Ranked by the editors of Human Events.
1. Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.)
Once approached by Democratic Leader Harry Reid to switch parties, Chafee has long supported liberal policies. He backs legal abortion, gay rights, federal-funded health care, strict environmental protections and a higher minimum wage. Opposes ANWR drilling. Also was the only Republican in Congress not to endorse the President’s reelection and one of three who tried to gut Bush’s tax cuts.
2. Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine)
A self-described “centrist,” Snowe scored a 100% pro-choice voting record as scored by NARAL and consistently votes with Democrats on social issues.
3. Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.)
“Snarlin’ Arlen” warned Bush not to nominate judges who might overturn Roe v. Wade, joined Chaffee reducing tax cuts and supported Democrats on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, HMO and overtime regulation. Also opposed school choice in Washington, D.C.
4. Sen. Susan Collins (Maine)
Voted with liberals on the 1999 tax cut, campaign finance reform and the partial-birth abortion ban. Also advocated “pay-as-you-go” tax cuts with spending increases in 2004, leading to a budget never agreed upon between the House and Senate.
5. Rep. Christopher Shays (Conn.)
He led the House fight for McCain-Feingold campaign finance “reform.” He’s also prone to back environmental causes, gun control and abortion rights. He had no GOP challenger in 2004, but narrowly escaped defeat, 52% to 48%, by a Democratic opponent in the general election.
6. Gov. George Pataki (N.Y.)
Helped unions raise pay and unionize Indian casinos. Has said, “I believe in a limited government, low taxes, a tough approach to crime. … But I also believe in an activist government. I’m not one of those laissez-faire types.”
7. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (N.Y.)
Over the course of his 23-year career, he’s gained considerable power (chairman of the Science Committee), despite amassing one of the most liberal voting records of any House Republican. Fought back conservative challengers in 2000 and 2002 and could face a GOP challenge in ’06.
8. Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.)
Has said, “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country.” Supports civil unions and stringent gun laws. After visiting Houston, he criticized the city’s aesthetics, saying, “This is what happens when you don’t have zoning.”
9. Rep. Michael Castle (Del.)
As president of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership and key player in the so-called Tuesday Group lunches, he is a ring-leader of RINOs. He’s teamed with Democrats to make federal funding of embryonic stem cell research one of his top priorities.
10. Rep. Jim Leach (Iowa)
One of only six House Republicans to vote against the Iraq War resolution in 2002, he was also the only Republican to vote against President Bush’s 2003 tax cuts. His support for environmental causes and abortion rights has won him liberal fans.
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