Monday, November 03, 2008

The Carl Levin Record

Note: This post remains a work in progress.

The Carl Levin Record

US Senator (1978-present)
Detroit City Council (1969-1977)

US Senate:

General Politics
Levin is very liberal. He has a lifetime 7% rating from the American Conservative Union.

Carl Levin supports abortion on demand, including the most extreme cases. He voted against a bill to ban partial birth abortion, when a baby is born except for the head and then killed. Levin also voted against criminal penalties for crimes that harm an unborn baby.

Levin even voted against prohibiting minors from crossing state lines to get abortions. He even voted against notifying parents that their daughter has gotten an out-of-state abortion. One of the main purposes of parental notification laws is to prevent statutory rapists from destroying the evidence of their crimes by pressuring or coercing young women into having abortions. If one state requires parental notification, rapists will drive to another state that doesn't. But Carl Levin voted against this protecting against statutory rape.
On The Issues: Carl Levin on Abortion
Core Principles: Carl Levin's Extremely Radical Abortion Agenda
Core Principles: I Guess this Question is Above Carl Levin’s Pay Grade, Too.
Scotty Boman: Levin votes to allow federal funds to support forced abortions

Carl Levin has consistently opposed energy production and supported government regulations. Levin has promoted government meddling in the energy sector, increased government regulations, ineffective 'alternative energy', and poverty-increasing 'conservation'. He supported the 2007 energy bill which included a bundle of bad regulations, including banning traditional light bulbs. 'Alternative energy' is inefficient and ineffective, and only exists due to government spending of taxpayer money.

Levin supported CAFE fuel economy standards that lead to thousands of additional car crash deaths per year. This is because mandating higher gas mileages forces people into lighter cars. They are less safe, and lead to more traffic fatalities. CAFE standards also hurt Michigan's already struggling auto industry, and lead to more Michigan job losses.

Levin has been a leader in promoting conspiracy theories of oil company price manipulation. Investigations have repeatedly debunked these claims.

Levin also voted for higher gas taxes. The so-called 'windfall profits tax' would have reduced the profit motive, thus discouraging energy production and increasing gas prices.

Levin supported cloture on the Lieberman-Warner bill to raise taxes via a 'cap-and-trade' system to fight the supposed threat of global warming. He said that he would have voted against final passage, however.

Meanwhile, Levin was opposing increasing energy production, the only policy that can really reduce energy prices. He has repeatedly opposed new drilling for oil in Alaska. Drilling in a tiny portion on ANWR could produce millions of barrels of American oil, lowering gas prices and creating jobs. This would not hurt the environment at all. But time after time, year after year, Carl Levin opposed drilling for oil in Alaska.
The Western Right: How Carl Levin Helped Hike Gas Prices
On the Issues: Carl Levin on Energy & Oil
Core Principles: Carl Levin: We Can't Drill Our Way Out

Foreign Policy

Gun Rights
Carl Levin has a long anti-gun voting record. He voted against protecting gun manufacturers against lawsuits designed to bankrupt them. He voted to impose more regulations on guns shows. He opposed prohibiting government from confiscating guns. Levin offered an amendment to make it impossible for gun manufacturers to file for bankruptcy. Levin supported the ban on so-called "assault weapons". He has F ratings for both the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America.

Perhaps Levin's most outrageous attack on gun rights involved a provision of the 2001 defense authorization bill passed shortly after 9/11. This provision involved the "demilitarization" of former military weapons. An NRA alert explains the issue.

This week, the U.S. Senate passed S. 1438, the Department of Defense (DoD) annual authorization bill, which contains a provision that is of grave concern to hunters and sport shooters. Section 1062 of this bill provides the Secretary of Defense with the authority to require "demilitarization" of any "significant military equipment" that has ever been owned by the DoD. This would include all firearms (such as the venerable M1, M1 Carbine, and Model 1911, as well as all Civilian Marksmanship Program rifles, even "sporterized" surplus bolt-action Springfields!), firearm barrels, ammunition, and gun powder. "Demilitarization" is the term for rendering such items permanently inoperable, and Sec. 1062 allows for this action to be carried out either by the owner or a third party, with the owner paying the cost, or by the DoD. However, if the DoD determines it should perform the demilitarization, it can also determine that the cost of returning the demilled item is prohibitive, then simply keep the item, and reimburse the owner only for the fair market scrap value of the item.

Furthermore, this new authority would require private citizens to determine for themselves if an item they own is subject to demilitarization, and face criminal penalties for non-compliance. The DoD would be under no obligation to notify law-abiding citizens that items they have lawfully owned for years, and perhaps that their families have owned for generations, are suddenly subject to forced demilitarization. This becomes extremely significant when one considers that U.S. military surplus has been regularly—and legally—bought, sold, and traded for centuries. Countless Americans own items that could be subject to Sec. 1062. It is likely millions of law-abiding Americans would be affected, and could unknowingly become criminals overnight without having done anything or having ever been informed.
The provision was passed by the Senate, then under democrat control, but was stripped out of the corresponding bill in the House, which was under Republican control. Then, as now, Michigan Senator Carl Levin was Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He was one of the negotiators in the conference committee to iron out the differences between the two bills.

Levin fought to protect the provision and offered several "compromises" attempting to preserve it, as related in this GOA alert. The provision was eventually stripped out of the bill. A later GOA alert concludes

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) made several attempts to keep the provision by offering compromise after compromise, but the loud outcry from grassroots activists strengthened the bargaining position of pro-gun legislators.
In summary, Carl Levin fought hard to give government the authority the confiscate and destroy millions of privately owned firearms. These firearms were based on military designs, but are no more dangerous than any other civilian firearms. They include some of the hunting rifles that democrats claim to like so much. Adding insult to injury, this provision, which Carl Levin fought so hard to protect, was almost smuggled through shortly after the attacks of 9/11.

The Western Right: Carl Levin's Plan to Ban Guns
On the Issues: Carl Levin on Gun Control
Jim Zumbo: Jim Zumbo Letter to the U.S. Senate Opposing a Ban on "Assault Weapons"
National Rifle Association: Congress Considers "Demilitarization" Requirement
The Washington Times: Bill provision has military collectors up in arms
Gun Owners of America: Sen. Warner Still Holds the Key to Stopping Confiscation of Firearms
Gun Owners of America: Sen. Smith Announces Victory on Gun "Demil" Provision
Gun Owners of America: Backdoor Gun Control To Be Voted On In The Senate


In 1996, Levin voted for the Defense of Marriage Act that prevents one state from opposing its definition of marriage on another. However, Levin voted against a federal constitutional definition of marriage. He also refused to support the 2004 Michigan marriage amendment that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. He supports so-called "civil unions", which are the same in all but name to so-called "gay marriage".

Levin has voted to punish employers who take sexual behavior into account in their hiring decisions. He has also voted for 'hate crimes' bills including homosexuality that would criminalize certain thoughts under certain circumstances. He has voted to spend taxpayers' money on benefits for 'domestic partners' of government employees.
On the Issues: Carl Levin on Civil Rights
Carl Levin: Statement of Senator Carl Levin on Gay Marriage


Carl Levin has been a consistent supporter of the United Nations. He has voted to give billions to the International Monetary Fund. He has voted for sending UN troops to Darfur in the Sudan.

Levin voted for the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill, which contained an endorsement of the Security and Prosperity Partnership. Levin voted against NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. But he voted for most-favored-nation trading status with China.
On the Issues: Carl Levin on Foreign Policy
Carl Levin: Senate Fast Track Vote



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