Republican Congressmen Make Conservative "Hall of Shame"
I have already written about how the Club for Growth and some national Tea Party groups rated Congressman Tim Griffin as "one of the biggest betrayers of the Tea Party." I did not think the assessment was fair simply because Tim Griffin has always been a creature of the beltway. He was never a grassroots conservative, and he only pretended to be a little bit. Anyone who cared to could have seen through it. Griffin takes his orders from Rove and company, not his alleged constituents.
Well now Heritage Action and the Club for Growth have come out with a new list. Griffin is not on it, but the other two Republican Congressmen from Arkansas, Steve Womack and Rick Crawford, are. The list is interesting because it looks at who is in a solid conservative district and grades them based on how conservative they voted versus how conservative a district they have. The list is of members who live in conservative districts who could have been conservative stalwarts, who ought to have been conservative stalwarts given who they were supposed to be representing, but who fell far short of being a conservative in their actual records. It is called the Madison Project Hall of Shame.
Steve Womack for example, is in a solid conservative district. The Republican vote is on average +16 over the Democrat vote. You would think a guy like that would vote for the conservative position, maybe not every time, but nine times out of ten. That was the standard they used- on the 85 most conservative districts in the nation 90% correct voting on this kind of legislation was the standard. His actual vote was 55%. He barely voted for the conservative position more than half the time. According to their "Madison Performance Index" he was 35 percent shy of where he ought to be given his district composition.
Rick Crawford is a little different story. Sure his district leans Republican for the Presidential race, but that does not always translate to a GOP congressional vote. Still, the district counts as a Republican leaner by eight points. This is far less safe than the 3rd district's +16, but given that many of the Democrat votes are conservative Democrats it could still be one of the 85 most conservative districts in the nation. Crawford scored 55.5%, almost identical to Womack, but because his district is less solid conservative than Womack's, Crawford did not do as badly, with a "Madison Performance Index" of -27.
Griffin is not in a conservative district, and so he escaped scrutiny in this report.