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First Coast Congressional Delegation By The Numbers

Monday, May 26, 2008

One of the goals of this blog is to try and contribute our very small voice to a much larger effort by the liberal/progressive blogging community to hold our elected representatives accountable. I've been working on a way to do that without that part of my objective sucking all the air out of my overall goal which is the promotion of liberal/progressive principles and ideas. I may have made significant progress in finding that balance which is critical to my vision for this blog. I found a web site that offers a very comprehensive review of current term voting records for both houses of Congress called themiddleclass.org.

It calls itself a tool kit for keeping your elected representative accountable. They weren't kidding either. The sight included a widget builder where you can pick any elected official in office and follow thier voting record complete with a score rating their accountability to the middle class interests. At first I was put off by the narrow scope of tracking via the "middle class" title but upon further examination you quickly discover its scope is much wider covering the middle, working, lower and poor classes with ratings reflecting their voting record and an overall score averaging those rankings in.

For example let's take my congressional representative Corrine Brown (D, FL - 3). I took her to task in my previous post for playing electoral politics on the Presidential level but her record and work for her constituency in congressional district #3 is exemplary. She also was one of the very few elected officials that tried to use the power of her office to question the 2000 election voting debacle. If Corrine never does anything else she will always have this voter's utmost respect and place in his heart for that. Her overall score for representation of her constituent’s interests is 100%. As a matter of fact her record for the entire first coast delegation is unequaled.

In the right sidebar I have included a nifty customized widget the themiddleclass.org offers. It gives the latest score each of our 535 members of Congress along with a clickable link taking you directly to their voting record by bill sorted by the most recent date. I have chosen to include all six members of the First Coast Congressional delegation: congressional districts 3, 4, 6, & 7 and our two state United States senators.

They include: Sen. Bill Nelson (D - FL); Sen. Mel Martinez (D - FL); Corrine Brown (D, FL - 3); Ander Crenshaw (R, FL - 4); Cliff Sterns (R, FL - 6); and John L. Mica (R, FL - 7). So far this year their scores as discussed above reflecting how well they've served their constituency as per their voting record should make it very clear who they think they best serve:
Rep. Corrine Brown: A - 100%
Ander Crenshaw: D (-) - 60%
Sen. Mel Martinez: F - 54%
Rep. John L. Mica: F - 45%
Sen. Bill Nelson: B - 85%
Rep. Cliff Sterns: F - 50%
OVERALL FIRST COAST CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION MEAN (AVERAGE)SCORE:
66% - D
With Rep. John Mica (R, FL - 7) bringing up the rear 45% and Corrine Brown leading the way with her 100%, the average rating of the entire First Coast Congressional delegation spreads over a 55% range giving it a median score of: 57% - F. The next question one would ask being presented with these numbers is how does the Congressional districts breakdown by population, median income, and PVI (Partisan Voting Index: whereas R +4 means 4% more registered Republicans in the district):
CD #3: Population - 586,694; median income - $29,785; PVI Democratic +16%
CD #4: Population - 734,246; median income - $43,947; PVI Republican +16%
CD #6: Population - 755,939: median income - $36,846; PVI Republican +8%
CD #7: Population - 722,139; median income - $40,525; PVI Republican +4%
The first thing one should notice is how vulnerable Rep. John L. Mica's CD is with a PVI of only R +4. Forgeting that for a moment let's look at what should be a more obvious fact that screams out at us: the total population of CD/s 4,6, and 7: 2,212,324. If we use the U.S. Census Bureau of the number of individuals that define a household (2.59) that translates into 854,179 households. Let's take the percentage of households in Florida making $200,000 or more annually and apply it to the total number of households of the three CD''s: @ 2.32% = 19,817 households. Still using the U.S. Census Bureau definition of a household (2.59 individuals) that translates into 51,326 people. If one heads over to the site themiddleclass.com and closely examines the voting records of these three individuals it doesn't just say who gets represented in these combined three districts, the shout out is deafening. There is no doubt these three are the darlings of the affluent at the expense of rest of the 2,160,998 people. Those 51,326 individuals should be throwing a party for these three with a year long fete celebrating the defenders of their tax brackets and corporate portfolios. As for the rest of the 2,160,998 people of the CD's the only accounting for their continued voting practices is their fear of all the atheist gays that "look" like middle eastern muslims (yeah, I know that paradigm is impossible but in some mind's of the GOP voter it isn't) who want to take their guns away from them. Or on a more elemental level, it could be as simple as them not having their voting records presented to them in a way that exposes the vulnerability of their pocketbook issues to their record. Let's hope we can find a way, and soon.

That's one of the reason's Truman's Conscience is troubled. Let's hope credible Democratic Party opponents can be found and rise to the occasion. This is the optimal moment for the opposition to strike and I don't care if the PVI is R +25. People are disenchanted and looking for answers. Answers the GOP brand will never offer. Let's hope the Democrats can get their acts together and come up with some. We'll be following here and proding them along to see if lightning can strike.

Stay tuned.

3 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome job on breaking down our regional districts. Will you be looking at the other 21 congressional districts in the state?

TrumanDem said...

Thanks for the props. Yeah, I'm going to try and analyize them by region in the state and cover all of them by election time.

TrumanDem

Truman's Conscience
"The Buck Stopped Here"

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