Fourteen members of the Congressional Black Caucus didn't wait to hear former Rep. Artur Davis's speech to the Republican convention Tuesday to blast the African-American Democrat-turned-Republican from Alabama.
The 14 lawmakers sent a letter to Davis Tuesday charging him with distorting President Barack Obama's record and dismissing his Republican convention speech as an act of bitterness for losing Alabama's Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2010.
"We are writing to express our disdain over several recent comments you have made about the important issues facing voters in November, your total distortion of President Barack Obama's record, and your complete flip-flop on certain core principles you once held dear," the letter states. "Given the magnitude of your recent transformation, we can only conclude that, rather than a true conversion, your actions are a result of a nakedly personal political calculation of simmering anguish for failing to secure the Democratic nomination for governor of the State of Alabama in 2010."
The CBC members who signed the letter include CBC Chair Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn, D-S.C., and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a civil rights icon.
Davis, a four-term member of the House of Representatives, was a rising star in the Democratic Party. He was a speaker at the 2008 Democratic convention and seconded Obama's nomination. His star began fading in 2009 when he was the only CBC member who voted against the health care law. Some black caucus members and several members of Alabama's black political establishment thought Davis's vote was a move to better position himself with conservative white voters in his 2010 bid to become Alabama's first black governor.
Davis alientated some of Albamba's black political leaders by not courting their support. He maintained he was seeking the support of all Alabamans regardless of race. He lost the Democratic primary by 26 points.
Since his defeat, Davis, who was a fiscal conservative in the House, has taken a sharper turn to the right. During the summer he announced that switched party affiliations and became a Republican. He supports laws requiring photo identification for people to register and vote. In a op/ed piece in an Alabama newspaper, Davis said voter fraud is rampant in Alabama, though he offered no evidence. He moved from Alabama to Northern Virginia and is considering running for the House.