Goldwater Institute Report Card: Arizona Lawmakers Not Extremely Goldwater-y


The right-wing Goldwater Institute released its "legislative report card," and if you're buyin' what the institute's sellin', then liberty is on the decline here in Arizona.

Well, at least, the Legislature's not as Goldwater-y as it has been in years past, according to the report card.

However, since the recipient of the highest score in all the land from the Goldwater Institute went to someone (Republican Senator Judy Burges) who thinks the president is from Kenya, and believes straight up communism is being instituted by the United States government, we're not convinced that a high score from the Goldwater Institute is a good thing.

See also:
-Goldwater Institute Feeds from Tax-Exempt Trough While Decrying Cost of Medicaid

Burges tied with fellow Senator Andy Biggs for the top score, at 74.

Believe it or not, every Republican scored above 50, and every Democrat under 50.

The least Goldwater-y legislator is Democratic Representative Juan Mendez, who received national attention earlier in the legislative session for leaving God out of his "prayer" to kick off an afternoon in the House.

In general, it looks like the Goldwater Institute devotees are on a bit of a decline. Here's part of the release from the Goldwater Institute on the report card:
Now in its 11th year, the Goldwater Institute's Legislative Report Card analyzed 326 votes taken by the Legislature in 2013. The Report Card considers legislation in the areas of education reform, tax and budget policy, regulation, and constitutional government.

For the first time since 2003, scores in both the House of Representatives and the Senate declined from the previous year, with an average score of 54% in both chambers. No legislator received an overall score of A or higher.

"After redistricting, and with the battle over Medicaid expansion producing unusual anti-liberty coalitions, it appears the pro-liberty gains of past years have been blunted," said Nick Dranias, Goldwater Institute Director for Policy Development and the author of the report. "Hopefully, this will prove to be a temporary phenomenon. There is reason to hope because, while average scores are lower, most median scores are higher, indicating that more legislators have improved their scores than otherwise."
So, before Arizona's new communist regime bans reading materials and throws the First Amendment in the incinerator, take a look at the Goldwater Institute's report card here, comrade.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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Believe it or not, every Republican scored above 50, and every Democrat under 50. Mangal

dennis20 topcommenter

Why does anyone take this group of over paid lobbyists seriously? 

They have only one interest in mind and that is their own.


I wonder how Barry Goldwater would grade the organization that bears his name?


So the Tea Party Institute issues a report that sanctions leaders who focus on nothing but lower taxes, no abortions because Jesus said so, subsidies for the job creators in China, and gays are bad. They might as well change their name to the Ted Cruz Policy Institute home of the Canadian Cuban Anchor Baby.


why is it these folks call them selves "constitutionalists" yet they wipe their asses with said constitution.

Do they have some secrete constitution we don't know about?  Or is it they plan on repealing the bill of rights and all the other amendments?

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is not vice." I guess the overall goal of the Goldwater Institute is to out-Goldwater Barry Goldwater. He was a piker compared to them.


Why not.  It is as good a tool to evaluate as a news report by any other organization.  


Goldwater Institute cannot sanction any legislator directly.  Voters can choose to punish a legislator or can re-elect a legislator.  As for Ted Cruz, I welcome his participation in the political marketplace.  


I don't notice the Goldwater Institute folks call themselves constitutionalists very often, usually they use the line "Preserving Liberty, One Freedom at a Time."  A Constitution is just a tool.  Most government employees I know swear to obey the Constitution and take their oath seriously.  I would hope that most Americans, be they liberal, conservative or socialist are Constitutionalists.


@teknik They don't have a secret constitution. They just make it up as they go along.


@Thane.Eichenauer They give lip service only to accountability; unless, of course, it's accountability for the other guy.

Our lawmakers are much too important to be arrested for breaking the law as mere peons are subject to.  They just cry 'legislative immunity' and it's all okay.  HIt and run? No problem. Just pay a small fine.  Likewise with creating a disturbance in a public school. You can always buy your way out of a prosecution... if you're a lawmaker in Arizona. Or a friend of one of the really important guys. You can get away with child molestation in that case. 

Corruption and graft are also okay. (Think Fiesta Bowl, scholarships to ALEC conferences, etc.)  How about refusing to make a law limiting gift amounts? Non-compliance with gift reporting that does demand disclosure? Just go back a decade or so and amend your disclosure. No problem there.

And just where are those elusive pesky cancelled checks?

The list is too damn long to even begin to list them all.        


I would recommend that you go forth and look for an Arizona conservative.  I would be very much surprised if you found even one that didn't believe in accountability.  The concept of the rule of law, one law for everybody, is one I hear about from many conservatives.  You might, just might, want to attend a Goldwater Institute event and ask some fellow attendees what they think of the concept of accountability.  Please give my suggestion some due consideration.

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