Voting for People, Not a Grade
Last updated 6/13/2018 at 2:01pm
Once again groups who rate bills and give current legislators scores based on their votes this past session have struck. You can see these scores on many websites. Whether conservative or liberal, there is a group out there waiting to tell people how you voted. Or didn't vote! They rarely tell the whole story so we, as incumbents, must rely on you to do your research and figure it out. On the Republican side one such group is the Principles of Liberty. They claim to rate bills on the principles outlined in the Constitution. And then you have groups like Conservation Colorado, the Senior Lobby, NARAL, Americans for Prosperity and the American Conservative Union. Each of these groups can be helpful. I think of them as good tools in a large toolbox. They point out issues with bills that may be worth consideration. It would be easy to just take their advice and vote the way they say and be done with it. I wouldn't have to research over 700 bills and make up my own mind. And I would be guaranteed an A+. But on which list?
This year the Principles of Liberty, a group that many Republican candidates like to point to when criticizing the incumbent, they are trying to remove, analyzed 155 bills. Of those they supported 30! And opposed 125! And that is fine for them to do. However, many of those bills were good for Colorado. For instance, they opposed every bill for veterans including mine for a tax deduction. They opposed the mussel-free Colorado act. If this bill hadn't passed and the zebra mussel gets into our water way, it will cost Colorado billions of dollars to remediate. And they opposed a bill that would have enhanced infant newborn screening- by parental choice- that saves children's lives.
This year, out of 100 legislators, only 20 received a C or above from the Principles of Liberty. There were 70 F's. Many of these to the most conservative members of the house and senate. When you consider these grades, you need to also consider effectiveness. I consistently get a low grade (this year a D- the lowest ever) but am always rated one of, if not the most, effective legislator at the Capitol. And I can tell you that the people who get the A+ grades have accomplished very little during their tenure. Three of the top have passed a total of 18 out of 83 bills they proposed over a six-year period. Another thing to consider is the disparity of grades between similar groups. I've gotten C's and D's from POL and A's from the American Conservative Union or American's for Prosperity. I have the awards to prove it!
So, does this make sense? They rate many of the same bills. But some groups rate on both constitutional rights and what's best for Colorado.
I could point to similar disparities between common sense voting on a bill and a groups' rating that same bill. But I think you get the message. There are bills that one group or another oppose or support that's either good for the people or bad for Colorado. A person could go crazy trying to follow these ratings without other research.
Since being elected I have felt my job was to represent the 75,000 people in HD21, those from all political parties. I try to do just that by either listening to constituents when I hear from you or by considering the make up of the district. It is not my job to try to have the highest score on someone's list. It is not my job to vote how anyone, other than themajority of the people of HD21, feel I should vote. I will admit that often that requires me to use my best judgment or best guess. And occasionally I just have to vote my own principles. Does this make all the people happy? Of course not. That would be impossible.
As long as I hold this office I will continue to put the needs and wishes of the majority of those in HD21 over a grade on a list. My votes and my bills speak for themselves. I will always support pro-business, school choice, parental rights, 2nd amendment, and freedom of choice. I will also continue to support veterans, disabled, and the elderly. I will try to make life better for those in HD 21. The 32 bills I sponsored and passed over the last 6 years stand as my record of success. Every one of them has had a positive impact on Colorado.
As always, I would like more information from you on these or any other issues. You can visit me on the web at http://www.loislandgraf.us, twitter: landgrafforjobs.com, Facebook: lois.landgraf.5, email: [email protected] Or attend one or more of the several open houses and town halls I hold each year.