Get Your Scorecard Here

Posted February 25, 2004 at 6:32pm

Admit it. They’re guilty pleasures. They may not be objective, but you love them anyway.

We’re talking, of course, about interest group Congressional scorecards.

The latest to be released was the annual report of the League of Conservation Voters, which National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.) just called “a front group for the Democrats.”

Democrats do tend to score better on the LCV charts than Republicans. But not always. So as a public service, here are some of the Members who defied partisan pigeonholing.

The highest scoring Republican Senator in the LCV’s analysis of the 2003 session? No surprise there — it was Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), who voted with the environmental group on key votes 79 percent of the time.

Northeasterners also did best among House GOPers. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) scored an 85, followed by Reps. Sue Kelly (R-N.Y.) and Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.), at 70 percent each.

A pair of Cajuns scored the lowest in the LCV report among Congressional Democrats. Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) and Rep. Chris John (D-La.), who hopes to succeed Breaux next year, both scored 5 percent.

Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), who routinely scores in the 90s in LCV tallies, also got a 5 from the organization. But that’s because he missed all but one of the LCV’s key votes while stumping for the White House in 2003.

Hill Experience. Frank Hill, a former chief of staff to Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), has joined Capstrat, a Raleigh, N.C.-based strategic communications firm. Hill, a 20-year veteran of Capitol Hill, will launch the firm’s new Washington, D.C., office.

Hill is a one-time chief of staff to then-Rep. Alex McMillan (R-N.C.) and was also a partner in a government relations firm that McMillan headed.

Hill will lead Capstrat’s federal relations group along with Ken Euday, the firm’s CEO who is a former executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party, and Doug Miskew, a former federal and state lobbyist for IBM.

Under New Management. Betty Castor, the former Florida education commissioner who is seeking the Democratic Senate nomination, has hired Deborah Reed to be her new campaign manager. Reed replaces Jeffrey Garcia, who departed for personal reasons.

Reed was campaign manager for 2002 Maine Democratic Senate nominee Chellie Pingree. She has also worked for Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) and labor unions.

New Candidate, New Manager. Joe Driscoll (D), who recently entered the race to replace Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in the swing 15th district, has hired a veteran operative to manage his campaign, the Easton Times Express reported.

David Nassar, who worked in Washington, D.C., for 11 years on a variety of campaigns and most recently led a union-backed health care campaign, is taking over. In 2000, Nassar worked as the national field director of the Arab American Institute, which is run by Jim Zogby, head of the Democratic National Committee’s Ethnic Coordinating Council.

Oregon GOP Hire No. 1. Oregon state Sen. Jackie Winters (R), who is in a tough primary fight in the 5th Congressional district, has hired a Republican Party operative to help her.

Katherine McDermott, administrative assistant for the Oregon Republican Party, will work as Winters’ grassroots coordinator.

Winters faces businessman Jim Zupancic, who has pummeled Winters for her support of Measure 30, a huge tax initiative, in the primary. Two-time nominee Brian Boquist may also run.

The winner will face Rep. Darlene Hooley (D), who has managed to hold on in an increasingly conservative district.

Oregon GOP Hire No. 2. Portland businessman Tim Phillips, who is in a primary fight for the right to take on Rep. David Wu (D), has hired Matt Evans, who worked for then-Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.), as communications director.

Most recently, Evans worked for Oregon Tax Research, a public policy organization, as executive director.

Phillips has a tough primary battle with another business executive, Goli Ameri.

Jones-ing for Delahunt. Mike Jones (R), a public relations executive who is seeking to unseat Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), has hired a grassroots operative from Rep. Jim Leach’s (R-Iowa) 2002 re-election campaign.

Trainor Walsh will serve as field director as the Jones campaign plans to focus on grassroots campaigning in the district that includes Cape Cod, Plymouth and Martha’s Vineyard.

Jones has raised more than $92,000 and drawn some big names to headline his fundraisers in his quest to unseat the four-term Congressman, but began the year with only $6,900 in the bank.

High Finance. Myrah Kirkwood (R), the former Detroit police officer who is running against Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), has named a member of the board of directors of Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Co. to serve as her campaign finance chairman.

Morrall Claramunt has served on the boards of several insurance advocacy groups and with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

Although Republicans are high on Kirkwood, Kildee has a stranglehold on the Flint-based district, having served for 14 terms.

Elizabeth Brotherton contributed to this report.