Saturday, August 15, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, September 19, 2010
Congress.org: "Abercrombie is a follower"
By Andrew Walden @ 12:36 AM :: 14528 Views :: Democratic Party, Congressional Delegation

by Andrew Walden (Originally published June 2, 2010)

Gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie says: “This election will be a referendum on leadership.”

Fascinating.  What do Abercrombie’s nearly 20 years in Congress say?

From Congress.org:

“Abercrombie is a follower according to our statistical analysis of bills in this legislative session. Abercrombie tends to cosponsor the bills of other Members of Congress who do not cosponsor Abercrombie’s own bills.”

The 2008 (most recent year available) power scores of House members range between zero and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 97.30.  Abercrombie's 16.39 places him in the 17th percentile after 18 years in Congress.

According to Congress.org, Abercrombie’s “power score” made him the most ineffectual Democrat among the members of Congress first elected in 1986.  Abercrombie's score was only 43% of the average 1986 Democrat.  Even with Republicans in the minority, Abercrombie’s power is only 82% of the average 1986 Republican.  Four out of the five 1986 Republicans  outranked Abercrombie.

But of course Abercrombie is a member of the class of 1986 solely because he served for a few months after winning the 1986 Special Election against Mufi Hannemann and Patsy Saiki.  That year, Abercrombie lost the concurrent Democratic Primary and the Republican Saiki won the one-on-one November faceoff with Hannemann.  Abercrombie returned to Congress only in 1990 when he won the seat that Saiki vacated to run unsuccessfully for Senate.

But comparing Abercrombie to the class of 1990 doesn’t help him much.  According to Congress.org figures, Abercrombie’s power score would be 17th out of 20 House members first elected in 1990.  He beats two Republicans and one Democrat, none of whom survived the 2008 election.

The only one of the three beaten by Abercrombie not tainted by scandal was anti-war Republican Wayne Gilchrest who had only a 8.07 power score.  Ostracized by his own party and out of step with his Annapolis, MD district, Gilchrest was defeated 44% – 32% in the 2008 Republican Primary by Maryland GOP State Senator Andy Harris who then proceeded to lose the seat to a Democrat.

Abercrombie outranks only two other House members of the class of 1990: 

  • California Republican John Doolittle, whose home was raided in 2007 by the FBI as part of an Abramoff-related corruption probe. (Power Score: 3.56) 
  • Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson, who took $90,000 cash as part of a videotaped FBI sting operation and put it in his freezer. (Power Score 0.04)

Abercrombie also outranks one Senator from the class of 1990:  Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig who was caught in 2007 looking for gay sex in a public restroom at the Minneapolis Airport.  Craig’s power score is 4.34. 

Most of Abercrombie’s power score derives from his position a Chair of a House subcommittee.  Challenged on his lack of executive experience by his Democrat primary opponent, Mufi Hannemann, Abercrombie’s campaign website argues:

In January 2007, Neil was named Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces that oversees the U.S. Army and Air Force operations, budget, and equipment and weapons system procurement. In this role, Neil was responsible for a budget of over $100 billion, and worked with Republicans and Democrats. Neil made it a point to seek consensus and is widely praised by his colleagues on both sides for his fairness, intelligence and commitment to the public good.

Having a position is one thing, using it effectively is another.  Abercrombie’s 2008 ranking for “influence” had him in the 79th percentile—after 18 years.  By comparison, Mazie Hirono, after only one term in Congress, ranks in the 83rd percentile.  

For “legislative activity” Abercrombie and Hirono were tied in the 36th percentile with a rating of 1.0.  By this measure, 18 years of Abercrombie experience is equivalent to two years of Mazie Hirono’s experience.

Since rising to Chair in 2007, Abercrombie became effective at “earmarking” -- placing 77th out of 435 in 2008.  But that year Mazie Hirono did even more and came in 35th.  She earmarked 47 projects costing taxpayers $62,725,290.  For 2009 Abercrombie ranked number one inserting 44 projects costing taxpayers $256.8M.  

This earned him a nomination as CAGW’s 2009 Porker of the Year.   As Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) explained:

Named August’s Porker, Rep. Abercrombie ranked first in earmarks in the House in fiscal year (FY) 2009 with 44 projects worth $256.8 million; he routinely abuses an already-stretched Pentagon budget to reward favored contractors and supports funding a wasteful and unnecessary alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter.

Earmarks also helped Abercrombie’s Gubernatorial campaign.  CBS News reported November 25, 2009:

Congressman Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii awarded Pacific Biodiesel a $3.5 million earmark to try to grow fuel for the Army in Hawaii. It turns out the founder of Pacific Biodiesel is a co-chair of the Congressman's gubernatorial campaign.

Seniority helps in Congress, but it means nothing in the Governor’s office. 

In 2002 Hawaii voters rejected Mazie Hirono as Governor.  If one strips out Abercrombie’s seniority-based position and considers only “influence” and “legislative activity”, one can conclude that year-for-year Mazie Hirono is nearly nine times more effective than Neil Abercrombie.

---30---      

HOW ABERCROMBIE and HIRONO RANK  (Congress.org figures for 2008, most recent available)

POWER RANKING:

  • Hirono: 10.50 (341 out of 435) in 2008  (after 2 years)
  • Abercrombie 16.39 (213 out of 435) in 2008 (after 18+ years)

POSITION:
(How long in office, committee assignments and leadership)

  • Hirono: 18.14 (238 out of 435) in 2008  (after 2 years)
  • Abercrombie:  27.93 (154 out of 435) in 2008  (after 18+ years)

EARMARKING:

  • Hirono: 35th of 435 with 47 projects costing taxpayers $62,725,290 (after 2 years)
  • Abercrombie: 77th of 435 with 26 projects costing taxpayers $58,987,900  (after 18+ years) 

INFLUENCE:
(Influence votes through media, caucuses or giving money to other members)

  • Hirono: 0.38 83rd percentile in 2008  (after 2 years)
  • Abercrombie: 0.88 79th percentile in 2008 (after 18+ years)

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITY:
(Power of legislator in being able to amend legislation, excluding ceremonial or technical amendments or nonbinding resolutions)

  • Hirono: 1.0 (36th percentile) (after 2 years)
  • Abercrombie: 1.0 (36th percentile) (after 18+ years)

Source: Congress.org

 

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT