ratings

Few surprises in CPAC ratings of Tennessee congressional delegation

The American Conservative Union Foundation, the organizer of CPAC conferences, is out with its latest congressional ratings. The Tennessee delegation’s scores are about what one would expect.

Here are this year’s ratings, with last year’s scores listed in parenthesis:

Senate

Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood): 92% (96%).

Bill Hagerty (R-Nashville): 92% (n/a).

House

1st District: Diana Harshbarger (R-Kingsport): 96% (n/a).

2nd District: Tim Burchett (R-Knoxville): 97% (79%).

3rd District: Chuck Fleischmann (R-Chattanooga): 79% (79%).

4th District: Scott DesJarlais (R-Sherwood): 90% (98%).

5th District: Jim Cooper (D-Nashville): 8% (4%).

6th District: John Rose (R-Cookeville): 94% (89%).

7th District: Mark Green (R-Ashland City): 96% (85%).

8th District: David Kustoff (R-Memphis): 79% (78%).

9th District: Steve Cohen (D-Memphis): 3% (0%).

American Conservative Union releases ratings of Tenn. lawmakers, makes no mention of legal issues

Sen. Brian Kelsey walks in the state Capitol on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The American Conservative Union, which is mentioned in several not-so-subtle ways in the federal campaign finance fraud indictment against state Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), has released its latest ratings of Tennessee lawmakers — including of the aforementioned Kelsey, who gets an 85.

“From protecting the Second Amendment to banning Critical Race Theory in schools, it is no surprise that Tennessee, led by a great governor in Bill Lee, once again scores among the most conservative state’s in the country,” Matt Schlapp, the group’s chairman, said in a release.

Kelsey is accused of funneling money from his state account through two other PACs to the American Conservative Union, which then spent money on ads supporting his ill-fated congressional bid in 2016. Kelsey has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.

The ACU scored 84 roll call votes as part of its ratings, including bills banning government vaccine passports, changing certificate of need rules, making Tennessee a gun rights “sanctuary state,” banning students from participating in sports not corresponding to the gender listed at birth, opting out of federal unemployment benefit enhancements, and banning “critical race theory” in schools.

Here are the ratings:

SenatorPartyDist.20212020Lifetime
Akbari, RaumeshD2923%38%29%
Bailey, PaulR1587%79%87%
Bell, MikeR980%75%85%
Bowling, JaniceR1683%75%85%
Briggs, RichardR778%71%80%
Campbell, HeidiD2026%n/a26%
Crowe, RustyR381%75%82%
Gardenhire, ToddR1073%75%82%
Gilmore, BrendaD1928%29%25%
Haile, FerrellR1883%71%86%
Hensley, JoeyR2882%62%85%
Jackson, EdR2783%76%85%
Johnson, JackR2384%75%88%
Kelsey, BrianR3185%77%87%
Kyle, SaraD3027%28%31%
Lundberg, JonR485%77%85%
Massey, BeckyR679%76%79%
Mcnally, RandyR578%72%85%
Niceley, FrankR881%79%81%
Pody, MarkR1782%n/a85%
Powers, BillR2283%76%79%
Reeves, ShaneR1485%76%84%
Roberts, KerryR2587%79%89%
Robinson, KatrinaD33n/a†n/a38%
Rose, PaulR3283%79%83%
Southerland, SteveR181%71%83%
Stevens, JohnR2483%75%89%
Swann, ArtR283%n/a81%
Walley, PageR2678%n/a78%
Watson, BoR1185%76%87%
White, DawnR1385%76%90%
Yager, KenR1279%74%82%
Yarbro, JeffD2128%38%36%
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NFIB urges vote against COVID-19 bill, warns it will score support in ratings

Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) and Rep. Mark White (R-Memphis) attend an NFIB meeting in Nashville on Feb. 21, 2019). (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Voting in favor of the omnibus bill seeking to clamp down on COVID-19 mandates will negatively affect lawmakers’ ratings by the state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, according to a letter sent to each member on Friday morning.

Votes on the bill are scheduled for later in the day.

Here’s the full NFIB letter:

Good morning, Members of the 112th Tennessee General Assembly.

NFIB asks for your vote of NO on HB 9077/SB 9014.  NFIB plans to include this vote in our 2021-2022 Voting Record report to NFIB members.

NFIB is strongly opposed to any new causes of action, which are in the amendments to HB 9077/SB 9014. This would be a very inopportune time for small businesses, who are dealing with a severe labor shortage, rising inflation and significant supply chain issues, to face potential litigation. NFIB is concerned several COVID-19 mitigation measures by an employer could be grounds for a private right of action. We understand the views from all sides on this issue, particularly with potential pending federal overreach (please read our letter to USDOL Labor Secretary here). However, we oppose HB 9077/SB 9014, which is consistent with our previous positions on new private rights of action.  Our previously shared letter is attached.

NFIB also is concerned with Section 14-6-101 in both amendments under Chapter 6-Miscellaneous.  NFIB shares the concerns of our Department of Workforce & Labor Development and other groups that if the legislation passes as drafted, the federal government would soon take over regulatory enforcement of various labor laws in Tennessee. Specifically, as Commissioner McCord testified, OSHA would take over TOSHA.  For background, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 authorizes states to establish their own occupational safety and health plans and preempt standards established and enforced by Fed OSHA. OSHA must approve state plans if they are “at least as effective” as OSHA’s standards and enforcement. Currently, 22 states have plans under this system, including Tennessee. Over the last decade, NFIB has received almost no complaints from our members regarding TOSHA overreach.  If HB 9077/SB 9014 were to pass, as drafted, NFIB is concerned many OSHA fines will double and a more adversarial system would result for Tennessee’s small businesses, again at an inopportune time.

Thank you for you support of small business, and please contact me directly with any questions.  Jim    

Jim Brown

Tennessee State Director

Tennessee Republicans’ Club for Growth ratings fall

Speaker Cameron Sexton presides over a House floor session on June 1, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Tennessee lawmakers didn’t fare very well in the Club for Growth’s ratings for 2020. The average House GOP scores were 45% in 2020, down from 67% the previous year. The ratings for Senate Republicans decreased from 64% to 43%.

The group’s ratings docked lawmakers for supporting legislation to tighten requirements for online vendors to collect Tennessee sales taxes from those doing at least $500,000 worth of annual business in the state to $100,000. Economists have cited the new threshold as a major reason for the state’s strong sales tax revenues while shoppers avoided brick-and-mortar stores during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are the ratings:

House MemberChamberParty2020LifetimeRating in chamber
LaffertyHouseR69681
HoltHouseR61712
OglesHouseR58663
DoggettHouseR56654
J. SextonHouseR56674
RuddHouseR55706
WindleHouseD54597
LundbergSenateR54641
TravisHouseR53548
Van HussHouseR53608
BowlingSenateR52602
LittletonHouseR516310
SparksHouseR496211
CrawfordHouseR496611
MoodyHouseR496911
GrillsHouseR494911
BellSenateR49643
CalfeeHouseR475015
ByrdHouseR475615
GriffeyHouseR475115
HallHouseR476015
LeatherwoodHouseR476115
M. HillHouseR466220
HowellHouseR465720
HulseyHouseR466320
CochranHouseR465220
HastonHouseR465120
WeaverHouseR465620
KeislingHouseR455326
ReedyHouseR455526
SherrellHouseR456026
CepickyHouseR456026
EldridgeHouseR455326
WatsonSenateR45564
YagerSenateR45514
GreshamSenateR45534
WhitsonHouseR444831
BaumHouseR445331
ChismHouseD443831
HurtHouseR445931
RudderHouseR445231
ToddHouseR445431
C. JohnsonHouseR445631
DanielHouseR445731
DeBerryHouseD445631
StevensSenateR44567
WhiteSenateR44567
SoutherlandSenateR44507
GardenhireSenateR44447
KelseySenateR44567
RaganHouseR435540
D. PowersHouseR436040
LamberthHouseR435540
BoydHouseR435540
C. SextonHouseR435040
RobertsSenateR435712
HensleySenateR435812
HolsclawHouseR424345
ZacharyHouseR425945
TillisHouseR425145
MoonHouseR425545
VaughanHouseR424345
GarrettHouseR425545
BrickenHouseR425045
HeltonHouseR425545
WrightHouseR425945
SmithHouseR425545
WhiteHouseR425345
FaisonHouseR425345
DunnHouseR425945
GantHouseR425045
HazlewoodHouseR425545
HalfordHouseR424845
HicksHouseR424845
T. HillHouseR426945
HawkHouseR424645
MarshHouseR425445
HaileSenateR426014
BaileySenateR424714
BriggsSenateR424414
JacksonSenateR425514
ReevesSenateR425714
RoseSenateR425414
B. PowersSenateR424714
NiceleySenateR425014
McNallySenateR425514
MasseySenateR425014
J. JohnsonSenateR425514
CurcioHouseR405465
PottsHouseD404365
CarrHouseR404765
LynnHouseR406065
CarterHouseR395569
KumarHouseR385370
FarmerHouseR385270
RamseyHouseR384370
WilliamsHouseR384770
RussellHouseR375274
CroweSenateR375325
StewartHouseD362675
LamarHouseD352976
ShawHouseD354376
MillerHouseD353776
ColeyHouseR354476
FreemanHouseD343380
PodySenateR345326
StaplesHouseD332981
HardawayHouseD333181
TownsHouseD323483
JerniganHouseD323683
MitchellHouseD313385
CasadaHouseR304786
ParkinsonHouseD303286
DickersonSenateR304127
ClemmonsHouseD292988
PowellHouseD272989
ThompsonHouseD272789
DixieHouseD262391
HodgesHouseD243292
LoveHouseD232893
Sara KyleSenateD233328
HakeemHouseD223194
BeckHouseD222294
G. JohnsonHouseD211996
YarbroSenateD203029
RobinsonSenateD182630
GilmoreSenateD152731
AkbariSenateD132532
CamperHouseDn.a.35n.a.
CooperHouseDn.a.32n.a.
TerryHouseRn.a.89n.a.
SwannSenateRn.a.57n.a.

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