The American Conservative Union has long been the premier organization rating members of Congress on how conservative their voting records are. Recently, ACU began rating state legislators on their voting records, and it just released its third ratings of the Michigan state legislature. I will summarize the relevant information here.
ACU rated 12 house votes and 13 senate votes from 2013 and 2014. Ten of the bills are the same for both halves of the legislature. The most common topics for the state house votes were taxes (3 votes), spending (3), and regulation (3). The most common topic for the state senate votes were taxes (4 votes) and spending (4).
ACU Michigan state senate ratings 2013/2014:
100%: Pavlov, Emmons, Moolenaar
92%: Colbeck, Brandenberg, Rocca, Robertson, Proos, Jones, Schuitmaker, Green, Booher
85%: Marleau, Hune, Jansen, Hildenbrand, Meekhof
77%: Pappageorge, Kowall, Caswell, Richardville, Nofs, Kahn, Hansen, Walker, Casperson
31-33%: Hopgood, Andersen, Ananich
15-17%: Young, Johnson, Gregory, Warren, Whitmer
8-9%: Hood, Smith
The average for the Republicans was 86%, up from 78%. The average for the democrats was 23%, up from 9%. The overall average was 66%, up from 59%.
The biggest changes from 2012/13 were Hunter (+49), Hopgood (+25), and Casperson (+21).
The improvement probably has more to do with more generous vote selection by ACU than any substantial swing to the right in the Michigan legislature. Tupak Hunter does seem to have genuinely swung to the right.
The previous years’ scores are available at the links at the bottom.
ACU Michigan state house ratings 2013/2014 (rounded to nearest 8%):
100%: Lund, Nesbitt
92%: Howrylak, Zorn, O’Brien, MacGregor, Hooker, Pscholka, Genetski, Kelly, Johnson, Franz, Rendon, Foster
83%: Forlini, Farrington, Lafontaine, Goike, Kesto, McCready, Kurtz, Shirkey, Outman, Yonker, Pagel, Lauwers, Daley, Callton, Victory, Leonard, Bumstead, MacMaster, McBroom
75%: Walsh, Heise, Somerville, Crawford, Rogers, Haines, Kowall, McMillin, Jacobsen, Denby, Graves, Jenkins, Lori, Bolger, Poleski, Verhuelen, Brown, Glardon, Lyons, Price, Haveman, Stamas, Cotter, Potvin, Schmidt, Dianda
67%: Clemente, Haugh, Muxlow, Lamonte, Brunner, Pettalia, Kivela
58%: Kosowski, Lavoy, Greimel, Smiley, Driskell, Cochran, Oakes
50%: Nathan, Darany, Slavens, Phelps, McCann, Abed, Brinks
42%: Knezek, Kandrevas, Lane, Rutledge, Segal, Dillon
33%: Olumba, Cavanaugh, Yanez, Stanley,
25%: Robinson, Durhal, Stallworth, Geiss, Townsend, Lipton, Irwin, Zemke, Schor
17%: Tlaib, Santana, Hobbs, Barnett, Faris, Singh, Hovey-Wright
8%: Roberts, Switalski
0%: Banks, Talabi
The house average was 62%, up from 53%. The average for (current) house Republicans was 82%, up from 75%. The average for current house democrats was 39%, up from 29%. Both caucuses were closer to the center that their senate counterparts, particularly the democrats.
The members who scored 100% are (term-limited) Pete Lund and Aric Nesbitt. The lowest-scoring Republicans were Paul Muxlow and Peter Pettalia at 67%. The top-scoring democrats were Terry Brown (term-limited, lost a state senate race) and Scott Dianda at 75%.
The largest positive changes were Clemente (+47), Haugh (+46), Brown (+45), Darany (+40), Kosowski (+33), McCready (+33), Zorn (+32), Lori (+30), Kivela (+29), Kandrevas (+27), Howrylak (+27), Rutledge (+27), Foster (+27), Slavens (+25), Nesbitt (+25), Forlini (+23), McBroom (+23), O’Brien (+22), Pscholka (+22), Brunner (+22), Johnson (+22). Several of them faced competitive primary or general elections.
The largest negative change was Faris (-21).
As with the senate scores, the improvement probably has more to do with more generous vote selection by ACU than any substantial swing to the right in the Michigan legislature.
Of course, the usual caveats apply to any legislative ratings system. Legislators’ scores will vary from year to year, so it will be interesting to compare these scores to future years’ scores. Also, ratings only cover issues that were actually voted upon, so controversial issues that never made it to a vote can’t be scored.
Nonetheless, ratings such as this are a valuable tool for voters in future elections.