Colorado Union of Taxpayers' (CUT) 2011 ratings of the 35 State Senators and 65 State representatives votes on tax legislation were published this week.
The Champions with the highest scores in voting for Colorado taxpayers but against tax and fee increases from each chamber include:
Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) and Sen. Scott Renfroe (R-Greeley) at 90% each
Rep. Don Beezley (R-Broomfield) at 85%
Three Republicans from Colorado Springs, Senators Bill Cadman, Keith King and Kent Lambert, round out the top five in the Senate, with ratings of 86%, 84% and 84%, respectively. Other than Champion Beezley, only Rep. David Balmer (R-Centennial) and Rep. Chris Holbert (R-Parker) score above 80% in the House with Rep. Balmer scoring a point below Rep. Beezley. In general ratings for the House are lower than the Senate.
Speaker Frank McNulty (R-Highlands Ranch) and Joint Budget Committee Member, Rep. Cheri Gerou (R-Evergreen), score lower than the rest of the House GOP with less than 40%, which is considered low for a Republican. Republican Sen. Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) and Sen. Jean White (R-Hayden) score below 40% in the Senate. Sen. Jean White was appointed to the seat by the district's GOP vacancy committee when her husband, Sen. Al White, took a position in the Hickenlooper administration.
With their continued attempts to raise taxes and fees this past legislative session, all the Democrats score below their Republican colleagues. Sen. Joyce Foster (D-Denver) and Senate President Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont) find themsleves at the bottom of the Senate's list with ratings of 5% and 12%. Rep. John Soper (D-Thornton) and Rep. Jim Riesberg (D-Greeley) tie for the last spot in the House with a rating of 8%. Some may remember Rep. Riesberg from the committee hearing for SB11-200 when he stated that the citizens who testified against the bill were "simply of no consequence."
Sen. Shaffer's CUT ratings during his years in the state legislature may become an issue with voters in Congressional District 4 as he challenges U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) for this Congressional seat during the 2012 election cycle. His extermely low CUT ratings demonstrate Sen. Shaffer's propensity to raise taxes on businesses and individuals of all income levels.
CUT ratings are another resource for voters to consider as they are learning about candidates and making their choices during the 2012 primary and general elections.