A Washington DC firm, The Institute for Legislative Analysis (ILA), has published its report on the 2023 voting records of all 105 Idaho Legislators.
ILA describes its mission as,
“Advancing the limited government principles of the U.S. Constitution by increasing transparency within Congress and the 50 state legislatures.”Advertisement
ILA uses a scoring system they have dubbed the Limited Government Index (LGI). They call this the “ultimate scorecard,” and based its creation on the work of the American Conservative Union’s ratings work, which took a decade to develop.
“With over 38,665 votes the LGI’s congressional application has more unique sampled roll calls than the federal scorecards produced by over a dozen of the leading national policy groups – combined. The team is also taking the policy analysis within the LGI to the next level, as every bill or vote rated includes an in-depth analysis of its contents and how the measure aligns with or against the limited government principles of the U.S. Constitution.”
ILA’s goal is to use this information and knowledge to have its biggest impact at the state legislative level.
“…it is largely a mystery as to where each of our country’s 7,383 state lawmakers stand on policy. This will require the ILA’s team of policy analysts to utilize a limited government and constitutional lens to evaluate the over 100,000 bills introduced across the 50 state legislatures in order to provide an individual rating for every single state lawmaker.”
ILA describes its process, procedures, and methodology for analysis:
“The ILA’s research process consists of multiple steps to ensure every key bill, amendment and procedural vote is properly analyzed and rated. The ILA team reviews bill testimony, fiscal notes and text, shifts through hundreds of thousands of pages within legislative journals, monitors local media reporting, and consults with local policy experts that follow the legislatures. Additionally, all policy analysts are specially trained to navigate the unique legislative procedures of the 50 state capitols to select the correct votes and bill versions.Advertisement
These tools break down complex bills into short summaries while recording how each lawmaker voted. As a result, any individual can easily comprehend all of the policies that were voted upon and where their lawmakers stand.”
The results and conclusions of the Idaho analysis are that,
“…a number of Idaho lawmakers are incorrectly aligning themselves with political parties that do not match their values based on their voting records.”
ILA also rates the behavior of the Governor.
“The analysis found that Governor Brad Little sided with the Limited Government position 42.53% of the time which corresponds to a Democratic political philosophy. The data revealed that Governor Little strongly aligned with limited government on policies relating to election integrity and individual liberties but aligns with the progressive wing of the Democratic party on fiscal, spending, and regulatory-related issues.”
The full ILA press release regarding Idaho:
“WASHINGTON, DC – A just released study on the Idaho Legislature has found a number of Idaho lawmakers are incorrectly aligning themselves with political parties that do not match their values based on their voting records. The findings are part of an analysis of 5,670 lawmaker votes conducted by the Institute for Legislative Analysis (ILA) a national policy and data hub recently established by the former scorecard team of the American Conservative Union (CPAC).
The study reassigned each lawmaker to the correct political party that matches their philosophical values based upon their votes. The data reveals that philosophically Democratic lawmakers are actually in control of the State Senate (21 Democrats to 14 Republicans) while philosophically Republican lawmakers are holding onto a narrow majority in the State House of Representatives (38 Republicans to 32 Democrats). All lawmakers are placed on a 0 to 100 political ideology scale based on their adherence to the limited government principles of the U.S. Constitution. Scores of “0% – 50%” equate a Democrat philosophy while scores of “51% – 100%” mark a Republican philosophy.
The ILA applies the same methodology to every state it researches. In most states including California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania not a single self-defined Republican scored below a 60%. Idaho represents one of the very worst cases of fraudulent party identification, perhaps even worse than what ILA recently exposed in Wyoming.
The ILA also evaluated the bill signage and veto history of Idaho’s Governor through the nation’s first legislative Governor rating system. The analysis found that Governor Brad Little sided with the Limited Government position 42.53% of the time which corresponds to a Democratic political philosophy. The data revealed that Governor Little strongly aligned with limited government on policies relating to election integrity and individual liberties but aligns with the progressive wing of the Democratic party on fiscal, spending and regulatory-related issues. The Governor and every lawmaker is provided separate ratings across 10 key policy categories to help better pinpoint political party alignment.
“Unfortunately, it appears a significant number of philosophically Democratic lawmakers have decided to mislabel their party affiliation as ‘Republican.’ said Ryan McGowan, CEO of the Institute for Legislative Analysis. “This deceptive practice by ‘Republican’ lawmakers should greatly concern the citizens of Idaho as it is resulting in the implementation of Big Government policies. Such policies are familiar to progressive states like California or New York, places with values I don’t think are shared by many in the Gem State.”
Earlier this year, the ILA produced the most comprehensive and in-depth vote record analysis ever conducted on Congress made up of nearly 40,000 votes. In September, the ILA released a policy record analysis spanning 10,000 actions taken by Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, Tim Scott and Mike Pence.”
The full Idaho report can be found here: ID-Guide-2023.pdf (limitedgov.org)
Kootenai County Republican Central Committee Chairman and Chairman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, Brent Regan, tweeted the ILA conclusion:
“A just released study on the Idaho Legislature has found a number of Idaho lawmakers are incorrectly aligning themselves with political parties that do not match their values based on their voting records.”
Several Idaho lawmakers shared the report on Twitter, adding their own thoughts to the posts.
Idaho Dispatch reached out and asked for comment from two of the Senators the analysis found to have “mislabeled their party affiliation as Republican,” Senate Pro Tempore Chuck Winder (D20-Meridian) and Senator Scott Grow (D14-Eagle). This article will be updated if responses are received.
Tags: 2023 Idaho Legislature, 2023 Legislative Session, American Conservative Union, Brent Regan, Governor Brad Little, ILA, Legislative Analysis, LGI, Limited Government Index, Political Party Affiliation, Representative Josh Tanner, Scorecard, Senator Brian Lenney, Senator Scott Herdon, The Institute for Legislative Analysis, Voting Record