Wednesday, April 09, 2008

How Does Minnesota Rank on Compassionate Conservatism

'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Mixing Politics and Religion may not make friendships, but what happens when they intersect ?

In essence, how as a society do (or should) we care for the poor ?

Those are heavy subjects, that everyone can ponder for themselves. That is not for me to comment on, but Poverty is everywhere in America including right here in Minnesota. While the headlines are full with stories of 80,000 jobs lost in March and over 30,000 foreclosures in Minnesota, poverty is a daily fact of life for too many in our communities.

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law has recently issued its 2007 Poverty Scorecard. It assigns letter grades to each member of the United States Senate and House of Representatives according to their voting records on the most important poverty-related issues that came to a vote in 2007, including legislation on affordable housing, health care, education, labor, tax policy and immigrants' rights. With the help of a national advisory board and other anti-poverty experts, the Shriver Center identified and analyzed fourteen critical Senate votes and fifteen critical House votes.

Poverty shouldn’t be a partisan issue, yet I notice that Republican Senators with longevity seem to get higher scores. The list is headed by Arlen Specter (R-PA) rated B scoring 71; Dick Lugar (R-IN) C-57, and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) B-64. Also, those Republicans who terms will be decided this November, also scored higher than others; such as Susan Collins (R-ME) B-71, Gordon Smith (R-OR) C-54, and our own, Norm Coleman who is rated C scoring 43.

Looking at the Republicans in the House, it is not a surprise to see that Jim Ramstad earned a B rating with a score of 60. For the record, Michele Bachmann was rated a D with a score of 20 while John Kline earned an F with a rating of 7.

In comparison, all Minnesota Democrats were rated A.
In the House, Tim Walz, Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, and Jim Oberstar scored a perfect score at 100 while Colin Peterson scored a 93. In the Senate, Amy Klobuchar scored an 86.

As I stated, Poverty shouldn’t be a partisian issue yet I have to wonder when some preach the George Bush message of Compassionate Conservatism what they really mean.

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