Wednesday, March 29, 2017   Search

Current Articles | Archives | Search

Sunday, September 19, 2010 "Abercrombie is a follower"
By Andrew Walden @ 12:36 AM :: 8712 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?


“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, 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 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.


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


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

(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)


  • 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 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)

(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)



comment @ Wednesday, August 04, 2010 11:50 PM
Comments from the following blog entry:


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

ARCHIVES: Daily News Read

ARCHIVES: HawaiiFreePress


RSS FEED Latest 25 articles

TWITTER HawaiiFreePress

FaceBook: HawaiiFreePress

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii


Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A'ole Eradication

A Place for Women in Waipio

Atomic Monkey

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Choice is an Illusion

Christian Home Educators of Maui

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

December 7 Battlefields at risk

DVids Hawaii

Education Institute of Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Exposing Chris Butler Cult

Farmers and Friends

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Friends of Lanai

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America


Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Concealed Carry

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii-Israel Alignment

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Knights of Columbus

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii Open Budget

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Senate Informer

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Votes

Hepsy's Kuleana

Heritage Foundation


HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu TEA Party

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

Hunting, Farming and Fishing Assoc.

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kahua Group

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Kona TEA Party

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Marsy's Law for Hawaii

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


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

No Hawaii Beverage Tax

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

OHA Lies

Ohana Policy Group

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Patriot Voices Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Perry and Price Show

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save Our Doctors Hawaii

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

Senate Minority FB

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Stop SB2424

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

TEA Party Maui

TFB Micronesia

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

The Verifiable Truth

The Voice of Kapolei

Tim Lussier HuffPo Hawaii

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

United Veterans Hawaii

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Vote No 113


Watchdog Hawaii

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

YAL UH Hilo 


Maui TEA Party
Maui TEA Party