Ever since the team and I launched the Institute for Legislative Analysis nine months ago, we have been off to the races. As we wrap up the year, I wanted to provide both an update on what we have been up to so far and what we have planned for the new year.
Our number one mission is to bring transparency and accountability to the actions of our elected officials. That is why after working together for many years at the American Conservative Union (CPAC), the former scorecard team and I decided to construct the most advanced rating system ever produced here at the ILA. Through this platform we are also helping other liberty-minded groups build their own scorecards, so together as a united movement we can more effectively drive change at both the federal and state level.
In June, ILA held its launch event at the Conservative Partnership Institute who has been a tremendous resource and ally. Over 50 Members of Congress joined us at our event, and we presented awards to the members whose voting records most closely aligned with the limited government principles of the U.S. Constitution. The scorecard system ILA debuted was the most advanced system ever produced for Congress, consisting of nearly 40,000 votes, and more unique sampled roll calls than the scorecards produced by over a dozen leading national advocacy groups – combined.
Following ILA’s congressional event, we shifted our focus on the 2024 race to the White House. The report included a review of over 10,000 previous actions taken by Trump, Haley, DeSantis, Christie, Scott, and Pence, with the analysis highlighting each of their strengths and weaknesses across 10 key policy categories. The report was published in the Washington Examiner magazine and widely cited – especially by Nikki Haley who heavily touted it on her campaign.
In recent months the ILA has shifted its focus to the state level and is constructing the most advanced scorecards ever produced for each state legislature. However, not everyone has been a fan of the new level of transparency ILA is now bringing to the states. In Wyoming, ILA’s report dominated the news cycle when its data exposed the fact that a number of Republicans were actually voting more often with the Democratic position than the conservative. The analysis set Wyoming Speaker Albert Summers on a public tirade declaring the report “a bunch of bull—,” and claiming that the ILA is “a national effort to try to take over the Wyoming Legislature”.
ILA’s research was heavily utilized during the Virginia and Mississippi off-year elections, serving as a great blueprint for the critical role ILA’s research can play in the upcoming 2024 election. For example, the Chairman of the Virginia Republican party utilized ILA’s data on the campaign trail this past November to expose Democratic candidates radical left voting records. And in Mississippi, liberty-minded candidates utilized ILA’s bill descriptions in their campaigns against big government incumbents who had compromised on conservative principles.
The ILA has also been traveling across the states to help publicly promote and defend the lawmakers who have been consistently standing up for limited government in their voting. In Pennsylvania, ILA presented awards to members of the State Freedom Caucus Network who have played an instrumental role in fighting back against government overreach. In Ohio, ILA held an award presentation in the rotunda of the Capitol to recognize the state’s champions of limited government.
As these past 9 months have proven, the scorecard model is the winning tool to drive real change as we head into one of the most critical elections of our time in 2024. While in the upcoming primaries we will surely hear how every candidate is the “best” and “most conservative” the scorecard data will allow the grassroots to bypass meaningless rhetoric and rally behind the real disciples of limited government.
To expand our system and further affect the voting patterns of lawmakers throughout the country, we need your help! Please use this link to make a tax-deductible donation to the ILA before the end of 2024.
Please feel free to follow up and I can provide additional details into our strategy and what we have planned for your state. And if I don’t connect with you, the ILA team and I wish both you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
CEO, Institute for Legislative Analysis