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,
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
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
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
AFSCME offices if you'd like a hard copy of Roll Call mailed to you.