RALEIGH – Republican politicians of the more Establishment variety often tout their ‘conservative’ credentials during campaign time, despite session records of hamstringing truly conservative policies like expanded gun rights and enabling the survival of decidedly Leftist policies like film and solar subsidies.
So how can the milquetoast Republicans unflinchingly sport the conservative label when votes are on the line? Rest assured that organizations like the North Carolina Free Enterprise Foundation (NCFEF) are there to dole out rankings that paint even the most Left-leaning Republicans as a bona fide conservative.
Every year the NCFEF ranks legislators for their business friendliness and policy devotion to free enterprise is. In 2017 the list features a lot of recognizable names at the top.
Rep. Chris Millis (R-Pender)? Sen. Norm Sanderson (R-Pamlico)? The American Conservative Union commonly recognizes the dedication to conservative principles these guys exhibit. For the NCFEF, not so much; those conservative stalwarts fell way down on the list for some reason.
Instead, the top of the NCFEF list is occupied by the Establishment leadership, their brown noses, and straight up RINOs.
Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), famous for spending thousands of dollars in campaign funds on custom made suits and wanting to regulate fantasy sports of all things? He’s near the top.
Former President of environmentalist wacko group the Sierra Club Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) got accolades as well.
Apparently pushing solar panel subsidies earned a lot of free enterprise points from the NCFEF too as such advocates like Sen. Brent Jackson (R-Sampson) appear high on their list of ‘conservative’ lawmakers.
It is worth noting that most of these lawmakers fair poorly when ranked by organizations like Civitas and the American Conservative Union. The rubric seems to be quite different for the NCFEF. Exactly what are they scoring lawmakers on to rank their ‘business-friendliness’?
Well, in addition to analyzing votes on key pieces of legislation viewed to be ‘business-friendly,’ the assessment includes “perceptions of a legislator’s business disposition as reported by the more than 400 business lobbyists surveyed for the Subjective portion of the analysis.”
Aha! So there lies the rub. This ranking by the NCFEF is hardly a genuine litmus test for lawmakers’ dedication to conservative principles in business and economic spheres. What it is is heavily influenced by how well lobbyists view each lawmaker – the more workable you are in the eyes of lobbyists, the better you do.
It’s not business-friendly; it’s lobbyist-friendly.
The results are Cronyism being scored high and labeled as Conservatism in an ‘official’ list from an ‘official’ foundation that gives such lawmakers cover on the campaign trail. Just because you say it, doesn’t make it so.