Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Monday, June 16, 2003  

So I figure that if people are going to be convinced that Kucinich is the man, they're gonna need the data. Fair enough.

Global Stewards has compiled some stats on those candidates currently in office (which means no Dean). It's not a bad place to start, just to eliminate the other slackers. They have scores on environment, labor, civil rights, animal rights (?), authority on the Iraq invasion, and an overall "liberal quotient." These ratings mostly come from outside sources (League of Conservation Voters, AFL-CIO, NAACP, The Humane Society and Fund for Animals, and Americans for Democratic Action, respectively).

Because I don't know how to insert a table, you can go look at their aggregate table here. Kucinich was third of six on the environment (90%), first on labor rights (98%; Gephardt, tellingly, was 4th), tied for fifth on civil rights (89%), first on animal rights (100%), and was one of only two to vote against the war resolution (Graham was the other, though this is misleading; he felt it was too timid).

I will show the "liberal quotient" scores, because they're interesting. (Website explanation: "'Liberal Quotient' Ratings (0-100%) for each of the possible or declared current Congressional candidates based on how they voted each year on 20 key votes that covered a wide range of social and economic issues, both domestic and international. Shown below: Lifetime Average Rating.")

93% Senator John Kerry (MA)
90% Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (OH)
88% Senator John Edwards (NC)
83% Congressman Richard Gephardt (MO)
76% Senator Joe Lieberman (CT)
69% Senator Robert Graham (FL)

I think the message on all of these is that they're only guages: if a candidate has voted well on a eight of ten key pieces of legislation, but has voted badly on the last two as well as most of a number of lesser bills, that needs to be taken into account. Character also counts for a lot--which is why Dean's captured the hearts of a number of bloggers.

Civil Rights
He voted no on one bill, and the NAACP didn't know how he voted on the other. The thing he voted against was actually an amendment to an education bill that would have stricken the federal requirement that states test children for math and reading in grades 3-8. The one they didn't know what his vote was a resolution to encourage humanitarian relief and assistance to sub-saharan Africa. I'm guessing he either supported it or would have; the vote was 400-9. Hard to call him lacking on his civil rights record.

There's no way to tell from the the League's numbers how he voted on particular items. His low score comes from an 86% rating in the 105th Congress--the last two (106th and 7th) he was 90% and 95%. No lifetime statistic is given.

Here he's really getting whumped. According to the most recent data I could find (here and here), Kucinich has a paltry $180k. That compares to millions raised by others, including $2.6 mil raised by Dean.

Translation: he needs help! Starting today, he's getting mine.

posted by Jeff | 9:53 PM |
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