Thursday, January 14, 2010

Are There Really Eight Democratic House Members WORSE Than Parker Griffith?


CQPolitics has a shiny new interactive toy that measures-- more or less-- party unity in Congress. It's not nearly as fine-tuned, sophisticated or comprehensive as what ProgressivePunch does-- and not nearly as useful. But it's fun. This morning, for example, they posited that former Alabama Blue Dog/freshly minted Republican, Parker Griffith, was only the eighth least loyal Democrat and that other Boehner Boys crossed the aisle even more frequently. The problem with CQPolitics system-- which they have in common with almost all the Insider measuring systems-- is that they include all votes including routine housekeeping matters, naming post offices, easily and purposefully manipulatable process votes, etc. Progressive Punch, among other things, also has a key way of looking at members' votes on substantive matters only.

So, according to CQPolitics Griffith's unity score for 2009 was 70%. Here were the less loyal Democrats:

Walt Minnick (Blue Dog-ID)- 41%
Bobby Bright (Blue Dog-AL)- 45%
Gene Taylor (Blue Dog-MS)- 59%
Harry Mitchell (Blue Dog-AZ)- 63%
Travis Childers (Blue Dog-MS)- 63%
Frank Kratovil (Blue Dog-MD)- 68%
Glenn Nye (Blue Dog-VA)- 69%
Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-NC)- 69%

Now if we look at ProgressivePunch's 2009 score based on substantive votes only, their algorithm comes up with a somewhat different result. Only one Democrat had a worse voting record than Griffith (who scored a dismal 15.38) and that was Mississippi Blue Dog Travis Childers (13.85, an exact tie with 4 Republicans: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Walter Jones, Jimmy Duncan, and Delaware Republican Senate candidate Michael Castle). According to the comprehensive ProgressivePunch scores for 2009 the Democrats most prone to cross the aisle and vote with the GOP on substantive matters were-- from bad to worse:

John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA)- 30.77
Artur Davis (AL)- 30.65
Ann Kirkpatrick (Blue Dog-AZ)- 29.69
Chris Carney (Blue Dog-PA)- 29.51
Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT)- 29.23
Mike Ross (Blue Dog-AR)- 29.23
Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-NC)- 29.23
Lincoln Davis (Blue Dog-TN)- 28.12
Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC)- 27.69
Joe Donnelly (Blue Dog-IN)- 26.15
Jason Altmire (Blue Dog-PA)- 24.62
Frank Kratovil (Blue Dog-MD)- 24.62
Scott Murphy (NY)- 24.07
Jim Marshall (Blue Dog-GA)- 23.08
Glenn Nye (Blue Dog-VA)- 23.08
Walt Minnick (Blue Dog-ID)- 21.54
Harry Mitchell (Blue Dog-AZ)- 21.54
Charlie Melancon (Blue Dog-LA)- 20.31
Bobby Bright (Blue Dog-AL)- 20.00
Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK)- 18.46
Gene Taylor (Blue Dog-MS)- 15.87
Parker Griffith (Blue Dog-AL)- 15.38
Travis Childers (Blue Dog-MS)- 13.85

Saturday morning Blue America will be rolling out our first endorsement of 2010. Our first candidate is a model for what our PAC will be aspiring to do this election cycle. She is a community activist and a movement progressive. When she gets into Congress we won't have to twist her arm to do the right thing and we won't have to hold her hand while she votes in her own constituents' best interests while the bad guys threaten her from the sidelines. She's been fighting the bad guys for years and years and their snarling and growling don't scare her away. Please stop by Saturday morning at 10AM and get to know her. Ah, yes, she's challenging a mangy Blue Dog, one of many we hope to encourage to go work directly for K Street instead of working for them covertly on the public's dime.

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