In today’s Nashville City Paper, Rex Noseworthy, of “Rex and the City,” makes some humorous and true comments about the Tennessean’s recent correction of an article regarding the excessive number of bills and congratulatory resolutions the state legislature filed during session.
I didn't think the stats on the chart looked quite right myself and still don't.
After reading the Tennessean's article, one of my colleagues commented to me "You know, during the income tax battle they wouldn't let me pass a single bill; not even to name a bridge. So was I an effective legislator? We don't have an income tax do we?"
Maybe the newspapers should report what happens and the public and the editorial pages should decide who is effective and ineffective from now on. :-)
From Rex in the City…
“Recently, The Tennessean calculated its most successful/least successful state legislators by determining the number of bills they passed and the percentage of the bills they sponsored that were actually approved.
The newspaper picked what it called the three most successful and least successful legislators from the mid-state, and ran a chart on its Web site showing the stats on all 132 state lawmakers.
The, ahem, science behind this method is certainly up to debate. Some might argue the most effective legislators are the one who pass the fewest laws, period. Another argument might be the most successful legislators are the ones who can get through a legislative session without getting indicted. But, we digress.
The real problem was, according to sources on the Hill, the Tennessean got 100 percent of the lawmakers’ stats wrong. Sources have said House Republican Leader Jason Mumpower had a lengthy meeting at 1100 Broadway last week to explain how to use the proper methodology in figuring out how many bills a lawmaker passed.
The Gannett daily followed with a correction last week and after formulating new stats, proclaimed a new list of most/least successful lawmakers. Overall, it was a big screw up, and a fairly presumptuous story given the fact that The Tennessean rarely covers the Legislature anymore, typically running Associated Press stories instead.
For instance, House Majority Leader Gary Odom of Nashville was proclaimed one of the most successful lawmakers. While Odom is adept, his role as Democratic leader makes him the primary House sponsor on the majority of Gov. Phil Bredesen’s legislation. Bredesen’s legislation usually passes the Democratic-controlled House.
It also didn’t appear that the story gave the lawmakers deemed least successful a chance to defend themselves. Rex hears some lawmakers were irate and have heard about it from constituents upset that they’re represented by what The Tennessean determines as the least successful legislator. CP”