2011 State Legislative Scorecard

For Immediate Release – Tuesday 14 February 2012

Contact: John Dennis, Chairman RLCCA, contact@rlcca.org

Republican Liberty Caucus of California Releases 2011 Legislative Scorecard

California, February 14, 2012 – Today the Republican Liberty Caucus of California announced the release of its 2011 State Legislative Scorecard. The RLCCA took positions on 31 bills during the 2011 legislative year. Fifteen of the bills dealt with matters relating to economic liberties, the other 16 bills dealt primarily with civil liberties. The scorecard assigns each legislator a civil liberty score, an economic liberty score, and a combined total score.

Republicans legislators earned scores in the range of 89 to 60, significantly better than Democratic legislators who scored in the range of 41 to 15. The scorecard also assigned a score of 35 to Governor Jerry Brown, based on whether or not the governor signed or vetoed each bill. Republican Assemblymembers earned an average score of 77, compared to an average score of 71 for Republican Senators. However not every bill was voted on in both houses.

Top scoring Assembly members include: Chris Norby (89), Allan Mansoor (87), Steve Knight (86), Dan Louge (84), Mike Morrell (82), David Valadao (82), Beth Gains (81), Diane Harkey (81), and Kristin Olson (81). Top scoring Senators include: Joel Anderson (80) and Ted Gaines (80).

“America in general, and California in particular, cannot solve its problems unless we rediscover the appropriate role of government in our lives. That role is to protect our liberties, no more, no less,” said RLCCA Chairman John Dennis. “The new RLCCA Legislative Scorecard highlights those legislators who understand the role of government, and points out those legislators who have failed voters. It’s a terrific new tool as the RLCCA helps build the market for the ideas of liberty.”

Civil liberty highlights include SB-888, which would have banned protesting near funeral ceremonies. The RLCCA opposed SB-888 in defense of the freedom of speech and assembly clauses of both the California and federal constitutions. SB-888 was vetoed by Governor Brown after it passed both houses nearly unanimously. Another highlight was SB-914, which would have required state law enforcement to obtain a search warrant prior to searching through a smart phone or other portable electronic device during any arrest. The RLCCA supported SB-914 in defense of the Fourth Amendment’s recognition of the right to be secure in one’s person, house, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches. SB-914 passed the Assembly unanimously and passed the Senate with strong bi-partisan support, only to be vetoed by the governor.

Economic liberty highlights include ABX1 26 and ABX1 27. ABX1 26, which the RLCCA supported, ended redevelopment agencies, allowing their monies to be used for other purposes in cash strapped California. ABX1 27, which the RLCCA opposed, would have allowed redevelopment agencies to be reconstituted by localities that wished to continue funding them. “In these two bills, it was curious to see large numbers of Republicans opposing private property rights and supporting the so-called redevelopment agencies that are in fact eminent-domain-wielding, property-tax-funded collectivist wealth redistribution schemes,” said Dennis. Both bills passed, but ABX1 27 was later ruled to be unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court.

Also noteworthy were partisan voting patterns. Excluding abstentions, Democratic legislators exhibited remarkably similar voting behavior: 35 out of 52 (or 67%) in the Assembly and 17 out of 25 (or 68%) in the Senate cast exactly the same vote on every bill on the scorecard. This voting pattern can be clearly seen in the chart on page 6 of the scorecard. “It is almost as if over two-thirds of elected Democrats are letting the party leadership make their decisions for them, rather than individually considering the merits of each bill,” said Dennis. While Republicans voted similarly on many bills, such lockstep voting was not present.

The complete scorecard is available online as a PDF at:
http://www.rlcca.org/y/2012/files/2011_scorecard.pdf.

The RLCCA works to advance the ideals of individual rights, limited government, and free enterprise within the State of California and the Republican Party. The RLCCA supports candidates and policies that uphold these principles in order to secure a free and prosperous future for ourselves and our children. Learn more atwww.rlcca.org.