Thursday, August 13, 2009

Latham Worst At Progressive Punch

Latham Worst At Progressive Punch

By at least one measure, Tom Latham is the worst member of Congress.

Watchdog group Progressive Punch has released its yardsticks, and measuring member voter scores vs. voting behavior of the district, Latham ranks number 434, with one seat vacant.

While Steve King is considered Iowa's arch-conservative based on his rhetoric, in a highly polarized House Latham's actual voting record is very similar. Latham ranks below Steve King because the 4th district is labeled as "leaning Democratic" based on Barack Obama's narrow win, while King's 5th CD is safely Republican. So Latham ranks 77 points worse than his district for a last-place rank.

Progressive Punch is notoriously tough; Dennis Kucinich gets a three star "acceptable" rating. All five Iowa members get a one star "intolerable," but the distinctions are clear. Dave Loebsack and Bruce Braley switch places depending on the measure, but on lifetime balance they're near the high end for non-big city districts. Leonard Boswell has been improving but still ranks near the low end of northern Democrats.

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