Who Has the Power?


You know what would really suck? If you were a congressman who had less power than the delegate from Guam.

Congress.org has up a list of "power rankings" for the whole House and Senate. We already know that your vote doesn't count, but now you can know for sure if your elected representatives are just are powerless as you are.

The winners are no surprise–Frist in the Senate, and Hastert in the House. But the losers are more fun. Just to put these guys in perspective, Madeleine Bordallo, the aforementioned delegate from Guam, has an "influence" score of negative 2.50. Below are the representatives with a lower "power ranking" than hers:

i have the power.jpg

Rep. Salazar (D-CO-3)
Rep. McCollum (D-MN-4)
Rep. Barrow (D-GA-12)
Rep. McGovern (D-MA-3)
Rep. Moore (D-WI-4)
Rep. Schmidt (R-OH-2)
Rep. Bean (D-IL-8)
Rep. Cleaver (D-MO-5)
Rep. Lipinski (D-IL-3)
Rep. Matsui (D-CA-5)
Rep. Campbell (R-CA-48)

Go here for the nuts and bolts of the ranking mechanism.

NEXT: Stand Up For Freedom

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  1. Here’s a man currently serving in Congress:

    “As for Armageddon, I just note with interest that’s what the Bible says. That it’s on the Plains of Megiddo. Right there in Israel. And it makes you wonder where this conflict’s all going to ultimately lead. And I happen to believe it will ultimately lead to what the Bible says.” -John Doolittle, Deputy Majority Whip, Secretary of the House Republican Conference


    Doolittle also thinks that the Foley mess just goes to show what the problem is with having gay people around minor children (2:09).

    A guy like this should be on that list of the least powerful, or maybe just out of Congress period.

  2. Interesting that all of the big states average out to around 16 or so (with Texas at 18).

    Dr. Paul is a 15 something. Not bad, considering his libertarianishness. Naturally, he’d have a 1,500 if he raised his sword and said, “By the power of Grayskull. . .I have the power!”

  3. Good to see my congresscritter, Gwen Moore, at #432. The Republic would be in a lot of trouble if she had any real influence. She’s the ex-state senator infamous for throwing tantrums when the vote went against her, and the mother of one of the Milwaukee Tire Slashers of 2004’s Election Day. A real piece of work. Of course, she’s from an utterly safe Democratic District, so absent an intramural rebellion in a future primary, she’s going to have that seat for life.


  4. Back in the 1980s I went to a strip club that had as its feature entertainer that night Miss Nude Guam.

    That is all.

  5. It’s a great relief to know Jean Schmidt has less influence than the delegate from Guam.

  6. The biggist amount o pwer belong to the few like Council of Forgein Relations Trilateral Council,Bilderburgs,and the others looksing for a one world goverment all under the UN and its few wealthy soclialists

  7. In all seriousness, I’d like to see the power rankings mapped up to tenure. I know that they said that tenure doesn’t always correlate to “power”, but I bet that it does most of the time.

    From where I’m sitting, I can’t think of one good reason why tenure in Congress should mean one cotton-pickin’ thing. Why should the fact that a bunch of stupid voters in some district keep sending the same guy over and over and over again mean that he has more influence than my representative? They should just rotate committee chairmanships and all that other stuff. Tenure should no longer be allowed to dictate squat. Grrr.

  8. I’m not surprised to see my Congressman Pete Stark ranked at 136. The only reason why he is ranked so high, because he’s been in office since 1972. Way to represent one of the major suburbs of the Silcon Valley for the past 30+ years Pete.

  9. Yeah, well we all know the real power rankings are based on your google position…check out Dennis Hastert vs. Hillary Clinton in a google fight or make up your own!

    So much for Denny’s wrasslin’ background!


  10. What does a “negative power ranking” mean? Do other representatives decide to do the opposite of whatever you want, just to spite you?

    …and I try never to miss nude guam.

  11. With today’s outing, did anyone else find the He-man graphic particularly amusing?

  12. It would be really embarrassing to be a Republican that far down– and downright humiliating to be a Republican and be in last place.

  13. Katherine Mangu-Ward, I salute you for your use of graphics in this post!

  14. Damn, this sucks.
    My congresscritters are 8th in the Senate and 3rd in the house. Well, Young is actually 4th, but since Rep #2 is mysteriously missing it pumps his ass up a notch.

  15. sorry, but this list makes little sense. matsui is on the rules committee, a very powerful committee, no way she is that far down. and crazy rosa delauro above john boehner, who was chairman of the ed & workforce committee at the time and later showed his “power” by being elected majority leader? very strange.

  16. >Rep #2 is mysteriously missing it pumps his ass up >a notch…

    Think redistricting, arrest, resign, but can’t get off of the ballot with a crowbar.

  17. I don’t know who my congresscritters are. Does that make me a bad person?

    Actually, I took my hand of the keyboard and I realized, I DO know who my congresscritter is. It’s Baghdad Jim!

  18. Jim Davis (D-FL), gubernatorial candidate, is my representative. His power ranking is exquisitely low. At 419, I’d run for governor, too.

    I met him at a conference along with the other candidates for governor. Davis seems a decent enough fellow, but I ain’t votin’ for him. I don’t like Crist, the GOP candidate, because he’s one of those people who seems to think that politics is a way of life. So I’m voting LP or writing in Bush. . .or both. One won’t win and one can’t run, so it doesn’t matter.

  19. For some bizarre reason, my (quite compact) zip-code is divided into THREE marvellously gerry-mandered districts – even though this is the South Side of Chicago and all three incumbents won their last time through by 80%+… all of which is a long way of saying I thought I was represented by Jackson Jr (180-odd) and find to my disappointment that I’m stuck with Rush (390-odd.) I don’t what’s more distressing – having a no-influence representative, not knowing who my rep was, or wishing for Jackson… (at least Obama’s from this neck of the woods – in 04 I saw him vote at a station right across from my apartment building.)

  20. I dont understand how Ron Paul how power….

  21. It would be really embarrassing to be a Republican that far down– and downright humiliating to be a Republican and be in last place.

    Comment by: Jacob T. Levy at October 17, 2006 04:27 PM

    Check the link on it, though. Campbell won a special election and didn’t take office until December of last year. He didn’t get his committee assignments until after the deadline for figuring the power rankings, and since he was the junior congressman of all Congressman, he ranks last.

    “Rep. Campbell was not appointed to committees until after the data cut off point. With his current assignments, he would rank about #185.”

    Schmidt, on the other hand, made an idiot of herself the moment she hit Congress and was put in the attic with the other mad aunts.

  22. Is a senator missing, or am I dumb?

  23. Jared: It seems that when the ratings were calculated, New Jersey was in the interval between Corzine and Menendez.

  24. So one senator from New Jersey ranks at #97 and the other one doesn’t rank at all.

  25. Jean Schmidt, huh? Looks like the GOP leadership had her bound, gagged and permanently stuffed into the Congressional trunk after her “Murtha is a coward” speech.

  26. How about TED KENNEDY (D-MA)he weilds too much power already

  27. As I’d figured, Jeff Flake is way ahead of Ron Paul.

  28. I think they need to go to a playoff system instead of this ranking stuff.

  29. Nah, Jon, the networks would never go for that 🙂

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