It was with slightly mixed feelings that I read this CQPolitics.com Eye on 2010 blog post (emphasis mine) -
During his year in Congress as a Democrat, party-switching Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.) posted a 70 percent party unity score, according to CQ's 2009 vote study released this week.
That sum is certainly well below the Democratic party average but only good enough for ninth lowest among all Democrats.
Other Democrats who ranked lower than Griffith during the 2009 session when it comes to party unity are Reps. Gene Taylor (Miss.) at 59 percent, Harry Mitchell (Ariz.) at 63 percent...
Note: the study by CQPolitics mentioned in their blog post is here.
In other words, Democrat Harry Mitchell votes with the Ds less than Republican Griffith.
As a liberal, one of the things that ticks me off about Harry is that he is nowhere near liberal enough to suit me. I would prefer that his speeches and votes were more like those of Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ7) or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
However, that is more than counter-balanced by my respect for his loyalty to his constituents and his love of the district. Unlike many of his R colleagues (sadly, like some of the Ds, too), his district is his heart and soul, not just a conduit to a job.
He's not a conservative, at least not in the way that the current GOP (mis)uses the term.
He's just someone who tries his best to do right by his district and his constituents. I may not always agree with his votes, but I've never questioned his motivations.
Yes, I do truly love it when his would-be challengers start pointing fingers at Harry and shout "out of touch liberal!" and the like, because Harry is neither.
So, to all of the Republicans lining for a run at Congressman Mitchell's seat:
Calling him "out of touch" and "liberal" only shows how out of touch with reality that you are.