Watchdog group gives ‘LIST’ of good and bad votes

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 03-Jun-2010

Oklahomans for Responsible Government today (Thursday, June 3) posted the results of its first Legislative Index and Scorecard for Taxpayers, the “OFRG LIST.” OFRG on its website ( identified 21 measures that would have an impact on the average taxpayer and scored lawmakers, based on the group’s analysis, on whether legislators voted for the good bills and against the bad ones.

“We feel this is the only legislative ranking that looks at policy decisions which affect taxpayers’ pocketbooks,” said Brian Downs, OFRG Executive Director.  “We’ve made it easy for anyone to look up their lawmaker and see how they voted on bills that promote a more efficient and transparent government.”

Only bills that received a vote on third or fourth reading in at least one house were considered. Committee votes and appropriations bills are not part of the LIST

Lawmakers who voted in the best interest of taxpayers get a point and then the grade is derived based on the number of points divided by the total number of LIST bill votes for which they were present.

In the Senate, the average score was 80.1%. There were 20 bills making up the LIST on the Senate side, 17 required a Yes vote and three required a No vote to get a point.  Only one Senator received a perfect LIST score.

In the House, the average score was 83.1%. There were 17 bills making up the LIST in the House with 15 requiring a Yes vote and two requiring a No vote.  Eight House members got a perfect LIST score.

“It’s encouraging to see both houses get an above average overall score, but there were some bills which should have been defeated that weren’t,” said Downs. “We hope taxpayers will go through the LIST to see how their legislators scored and ask tough questions if they don’t like what they see.”
Oklahomans for Responsible Government describes itself as “a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability in state government.”