Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Do NOMINATE scores reveal legislators' true ideological preferences?

Um... not so much:
California legislators can change voting records after bills have passed or failed 
In a closely contested state Senate campaign, Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani has been urging voters to judge her on her legislative achievements, saying on her website that she is "proud to have a record of standing up for the people of my district."

Voters who try to examine the record of the Central Valley Democrat may come away with the wrong impression. 
They would not be able to tell that Galgiani remained silent during 136 votes, adding her vote to those pieces of legislation only after the bills had already passed or failed. 
Nor would they see that she voted against a welfare to work bill supported by her party and voted for the establishment of a new school efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction fund. The reason: She changed her votes after the fact on both bills. 
California is one of at least 10 state legislative bodies nationwide in which some lawmakers can amend their votes.
This is indeed a disturbing universe.

(h/t Thad Kousser)

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