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Progressive Maryland Releases Lawmaker Scores

Democrats representing Montgomery and Prince George's counties in the legislature top the list of "Heroes of working Families" of the 2009 legislative session released this morning by Progressive Maryland, a liberal advocacy group. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) made the list for the first time.

Sens. Jamie B. Raskin (Montgomery), David Harrington (Prince George's) and Richard S. Madaleno, Jr. (Montgomery) took the top three spots in the Senate, while Dels. Roger Manno (Montgomery), Cheryl D. Glenn (Baltimore) and Sheila E. Hixson (Montgomery) were the top three House members to make the list.

The legislative scorecard, compiled by the Progressive Maryland Education Fund, the group's research arm, assesses how each state lawmaker voted on nine bills of interest to working families during the 90-day session--and their general support for issues the group cares about.

Some of those bills include new regulations to crack down on workplace fraud (passed), re-regulation of Maryland's electricity markets (failed), stronger enforcement of prevailing wage laws (failed) and a requirement that contractors on big state public works projects participate in training for apprentices (passed).

House members scored better than senators, with 70 points out of 100 on average compared to 60. Miller

"Lawmakers are tugged in two directions," Sean Dobson, Progressive Maryland's executive director, said. "On one hand they're elected to represent regular voters. On the other hand, they can become captives of special interests" that thwart legislation to help blue-collar families.

Topping the list of "Champions of Special Interests" are Sen. Alex Mooney (R-Frederick) and Del. Richard Impallaria (R-Anne Arundel) in the House. All of the lawmakers on that list are Republicans.

While Miller made the Senate's "heroes" list for his support for voluntary public funding of campaigns, Progressive Maryland's top priority this year, House Speaker Michael Busch (D-Anne Arundel) missed the House list by a hair, with a score of 94 out of 100, Dobson said. The campaign finance bill did not pass. Miller got a 95.

By Lisa Rein  |  June 23, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Lisa Rein  
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The list is kind of weird, with 20% for "leadership score". Everyone in my district got a "perfect" voting score, so their rankings (93-95) were dependent on the completely opaque "leadership score". As far as I can tell, that means that the top "heroes" are people these lobbyists like the most. Yay.

Posted by: jongrantham | June 23, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't know - politicians may vote for something after trying their hardest to kill it behind the scenes. There has to be some weight given to that.

Posted by: simon_chavez | June 23, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Mike Miller is always Progressive Maryland's favorite politician! That's why his 3 year average score is 80% after factoring in his 95% this year.

Posted by: bravestar360 | June 23, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Progressive Maryland is fooling itself. The most important vote in this term was the vote to increase the regressive state sales tax by 20%. This is a tax that every man, woman and child pay every day. Progressive Maryland didn't even include this vote in their ratings, because the leaders of this group would have all voted the wrong way.

Posted by: robinfickerofrobinrealty | June 24, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

jeez ficker..go back to making a fool of yourself at basketball games...and you wanted to be a councilman?? Progressive Maryland didn't include this vote in their ratings because the sales tax was during the special session in '07 not this session.

Posted by: unrest | June 25, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

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