CFC releases 2012 Scorecard for State Legislators

CFC logo 320 x 194The Consumer Federation of California (CFC) released its 2012 Scorecard for State Legislators, which rates lawmakers on their votes cast on key consumer rights bills including utility regulation, access to civil justice, truth in advertising, debt collection practices, automobile safety, insurance policyholder protection, corporate accountability, and more. Scores are based on the percentage of votes in which the lawmaker sided with consumers.

Click here to view the scorecard and the description of the legislation used to grade lawmakers. If you don’t know who represents you, find out here.

The combined average of pro-consumer Democrat and Republican scores were 54 percent in the Assembly and 59 percent in the Senate.

The scorecard highlights a split between the two parties when it comes to consumer rights protections. Assembly Democrats scored an average of 81 percent, with Senate Democrats averaging 85 percent. Assembly Republicans took the side of consumers less than one percent of the time and Senate Republicans scored better than Assembly Republicans, siding with consumers an average of 16 percent of the time.

Ten out of the 52 Assembly Democrats scored 100 percent and another eight out of 25 Senate Democrats earned a perfect score. In contrast, 24 out of 27 of the Republicans in the Assembly scored ‘0’, with the other 3 Republicans scoring 10, 11 and 13 percent. In the Senate, 13 of the 15 Republicans scored 25 percent or below, with one receiving a score of ‘0’.

However, not all Democratic lawmakers received high marks. Twenty-one Assembly Democrats received grades of 77 percent or below, with 12 receiving poor or failing grades of 67 percent or less. In the Senate, four Democratic Senators scored 60 percent or below.

Also included in the scorecard are ‘lifetime’ legislator scores, based on CFC scorecards issued each year. Percentages represent the total number of right and wrong votes cast by the lawmaker during his or her tenure in the legislature from 2005 through 2012.

Consumer Champions

Seven legislators with lifetime pro-consumer scores of 100% deserve special recognition as consumer champions. The following lawmakers have compiled career pro consumer scores (2 years or more) of 100%:

In the State Assembly, they are Tom Ammiano, Mike Feuer, Jared Huffman, Bonnie Lowenthal, and Bill Monning.

State Senate members include Ellen Corbett and Mark Leno.

‘This scorecard should help Californians evaluate how their lawmakers voted on consumer protection bills that affect our pocketbooks, our privacy, and our health and safety, but often get little news coverage,’ said Richard Holober, Executive Director of the Consumer Federation of California.