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CONGRESS Survey ranks Traficant low



Published: Tue, May 1, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Ohio's George Voinovich placed first among U.S. senators in the survey.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- When it comes to making the tough choices necessary to keep the federal budget in balance and put entitlement programs on a sustainable long-term track, a national organization says there are very few congressmen worse than U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant.

Traficant, of Poland, D-17th, placed in the first percentile, the lowest, on The Concord Coalition's survey of congressman during the 2000 session. His raw score of nine was the second lowest given to a congressman.

The nonpartisan organization, which says it advocates fiscal responsibility and reform of entitlement programs, judged House members on 20 votes and senators on 13 votes.

The votes were related to protecting the federal surplus, keeping budget enforcement procedures strong and favoring the reduction or elimination of "unnecessary, wasteful or duplicative programs."

Traficant voted the way the coalition wanted on two bills. One mandated Congress could not spend $3 billion in offshore drilling royalties and the other set aside any increase in non-Social Security surplus for debt reduction.

How this works: The typical House member received a score of 33 points in the survey and the average senator received a score of 29 points. The total vote was out of 100 points.

The legislators were then placed by percentile with their colleagues as a comparison. For example, a percentile score of 10 percent means that congressman's score was better than 10 percent of his or her colleagues.

Last year, Traficant was placed in the 11th percentile with a raw score of 13 points.

U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown of Lorain, D-17th, whose district includes western Trumbull County, received 35 points in the 2000 survey, placing him in the 48th percentile. Last year, Brown received 72 points and placed in the 97th percentile.

In Pennsylvania, U.S. Rep. Phil English of Erie, R-21st, whose district includes Mercer County, received 25 points, placing him in the 24th percentile. In 1999, he received 9 points and was in the sixth percentile.

Senators: Of the U.S. senators, Ohio's George Voinovich, a Republican, placed in a tie for first with Senator Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, with 63 points and in the 99th percentile. Voinovich also placed in the 99th percentile with 63 points in 1999.

U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, also an Ohio Republican, received 26 points and placed in the 42nd percentile.




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