Putting Our Scorecards to Good Use
by Leah Southwell, Program Director
The first state Legislative Scorecards are out for the 2023 sessions. Our members are taking and running with them. Montana had 14 state legislators score 100 percent, Wyoming had 12, and South Dakota had eight. In the U.S. Congress, both Montana and Wyoming had a representative score 100 percent.
We provide this information because it holds legislators accountable to their oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. Do average citizens know how their legislators vote? No, they don’t. The Constitution sets the standard, not us. This isn’t a matter of opinion or whether we like the legislator. The scores are compiled by a legislative research team, and are based on the U.S. Constitution and Americanist principles.
The New American has created a beautiful award certificate for us to give to legislators with 100-percent scores to show our appreciation. We should look for opportunities to publicly present them, especially in their districts so voters also know. Our chapters are working to find opportunities to present the award to the nearest legislators. We are also sending “thank you” notes to those who scored close to 100 percent, and meeting individually with those who didn’t score so well to ask why they voted the way they did, and to encourage them to vote constitutionally next session.
One member has created a flyer listing Republican state legislators who scored the same as Democrats. This will help educate voters that simply having an “R” behind one’s name doesn’t make one a constitutionalist. Only the votes reveal the truth.
I have been personally asking each of the 100-percenters, especially those who aren’t JBS members, the following question: “What guides you in deciding how you will vote on bills?” I’ve received many answers, but all fell within the most complete answer I received, from state Representative Tina Mullay of Rapid City, South Dakota. She said she tests bills with five questions:
- Does it follow God’s law?
- Does it follow constitutional law?
- Does it infringe on the rights of the people?
- Does it increase taxes?
- Does it increase government?
Any legislator who asks these questions should get a 100-percent score.