Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Fred Upton and HR 2679

I just looked at the roll call for the votes on HR 2679 and I was quite surprised and disappointed to see Fred Upton’s name on the yea list. Upton is a Republican congressman from the 4th district in Michigan, where I grew up and where my parents still live. He’s been in office since 1986 and has long had a reputation as a bipartisan thinker, a non-ideologue and a moderate. Why on earth he would align himself with the religious right on this bill is beyond me. This man was elected to office in a primary challenge against Mark Siljander, a complete wingnut who actually sent tapes to all the churches in his district saying that a vote for Upton was a vote for Satan. I’m very disappointed in Upton. Perhaps it’s time for him to go.


  1. #1 Prup aka Jim Benton
    September 28, 2006

    Probably Upton simply realized three things:
    a) that the wingnuts care about the bill, and he needed their support
    b) that the rest of his constituency would never hear about the bill, or understand it
    c) that the bill would die in the Senate anyway, so why not.

    Actually, seeing this post, I did a little research on Upton on the “Michigan Liberal” Website

    He was a co-sponsor of two of the “Values agenda” bills, the “Pledge Protection Act” and the “Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.” (THAT should make you happy, Ed.) Apparently he is also proud of his leadership in promoting the Broadcast Decency Bill.

    He boasts in opposing Bush 24% of the time — his opponent claims it is less, but the only one he mentions is the Stem Cell Bill. (I don’t know about voting to override the veto.)

  2. #2 Ahcuah
    September 28, 2006

    Why not call his office (identifying yourself as with
    Michigan Citizens for Science) and ask?

  3. #3 kehrsam
    September 28, 2006

    It is not exactly uncommon for a Congressperson from a contested district to co-sponsor a bill he considers silly but harmless. When I was an aide my Congressman co-sponsored both flag- and pledge-protection bills. In the unhappy event they come up for a vote, you then have to vote for the damn things.

    That being said, Upton is not in a contested district. My family also comes from the area (Big Rapids) and those left behind are all reliable republican voters. Neither is it a hotbed of wingnuttery, so Upton doesn’t have a threat from that side, either. I guess he just thinks the bill was a good idea.

    For what its worth, Fred has always semed to have a dislike of lawyers. He’s sponsored several tort reform-type bills, and was behind the bankruptcy overhaul. So maybe that explains it.

  4. #4 Ed Brayton
    September 28, 2006


    The 4th district is considerably south of Big Rapids. It’s basically Kalamazoo and below. There are plenty of religious righters in that district, but as you said he has basically run unopposed for 20 years. No democrat has won since 1932 and he’s the incumbent republican. I know that he has to do just enough to please the party so as not to provoke a primary challenge from the right, but I’m still very disappointed in his support for so many bills that are obviously absurd.

  5. #5 Coin
    September 28, 2006

    So apparently Specter’s attempt to amend the bill in the Senate has been brushed off. I guess literally nothing can stop this bill at this point? (I mean, besides the Democrats, who apparently just don’t want to.)

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