I am El Somnambulo, and I’m a listaholic.
Today I announce The 62 Project, which will ultimately yield my rankings of legislators from 1 to 62.
However, I intend for it to be much more than just a list. I will write a selective bio, some brief, some lengthy, on each state legislator. I want to give people who don’t really know the legislators that well the opportunity to know them better. For better or worse.
I also don’t want this to be just a snarkfest, although, to put it mildly, THERE WILL BE SNARK. Lots of it. Hey, can’t help myself.
So, how have I ranked the legislators? It’s based on several factors, the first among equals being effective legislating on behalf of the progressive cause. I look at their bill sponsorship, but focus on their priorities. Dutiful sponsorship of administration bills falls below effectively pushing for reforms on their own. I look at their voting records and public statements. I look at how effectively they’ve influenced progressive priorities. I look at how they’ve evolved or devolved as legislators. And I’ll write about all that.
I have rated legislators based on their entire careers, with more weight being given to their most recent performance. This means that new legislators are more likely to be clustered near the middle of the pack, although there are a few exceptions on both sides of the equation.
Once we’ve ranked the legislators, we can change the rankings as circumstances require. For example, had I done this a year ago, the rankings would have been different. Issues like gay marriage, gun control, minimum wage, and charter schools, among others, have, and will, continue to impact the rankings.
In order to build suspense and, of course, outrage, I will start in the middle of the pack and move to the highs and lows.
This is not a scientific methodology. But I’m trying to make this as objective as possible, recognizing my extreme subjectivity.
I’ve ordered the legislators in groups right now. There are only eight out of 62 that I currently rank as ones, the top. There are quite a few 4′s, but only three are currently vying for #62.
The order is not set in stone yet, although several of the bios have been written. Now’s your chance to try and influence my rankings. I’ll start the rankings next week at the latest, and will probably do 2-3 a day. My goal is to finish before the General Assembly resumes in January.
You have been warned. Let me know who you think belongs near the top or bottom of my list.