The 2018 Principles of Liberty Scorecard has arrived!
There are many familiar faces, and a couple of new ones this year. Representative Justin Everett is back at #1 this year—familiar territory for him as he has been the top scoring legislator 5 out of his 6 years in the legislature. 2016’s top scorer, House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, narrowly missed the A+ necessary to receive an award by just 1% this year, receiving a still highly commendable score of 92.1%. Legislative newcomer Shane Sandridge received an award winning A+ in his first year in the legislature.
We will present awards to 3 highest scoring legislators in the Colorado State Senate and the Colorado State House as well as the other legislators who received a score of A+ on Saturday, June 9th during the Armstrong Gala Dinner at the Western Conservative Summit. You can pick up a copy of this year’s scorecard and meet our Executive Director, Chelsea Spencer, at the Summit.
We create our scorecard by recording a legislator’s votes on the hundreds of bills that POL analyzes with the 8 Core Principles that we use as our standard for legislative analysis. This year, POL scored 252 Colorado bills. Our bill analyses during the legislative session are usually published by POL BEFORE legislators cast their votes, allowing time for productive dialogue amongst legislators and citizens on legislation. Our scores convey the percentage of the time that your legislator voted in agreement with our conclusions about the bills we rated. The POL scorecard provides raw scores that reflect the percentage of the time that a legislator voted “yes” on bills that POL said support our principles, and “no” on bills that POL said oppose our principles.
The POL scorecard uses every single bill analyzed. If we rate a bill, it is scored– there is no picking/choosing. Because POL analyzes and utilizes so many bills in our scorecard, our scorecard is the most statistically significant rating system in the state. A legislator can disagree with POL on over two dozen bills and still earn a score of over 80%. Our scorecard has room for differing viewpoints on a variety of policies while still effectively capturing a broad picture of whether a legislator consistently supports the core principles essential to free people, free markets, and good government. For 2018, a total of 24 legislators earned grades of average or better.
The scorecard is a powerful tool, but it is not an arbiter of final judgment. It is an objective, consistent, rational way to evaluate the voting records of legislators and therefore a useful tool for identifying trends and making relative comparisons. These “scores” are simply a byproduct of what we do—they are not the reason for what we do. Our goal is to generate discussion about the role of government, and the scorecards are simply an effective tool to help us do so.
If you look at how we define our principles (located on our website), look at our explanations of the bills we rated, and find that you agree with our view on the role of government, then we hope these scores will provide you with a starting point for productive discussions with your legislators. We hope these numbers encourage you to discuss Free People, Free Markets, and Good Government!
Colorado State Senate
Colorado State House of Representatives