National Journal’s Congressional vote ratings are out.
The rating is based off of how a Member of Congress votes with the majority of one’s party. So while the ratings are listed as Conservative vs Liberal, that is not necessarily the case, though there is certainly a large element of that.
So, for the Nebraska delegation, it shakes out like this:
Senator Ben Nelson is 49% D, 51% R. He’s the 53rd most liberal senator, the 48th most conservative.
Senator Mike Johanns is 65% R, 35% D. He’s the 62nd most liberal senator, the 39th most conservative.
NE-01 Rep. Jeff Fortenberry is 50.2% D, 49.8% R. He’s the 202nd most liberal member, the 228th most conservative.
NE-02 Rep. Lee Terry is 23% D, 77% R. He’s the 330th most liberal member, the 99th most conservative.
NE-03 Rep. Adrian Smith is 23% D, 78% R. He’s the 333rd most liberal member, the 97th most conservative.
The ratings are broken down into three areas, though not every vote considered fits into each area:
Social, Economic & Foreign.
Percent listed below indicates the % of conservatism:
Social: Nelson 50%, Johanns 64%, Fortenberry 55%, Terry 55%, Smith 83%
Economic: Nelson 52%, Johanns 64%, Fortenberry 46%, Terry 83%, Smith 60%
Foreign Affairs: Nelson 50%, Johanns 63%, Fortenberry 48%, Terry 86%, Smith 75%
These all over the board enough for you?
That Nelson is the “most conservative” Democrat Senator would not be a surprise to many hard-core liberals who hate him for it. But there are those who argue that Nelson simply waits out many votes to see if the Dems need him, and when they don’t, votes as Nebraskans would be more happy. This strategy failed him however when it came to ObamaCare and the Stimulus, to name a few. Nebraskans finally took note. Had he been able to straddle those and a few more, you probably would have seen a Nelson 2012 reelection campaign.
We have no doubt that Jeff Fortenberry will argue against these results and his relatively low “conservative” rating. But most would say that Fort is following a bit of the Doug Bereuter route of more “independently” minded votes, like his district likes. Middle of the road.
And while there will no doubt be crowing about something in Lee Terry’s percentages by his GOP Primary opponents, it is difficult to raise a stink with his 83% economic and 86% foreign affairs ratings. There is a pretty strong case to be made that the Tea Partiers are more libertarian on the social type issues — whatever these votes are anyway — so one wonders if any of that would or could even come into play.
And Adrian Smith’s numbers? Solid conservative. Solid Republican. And did we mention that he currently has ZERO opponents in his 3rd District race? Not sure if there are any Unicameral races he would want to throw is weight around in, but at least it could be something to keep him busy this election season.
And how about the news that Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will come to Omaha — to raise money for Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell! Ha. What a treat for NE02 Democratic candidates John Ewing and Gwen Howard. We wonder why Pelosi would push aside African American Ewing, and female Howard in favor of Old Whitey Boswell, who last time we checked, cannot represent Omaha. Maybe all those square states in the middle of the country are all the same to the Minority Leader from San Francisco.
Or maybe Pelosi will hold a funder for Howard and Ewing in Des Moines sometime in the future.
In the continuing saga of what color drapes would Pete Ricketts put up in the Omaha Mayor’s office after he is elected next year, we received a feisty comment from Ricketts’s former U.S. Senate campaign manager Jessica Moenning regarding our first post stating that Ricketts was interested in running for Omaha Mayor.
Moenning wrote, in a comment, to our second post on the subject:
Pete Ricketts is not thinking about a run for mayor. And if he was, he wouldn’t throw up a a “trial balloon” on an anonymous blog site. There is a difference between people encouraging him to run for mayor or other offices and him having an interest. Get a job.
We never actually found out who it was that peed in Jessica’s Wheaties that morning, but as you can see, she was truly miffed as she furiously typed out that comment — on an anonymous blog site! We were a little surprised to see Jessica take to the comment boards for this type of issue — instead of slipping us an email with the straight info and asking to correct it. But looks like she wasn’t into that.
Thing is, we never suggested that Ricketts had sent this information or suggestion directly to Leavenworth Street as a trial balloon. But the political fact of the matter is that when you take meetings of these sorts and you are less than discreet about them, you give the impression — intentional or not — that you would consider what the person is selling. Now maybe Pete was just being polite, or maybe it was a tertiary subject discussed. But such is the political world in which we live. Besides, it looks like we were correct in our assessment that he is not interested. How about that.
And Jessica, we might suggest that you take over as the “Ricketts family spokesperson”, and give more succinct responses than “that’s just a lotta gossip…”.
Now back to our real jobs. Which we have. And get paid for. In gold bullion.
We received a press release from U.S. Senate candidate Don Stenberg yesterday, where Stenberg is now making a concerted effort to separate himself, policy-wise, from his main opponents, Jon Bruning and Deb Fischer.
We give kudos to Stenberg for sending out a release which did not mention South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint’s name a single time, or reference Bruning’s law school articles.
So here is where Stenberg wants you to pay attention:
1) He wants to eliminate the Energy and Education Departments. He says Bruning only wants to make them smaller, not eliminate them.
2) He wants Constitutional Term Limits for Members of Congress. He says Bruning was not for the Unicameral Term Limits.
3) He is not crazy about the current Highway Bill, and its Federal control. He says Bruning has been silent on this issue.
4) He is for stopping insider trading by Members of Congress and their staffs. He essentially then accuses Bruning of insider trading or using his office to make money while AG.
5) He is against earmarks. He says Bruning has asked for earmarks.
Now these are all good things, but we just are not sure there is some big separation in any of these issues for the average GOP voter. Certainly not like the immigration issue was between Dave Heineman and Tom Osborne.
The only one that he may possibly gain some traction on is the “making money while AG” issue. But Stenberg probably needs some sort of smoking gun to show how or what exactly Bruning did that was unethical. We will give that the average person might look at Bruning’s investments and say, “Wow, he made some cash while AG. I wish I made that kind of return on my investments. I wonder how he accomplished that!” But if you do not have an actual answer to that question, the innuendo side of it is really only going to get you so far.
So otherwise, will the little items up there add up for Stenberg? Hmm. It is a tough sell. In a super-tight race these issues could tip voters one way or another. But if Don is looking to make up a good chunk of ground, he needs more and/or better.
But we will at least give him credit for going this route. It at least has the potential to give him a little more traction than the DeMint angle ever did.
Have a great weekend! And when you’re buying stuff on Amazon, use Leavenworth Street’s Amazon links up top! (We may not be employed forever, ya know.)