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The 27-member Florida congressional delegation consists of 17 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Our goal is to build awareness for how your reps vote so constituents can make an informed choice instead of just voting a face or a party. And, being informed, voters can hold their representatives feet to the fire when they find their votes objectionable. By following these and other rating organizations one can find similar comparisons for all other states.
Congress is in recess now and most of our reliable rating agencies, except for Heritage Action for America, won’t be reporting scores until the end of the session.*see below for current vote info. Heritage Action rates from a conservative view which is instructive to liberals as well as conservatives –a positive SCORE for conservatives can usually be considered negative for liberals and vice versa.
Conservative scorecard: Many of Heritage Action’s Republican readers are expressing on twitter and elsewhere that they are appalled at Heritage Action for publishing the mid-term Republican voting records that look more like those of liberal Democrats than conservative Republicans. That gives ammo to potential primary challengers – something that does not make the establishment happy. . (We think their angst should be directed at the ones who cast the vote and not at the messenger.) But the votes don’t lie.
All eleven Democrats are at the bottom of the Heritage ratings with 0% for Sen. Nelson to a high of 23% for Rep. Grayson. A couple of Republicans are right down there with the Dems: Diaz-Balart at 26% and Ros-lehtinen at 29%. First termers DeSantis and Radel are the most consistent conservatives at 95% and 90%. Rubio slipped a bit to a still respectable 84% conservative. For complete standings and key votes go to Heritage.org.
Most members of congress are now career politicians for whom getting reelected is their primary goal. My representative Lois Frankel is in her first term after many years in the state legislature and city political positions. So far, the bulk of her mailings and emails I receive are requests for money. I could not find one mention of the deficit that her votes are loading on the backs of our children and grandchildren a la Greece and other welfare states. Not one mention about the administration scandals rocking the nation.
Not one mention of the regulations strangling our economy. Look at how your representatives vote, that will tell you what they are doing for –or to– the country. If we had term limits on congress much less time of our elected reps would be spent on hustling cash for reelections. See the petition at Term Limits.org.
Over time, we’ve noticed that many Republicans generally vote more conservative in their first terms and then gradually drift into supporting greater deficit spending on programs that can usually be seen as “going along to get along,” or buying votes to insure reelection.
Since the disappearance of “Blue Dogs” who were the more moderate Democrats of a bygone era, virtually all Democrats nowfollow the big government party line. Republican platforms espouse limited government, lower taxes, free markets, the rule of law, a strong defense, immigration reform (beginning with secure borders), support of Israel, the sanctity of life and other worthy goals which, to too many, are only platitudes.
The Democrat platform emphasizes government control of healthcare, higher taxes for wealthredistribution, union support, pro-abortion, gay marriage, immigration reform (amnesty), government support of the arts and gun control. Sadly, there’s very little agreement between the parties nowadays.Liberal scorecard: Americans for Democratic Action —Since ADA’s founding in 1947, the Annual Voting Records have served as the standard measure of progressive liberalism. Combining 20 key votes on a wide range of social and economic issues, both domestic and international, the Liberal Quotient (LQ) provides a basic overall picture of an elected official’s political position. – See more
Non-Partisan scorecards: Citizens Against Government Waste, National Taxpayers Union and The Club for Growth have not published their 2013 scorecards yet. For our previous report through 2012, click here.
The Club for Growth published a “spending cut score” that unfortunately only goes up to July 2012 but it is revealing. There were 45 votes on amendments offered in the House to cut spending. Click here to see a description of each vote. The Club for Growth position is a “YES” on each of these 45 votes. The overall score for each Member is listed below. Some Members were not present for each vote, so a ratio of their YES votes compared to the total number of votes they cast are listed in the % column.
One expects Democrats to vote for few, if any, spending or tax cuts but look at the big-spending Republicans here. They say what you want to hear but does the rhetoric match their voting records? Would voters hearing Allen West or Daniel Webster on the stump, for example, expect that he would vote against spending cuts almost half the time? Or, that Anders Crenshaw would vote against spending cuts almost all the time? That is the value of these scorecards, to get to know what they are really doing.
*Here’s a great service for tracking your represntative’s votes as they happen: http://www.congress.org/