The Conservative - Liberal Index
"by their Fruits shall ye know them"
The Compiled 2012 Voting Ratings for the Utah Legislature continue to indicate there is still a philosophical difference between Republicans and Democrats.
For simplicity, Conservatives may be defined as favoring LIMITED Government and PROTECTION of INDIVIDUAL rights and Liberals (or Progressives as they now redefine themselves) 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 2012 House goes to Rep. Chris Herrod at 89.4 with Honorable Mention to Representatives Curt Oda, Ken Sumsion, Craig Frank, Mike Morley, Keith Grover, Ryan Wilcox, Dan McCay, Steve Sandstrom and Brad Daw.
Conservative Leader positions in the Senate were changed from previous years with Sen.Mark Madsen (87.7) achieving top billing over perennial Margaret Dayton; new Sen Casey Anderson debuted in the number three spot, as Sen. Howard Stephenson fell to number 7 from his usual top three position.
The Most Liberal Awards goes to Rep.Jennifer Seelig, (27.1), and Senator Luz Robles , (33.1) edged out Sen Romero. He could use this in the campaign literature as he runs for Mayor.
The Conservatives (above CLI 70) count decreased by 6 to 34, but the Liberals (below 30) were cut in half to 7 with 34 Mugwumps, firmly balanced on the fence in the middle in the House or maybe on the railing on the balcony. The Senate scored a higher overall CLI than the House and showed 15 Conservatives, 0 Liberals and 14 Mugwumps. (Very strange, is it that there are fewer and fewer D's - but this is being posted on Friday the 13th)
While the Party philosophical difference is still evident, two Representives, Kraig Powell (R) and Neil Hendrickson (D), distinguished (?) themselves with an identity crisis by scoring in the realm of the other party.
Education ratings again showed the polar opposites in the ratings, with Parents for Choice being a virtual mirror of Utah Education Association, with Democrats supporting UEA at 84% and the GOP opting for PCE with 82 in the House and the Senate D's going 81 for UEA and R's at 91 to PCE.
The Sutherland Institute is a new entrant into the rating field and indicates the greatest differences between the parties 95% from the GOP and 38 for the Democrats in the Senate and 89 to 31 in the House.
The Deseret News apparently has given up on their "effective legislator" rating based on passing the highest percentage of bills, and the SL Tribune has not yet posted any ratings. The Sierra Club and NFIB are late with their ratings or have given up.
Original sources of Rating groups used in the index:
- GrsRts (GR) = 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."
- SuthInst= Sutherland Institute "Our desire for freedom extends to generations to come and requires Sutherland constantly to educate Utah's elected officials, community leaders, and electorate in the principles of freedom."
- 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. It is strongly recommended to 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).