Local Politics

Survey Shows Area Legislators Highly Effective

Posted April 9, 2008
Updated April 11, 2008

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— State legislators representing the local area are highly effective in their respective chambers, according to a survey of their peers and lobbyists released Wednesday.

The survey, conducted by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research, was given to House and Senate members.

Each chamber voted only on the effectiveness of its own legislators. Effectiveness was judged on the legislators’ participation in committee work, their skill at guiding bills through committee floor debate, their general knowledge, expertise in special fields, the respect they command from peers and political power.

Sen. Tony Rand, (D-Cumberland), was ranked the second-most-effective member of the Senate behind President Pro Tem  Marc Basnight, (D-Dare). Rand has been ranked second since 1999.

Five area representatives ranked in the top 10.

Rep. Rick Glazier, (D-Cumberland), was fourth; followed by Rep. Henry M. Michaux Jr., (D-Durham), at sixth; Rep. Deborah K. Ross, (D-Wake), at seventh; Rep. Daniel T. Blue Jr. (D-Wake), at eighth; and Rep. Paul Stam, (R-Wake), at 10th.

Rep. Ty Harrell, (D-Wake), ranked 52nd, putting him in the middle of the pack. But he was the highest-ranked freshman in the House.

Rep. Nelson Dollar, (R-Wake), came in 91st, and Rep. Marilyn Avila, (R-Wake) was 117th.

Legislators were also judged on attendance.

Sens. Veron Malone, (D-Wake), and Robert M. Pittenger, (R-Mecklenburg), tied for 44th for being present 88 percent of the time. Sen. Janet Cowell, (D-Wake), was ranked 48th, with attendance at 85 percent. Sen. S. Clark Jenkins, (D-Edgecombe) at 80 percent and Sen. Malcolm Graham (D-Mecklenburg) at 74 percent had the lowest attendance.

Former Rep. Thomas E. Wright, (D-New Hanover), who was recently sentenced to 70 to 95 months in prison after being convicted of three counts of fraud, attended 77 percent of the time, which put him 117th out of 119 representatives.

The survey was given from December 2007 through February 2008. All 50 state senators and 119 representatives were included in the survey. Rep. Ken Furr did not take office until Aug. 15, 2007, which caused him to be left out of the survey. Also polled were 614 lobbyists and 12 state capitol news correspondents.

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  • Cahulawassee Apr 10, 2008

    I vote myself a highly effective GOLO'er. And everybody else who posts on this story, as well.

    Congratulations, people. You've earned it.

  • chfdcpt Apr 10, 2008

    Why do you think the poll was done by the legislature? How "effective" would they had scored had that poll been given to the citizens?

  • JustAName Apr 10, 2008

    "according to a survey of their peers and lobbyists" ~ So, these are the most effect legislators for rolling over to special interest groups and good ol' boy politics. Excellent.

  • blackdog Apr 10, 2008

    ...if they allow the insurance industry to run itself it is not.

  • FragmentFour Apr 10, 2008

    The fact that Rand is ranked the second most effective legislator while pinging the idea of letting insurance companies regulate themselves does not bode well for North Carolina.

  • DrJ Apr 9, 2008

    I'd like to see the tax money of this state spent for the good of the public, not for building Marc Basnight's empire, and buying votes in districts where his legislative allies live.

  • whatelseisnew Apr 9, 2008

    Maybe they ought to be more concerned about what the voters think. This legislature and Governor has been a disaster for this state at almost every level you can think about. We need a huge transition in November. We have got to get the long timers out and probably throw out most of the ones put in there in 2006. If we don't the state will go deeper in debt, taxes will continue to rise, and the state wide problems we have will just get worse.