Saturday’s New York Times featured a flattering profile by David Halbfinger of Long Island Rep. Steve Israel, whose job it is, in his new role as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to return the party to power: “L.I. Congressman Leads an Uphill Charge Toward a Democratic House.”
It may seem surprising that the job of taking back the House -- Democrats need 25 seats to do so -- has fallen not to a bloodthirsty partisan, but to the easygoing Mr. Israel: an unassuming centrist from Long Island who once voted with President George W. Bush nearly half of the time and has barely made a mark after a decade in Congress.
“Unassuming”? Perhaps. “Centrist”? No way. The American Conservative Union awarded Israel’s lifetime voting record (he's a 10-year veteran of Congress) a mere 11 points out of 100, including 0 out of 100 the last two years. Those numbers situate Rep. Israel well left of center.
The Times's Jamie Lorber also insisted Israel was a "moderate" and a "middle-of-the-road Democrat" in a November 19, 2010 story marking his ascent to head the DCCC.
"Our intelligence analysts and our military folks tell us that environment factors, exactly -- environmental factors determine who we’re going to be fighting, where we’re going to fighting them, whether we’re going to be fighting them," said Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). "And so for me, for my colleagues, climate change is a national security issue."