Rank amateur

Jun 5, 2002 at 12:00 am

You have to give U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg credit. The guy is consistent. The nonprofit Public Interest Research Group in Michigan, a bunch of left-leaning do-gooders, just released its annual legislative scorecard of key “public interest” votes by our congressional delegation. These would be votes to help protect the environment, the underprivileged, etc. And the Bloomfield Hills Republican once again brings up the rear. Of the 20 votes monitored, JK displayed PIRGIM’s vision of public interest once, earning him a rating of 5 percent, which equals his lifetime average. His single positive vote was in favor of lower interest rates on federal student loans. Every member of the state delegation saw the benefit of that. On the other hand, Joe was one of three Michigan lawmakers opposed to oil drilling in the Great Lakes and to drilling off the coast of Florida. According to PIRGIM, he voted to weaken the Patients Bill of Rights and sided with corporate interests in general. On the opposite end of the scale, Democrat Dale Kildee of Flint led the 16-member delegation with a 95 percent rating.

Knollenberg’s spokesman, Chris Close, says the ranking is “hardly worth talking about … a biased scorecard.” Close says PIGRIM dogs the GOP while heralding Democrats, and picks 20 votes out of some 600 taken during a congressional session. “If you’re going to be that selective, any politician can be made to look bad.” To view the entire list, check out www.pirgim.org.

Curt Guyette is Metro Times news editor. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]