Stuck in the Middle - Updated
Who are the most centrist legislators?
By Richard Whittaker,
10:38AM, Mon. Aug. 13, 2007
We've already brought you the most (Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Rockwall) and least (Rep. Paul Moreno, D-El Paso) conservative Texas legislators, as measured by right-wing religious pressure group the Heritage Alliance. But what of the middle ground of supposedly centrist Republicans and right-wing Democrats?
Joe Heflin, D-Crosbyton, and David Farabee, D-Wichita Falls, tie at 58% as the most conservative Dems. This makes them more acceptable to Heritage Alliance tastes than Republicans Delwin Jones, R-Lubbock, (55%), Joe Straus III, R-San Antonio, (52%), and lowest-scoring GOPer Anna Mowery, R-Fort Worth, scraping in with 51%. Meanwhile, the Senate lives up to its reputation as the Chamber that avoids extremes. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, may have the most conservative voting record of all his colleagues, but still only gets a 79% rating. Similarly, table tail-ender Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, comes in with a 40%.
And where does the Austin caucus come in all of this? Kirk Watson places well in the lower half of the Senate with 45%, but still comes in above the House contingent of Mark Strama (34%), Dawna Dukes (31%), and Elliot Naishtat and Eddie Rodriguez (who we forgot earlier - sorry, Eddie) tying on (24%).