Monday, June 22, 2015

A tale of two legislative assessment tools....


"Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding,
But what is in the heart of fools is made known."
Proverbs 14:33

Over the past few days, we've seen the release of the 84th #TXLEGE edition of Texas Monthly's Best and Worst lists and Empower Texans' scorecard; the reactions were revealing.

Texas Monthly's heirloom rankings were essentially ignored.  While a few people (including this author) congratulated Jonathan Stickland on making the worst list, nobody else said much.  The reaction was subdued, even within Austin.

By contrast, when Empower Texans released their scorecard this morning, they were immediately attacked by a sitting government official:
Unlike Texas Monthly's subjective intellectual solipsism, Empower Texans data-driven analysis is calculated upon dozens of record votes.  Their scorecard is a coherent picture of where the legislature stands on their issues.  It's the difference between a scout's opinion and Moneyball.

One final note on Texas Monthly's list: it was boring.  They could have picked out legislators that at least took interesting stands during the session.  Not that'd we'd agree, but where were Gio or Sarah Davis on the best list?!?  What about Don Huffines on the worst?!?  If you're looking to cure insomnia, the editors explain their picks here.

Legacy media's decline is apparent.  Lawmakers' votes are a sounder basis for analysis than a gatekeeper's whim.  One reflects truth, the other kabuki theater.  The 84th #TXLEGE saw alternative media reach a critical mass.  One measure will be forgotten by Wednesday; the other will influence voters.

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Fun Fact:

- Average Empower Texans Score TM 10 Best: 54.5
- Average Empower Texans Score TM 10 Worst: 77.1

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