Jewish Journal

For the record: Sherman didn’t flip-flop to attack Berman

by Jonah Lowenfeld

January 19, 2012 | 12:05 am

A correction to our coverage of the debate between Brad Sherman and Howard Berman (Sherman Lays Into Berman in Four-way Congressional Debate, Jan. 13) appears in the print edition of the Jewish Journal that hits newsstands today.

The problematic sentence in the original article read as follows:

“On more than one occasion, Sherman attacked Berman for supporting a bill that he himself had also voted for.”

So let’s clear this up. At the debate, Sherman assailed Berman on a number of topics, including his support of the $700 billion bailout of the banks passed by Congress in 2008. Sherman led a rebellion against the bailout, known as TARP, and voted against the bailout. Berman voted for it. No flip-flop there.

More complicated—and perhaps more significant—were Sherman’s jabs at Berman for his support of the Iraq War. Sherman did vote for the resolution authorizing the war in 2002—that’s part of why we thought it unusual that he attacked Berman, an early supporter of the war effort, so fiercely.

But as Sherman pointed out at the debate (and as his campaign manager, Parke Skelton clarified in a subsequent email), Sherman supported the war resolution only grudgingly, and only after attempting to limit the mandate for war given to President George W. Bush. He introduced one amendment and supported another that would have had that effect. It appears that neither the Davis amendment nor the Sherman amendment made it out of committee—Berman voted against both of them. Ultimately, Sherman voted in favor of the resolution authorizing the Iraq war, a move he characterized at the debate as a mistake.

The last Americans troops left Iraq at the end of last year. Could their past stances on this unpopular war help voters distinguish between Berman and Sherman, two Democrats with very similar voting records? That’s a question we’ll take a look at in a future post.

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As a result of California’s 2011 redistricting, two Jewish Democratic incumbent congressmen, Howard Berman (D - Valley Village) and Brad Sherman (D - Sherman Oaks), have both...

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