Skip to comments.YCT 2003 Legislative Ratings Released, Now Available on YCT Website
Posted on 10/09/2003 9:41:18 AM PDT by anymouse
YOUNG CONSERVATIVES OF TEXAS
October 9, 2003
For Immediate Release
Contact: David Rushing, YCT State Chairman, (713) 408-3606
Randy Samuelson, Vice Chairman of Legislative Affairs, (512) 663-3701
YCT 2003 Legislative Ratings Released, Now Available on YCT Website
Respected Index Published Since 1975 Identifies Most Conservative and Most Liberal Legislators in 2003
Austin, TX - The Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) are pleased to announce the release of our 2003 Legislative Ratings, which reflect votes by the Texas House and Senate members on the 20 issues in each chamber that we believe best reflect the contrast between the conservative and liberal ideologies. The ratings are now posted online at http://www.yct.org/03ratings.pdf . The ratings contain not only each member's score, but also list each bill we used and provide an explanation of the correct conservative vote.
Only five legislators made the YCT Honor Roll, defined as voting conservatively 90 percent or more of the time. They are State Reps.: Wayne Christian, Talmadge Heflin Ken Paxton, Elvira Reyna, and Robert Talton. Another 23 legislators earned Honorable Mention for having voted conservatively 81-89 percent of the time.
On the other side of the ledger, although no legislators scored a zero, Rep. Dawnna Dukes and Sen. Eliot Shapleigh cast the most left-wing votes, finishing with a rating of 6 percent each. Eleven other legislators voted conservatively less than 10 percent of the time.
YCT also lists the most liberal Republicans and the most conservative Democrats based on our Ratings. Of the five Republicans who scored below 55 percent to "earn" a place on this list, the most liberal Republican in the Senate was unsurprisingly Bill Ratliff with only 39 percent. In the House, Rick Hardcastle, Pat Haggerty, and Lois Kolkhorst pulled up the Republican rear with 50 percent. On the Democrat side, the most conservative members in each body were Sen. Ken Armbrister with 50 percent and Rep. Allen Ritter with 60 percent.
YCT State Chairman David Rushing stated, "While YCT is non-partisan, this year's ratings are largely consistent with the trend in Texas politics that has seen the rise of conservatives in the Republican party and the decline of conservative Democrats. However, our Ratings show that not all Republican legislators vote conservatively and there are a handful of Democrats whose moderate voting record indicates they are pleasantly out-of-step with the dominant left-wing orthodoxy that has taken over the party. Since YCT's ratings reflect votes rather than rhetoric, they will be more helpful to voters than relying simply on party affiliation."
YCT Vice Chairman for Legislative Affairs Randy Samuelson noted, "There were many more scores at 80 percent and above this session due primarily to more conservatives winning elections in 2002, including outstanding freshmen like Bryan Hughes, Jodie Laubenberg, Dan Flynn, and Corbin Van Arsdale. We commend both veteran and freshmen legislators alike for supporting a conservative agenda that included passing a balanced budget without raising taxes, the informed consent law, and other items that YCT lobbied for in the 78th Legislative session."
Samuelson added, "The most significant disappointment for YCT in the session was the passage of tuition deregulation, which is one of the votes included in our Ratings. Those Republican members who courageously voted against deregulation despite threats against them were rewarded in our Ratings and we intend to stand behind them in the 2004 primary election. YCT will also continue to serve as a watchdog over our public universities, especially UT-Austin, and will demand that the Legislature pull the reins in if UT irresponsibly imposes enormous and unjustified tuition increases that are now being discussed."
Rushing concluded, "We look forward to the successful completion of the redistricting sessions and to playing an active role in the planned special session on school finance. YCT will support the repeal of the redistributionist "Robin Hood" scheme and vigorously oppose any attempt to impose a state income tax. In previous special sessions on school finance, YCT published separate legislative ratings for the special session. If there are a substantial number of important votes during the upcoming school finance special session, we will do so again."
YCT has compiled legislative ratings since 1975. YCT is a non-partisan, statewide organization comprised of college students and senior advisors committed to limited government and traditional values. YCT has chapters at Texas A&M University, West Texas A&M, Baylor University, the University of Texas, Texas Tech, Southern Methodist University, Hardin-Simmons University, and in the Houston and Washington, DC areas.
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