#ncga: Effectiveness, Shmeffectiveness.

Civitas is out with their Conservative Effectiveness ratings for the 2017 North Carolina General Assembly. First of all, I’m taking a little bit of an exception with some of the things they’re calling “conservative” votes.   For instance, the resolution on the Convention of States DOES have some credible conservative arguments against it.   OH, and Jimmy Dixon’s protection for the big corporate hog farmers?  Supporting THAT is hardly a conservative vote.

Oh, and it’s arguable to call overriding Cooper’s veto of the budget “conservative.” It was loaded with PORK and defended by Republicans with a lot of the same class-warfare rhetoric Dems like to use.  (Oh, and the glaring absence of the HB2 surrender …)

So, here we go.  Chris Millis had the only 100 – perfect score in the House.  Cary’s Nelson Dollar earned the distinction of being the most liberal Republican (53.8)  in the House.

Union County’s Mark Brody came in a close second to Millis with a score of 91.7.   The law firm of Blust, Collins, Pittman and Speciale tied for third with scores of 84.6 percent.

Stanly County’s Justin Burr finished with a disappointing 69.2 — as did Harnett’s David Lewis and Speaker Tim Moore.  (Moore County’s Jamie Boles finished with a lackluster 63.6.)

Over in the Senate, Jim Davis, Ralph Hise, Wesley Meredith, Jeff Tarte, and Jerry Tillman all finished with perfect scores of 100.  Phil Berger scored 88.9.  Warren Daniel finished as the most liberal Senate Republican with a score of 66.7.

12 thoughts on “#ncga: Effectiveness, Shmeffectiveness.

  1. The Civitas rating used to be the gold standard, but it is now a pathetic joke with the absence of rating on HB2, one of the most high profile seperators of conservatives and liberals in the GOP this session. They might as well rename this rating the John Hood asskissing rating.

    You are absolutely correct on that special interest bill for the factory hog production cabal that tramples the property rights of individual NC citizens. They have that one backwards. Wonder if the Big Hog interests made a strategic contribution to Civitas? Also whether any of the corporate bullies pushing HB2 repeal slipped Civitas some cash?

    There are also a number of bills they rate on that are partisan rather than ideological, which cheapens their rating and artificially raises the scores of RINOs. The judge bill was one of those and the pork barrel budget another.

    Civitas used to do such a good job on ratings that it is really sad to see how far they have fallen. I wonder if Hood is micromanaging this project now?

  2. In defense of the rating – which is very important due to the sham-republican House NC has right now – it accurately lists a lone conservative in the House (Chris Millis) and it also accurately portrays the Senate as more conservative than the House – both good.

    The rating is facing a challenge that is similar to our SAT test – when faced with a declining pool – what do you do? The SAT and Civitas still want to distinguish AMONG members of the pool – so they dumb down the test. As a relative measure – both are still valuable.

    1. One thing I will give Civitas credit for is rating in the Senate on H589, the awful solar crony capitalist bailout / ratepayer ripoff bill in the Senate where all Republicans voted liberal. The curious thing in the Senate is that the only five 100’s are the five who were absent for this vote and therefore did not have it held against him. Several of those five like Tillman and Tarte have their heads far up this special interer’s rear end and would clearly have voted liberal if they had been there, and likely the other three would have, too. Then there are 24 that only missed getting a 100 because they voted wrong on H589.

      The Senate has been more conservative in the past, but not this time as Berger has made a sharp left turn. They did not stand firm on bathroom privacy but cowardly sold us out. They did not stand firm against the House’s pork barrel budget. They sold out worse than the House to the solar bandits.

      The problem with this rating is poor issue selection, and the one that really separated the men from the girly men, the repeal of HB2 is left out. That alone makes the rating useless. Brant does a good job in pointing out other examples of poor issue selection by Civitas.

      Hey, Brant, how about doing a Daily Haymaker rating of the legislature, like Conservative Review does? It could include double weighting (like ACU and some others do), even triple weighting of the most important issues. Civitas used to ge great, but it has gone to the dogs.

  3. I now take Civitas ratings with a grain of salt.

    There are strong conservatives on BOTH sides of the Convention of States issue. I stand in the AGAINST group. I believe some of the major conservatives mentioned in the article were down-rated because they do, too.

    People in the PRO-CON group constantly return to the “safeguard” of the need to ratify by states, but in our state, HB-2 was passed and later scrapped, so that’s a broad hint that states cannot be trusted with something as important as dealing with whatever a Constitutional Convention brings forth.

    Plus, I don’t “buy” that it can be limited. The last time states sent representatives to consider amending the Articles of Confederation, we got the Constitution of these United States. It was a good outcome, but they ignored their “brief.”

    With George Sorous and his crowd chomping at the bit for a convention of states and all his money out there to influence the outcome, I cannot imagine such a convention not becoming a free-for-all and a complete knock-down-drag-out event.

    No thanks. The problem is the federal government is overreaching its powers as set forth in the Constitution, so HOW can changing the Constitution that is being ignored be the solution???

    Nope. Too risky. If our state is trustworthy, we’ll deal with an overreaching federal government by using interposition and nullification instead.

    Hummmm. Wonder how Civitas would rate me as a conservative?

  4. The principle of nullification is ” older” than the cOnstitution. Most state legislators have never heard of it, some lawyer-legislators have been taught that it is illegal and few jave the courage to ise it to protect the rights reserved to the states. Kinda sad.

  5. I am one of those that has been leaning PRO -CON as of late. However Raynor does make some good points and valid concerns. “He who denies to another the right to their opinion becomes a prisoner of their own self, because they preclude themselves of the right to change their mind.” I always try to remember that.

    Browny Douglas

  6. It is all too easy for rating groups to lose their credibility with screwy ratings.

    One remembers how the American Conservative Union (ACU) lost what had been very high credibility in its ratings by rigging a rating to help Mitch McConnell by very weird issue selection, ignoring major liberal / conservative issues where McConnell voted liberal and rating on some obscure or questionable issues where they could allege he voted conservative.

    ACU was then chaired by the very establishment-friendly David Keene, who put a lot of other establishment-friendly types on the ACU board. Establishment kingpin Mitch McConnell, an opportunist with a squishy voting record, had a serious primary challenge from conservative businessman Matt Bevin (now governor of Kentucky). The establishment wanted to make McConnell look conservative to blunt Bevin’s challenge, and prostituting the ACU rating for the US Senate was the way they chose to do it.

    ACU selected issues to favor McConnell, which meant not rating on some major conservative issues and padding the rating with insignificant or bogus issues. The result was that they gave McConnell the only 100 rating that year in the Senate. That rating was widely derided as a laughingstock since nobody believed McConnell was more conservative than Senators like Mike Lee and Ted Cruz or even quite a few others. The conservative blogosphere erupted with denunciations of the corruption of the ACU rating.

    The rating even failed miserably in its primary purpose of pulling the wool over the eyes of Kentucky voters. Kentucky’s other senator was Rand Paul, and nobody with even slight knowledge of politics there bought the cock and bull story that McConnell was more conservative than Rand Paul. It was laughable. They might have gotten away with ratcheting up McConnell’s score if they had not gone for the overkill of claiming he was the only 100 in the Senate.

    It strikes me that Civitas may have just done to its rating what ACU did to their’s with that McConnell fiasco. Why? Is John Hood trying to provide cover for as many of those who sold us out on the repeal of HB2 as he can? I cannot believe that Francis deLuca would be involved in this gambit without someone with the purse strings twisting his arm. That is not the Francis deLuca I have seen in action in the conservative movement.

  7. Hey lets not forget where they marked you deficient if on voting on a few nebulous bills like the Cancer one or that silly town fee one that was stripped down so badly only an idiot would vote against it. They also failed to include the tax bill, gun bill, and reform bill. Its almost like they are actually trying to pick winners and losers. Adding HB142 would have been more serious an act than hurting someone for voting for a cancer bill. It ends up only dividing Repubs.

    1. Good catch on the gun rights bill. This is second to the HB 2 repeal as a major issue for conservatives this session, and for many voters even more important than HB 2. It is crazy that Civitas did not use either of these very high profile liberal vs. conservative bills in their rating. Some of the bills they did use were quite insignificant. The gun bill was took a very hard push from Grassroots North Carolina to get it calendared for a vote in the House, and now Berger has it bottled up in committee in the Senate, so he will have to be pushed hard, too.

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