The Conservative - Liberal Index
"by their Fruits shall ye know them"
The Compiled 2011 Voting Ratings for the Utah Legislature continue to indicate there is still a philosophical difference between Republicans and Democrats. (Now if only more voters could understand nationally, we might not have an umpteen trillion dollar debt.)
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. Carl Wimmer at 90.9 with Honorable Mention to Representatives Mike Morley, Merlynn Newbold, Chris Herrod, Keith Grover, Ken Sumsion, and Greg Hughes.
Conservative Leader positions in the Senate were juggled again for the top three with Sen.Margaret Dayton Mark Madsen and Howard Stephenson again achieving top billing.
The Most Liberal Award goes to newcomer Rep. Briscoe, (10.3), the most liberal rating attained in the seven ears of this report; and Senator Ross Romero, (24.3) again retained his liberal dominance of the Senate.
Tightening the standards this year, we can count 40 Conservatives (above CLI 70), 14 Liberals (below 30) and 21 Mugwumps, firmly balanced on the fence in the middle in the House. With the Senate exhibiting some strange machination this year, they still attained 18 Conservatives, 4 Liberals and 7 Mugwumps. (Perhaps consideration of the CLI weighting is needed.)
This year, in the Mugwump category Reps. Edwards, McIff, Bird, Menlove, Duckworth, Hendrickson and Watkins appear to be considering swapping parties, or perhaps they should all just admit to their liberal status.
Education ratings showed the biggest disparities in the ratings, with Parents for Choice being a virtual mirror of Utah Education Association, with Democrats supporting UEA at 94% and the GOP opting for PCE with 87 in the House and the Senate D's going 86 for UEA and R's at 96 to PCE.
The Deseret News missed or is late with its "effective legislator" based on passing the highest percentage of bills, and the SL Tribune attempted to copy this blog idea. Basically, they used the same ratings, but somehow achieved different answers. The Trib rating is shown but was not used in the composite CLI Index.
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."
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.')
Our apologies for any inadvertent errors that may have occurred in copying numbers, there were a lot of them (numbers, not errors).