Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Public Interest Zeroes

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) began in 1983 to act as watchdog for the public trust. The organization issues The Congressional Scorecard Report every year. It is now available for 2006. It looks at the most important public interest votes taken between February 9, 2005 and February 1, 2006 in the U.S. Congress. These votes determined the direction of federal policy on critical issues ranging from environmental preservation to health care to consumer protections. The issues are these:

  1. Stop Drilling in the Arctic Refuge
  2. Stop Drilling in the Arctic Refuge
  3. Stop Drilling in the Arctic Refuge
  4. Reject Dirty, Dangerous Energy Bill
  5. Reject Dirty, Dangerous Energy Bill
  6. Reject Big Oil Giveaway Bill
  7. Increase Auto Gas Mileage Standard
  8. Make Polluters Pay
  9. Regulation of Oil Refineries
  10. End Giveaways to Big Oil
  11. Protect Consumers from Price Gouging
  12. Protect States' Rights
  13. Cut Nuclear Subsidies
  14. Protect Endangered Species Act
  15. Protect Coasts from Drilling
  16. Stop $12 Billion Cut to Student Loans
  17. Stop $14.3 Billion Cut to Student Loans
  18. Protect Consumer Bankruptcy Rights
  19. Protect Class Action Rights
  20. Protect Victims of Malpractice
  21. Protect Online Freedom of Speech
  22. Reject CAFTA
A quick highlight of the overall report shows that 13 members of the Senate and 92 members of the House did not take the public interest position on any of the votes that U.S. PIRG tracked. In other words, they are considered Public Interest Zeros. Illinois has no Heroes. It does have a few unsurprising Zeroes:
  • Henry Hyde (IL-06)
  • Jerry Weller (IL-11)
  • Donald Manzullo (IL-16)
  • John Shimkus (IL-19)
Here are the voting records on the PIRG issues (2006, Lifetime):
  • Durbin (D) 95% 85%
  • Obama (D) 86% 86%
  1. Rush (D) 77% 78%
  2. Jackson (D) 100% 95%
  3. Lipinski (D) 86% 86%
  4. Gutierrez (D) 77% 91%
  5. Emanuel (D) 68% 81%
  6. Hyde (R) 0% 8%
  7. Davis (D) 82% 90%
  8. Bean (D) 77% 77%
  9. Schakowsky (D) 91% 96%
  10. Kirk (R) 41% 46%
  11. Weller (R) 0% 10%
  12. Costello (D) 73% 70%
  13. Biggert (R) 18% 14%
  14. Hastert (R) * * (The Speaker of the House votes at his discretion.)
  15. Johnson (R) 64% 53%
  16. Manzullo (R) 0% 11%
  17. Evans (D) 95% 92%
  18. LaHood (R) 27% 22%
  19. Shimkus (R) 0% 4%
NOTE: The WORST -- by far -- worse than Manzullo, Weller, & even Hyde -- John Shimkus. The latest word is that IL-15 constituents are wondering if the man fell off the planet, and he is better than a Zero. (Amazing how anyone in Congress can be better than John Shimkus! Reality can be stranger than fiction!!)

NOTE (Again): IL-19 is HIGH on the MTBE contamination charts.

People vote for their representatives -- not corporations. Forward this information to your favorite Democratic challenger and VOTE for that person!!!


At 16 August, 2006 23:41, Blogger Kankakee Voice said...

Thanks for this P.F. Always insightful as usual. We have a MTBE contamination problem in the Kankakee area also. It's a continuing problem and Weller has not been at all helpful on the issue.


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