North Dakota House Mid-Session Legislative Vote Ranking

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North Dakota’s legislature meets only once every two years for a constitutionally-constrained 80 day session. That means the legislative process can get hectic and hard to follow. Which, in turn, means it can be hard to keep track of your legislators are doing.

To that end, LegitSlater and I put our heads together to come up with a ranking of our legislators based on a group of votes we felt clearly represented a conservative or liberal position. Below are the rankings for members of the House; we’ll post the Senate results later.

Now, to be clear, we’re not laying any claim to perfection here. Some of these bills represent complicated issues, and legislators often have very complicated reasons for why they voted for or against them. Our intent is to provide a snapshot of how these legislators voted in the aggregate which we hope will serve a lead-in to conversations between you readers and your legislators. Please, don’t judge your legislators based only on this list. Reach out to them (their contact info is here). Talk with them. Find out why they voted the way they did, then make up your mind. And remember that the legislative session isn’t over yet. This is just a summary of how these elected leaders have governed so far.

The full results of our vote ranking including the bills we used to rank them on is included in a spreadsheet below as well as a best-to-worst listing complete with letter grades (Democrat legislators are italicized). If you need to figure out who your legislators are, click here.

The rankings reveal that partisan affiliation really isn’t all that useful in breaking down the ideological divide in the state House. There are a lot of Republicans who spend a lot of time voting like Democrats. Republicans have become so dominant in the state that the ideological divide is clearly within the Republican caucus itself.

Grade A

Rep. Dan Ruby – 93.18%
Rep. Blair Thoreson – 90.00%

Grade B

Rep. Rick Becker – 88.89%
Rep. Mike Schatz – 87.50%
Rep. Larry Bellew – 86.67%
Rep. Jim Kasper – 86.67%
Rep. Roscoe Streyle – 86.36%
Rep. Scott Louser – 86.36%
Rep. Randy Boehning – 86.05%
Rep. Mark Dosch – 82.5%
Rep. Mike Brandenburg – 82.22%
Rep. Keith Kempenich – 82.22%
Rep. Ben Koppelman – 82.22%
Rep. Roger Brabandt – 82.22%
Rep. Karen Rohr – 82.22%
Rep. Nathan Toman – 82.22%
Rep. Kim Koppelman – 82.22%
Rep. Bette Grande – 80.00%
Rep. Craig Headland – 80.00%
Rep. Gary Kreidt – 80.00%
Rep. Todd Porter – 80.00%

Grade C

Rep. Jim Schmidt – 79.49%
Rep. Wes Belter – 77.78%
Rep. Jeff Delzer – 77.78%
Rep. Dwight Kiefert – 77.78%
Rep. Mike Nathe – 75.56%
Rep. Chet Pollert – 75.56%
Rep. Jason Dockter – 75.56%
Rep. Alex Looysen – 75.56%
Rep. Vicky Steiner – 75.56%
Rep. Alan Fehr – 74.42%
Rep. Al Carlson – 73.33%
Rep. Brenda Heller – 73.33%
Rep. Lisa Meier – 73.33%
Rep. Bob Skarphol – 72.73%
Rep. Matt Klein – 72.73%
Rep. Don Vigesaa – 71.11%
Rep. Dick Anderson – 70.45%
Rep. David Drovdal – 70.00%

Grade D

Rep. Vernon Laning – 68.89%
Rep. Alon Wieland – 68.89%
Rep. Glen Froseth – 68.89%
Rep. Karen Karls – 68.89%
Rep. Kurt Hofstad – 66.67%
Rep. Thomas Beadle – 65.12%
Rep. Joe Heilman – 64.86%
Rep. David Rust – 64.44%
Rep. Chuck Damschen – 64.44%
Rep. Lawrence Klemin – 64.44%
Rep. Diane Larson – 64.44%
Rep. Mark Owens – 63.64%
Rep. Dave Monson – 63.41%
Rep. Dennis Johnson – 63.41%
Rep. Robin Weisz – 61.36%
Rep. John Wall – 61.36%
Rep. Bill Devlin – 60.98%
Rep. Peter Silbernagel – 60.00%

Grade F

Rep. Wayne Trottier – 58.14%
Rep. Gary Paur – 55.56%
Rep. Curtiss Kreun – 55.56%
Rep. Bob Martinson – 55.56%
Rep. Jon Nelson – 55.56%
Rep. George Keiser – 55.26%
Rep. Andrew Maragos – 55.26%
Rep. Gary Sukut – 51.11%
Rep. Bob Frantsvog – 48.89%
Rep. Patrick Hattlestad – 48.89%
Rep. Clark Williams – 43.90%
Rep. William Kretschmar – 40.00%
Rep. Tracy Boe – 33.33%
Rep. Kathy Hawken – 32.50%
Rep. Nancy Johnson – 29.73%
Rep. Joshua Boschee – 28.89%
Rep. Ben Hanson – 28.89%
Rep. Jessica Haak – 27.91%
Rep. Corey Mock – 27.27%
Rep. Marvin Nelson – 27.27%
Rep. Jerry Kelsh – 26.67%
Rep. Marie Stinden – 26.67%
Rep. Steven Zaiser – 25.00%
Rep. Scot Kelsh – 24.44%
Rep. Ron Guggisberg – 24.44%
Rep. Bob Hunksor – 22.22%
Rep. Bill Amerman – 20.51%
Rep. Ed Gruchalla – 20.45%
Rep. Naomi Muscha – 20.00%
Rep. Gail Mooney – 17.78%
Rep. Lois Delmore – 15.56%
Rep. Rick Holman – 15.56%
Rep. Kenton Onstad – 15.56%
Rep. Kylie Oversen – 15.56%
Rep. Kathy Hogan – 14.29%
Rep. Eliot Glassheim – 13.33%

ND House Crossover Vote Ranking by

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Guest Observer

    Surprise, surprise. Our newly aquired Dist. 14 Rep. Jon Nelson is near the bottom of the list. Oh we were so lucky to get him when the districts were redrawn. Sure miss Duane DeKrey!

    • RSG

      Robin Wiesz isn’t much better, and where DeKrey was better than either of these two, he still was lukewarm at best.

      Jon Nelson has always been near the bottom in terms of conservatism and always was when in District 7. He is the classic example of a RINO – and the Republican leadership knows it – that is why he is a long time representative that has no committee chairmanships.
      It will continue to be that way until the voters in the Rugby area realize it is more important to elect conservatives and not just someone with a big R by their name.

    • Hal Ecker

      DeKrey will be misded. He had an exemplory career.

  • ec99

    “Rep. Curtiss Kreun – 55.56%”

    Here’s a guy who ran as a Republican, while on the Grand Forks city council he gave away the store.

  • RCND

    Why do Hawken and Nancy Johnson even bother to call themselves Republicans? I hope Carlson makes them start caucusing with the Democrats where they belong

    • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

      It’s because their colleagues allow them to, which makes them an accessory to the crime.

    • RCND

      Actually, any R getting an F, or even a D, needs to hang their head in shame. C’s have nothing much to be proud of either. Hawken and Johnson simply stand out like sore thumbs surrounded by Dems. Of course, they are probably more comfortable surrounded by them anyways.

  • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

    “On the other side, Rep. Kathy Hawken, R-Fargo, calls herself a pro-life
    person that votes pro-choice, believing state laws should not infringe on a
    woman’s right to choose.

    “God hasn’t tapped me on the shoulder and say I am in charge,” she said. “I
    can’t tell somebody else what to do.”’ She has no problem voting against any decrease in taxes. What a hypocrite!

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Hawken, as usual, is confused. Banning abortion protects the rights of the unborn child. I’m against government managing people’s lives, but I also don’t think ending an innocent life is any kind of a choice.

      • Anon

        So let’s pass laws that reflect that and will inevitably be struck down by federal courts then; that’ll be a very productive use of the legislature’s time!

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          I think challenging federal overreach is always a good use of the state’s time.

          If the states won’t defend federalism, who will?

          • Janne Myrdal

            Exactly Rob. This whole argument that challenges in court is a waste of time is a scary notion indeed. Do these people know how this republic is supposed to work? Doubtful.

          • Guest

            Yeah! Maybe North Dakota should waste a few hundred thousand dollars to challenge the Affordable Care Act again because some stupid hack thinks he’s a lawyer!

    • Lianne

      Hawken is pro-life vs pro-birth. She is a tricky one, she is. The democrats criticize those who don’t believe in abortion as not caring about the child once he/she is born. Hence, the term ‘pro-life’ has a new meaning that is used to suck people to their side. (and, yes, I know she is listed as republican)

  • NDConservative2011

    Rob, For a faster reference guide, would you place the legislator’s party affiliation behind each name when you list them.

    Thanks.

    • Guest Observer

      Democrat legislators are italicized

  • Janne Myrdal

    Your last sentence is interesting as I think we see the divide on the national level same way, within R party. Watch CPAC w Palin and Cruz. Some new breaks coming!!!

  • RHE

    Rob & LegiSlater,
    Thank you for putting this together!!!
    I try tracking my reps but it’s difficult to keep up. This is much appreciated and a great public service. I hope you’ll update once the session is over. Thank you!

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      You’re welcome.

      And yes, we’ll have an update when the session is over. Stay tuned!

  • Anti-NCAA

    While some legislators do not respond to your emails. They would prefer to go about their own business as an individual and not consider their ‘constituents’ into the equation. I doubt I will hear back from one of my representatives after I called him out about lying 3x on the House Floor just before the voting on a bill.

    I wonder how much his testimony on the floor played into the decision of others, or if more of the (R) are just puppets of Al Carlson??

    …and you wonder why they don’t want an ethics commission when they have no issues with complete falsification of data and lying to their own counterparts?

  • borborygmi

    wow somehow 20 to 30 % conservatives got voted in. At least the voters were smarter when it came to the Senate.

  • Guest

    The real question is, who in this feed that gets upset about the rankings will actually look at the bills that the rankings are based on to see what they say? My guess is that there are some limited government/local control/individual rights issues standpoints that are getting shafted in this list.

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