Eye On Boise

Number-crunching website: Labrador a 'centrist-GOP follower' who misses votes; Risch on 'lonely far-right'

According to an open-government website that crunches numbers on members of Congress, the member of Idaho's delegation who's most likely to miss a recorded vote in Congress is 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador. Gov.Tracks.us reported that Labrador missed 4.7 percent of recorded or roll-call votes, nearly double the median of 2.5 percent, from January of 2011 to September of 2012. That's 72 of 1,518 votes. By comparison, the site showed that 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson has missed 2.9 percent of the votes during his time in Congress, from January of 1999 to September of 2012; Sen. Mike Crapo has missed 2.2 percent, from January of 1993 to the present; and Sen. Jim Risch has missed just 1.5 percent, from January of 2009 to the present.

The site also offers an interesting take on ideology and leadership, based on number-crunching, that assigns each member a political spectrum score and a leader-follower score, based on which bills they co-sponsor and who co-sponsors their bills. The results don't necessarily match the conventional wisdom. Here's how Idaho's delegation fared:

Labrador was ranked a "centrist-Republican follower." Simpson came out as a "rank-and-file Republican." Crapo's scores made him a "moderate Republican leader." And Risch's scores ranked him as a "lonely far-right Republican follower."

You can check out the site here. It focuses on finding new ways, through algorithms and statistics, to arrange and present raw data about Congress so the public can access it; it was created by Joshua Tauberer, a software engineer, author and open government activist.




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