the congress person of the opposite political party was elected.
Shame on both of them for putting partisanship over the common public good!
And we all should lament to the political demise of the likes of Steve LaTourette.