The Conservative - Liberal Index
"by their Fruits shall ye know them"
The Compiled 2010 Voting Ratings for the Utah Legislature continue to indicate there is more than a "dime's worth" of difference between Republicans and Democrats. (perhaps a dollar, with inflation)
For simplicity, Conservatives may be defined as favoring LIMITED Government and PROTECTION of INDIVIDUAL rights and Liberals as in favor of ACTIVIST Government and PROVISION of GROUP rights. The Conservative - Liberal Index (CLI) is a compiled aggregate of various ratings to determine who is "truly" Conservative or "really" Liberal.
The Most Conservative Award for 2010 House goes to Rep. Mike Morley at 82.5 with Honorable Mention to Representatives Merlynn Newbold, Steve Sandstrom, Craig Frank, Carl Wimmer, Chris Herrod, Ken Sumsion, Keith Grover, Francis Gibson, and Brad Daw.
Conservative Leader positions in the Senate were juggled for the top three with Sen. Howard Stephenson (86.6) wresting top billing from Sen. Margaret Dayton, (85.2), and Mark Madsen, (82.2).
The Most Liberal Award goes to Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, (16.4), with several Democrats vying for that coveted title; and Senator Ross Romero, (20.9) retains his liberal dominance of the Senate.
This year, ALL Republicans achieved a CLI Higher than ALL Democrats, except Reps. Allen and Mascaro who were edged out by Reps. Gowans and Hendricskson
All told, we can count 62 Conservatives (above CLI 60), 26 Liberals (below 40) and 16 Mugwumps, firmly balanced on the fence in the middle. (2009 had 49/29/25). The Year of the Tea Party seems to be solidifying the philosophic divide (towards the RIGHT side) and tipping the mugwumps away from the middle.
Education ratings showed the biggest disparities in the ratings, with Parents for Choice being a virtual mirror of Utah Education Association, however the UEA lost its 2009 unanimity among the Democrats dropping to a mere 90% support. The GOP exhibited much more of that desired 'diversity' in their education votes.
Equality Utah, which focuses on "gay" rights, failed to post any rating so far this year, so was removed from the report.
The Deseret News returned with its "effective legislator" based on passing the highest percentage of bills. Their rating is included for comic relief (and not used in the composite CLI Index).
We considered changing the Index name to Conservative Progressive Index (CPI), in deference to the Liberal propensity to redefine and adopt a more 'friendly' appearance to continue their quest toward 'change.'
We once again have used the ruse of carrying out our 'significant' number to one decimal place to create the apearance of accuracy of determination of the results. The numbers are guaranteed, in the words of the pollsters, to be accurate to about + or - 4.5% (+ or -) and NOT based on the confusing questions asked of 454 people.
Rating groups used in the index:
- GrsRts = GrassRoots claims: "Grass Roots is committed to the Principles of Limited Government, the State and U.S. Constitutions, Representative Government, Participatory Democracy, a Free Market Economy, Separation of Powers, and Family."
- UEA = Utah Education Association declares their "mission is to advance the cause of public education by promoting quality teaching and learning and advocating effectively for the rights and interests of its members."
- UTA = Utah Taxpayers Association deals mainly with tax issues and "is a non-profit, non-partisan association working for greater efficiency and effectiveness in government."
- UFIRE =Utahns for Immigration Reform and Enforcement Illegal immigration issues
- PCE = Parents for Choice in Education "dedicated to ensuring every child has equal access to a quality education by empowering parents, increasing choice, and promoting innovative solutions to Utah’s educational challenges."
- SIERRA = Sierra Club "activists dedicated to preserving and enjoying the land and quality of life in Utah and the West."
DNews = Deseret News appears to promote that the more laws, the better.
Each group has different criteria for their ratings, based on votes that the group consider favor or oppose "their" particular issues. Please refer to the individual websites for bills considered and rating considerations which were used. (The quotes above from the websites, may have changed as some organization often redefine themselves based on their perception of current public 'need.')