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.

12 Responses to Tennessee Republicans’ Club for Growth ratings fall

  • Avatar
    Phillip Lassiter says:

    Oh this will be good. Looking forward to Stuart’s defense of his mainstay Club for Growth. Question for the ages: why did they dump a million dollars into Timothy Hill and he sits basically in the middle of the group? Could it be inconsistencies in conservative mantra? Could it be that there were so many Republican women drinking that they were blinded in their endorsements? Could it be that Club for Growth is a vacuum for special interest money? Could it be all of the above?

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Please pay closer attention Phillip. I use the HERITAGE ACTION and the AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION for an indication of the relative conservatism of the politicians mentioned on this forum. The Club For Growth is a fine organization that I contribute to annually, but their ratings cover only economic issues and there are many issues we discuss that have nothing to do with taxes, business regulations etc. that are not rated.

      I would say that the Club and the House Freedom Caucus end up supporting the same candidates for the U.S. House about 90% of the time. The Club is the gold standard on the Right in analyzing races and putting their money behind winnable races run by candidates with a rich record of being conservative activists. Timothy Hill (ACU-88%) was such an individual especially compared to the other candidates which is why I sent Timothy a significant campaign contribution as well. In fact he came within an eyelash of winning as he ended up second in the race won by Diana Harshbarger (from whom I expect great things btw).

      No inconsistencies in the “conservative mantra,” mine or the Club For Growth’s. Of course I never comment on your silly drinking references insofar as MARLE has handled that so well and OF COURSE the Club receives a lot of “special interest money” from people interested in free market economics, after all, it’s a free market political organization dedicated to electing candidates who advocate free market economics. Please calm down and move along Phillip, nothing to see here.

  • Avatar
    Martin D Kennedy says:

    Thanks for this post, Eric. Good stuff.

  • Avatar
    Christina says:

    In a free market economy, there’s a free exchange of goods based on supply and demand, unfettered by a central agency or government. Businesses focus on generating profit and there’s no incentive or requirement for businesses to prioritize needs of workers and safety of consumers over profit. Not a world most of us want to inhabit.

    • Avatar
      Martin D Kennedy says:

      So long as you enjoy hunting your own meat, brewing your own beer, and eating bread that you must bake (not to mention growing the wheat), a system that ignores incentives is really good.
      Goodness to others, kindness, decency depends largely on culture.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Workers should prioritize their own needs by only accepting only the most advantageous employment as they can achieve while safety of consumers is an appropriate consideration of government. All can be achieved in a free market, and indeed, a free market unquestionably leads to the maximization of the wealth of a country as well as the wealth of the citizen workers within that country.

  • Avatar
    Beatrice Shaw says:

    The rally is a super spreader event. I hope Tennessee has the forethought to stop cars returning from the super spreader rally and quarantining the people. I don’t want to die from a Trump idiot I meet at a super market.

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  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Yeah, when your favorite numbers are DOWN and your party is in trouble for it’s beliefs….
    just change the topic.

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