Political Score Cards are ways that Special Interest Groups rate how government officials agree with their agendas. There are many of them. Their range follows the political spectrum–from the far left to the far right–and most points between.
Recently, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) published their Political Score Card on the Second Session of the 112th Congress. The League examines our leaders voting record on the following Conservational Issues: The Clean Air Act, Clean Energy, Clean Water, Global Warming, Hardrock Mining, Holding Big Oil Accountable, Open Spaces, Toxic Chemicals, Transportation, and Wildlife. Occasionally some votes fall in an “Other” category.
Using the LCV’s environmental friendly agenda, our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed scored pretty low. Matter of fact, Rep. Reed and Rep. Buerkle were the only New Yorkers in the League’s “House Below 5% Club”. His 2012 score on voting for the Conservational way of thinking was 3%. His lifetime (2 years) score is 9%. The average House member from New York State was a 65%. The average House member had a score of 42%. This shows that Rep. Reed is at the EXTREME edge of the House of Representatives when it comes to our environment! He is out of step with the rest of the New York delegation.
Knowing Rep. Reed’s feelings on giving tax breaks and deregulating industries–including the gas and oil industry, his ardent belief that hydrofracking is safe for our environment and drinking water (even though New York State hasn’t drawn that conclusion after years of research), and that he is a leader of the House Natural Gas Caucus, it isn’t surprising that he has received dismal scores on Clean Water (2 out of 25 votes) and Holding Big Oil Accountable (0 out of 8, plus one “Missed Vote”). But why is it low in the other areas? The good news about Rep. Reed is as of now, he has a 100% rating for his 2013 votes! He is 2 for 2 through his two votes supporting funding for Hurricane Sandy Relief.
Questions arise when digging into the details. I would really like to know why he voted for a National Flood Insurance bill in 2011, but voted AGAINST a similar bill in 2012. Not only did he vote against it, he was one of only 18 House members who voted against it. The bill had massive bipartisan support, it passed 402-18! (Another EXTREME, far Right Vote) Why did he vote against it–especially since he was for it a year earlier?
If you are a real political junkie, studying Political Score Cards could dominate your time. The Project Vote Smart Organization–a group that gives un-bias information about candidates, has a large data base of Political Score Cards. A listing of these, along with how our congressman rates in each of the can be found on the Project Vote Smart website. All other Senators and Representatives’ ratings can also be found at the Project Vote Smart website.
- New York League of Conservation Voters releases ‘scores’ for lawmakers (troyrecord.com)
- U.S. “green” scorecard: Republicans flunk (seattlepi.com)
- Last Congress was most hostile to environmental causes, say activists (guardian.co.uk)