The "effectiveness" rankings of legislators compiled by the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research (NCCPPR) is not a very "effective" way to evaluate our representatives in Raleigh.
One needs only to look at their Web site to see what they are all about. These folks are advocates for increasing government influence in society, and opponents of deregulation and the free market. Their staff and board of directors are loaded with alumni from Governor Jim Hunt's administrations.
The NCCPPR regularly releases these rankings right before elections. Democrats are always ranked as the most "effective," while Republicans are almost always ranked as the least effective.
Rep. Ron Sutton (D-Pembroke) is regularly ranked as one of the most effective members of the legislature. Yet, in over a decade of service in Raleigh, Sutton's most significant accomplishment has been the creation of Native American license plates.
Early in his career, Richard Morgan was regularly ranked at the bottom with the other Republicans. He shot to the top of the "effectiveness" rankings when he teamed up with corrupt former Speaker Jim Black to become co-speaker and push through dramatic tax increases and growth in state spending.
The NCCPPR tells us that the rankings are based on votes by lobbyists, the news media, and other professional politicos. I'd be worried if my representatives in Raleigh were cozy with these people.
We heard very little if anything from the NCCPPR about "effective" Republicans and ineffective Democrats when the GOP held the majority in the state House from 1994 to 1998.
As a conservative, my view of an effective legislator is one who fights tooth and nail to stall and, hopefully, kill attempts to raise taxes and grow government. Using those criteria, Sen. Harris Blake and Rep. Boylan have been incredibly effective.
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