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Dr. No gives a thumbs-up to 8 taxpayers ‘friends’

The Taxpayers League of Minnesota, releasing its annual “legislative scorecard” (PDF) for the last session, has deemed eight state lawmakers each a “Best Friend of the Taxpayer.”

“The Taxpayers League Legislative Scorecard is the best device Minnesotans have to determine who’s after their wallet and what lawmakers intend to do with it once they’ve got it,” a press release quotes Phil Krinkie, president of the group and a former state rep who was so unyielding in his votes he became known as Dr. No at the Capitol.

The eight selected, it should come as no surprise, are Republicans, and had perfect “100” scores on 11 House and Senate votes.

Drumroll please: The 2008 “Best Friends” are Rep. Bruce Anderson, R-Buffalo Township; Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan; Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Delano; Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar; Rep. Mark Olson, R-Big Lake; Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie; Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove; and Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen.

On the other side of the planet, a good number of DFLers achieved a kind of inverse perfection, scoring a “0” from the league.

Among those were some usual suspects, including Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis; Sen. Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis; Sen. Richard Cohen, DFL-St. Paul; Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud; House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm; Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis; Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL-Minneapolis; and House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by John Olson on 06/03/2008 - 07:12 am.

    Voting records have been a staple of campaign politics forever. Fortunately, most of us have learned to bring out the salt shaker whenever one of these get trotted out.

    For instance, a final vote on a major bill is usually a fait accompli once the conference committee is done with their work. The pivotal vote on the bill may have actually been a procedural vote during floor debate before that body passed its version over to the other. An example of this might be a motion to send a bill back to committee or a vote on a ruling by the Speaker.

    Each of us may weigh these individual votes differently. The vote to override this session’s transportation bill served no other purpose than to add just one more indignity to the six Republicans in the House who voted to override. Otherwise, everyone toed the party line and were scored accordingly. In my mind, that’s a waste of a vote and is not worth nine percent of the score. Find something else in the thousands of roll call votes and put that in there.

    At the end of it all, roll call votes used by organizations far and wide serve two purposes: first, raising money for the organization and, second, using those funds to campaign for friendly lawmakers or additional advocacy.

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