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Union releases legislative scorecard voting record
Updated On: May 02, 2012

Nine lawmakers — two senators and seven representatives — scored 100 percent

Roll Call, Council 75's biannual scorecard for Oregon Legislators, is now available

Roll Call, Council 75's biannual scorecard for Oregon Legislators, is now available. A PDF copy is attached to this article.


Like many organizations, Oregon AFSCME compiles a voting record for each member of the Legislature on key votes during the previous session. A legislator's voting record with the union is the key factor — though not the only factor — in determining succeeding election endorsements. (For more detail on Oregon AFSCME's full endorsement process, click here.)


Roll Call reflects only votes cast during the 2011 legislative session. This is the first year of annual sessions for Oregon, but the 2012 mini-session was primarily focused on state budget tweaking — as will most future even-numbered year sessions. However, the union chose to delay release of Roll Call until the 2012 mini-session was completed, partially in an effort not to have the results color any work in the 2012 session.


An additional change from previous editions of Roll Call is a new category in the scoring called "Extra Effort." While the actual votes on AFSCME priority bills provides a black and white scorecard, the Council 75 political staff recognizes that there are other, somewhat subjective factors that determine a legislator's overall effectiveness. So the raw votes account for 90 percent of a lawmaker's score, with an additional 10 points in play — either plus or minus — through a joint ranking by Oregon AFSCME Political Director Joe Baessler and Political Coordinators Mary Botkin, Ralph Groener and Eva Rippeteau.


These are the criteria used in determining the "Extra Effort" points:


  • Willingness to meet with staff and/or members, sometimes multiple times on a single issue.


  • Willingness to be helpful in the committee process of a bill.


  • Did the legislator sponsor a pro-AFSCME bill, or did they sponsor an anti-worker bill?


  • Other miscellaneous behind-the-scenes help.


Please note the "Extra Effort" plus or minus 5 or 10 points creates some final scores above 100.


The Oregon Senate yielded two 100 percent voters: Sen. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Beaverton), who has since moved on to the U.S. Congress, and Sen. Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland). Close were Sen. Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin), Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) and Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) at 96 percent.


The worst voting record in the Senate belongs to Sen. Chuck Thomsen (R-Welches), at 31 percent. The best GOP voter for AFSCME in the Oregon Senate was Sen. David Nelson (R-Pendleton), who is retiring. Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) clocked in at 89 percent; Republican Majority Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) scored 43 percent.


Seven members of the Oregon House scored 100 percent. They include Rep. Jules Bailey (D-Portland), Rep. Phil Barnhart (D-Eugene), Rep. Peter Buckley (D-Ashland), Rep. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), Rep. Margaret Doherty (D-Tigard), Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-Portland) and Rep. Carolyn Tomei (D-Milwaukie). Falling just short at 96 percent in the House were Rep. Paul Holvey (D-Eugene) and Rep. Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene).


Tied as the worst AFSCME voter in the House were Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) and Rep. Wally Hicks (R-Grants Pass), both at 40 percent. Three GOP members shared the honors for best Republican voting records in the House: Rep. John Huffman (R-The Dalles), Rep. Bob Jenson (R-Pendleton) and Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner), all at 92 percent. Interestingly, House Co-Speakers Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) and Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) each scored 83 percent.


You can contact the Portland or Salem AFSCME offices if you'd like a hard copy of Roll Call mailed to you.



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