- The Washington Times - Friday, January 27, 2006

The editorial page of The Washington Times has reviewed the interest-group and ideological ratings and rankings of the three Republican House members — John Boehner of Ohio (first elected in 1990), John Shadegg of Arizona (1994) and Roy Blunt of Missouri (1996) — seeking the post of House majority leader, which Tom DeLay permanently vacated recently.

Mr. Shadegg, who has compiled five 100 percent ratings in 10 years from the American Conservative Union (ACU), has a lifetime ACU rating of 97.6. With four 100 percent ratings over 14 years, Mr. Boehner’s lifetime ACU rating is 93.4. Mr. Blunt, who has received two 100 percent ratings from the ACU in eight years, has a lifetime rating of 92.9. Over the latest three years (2002-2004), the average annual ACU scores have been: 98.7, Shadegg; 94.7, Blunt; and 90.7, Boehner.

With four consecutive 100 percent ratings from the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Boehner has compiled a lifetime COC rating of 94.4. Mr. Blunt’s lifetime COC rating is 93.7, while Mr. Shadegg has recorded a lifetime rating of 88.7 from the business organization.

The National Taxpayers Union (NTU), whose mission is the pursuit of limited government and low taxes, has issued a “fiscal snapshot” for the leader’s race. For 2004, NTU gave Mr. Shadegg an A, Mr. Blunt a B and Mr. Boehner a B+. NTU reports the following “lifetime percentage of A ratings”: Shadegg, 90 percent; Boehner, 14 percent; Blunt, 0 percent.

On the liberal end of the ideological continuum, Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), which selects 20 key votes each year, reports that none of the three candidates supported an ADA position in 2005, 2004 or 2002, although Mr. Shadegg (lifetime ADA rating of 3.6 percent) supported the ADA view four times in 2002, while Messrs. Blunt (lifetime ADA rating of 3.3) and Boehner (lifetime ADA rating of 2) supported one ADA issue that year. The candidates’ lifetime AFL-CIO ratings are: Blunt, 9.5 percent; Boehner, 3.6; and Shadegg, 2.5. Their lifetime ratings from the American Civil Liberties Union are: Shadegg, 14.2 percent; Blunt, 12.2; and Boehner, 8.9.

Each year National Journal magazine selects from 60 to 90 recorded floor votes and ranks all 435 representatives along conservative-liberal spectrums for economic, social and foreign-policy categories. From these rankings, National Journal derives composite conservative and liberal scores. In 2004, Mr. Shadegg’s composite conservative score was 94.5, compared to 85.5 for Mr. Boehner and 80.3 for Mr. Blunt. On the other hand, Mr. Blunt, who achieved a perfect composite conservative score in 2002, recorded a composite conservative score of 90.3 in 2003, compared to 87 for Mr. Boehner and 74.8 for Mr. Shadegg.

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