Congressional scorecard shows tea party loyalty in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gazette report

A high concentration of loyalty to tea party extremism in Congress is found among Republicans in Wisconsin swing districts, according to a new legislative scorecard from Americans United for Change.

Wisconsin’s four Republicans representing statistically swing districts voted with the tea party agenda about 87 percent of the time in 2013, according to the report, “Tea Stained,” from Americans United, a liberal advocacy group.

U.S. Rep. Tom Petri led the tea party pack, voting with the most extreme elements of his party about 90 percent of the time last year. U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy voted for the tea party’s agenda 87 percent of the time. Congressmen Reid Ribble and Paul Ryan had tea party.

The report examines the voting records of 47 Republicans running for re-election in swing districts or who face significant re-election challenges. As a group, the representatives voted with tea party priorities about 81 percent of the time.

Forty-eight votes were used in the analysis. The votes either appeared on scorecards of tea party-affiliated groups such as Americans for Prosperity or Freedomworks or represent tea party primary goals — such as opposing the Affordable Care Act.

Americans United for Change president Brad Woodhouse said the organization began its review of the votes after the government shutdown last fall.

Woodhouse said the scorecard shows “there is no longer a meaningful distinction between the tea party and the Republican Party in American politics today.”