For a while, I wondered if “Tom” wasn’t the MNGOP’s gubernatorial candidate’s middle name. Listening to the Minnesota media, one might think his first name is “Right-wing-Extremist”.
In the meantime, they christened his opponent and erstwhile sparring partner in the House, Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, as a “moderate”.
But Rachel Stassen-Berger, writing in the Strib, notes that I if Emmer is an “extremist”, then so is Kelliher; their voting records almost perfectly mirror one another:
Check out how various organizations rated the two House colleagues. The scores below are based on 2009 votes, unless otherwise noted:
AFSCME Council 5 (The state employees union)
Clean Water Action (These are based on 2008 votes. The groups rates lawmakers votes for “our water, our health and our environment.”)
Conservation Minnesota ( “We help you and other Minnesotans protect the lands, lakes, and way of life that we all cherish. We do so by helping Minnesotans evaluate the performance of your elected representatives.”)
Legislative Evaluative Assembly (“LEA bases its evaluation on the traditional American principles of
constitutionalism, limited government, free enterprise, legal and moral order with justice and individual liberty and dignity.”)
Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (“Our issue priorities include: achieving fair compensation for state employees, fixing our broken health care system, preventing outsourcing and privatization of state services and protecting our pension and retirement benefits.)
AFL-CIO (These are lifetime ratings through 2008. “The mission of the Minnesota AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families—to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state and the nation.”)
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce (“Our voting records represent the most important votes on the issues that impact Minnesota businesses and jobs – they are not intended to endorse or oppose any candidate for office.”)
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (“MCCL compiles the voting records of lawmakers on key pro-life issues that come before the legislature”)
Minnesota Family Council (The Council rates lawmakers on what it considers “pro-family” votes)
Emmer — 90 percent (He was absent for one scored vote.)
NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota (“We highlight the choice votes that occurred during the 2009 legislative session.”)
National Federation of Independent Business (These are 2007-2008 ratings. Legislators got high scores if they “supported legislation important to small business.”)
Organizing Apprenticeship Project (The project gives its “assessment of the state legislature’s and governor’s efforts to move policies that strengthen opportunity, racial equity and American Indian tribal sovereignty.”)
Taxpayers League of Minnesota (“The Taxpayers League of Minnesota is a nonpartisan, nonprofit grassroots taxpayer advocacy organization which fights for lower taxes, limited government and full empowerment of taxpaying citizens in accordance with Constitutional principles.”)
So which is it? Is Kelliher an “extremist”, too? Or are they both merely partisans who get routinely praised and/or slagged by their special-interest friends/enemies?