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.

And here is the release from the Club for Growth:

The Club for Growth today announced that no Tennessee state legislators scored high enough to be a “Defender of Economic Freedom” on the new Club for Growth Foundation’s 2020 Tennessee State Economic Scorecard.

Elected officials who, on the Foundation’s scorecard, score 90% or better in a given calendar year and maintain lifetime scores of 90% or better are recognized by the Club for Growth as Defenders of Economic Freedom.

“The Foundation’s Congressional Scorecard is already the gold-standard in publishing the voting records of Senators and Members of the U.S. House of Representatives on economic legislation, and the State Economic Scorecards help educate citizens about which elected officials are champions of pro-growth policies at the state level.” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh. “Tennessee is widely considered a ‘one-party’ state, but people would be mistaken if they thought the ‘one party’ was the conservative, limited government GOP.  Instead, the Republicans in Nashville have been advancing big government, anti-growth policies over the last several months.  Unfortunately, these 2020 ratings are even worse than what our 2019 scorecard revealed last year.  This downward trend is not good for taxpayers.”

Key Takeaways on the 2020 Scorecard:

Tennessee Senate

– Average Republican Score: 43% (down from 64% in 2019)

– Average Democrat Score: 18% (down from 37% in 2019)

– Highest Rated Republican: Sen. Jon Lundberg (SD-04), 54%

– Lowest Rated Republican: Sen. Steven Dickerson (SD-20), 30%

– Highest Rated Democrat: Sen. Sara Kyle (SD-30), 23%

– Lowest Rated Democrat: Sen. Raumesh Akbari (SD-29), 8%

Tennessee House

– Average Republican Score: 45% (down from 67% in 2019)

– Average Democrat Score: 32% (down from 34% in 2019)

– Highest Rated Republican: Rep. Justin Lafferty (HD-89), 69%

– Lowest Rated Republican: Rep. Glen Casada (HD-63), 30%

– Highest Rated Democrats: Rep. John Windle (HD-41), 54%

– Lowest Rated Democrat: Rep. Gloria Johnson (HD-13), 21%

The Club for Growth Foundation’s Tennessee economic scorecard is similar to scorecards that the Foundation previously has released for Florida, Virginia, Missouri, New Mexico, Iowa, and Texas as part of its new state legislative vote study initiative. The Club for Growth Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization focused on educating the public about the value of free markets, pro-growth policies, and economic prosperity.

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