About those AFP ”lifetime” ratings

58067529In a recent interview with McClatchy, senator Thom Thilli$ touted his “lifetime rating” of 100 percent from Americans for Prosperity.  Never mind that, for him, “lifetime” means the calendar year 2015.  (So, crossing the aisle and co-sponsoring stuff with Amy Klobuchar and Babs Mikulski is perfect conservatism ????)

Let’s look at these ratings for 2015 a little closer.    AFP wants us to believe that Renee Ellmers (73%) is more conservative than Walter Jones (71%). They also want us to believe that Rand Paul (93%) is about as conservative as Richard Burr (91%) and less conservative than Thilli$ (100%).

They want us to believe that Kentucky’s Rep. Thomas Massie (71%) is less conservative than Renee Ellmers (73%).  AFP also wants us to believe Rand Paul (93%) is slightly more conservative than Mitch McConnell (92%).

thom-smokingAFP also wants us to believe that Thilli$ (100%) is more conservative than Ted Cruz (98%) and Mike Lee (99%).   They also want us to believe Thilli$ (100%)  AND Burr (91%) are more conservative than Alabama’s Jeff Sessions (90%).



19 thoughts on “About those AFP ”lifetime” ratings

  1. Hey Brant – gimme a call. I’ll be happy to discuss this issue, if you’d like. I think a phone call before posting this would’ve been responsible as well. Instead, you chose to do a “gotcha” type piece. Office 919-839-1011; ext. 1.
    AFP doesn’t claim that Cruz or Lee are “less conservative” than Tillis. As you point out, Tillis’s “lifetime score” would be for the 2015-16 legislative session – and that would also be his “current score” Cruz and Lee are also scoring 100% on their “lifetime score,” but they’ve been in office significantly longer than Tillis.
    Furthermore, we only score on economic issues and we don’t score everything. That’s why our scores are different from other groups that we work with on a variety of issues.

    1. Don —

      I know it can be embarrassing to have to answer questions about your own stuff. All I did was cite your stuff and express amazement. Readers of your info would quite easily infer that someone with a 100 rating is more conservative than someone with, say, a 90 rating.

      Tillis claimed in the McClatchy piece that you gave him a lifetime rating of 100. Also, the page I linked to and quoted, also says lifetime ratings.

      So, the “current” vs. “lifetime” spin doesn’t wash. If you guys find Thom Tillis to be more conservative and to your liking than, say, Mike Lee, be proud. Say it. Defend it. Let people know.

      1. I’m not embarassed about answering questions about my own scorecard. I’m happy to answer questions anytime. I’m surprised to be answering them to the equivalent of a “drive by media-style” post.
        Tillis has been in office since 2015. So his LIFETIME is the 2015-16 session. Lee and Cruz and others have been in the Senate longer. If you’ll notice, they’re also scoring 100% over Tillis’s lifetime/current score. I don’t know how to make it any plainer.
        Our scores are based on issues. Period. Your post and the way you characterize it makes it about personality, which is why the country is in such a mess in the first place.
        We never claimed that anyone was more conservative than anyone else. You’re the one trying to make that parade happen.
        Again, I was open to questions long before this post and still open after them.

        1. So now it IS about a lifetime rating for Tillis? (I did mention that it was, basically, for the calendar year 2015.)

          So, if it is not about who is more conservative, then WHY rate them? Why score them? Tillis gets Fs from EVERYBODY else. So does Burr.

          Conservative Review gives Liberty Scores. Not exactly abortion and gay rights stuff. Tillis gets an F (38%) from them. You guys give him a 100.

          1. I never said it wasn’t a lifetime score. I was noting that his “lifetime” is shorter than everyone else. I think that’s a reasonable explanation.
            And the purpose of the score card is to rank members of Congress based on their votes for economic freedom.
            We don’t score every vote. We don’t score as much as other people do. We notify members of Congress every time we are about to grade a “key vote.”
            I think it’s fine how other people score Senator Tillis. That’s why there are different groups – we all have different focuses.

    2. it is only reasonable to give bonus points to people that maintain 100% year after year this would help solve the problem

      why stop at 100%

  2. Any group that would give Mitch McConnell a 91% on economic issues is grading from an establishment Republican perspective, not a conservative perspective, And Ellmers two points higher than Jones? That is just nuts on economic issues. McConnell is leader of the surrender monkeys who always sells out to Obama on spending and debt, as is Ellmers (and Tillis and Burr) Walter Jones has voted against more spending bills than anyone now in the House and always votes no on debt increases. Ellmers, McConnell, and Tillis / Burr sold out on CRomnibus and Omnibus and debt increases again and again, while Jones stood strong against all of those spending and debt bills, including on the tough procedural votes. A rating that gives these numbers to these people on economic issues is either wacky or corrupt.

    I read at RedState where the ACU was corrupted on its rating to give McConnell a 100% he did not deserve right at the time he had a primary challenge. These very bizarre numbers from AFP cause me to question their ratings. How is it that serial sellouts on spending and debt get better economic grades than those who fight tooth and nail against spending and debt?

    Heritage Action and Conservative Review are the solid dependable ratings. ACU once was but not any more. AFP seems useless. Of course, AFP is also a group that hired Dallas Woodhouse. ‘Nuf said!

    1. When it comes to economic issues, the group that is held among high regard is Club For Growth. In this case, the only NC Republican more liberal than Renee Ellmers is…Walter Jones. He has the lowest lifetime score with a 59; Ellmers is at a 61. Sure, he votes against the omnibus bills and makes a big stink about it. But you don’t hear about his votes against the RSC budget substitute amendment that is championed by the HFC (he’s voted against it 5 years running), or his vote to save Cash For Clunkers, reducing the Dept. Of Energy’s budget, his flip on the clean CR during the gov’t shutdown in ’13, the Budget Control Act, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, his vote to save $355 billion in the Obama stimulus package, saving and expanding unions, or a host of other issues.

      Speaking of Heritage, the year that Jones was kicked off Financial Services? His Heritage score for ’11-’12 was a 61, lower than Burr, Graham, or Paul Ryan. If you want to go lifetime, Jones’ Heritage score is 74, only one point higher than PITTENGER’S lifetime. The only reason Jones’ scores have improved? It’s painfully obvious: primary challengers. Jones has no idea what free market capitalism is, or he wouldn’t be the only Republican in Congress who voted for Dodd-Frank and supportive of Elizabeth Warren’s effort to reinstate Glass-Steagall.

      1. Club for Growth…just another front group for Koch. Let’s be clear about that.

        Same group that a newly announced Congressional candidate has been courting along with a has-been side kick that could never win in DC.

        The dark money all comes from the same place.

        1. Well, no. The Club for Growth has a solid conservative record of standing up to the establishment, as does the Senate Conservatives Fund and Hertiage Action..

          AFP has been very hit and miss, and has been too chummy with the establishment, as their ratings show. They have done some really good things but also some that really leave you scratching your head. Their rating is one of the latter.

          The ratings come out of their national office, while most of the good things that have been mentioned have come out of their local office. The problem could have been that their national people get too personally chummy with politicians they inteact with there in DC. NRA and its endorsements have had the same problem for years. To get sound candidate endorsements, 2nd Amendment voters have to go to other gun rights groups like Gunowners of America (a group that broke away from NRA due to the political endoresment issue), National Association for Gun Rights, and locally Grassroots North Carolina.

          The fact that the state chapter of AFP has done some good things here does not validate a screwy establishment-friendly rating put out by their national office.

  3. GU Wonder:

    I will put my 7 years running AFP-NC against anything you or Brant have done in this movement.

    Working with good activists and great employees
    like Donald Bryson we passed the largest number
    of free market/Conservative pieces of legislation of any state during that time.
    Now lots of good activists, new republicans offices holders and Gov McCrory had a part in many of these items

    But just to name a few:

    Removal of the cap on charter schools
    We ended forced minipical annexation.
    We stopped the efforts to continue Gov. Perdue”s 1 cent sales and 1 point income tax increases. These tax cuts are still putting billions back in the pockets on NC taxpayers.
    The 2013 Tax Relief and Reform was the largest tax cut in NC History when combine with the 2011
    Efforts that began it all. Part of that bill put in the flat income tax, at 5.75 % down from 7.75% and 6.75 %

    It is slightly lower now and includes a zero bracket that treats all income tax payers the same. A very important reform.

    We pushed and won efforts to dramatically lower the corporate income tax which was the highest in the southeast.

    We ended check-off funds to political parties and all taxpayer funding of political campaigns

    We started education tax credits (vouchers) for special needs and low income children, combined with more charter schools, removing the growth cap on existing charter schools and more options for home schoolers.

    Donald and I with the AFP activists and assistance from Texas Gov. Rick Perry pushed for the biggest medical malpractice reforms any state outside of Texas has ever seen.

    Medical malpractice insurance rates have dropped greatly because of the cap on non-economic damages.

    There is a ton more. These are real life conservative reforms that make people’s life’s better.

    Not just screaming on a website

    1. Stop touting a bleeping “tax cut” when in fact North Carolina taxes are higher on almost everyone!

      For this reason, plus the toll lane fiasco, and your treatment of the duly elected NCGOP Chairman, I am seriously considering voting for Roy Cooper, just to eliminate the faux conservatism emanating from McCrory and the rest of the RINOs.

      Painful, yes, but an execution of corrupt and lying leaders is what is needed to actually point this state in a TRUE conservative direction.

      1. It is also grating to conservatives that our legislators voted for a very temporary and very slight gas tax decrease couple with a major long term gas tax increase and called it a ”gas tax cut”.

        How Orwellian can you get? ”Newspeak” anyone? Sheesh!

        \Kudos to the handful of true conservatives who stood with taxpayers and voted against that nonsense.

  4. For 2015… Tillis has a higher rating (100%) than Burr or Ellmers, only because Ellmers voted for the Export/Import Bank twice, and then missed 4 votes completely… and Burr voted once against the Export/Import bank.

    The entire rating for Tillis is based on 9 total votes… seems he’s making his “rating” out to be more than it really is.

    Unfortunately, voters will hear something like that and think he’s awesome. *sigh*

    1. It looks to me that AFP cherry picks their selected votes so they can brownnose McConnell and the establishment. Jones is the strongest budget hawk in the delegation and look at the number they give him. Burr and Tillis sell out repeatedly on budget, spending, and debt related votes and they are given inflated scores. This is a rating designed to allow establishment hacks pass themselves off as conservatives. It seems to me that I remember the Koch Brothers playing footsie with the establishment on presidential politics this year, so I guess that fits.

      AFP has done some good things on some issues, like fighting the renewable energy parasites, but their misleading ratings is not one of them.

  5. AFP, the org that stood firmly for economic freedom for NC’ians against the $2,000,000,000 slush fund bond. Oh wait…

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