Spin Control

FRIDAY, FEB. 19, 2010, 12:25 P.M.

Keeping track in the Senate

OLYMPIA -- Sports analogies in politics are often imprecise and overused, but they can be fun.

After "cut off" this week, when bills that don't get out of their original house are for all intents and purposes dead, Senate Democratic staff compiled a spreadsheet of whose bills were still alive.

It's pretty straight forward math, sort of like a batting average:divide bills introduced into bills passed to get the percentage.

It shows that some people introduce lots of bills, but only get a few passed. Others start with fewer but get a bigger pass percentage.

Sen. Lisa Brown, for example, only introduced two bills, but both of them passed. So she's batting 1.000, which tells you two things: Brown, as majority leader, is judicious about the bills she sponsors; and members of her caucus are smart enough not to tick of their leader.

Sen. Chris Marr, another Spokane Democrat had the third highest batting average at cutoff, at 57.14 percent,  with 12 of his 21 bills still alive."And without steroids," he noted.

Only Brown and Sen. Kevin Ranker of San Juan Island (6 for 10 or .600) were doing better at this point.

As any ball player will tell you, the Ws are what count in the end. But while the season is still being played -- er, session is still underway -- stats make interesting conversation.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.