2010 consumer credit rating for state legislators

by Adam Pollack, San Diego Examiner

San Diego’s California legislators in the Democratic party favored consumer rights protections during the 2009-10 session, the Consumer Federation of California reported in its 2010 Consumer Scorecard released on Thursday, December 16.

Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny scored a 100 percent for taking the consumers’ side on nine senate bills and four assembly bills. During the years 2005 to 2010, Assemblywoman Lori Saldana sided with consumers 97 percent of the time.

The federation counted the number of times the legislator moved a consumer protections bill forward by voting for the bill or by not voting during the legislative contests.

Vote for vote, there was a party split. With average scores of 87 percent in the assembly and 86 percent in the Senate, Democrats gave steady support to consumer rights, though 9 assemblymembers and 5 senators failed with federation scores of 69 percent or less.

Republicans, on average, came in on the consumer side only 5 percent of the time in the assembly and 11 percent of the time in senate.

The bills voted on covered important consumer concerns, such as financial privacy, household toxics, drug safety, false advertising, and real estate lending.

Three Democratic assemblymembers, Lori Saldana (Dist. 76), Mary Salas (Dist. 79), and V. Manuel Perez (Dist. 80) supported AB 482, a vetoed bill that would have stopped employers from getting their hands on a job applicant’s credit report when the report was not related to the job duties.

Republican senator Mark Wyland (Dist. 38) joined Democratic senators Christine Kehoe (Dist. 39) and Denise Moreno Ducheny (Dist. 40) in voting for SB 933, another bill the Governor vetoed, that would have ended the retailer practice of charging a fee for purchases made with a debit card or a pre-paid card.

Martin Garrick, a lead Republican, scored the lowest score for 2009-10 among San Diego legislators, zero percent. Democrat Marty Block scored a low 67 percent for District 78 consumers.

More protective than the average Republican, Sen. Mark Wyland picked three supportive positions and scored 23 percent.