National Conservative Group Weighs in on Md. Officials

    The 2019 General Assembly session drew to a close this week, but a leading national conservative group has just completed an analysis of the 2018 session. The unsurprising verdict of the American Conservative Union: the legislature isn’t very conservative.

    The ACU used 27 House votes and 26 Senate votes from 2018 to rate lawmakers. Ten Republican legislators – all in the House – racked up scores of 90 percent or better. Twenty Democratic senators and 38 delegates got scores of 10 percent or less – and were dubbed the “Coalition of the Radical Left.”

    The average score in the state Senate was 26 percent; Democrats’ average was 9 percent, while the GOP average was 65 percent. The highest scoring Democratic was then-Sen. James N. Mathias Jr. of the Lower Shore, with 19 percent. The lowest scoring Republican was Anne Arundel Sen. Edward Reilly, with a 54 percent score.

    In the House, the overall average score was 35 percent – 10 percent for Democrats and 81 percent for Republicans. The highest scoring Democrat was Anne Arundel Del. Edward S. Carey at 26 percent. The lowest scoring Republican was then-Del. Robert L. Flanagan of Howard County, who rung up a 44 percent score.

    The ACU also weighed in on the state’s congressional delegation for its 2018 votes. Not surprisingly, the state’s lone Republican, Rep. Andrew P. Harris, was awarded a 96 percent score. The Democrats’ scores ranged from 12 percent (then-Rep. John K. Delaney) to 4 percent (Rep. John P. Sarbanes).

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.