Weaponizing “Scorecards” and the Folks that Lie About Them

By Will Hall | June 12th, 2018 at 7:04 am

BY: Will Hall / Contributor

Filed Under: Business, Chris McDaniel, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Contributor, Elections, Feature Stories, Federal Government, Legislature, Mississippi, Mississippi PEP, MS State Government, Opinion, Politics, Republican, Spending, State Bonds, Will Hall

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Cindy Hyde-Smith and her friends in the establishment.

After receiving three consecutive failing grades from NumbersUSA, Americans for Prosperity, and Mark Levin’s Conservative Review, the Hyde-Smith campaign finally grabbed a breath of fresh air with the BIPEC release of their annual legislative scorecard.

Upon first glance, BIPEC’s scorecard reads like any other – it has a list of legislators whom they hail as “champions of business,” while points are given and taken away based on votes they see as critical. Though it appears objective and fair, further inspection of the scorecard reveals some very peculiar inconsistencies in regards to the methodology in grading.

While Senator Dennis DeBar voted with BIPEC on every bill they supported, he received a ‘B’ rating, presumably due to his ‘nay’ vote on a procedural measure, all while various other legislators seem to miss the mark on two or even three votes endorsed by BIPEC yet managed to secure the prestigious ‘A’ rating.

Even more fascinating is the case of Senators Chris McDaniel and Michael Watson. The two Senators voted the same on their respective measures graded by BIPEC yet Senator Watson managed to sneak off with a ‘B’ rating all while Sen. McDaniel got stuck with a ‘C’ that put him at the bottom of the pile of Republican legislators.

Both Senators Watson and McDaniel had the same number of nay votes in the 2018 BIPEC Legislative Report Card. McDaniel, however, received a ‘C’ rating, while Watson received a ‘B’.

Voting ‘no’ on just two measures supported by BIPEC, Senator McDaniel had the audacity to vote against a wasteful transportation spending package and a Medicaid reauthorization package that played directly into the hands of healthcare lobbyists.

McDaniel’s record seems like a legislator voting his conscience instead of in favor of the interests of big money lobbyists.

Not daring to miss an opportunity to attack Senator McDaniel, unelected U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith sent out an email to supporters today with the tagline “McDaniel claims to be courageous and conservative—the truth is, he is neither.”

It’s no surprise that Senator Hyde-Smith doesn’t even know what it means to be courageous or conservative, as she served as a Democratic lawmaker for more than a decade in the Mississippi legislature and has not bothered to challenge a single measure proposed by the Republican establishment in Washington.

If doing exactly what a lobbyist wants you to do is courageous or if voting for hundreds of millions in pet projects is conservative, then Cindy Hyde-Smith is the most courageous conservative Mississippi could ever ask for.

But let’s not forget that Cindy Hyde-Smith spent the majority of her career in the legislature bouncing between B and C ratings while Senator McDaniel has spent the majority of his career comfortably in the As.

Let’s also not forget that when it comes to growing business, Senator Hyde-Smith voted in the 2008 Democratic primary where she chose between two of the staunchest opponents of free market principles, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The choice in Mississippi could not be clearer: Do Mississippians want a US Senator who sees courage in standing up for a lobbyist donation check or do they want a US Senator who isn’t scared to stand up for the principles they believe in?

That vote, at least, is still one which cannot be bought.