Baron shows some "independence"....should we be impressed?
From Maureen Groppe in the C-J, measures of Hoosier lawmakers and the degree of independence they have exhibited from party leadership.
Five Indiana lawmakers, including Rep. Baron Hill of Southern Indiana, crossed party lines last year more often than most of their congressional colleagues, according to an independent analysis of House and Senate votes....
In the House, Hill and fellow Democrats Joe Donnelly and Brad Ellsworth were among the members of their party who crossed lines the most, according to Congressional Quarterly, an independent publication that tracks congressional votes.
Of course, the larger issue is not independence but whether those are the best votes. But to generalize, deviating from the leadership of the Democratic party is often a good thing.
The House party unity rankings were based on 730 of 1,177 roll call votes for which a majority of Democrats voted against a majority of Republicans.
Democrats voted with their party an average 92 percent of the time, the highest-ever party support level in the House recorded by Congressional Quarterly.
Hill sided with his party 82 percent of the time. Donnelly and Ellsworth were below that, 77 percent and 78 percent, respectively....
It's interesting that Democrats voted as a coalition more than ever. That diminishes the power of individuals voting against the crowd. And I wonder why Donnelly and Ellsworth deviated more often than Hill. Anyway, I guess I'd give Democrats a D- and Baron a D+. It's kinda like Baron calling himself a "fiscal conservative" (among Democrats). Not very impressive if you care about that sort of thing...
For those who might be interested, here are the statistics on Hoosier senators:
In the Senate, only two Democrats voted with Republicans more often than did Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind. And only five Republicans sided with Democrats more often than Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., who voted with his party the least often since he was elected in 1976.