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Response to Speaker Andy Tobin re AFP-AZ Scorecard

August 15, 2012 J

Posted here is a letter AFP-Arizona received recently from Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, complaining about the methodology of our annual Legislative Scorecard.

Our existing statement on scorecard methodology should serve to answer most of Speaker Tobin’s claims, but we did want to address one particular comment by Tobin:

“While I personally do not give serious consideration to score cards or the need for them…”

That’s an interesting statement.  In the absence of watchdog scorecards — from various ideological perspectives — citizen taxpayers have to wade through hundreds or thousands of bills every year in order to form their own assessments of their legislators’ performance.  Without watchdog scorecards from pressure groups, citizen taxpayers who did not do deep research on hundreds of bills each year would have to rely upon the mainstream media (or worse yet, politicians themselves!) for assessments of their legislators’ performance.

The existence of watchdog scorecards is very helpful (and perhaps essential) to promoting open democratic discourse with regard to public policy in a modern republic.  That goes for left-wing scorecards, too.  In fact, AFP-Arizona often tells fiscal liberals and fans of Big Government taxation, spending, and regulation to simply go to the bottom of our annual scorecards to figure out who their own  legislative heroes are.

In any case, we are grateful to Speaker Tobin for sending us a written affirmation (by email) that he opposes the imposition of an ObamaCare/PPACA health insurance exchange in Arizona.  That action adjusted his score from 49 percent to 52 percent, and changed his designation from “Friend of Big Government” to “Needs Improvement.”

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity

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