The state's lawmakers need to understand that they will be judged by actual deeds and votes, not just the mere words that they speak on the campaign trail in advance of the Aug. 3 primary election. That's the message that Common Sense in Government hopes to deliver to politicians with their Common Sense Votes Scorecard — a spreadsheet tabulation of a dozen votes in the Michigan House and seven in the Senate impacting the "limited government, free market principles that Michigan needs to get back on the right track."
CSG assigns a percentage score to each politician, based upon how many votes they got "correct." Of 148 state lawmakers, just four got more than 70 percent of their votes "correct."
Republican state Reps. Tom McMillin of Rochester Hills and Justin Amash of Cascade Township were the only lawmakers to notch perfect scores. The high scores in the Senate belonged to GOP Sens. Nancy Cassis of Novi and Alan Sanborn of Richmond, each with 57 percent.
CSG spokeswoman Wendy Day was not surprised by the low scores, saying activists have not been doing a good enough job holding the politicians accountable, and it shows.
"These grades reflect that they (the lawmakers) serve the system, and not the people," noted Day. "Politicians are good at giving speeches, but voters need to start looking at their voting record."
By publishing the scorecard, she says CSG hopes to "give voters more information before the primary."
The name of the CSG website is "MakeLansingListen.com."
The following is a listing of the votes used and CSG's description of them:
- Bills to provide more subsidies and tax breaks for electric car battery makers.
- A bill to increase the value of business and other tax credits granted to electric car battery makers by converting their facilities into tax-exempt "renaissance zones."
- An amendment to require the Department of Corrections to seek competitive bids and privatize one prison.
- A bill that made it easier to prevent increasing the number of charter schools in Detroit.
- A budget bill that cut state revenue sharing payments to local governments as a way to balance the budget without raising taxes.
- A budget bill that cut school funding by around 3 percent as a way to balance the budget without raising taxes.
- A bill allowing local governments to levy hotel, restaurant and rental car excise taxes to pay for municipal stadiums.
- A bill to impose a moratorium on cost-cutting closures of Secretary of State offices until certain specific procedures are adopted.
- An amendment allowing local governments to create "right-to-work zones."
- A bill to revise corporate acquisition rules, so as to prevent an Indiana company from acquiring a controlling interest in a Michigan insurance company.
- A bill to extend a business tax credit for capital improvements at the Michigan International Speedway.
- A bill imposing new regulations and registration requirements on home personal care services providers who were the subjects of a "stealth unionization" scheme. The bill would provide statutory authorization for that scheme, and also create a registry of home health care service providers.
The full spreadsheets and rankings are available at the following hyperlinks: