The House Republican Alliance, the conservative group of House Republicans, is out with its first score sheet of the year, and all I can say is, “Dig those crazy ratings!”
According to the HRA scores, I’m a much better Republican than former Speaker Gene Chandler (73 vs. 62); than former GOP leader Sherm Packard (73 vs. 57); than David Hess (73 vs. 55); and, among many, many others than former Finance Chair Neal Kurk (73 vs. 51).
Yes, you read that correctly.
I, your humble maverick, your proud gadfly, score a 73 while Neal Kurk votes with Democrats almost half the time! That’s what 51 means—you’re voting with the HRA only slightly more than half the time.
To be specific, I’ve voted the HRA position 77 out of 105 times; Rep. Kurk only 54 out of 105 times.
But that’s just the tip of a very confusing iceberg. Bill Belvin, who served as Division I Finance Chair when I was on that august committee, gets a 52 to my 73. He’s voted with his HRA brethren only 55 times, a whopping one time more than Rep. Kurk.
Guess who’s tied with me at 73?
Yes indeed, your Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt gets 73 percent. The only difference is that while Rep. Kurk and I have been present for all 105 votes, D.J. has missed ten percent of the votes, so he’s voted with the party (which he’s supposed to be leading) only 69 of 95 times.
As you probably know, the Speaker is only called upon to vote during tie situation, but Bill O’Brien, unlike prior Speakers, decides to vote from time to time, and guess what? He’s only voted with the HRA seven of nine times. Deputy Speaker Pam Tucker has only voted with the HRA 66 of 88 times (75 percent—she’s been absent 16 percent of the time).
The HRA explains that its scores are based on how a Representative “supported the principles of fiscal restraint, personal freedom and responsibility, small government, free enterprise, and strong family values.”
This is so much fun; let’s check out some more RINOS (certainly anyone falling below 70 should be considered a RINO, n’est-ce pas?).
Shawn Jasper, Bettencourt’s deputy leader, 61 percent; he voted with the HRA only 63 of 103 times. He missed two votes—must be when he didn’t dare stick around to vote on the Cohn redistricting amendment the second time around. Actually Jasper was actually officially listed as excused for that vote although he was present for the vote just before it and just after it (as were four other Hudson Reps)…but that’s a story…a very long one for another blog.
My seatmate, North Country police officer John Tholl (rumored to be a candidate for the Gallus senate seat) must be a RINO—he’s in at 59 percent.
Former Ways and Means Chair Norm Major checks in at 69%, seven points less than current Ways and Means Chair Steve Stepanek (76) and five points less than Finance Chair Ken Weyler (74).
How can this be?
Maybe HRA tri-chairs Dan McGuire (97), Marilinda Garcia (92) or better yet Stephen Palmer (98) can offer an answer.
Never have so many Republicans scored so low on the HRA score sheet. I’m not making editorial comments here, just stating a fact and asking the question—why?
How can Neal Kurk be with Democrats almost half the time…or Sherm Packard…or Gene Chandler?
Am I reading this right?
Last year, I had a 90 on the HRA sheet; I wasn’t pleased; it was far too high a score, I told myself, fully realizing that my score would go down this year because unlike last year when we dealt with fiscal issues, we’re facing social issues this year.
After all, I am the most fiscally conservative member of the House and the most socially liberal. Cut more spending and legalize not only marijuana, but also prostitution; that’s my mantra, so a 73 seems entirely fitting for me.
Seth Cohn (80) and I agree on most issues, so his score makes sense, but D.J. and I together at 73, 12 points ahead of Jasper and 14 ahead of Tholl?
How can this be?
I can hardly wait to see the Liberty Caucus score sheet at the end of the year; I expect to be around 90 there (I know I’ve gone against their recommendations at least four times, and those are my philosophic brethren).
So, you may ask yourself, was anybody 105 for 105 with the HRA?
Grafton County Rep. Charles Sova (I like him a lot) was 104 for 104. Hillsborough County Rep Holly Mecheski was 73 for 74.
The highest scoring Democrat was…regular readers here should be able to guess this one…Roger Berube at 35 percent, ahead of Dom Domingo at 30 percent (but Dom missed 71 percent of the 105 votes) and Manchester’s John Gimas who, with an excellent 96 percent attendance, voted with the HRA 26 percent of the time.
John…don’t tell Raybo, John. You may be primaried if you do.
The lowest scoring Republican, you ask?
Now that Derry Rep Ken Gould has left us, that honor falls to…the envelope please…Carolyn Gargasz at 24 percent, one point ahead of Julie Brown, two ahead of Priscilla Lockwood, three ahead of David Kidder, and five ahead of Alida Millham. Sorry, Irene, you're up at 42 percent...next thing you know, you'll be vaulting past Neal Kurk.
Of course, these numbers don't include Manchester Rep Norma Champagne who scored a ZERO because she was absent for all 105 votes.
You can check out the score of any of the 400 Reps (plus attendance for the 105 votes) by going to nhhra.org.
Hey blogmaster, maybe we should put the entire sheet up here.
This is so much fun I’m tempted to continue, but let’s wait for an explanation from the tri-chairs before we plow any more ground.
But wait…you need to know this…11 percent.
That’s Democrat leader Terie Norelli’s score (with 88 percent attendance).
The absolute lowest scores of people who show up from time to time…Strafford County Democrat Dorothea Hooper—34 percent attendance and three percent score; and Manchester’s Nick Levasseur—42 percent attendance and seven percent score.
Depending on how you look at it—they could be wearing badges of honor!