Perfectly awful

Jun 20, 2001 at 12:00 am

In the good news/bad news department this week we have an analysis performed by our friends at the Public Interest Research Group in Michigan, which took a look at 20 significant congressional votes taken this year. The good news is that Michigan’s congressional delegation features a host of representatives who consistently favor the public at large over special interests. At the top of the honor roll were three Democrats — Detroit’s John Conyers and Carolyn Kilpatrick, and David Bonior of Mount Clemens — all of whom scored stellar 95 percent ratings.

And then there’s Joe Knollenberg, who was just perfect. As in perfectly awful. The Bloomfield Hills Republican earned an absolute zero, the lowest mark in Michigan’s congressional delegation. And it’s not like this was a fluke. Knollenberg also scored a goose egg last year and has a woeful 5 percent lifetime rating, according to PIRGIM.

This time around, the Knoll-man voted against efforts to clean up coal-burning power plants, which are the largest industrial sources of pollutants contributing to everything from acid rain to global warming. He also opposed attempts to create a strong patients’ “bill of rights,” and voted against what supporters called a “modest” campaign-finance reform bill.

Even within the GOP, Knollenberg is an extremist. So, after giving the matter careful consideration, News Hits has determined that anyone this consistently terrible deserves a nickname that suitably reflects their record of public disservice. We thought Zilch Nullenberg had a nice ring to it, but welcome any suggestions you may have.

To view the entire scorecard, visit the public interest group’s Web site at

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette, the Metro Times news editor. Call 313-202-8004 or e-mail [email protected]