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July 22, 2013

How The Scorecard Really Works

Richard B. Weldon Jr.

Once again, the always questionably credible League of Conservation Voters is out with its annual assessment of votes cast by our state legislators.


The fun of this annual exercise isn't in reading the scores; it comes from trying to unwind the motivation behind the scores and how the various legislators attempt to respond.


First off, the organization plays fast and loose with truth-in-advertising. They would have us believe they are a non-partisan arbiter of voting records, that their process for scoring legislators is motivated only by how the environment (writ large) faired.


In reality, the League of Conservation voters is really nothing more than a communications wing of the state Democratic Party. Just look at the list of issues they chose to highlight, and the scores of the various members of the legislature by political party.


The highest scores on this year's survey are all held by Democrats, while all of the lowest scores were given to Republicans.


The top issue on the scorecard this year is whether or not the individual legislator supported the governor's motor fuel tax increase. The argument to connect this political question to a conservation-based scorecard is so loopy it doesn't even warrant explanation.


Suffice it to say that the League shows their true colors by considering this vote to be a crucial indication as to the commitment of a delegate or senator to the environment.


This is about giving the O'Malley Administration a policy victory, and rewarding loyal Democrats, who went along blindly, by punishing the rest of us with higher fuel prices.


Next up on the scorecard is the question of whether a legislator folded like a cheap suit and voted to tax us more on our electric bills in order to pay off the administration's friends tapped to build off-shore wind facilities.


To win the favor of the League, and a respectable score on the scorecard, a legislator had to agree to punish all of their other constituents with higher electric bills to subsidize the incredibly bad investment in wind energy that cannot stand on its own.


Another catastrophically bad vote was a ‘Nay’ vote on the Agricultural Uncertainty bill. This bill was introduced to assist farmers by building in some basic business protections against out-of-control environmental legislation coming guessed it…groups like the League of Conservation Voters!


The environmental activist/advocacy movement in Annapolis has always viewed farmers as a large part of the problem with the environment. If they could just get rid of those pesky agricultural uses, you know, the places where the food comes from, then maybe we could return Mother Earth to her pristine, natural beauty.




So, here in Frederick County, we have the honor of being served by two legislators who boast a perfect score on the League of Conservation Voters scorecard. Not a perfect 100% for blind compliance, but a perfect ZERO score.


Sen. David Brinkley (Frederick/Carroll) and Del. Kelly Schultz (Frederick 4th) both voted on behalf of taxpayers, working farm families and common sense by voting against the wishes of the enviro-whacko movement.


Because they are more concerned with protecting our interests and not the special interests of a well-funded Annapolis special interest group, David and Kelly deserve our thanks.


It's almost guaranteed that future Democrat opponents will try to use this misrepresentative scorecard against them, and others in our legislative delegation. It will be up to all of us to remember that in Annapolis, we're almost always better off ignoring the majority and their henchmen, and listening to the voices of reason.


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