Black Caucus Slams Artur Davis Ahead of Speech

Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis is drawing criticism for his decision to speak at the Republican National Convention. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are accusing former Rep. Artur Davis of "transparent opportunism" ahead of his speech to the Republican National Convention, scheduled for this evening.

Coming four years after the African-American and former Democrat served as a co-chairman of President Barack Obama's campaign, Davis' conversion to the GOP has clearly stung his former colleagues, who sounded off in an open letter released to the media this morning. In 2008, Davis seconded Obama's nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The letter, signed by 14 CBC members, accuses Davis of distorting Obama's record and flip-flopping on "core principles you once held dear."

"We can only conclude that, rather than a true conversion, your actions are the result of a nakedly personal and political calculation or simmering anguish after failing to secure the Democratic nomination for governor of the State of Alabama in 2010," the members wrote.

The CBC cited reports Davis had talked to a Virginia political consultant about running for office as a Democrat, and noted that he had criticized former Rep. Parker Griffith for switching to the GOP at the time.

“He leaves a party where differences of opinion are tolerated and respected to join a party that in Washington, marches in lockstep, demands the most rigid unity, and articulates no governing philosophy beyond the forceful use of the word, ‘no,'" the CBC quotes Davis on Griffith's party switch.

They also called his support for voter identification laws "unconscionable" after he joined then-Sen. Obama in seeking the resignation of the Justice Department's voting rights chief after he said such laws do not hurt minorities.

They also called Davis out for voting for many of Obama's top achievements, including the stimulus law, the Wall Street reform bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and ending subsidies for oil companies — all of which were opposed by the GOP. They also said Davis supported much of the Affordable Care Act, even though he voted against it.

Overall, Davis supported Obama's record 95 percent of the time, and ran on his friendship and support of Obama two years ago in his failed gubernatorial bid, they said.