April 26, 2006

NTU Rates Ohio’s Washington Delegation; BizzyBlog Does the Calcs on Jean Schmidt

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:01 pm

The National Taxpayers Union has a long and storied history:

NTU was established in 1969 to educate taxpayers, the media, and elected officials on a non-partisan basis on the merits of limited government and low taxes. NTU uses a variety of means to accomplish our work including direct mail, research papers, public speaking, email, advertising, the Internet, and lobbying.

Every year, NTU rates each and every member of Congress and the Senate. Here’s is how they graded Ohio’s senators and Representatives in 2005 (for the entire PDF report, click here):

NTUsenate

NTUhouse

(Added at 5PM on April 26) Here are the grading scales the NTU used for the Senate and House:

SenateKey HouseKey

(Return to original post)

A few comments before moving on to the one candidate without a rating:

  • Not even I expected Mike DeWine to be below 50%. That gave him the lowest Republican rating other than the two Mainers (Snowe had 35% and Collins 40%) and Lincoln “Chapstick” Chafee (33%). Even Arlen Specter at 50% did slightly better than DeWine.
  • As far as the NTU is concerned, Ohio’s two apparent Democrat fall standard-bearers, Ted Strickland and Sherrod Brown, are simply awful.
  • The go-along, get-along nature of most of the GOP’s House delegation is very disappointing.

Jean Schmidt was not formally rated by NTU because she did not serve a full year.

But BizzyBlog has obtained from NTU the list of roll call votes they used as the basis for their 2005 ratings, their recommended positions, and the weight they gave each relevant roll call vote. I then “graded” Jean Schmidt on all 73 of her NTU-relevant roll call votes during the time she served in 2005 in the same way the NTU graded other lawmakers who were in office the entire year on their 201 NTU-relevant roll call votes.

So how did Jean Schmidt do?

If you’re on the main page, click on “more” to see what Ms. Schmidt’s score was, plus the detailed support for it:

Her score was 65.5%.

Now it may very well be that the votes from September through December were “easier” or “harder” from the standpoint of fiscal discipline than those during the remainder of the year, and if you’re in the mood to look up all the relevant bills and make that call, be my guest, because I’m not.

With that qualification, I still find it pretty gratifying that Schmidt is in a virtual dead heat with the full-year John Boehner, and less than 5 points behind the full-year Steve Chabot. She’s also more than 10 points ahead of just about every other GOP member of the Ohio delegation — I’d say it’s a good thing that none of these folks attended the COAST “Marie Antoinette” event in February, where Ms. Schmidt infamously had her head cut off on a cake, because, based on their grades, they might not have escaped with their real heads in place. It would appear that meeting attendee Steve Chabot was less than five points away from personal danger himself, and that Majority Leader John Boehner would have been quite vulnerable had he been there.

Jean Schmidt has been relentlessly criticized, and with more than a little justification, for supporting the Taft-era tax increases that have so hurt the State of Ohio and its economy during her time as a state representative. But early indications are that she may have left behind whatever tax-and-spend tendencies she had in Columbus, because she has not imported them into Washington, at least not beyond the levels of the local reps who are considered “stars” by the anti-tax crowd. Let’s hope that continues.

Not that there isn’t room for improvement. Ms. Schmidt, Mr. Boehner, Mr. Chabot and other congresspersons who claim to be fiscal conservatives would be well advised to scale the lofty heights of Arizona’s Jeff Flake (91%) or Texas’s Ron Paul (84%).

One question remains, though, for the Schmidt campaign: Why did I have to do this?
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If you’re of a mind to audit the worksheet, go the House Clerk’s final listing of 2005 roll call votes. Previous roll call votes are listed in groups of 100 at the bottom of the page.

RC1
RC2

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7 Comments

  1. Nice job — both of you.

    Comment by Steven J. Kelso Sr. — April 26, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

  2. #1, thx. I expected high 50s at best.

    Comment by TBlumer — April 26, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

  3. Linkback to a great post. Thanks Tom.

    Comment by Collin — April 26, 2006 @ 4:20 pm

  4. Rink Link

    Thanks, Tom. Good post.

    Comment by Collin — April 26, 2006 @ 4:26 pm

  5. Yeah DeWine is in a lot of trouble. It’s not looking good for him to keep that seat. Ohio in general is going to be tough for Republicans what with all the scandals in that region.

    Comment by Shawn — April 26, 2006 @ 6:27 pm

  6. Tom, I wonder if McEwen is looking at these numbers? He continues to spew the “highest” tax increase in OH history.

    Comment by Jon — April 26, 2006 @ 8:57 pm

  7. #6, the cumulative impact of all the Ohio tax increases may have been the largest in the state’s history. I don’t know. I would think that Celeste’s 90% increase in the state’s income tax back in the 1980s was the biggest one-timer, espcially if you adjust for inflation. But I’ve never seen the numbers to know for sure.

    Comment by TBlumer — April 26, 2006 @ 10:40 pm

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