LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Voters need to do their research

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Upon receiving a campaign flyer Saturday from the John James for senator campaign committee, I noted it gave minimal, very basic information about Mr. James, a politician new to any campaigning.  Taking a leaf out of President Trump’s style of campaigning, it did not give any specific information about his “platform.”

The entire back of the flyer was itemized, out-of-date information about his competitor, Sen. Gary Peters, putting him in a bad light. This negative campaigning is not appreciated.  After viewing several fact-checking sites on the internet, I came to realize the following:

• In 2019, the most recent full year available, Peters missed exactly zero floor votes, which put him in a 16-way tie for the best vote attendance in the chamber. Peters’ 100-percent voting rate was equal to that of the chamber’s two leaders, Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

That record indicates that Sen. Peters was on the job.

• Peters has received high marks for effectiveness from the Center for Effective Lawmaking, an independent institution run by Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia.

• During the 2017-18 congressional year, the center ranked Peters as the fourth-most effective Democrat out of 48 in the chamber. The measurement is based on the bills lawmakers sponsor, how far those bills move through the legislative process, and how significant their policy proposals are. Intra-party comparisons are the most reliable, since there’s a major difference in clout between a majority senator and a minority senator.

“Despite his minority-party status, he was very active in navigating a number of legislative items through the Republican-controlled Senate,” Alan Wiseman, the center’s co-director, told the Michigan Advance. His success in advancing his legislative agenda in the 115th Congress is greater than one would expect, given his relatively low seniority in the Senate.”

Meanwhile, the Lugar Center and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy rated Peters third among Democratic senators, and 12th overall, in bipartisanship in 2019.

It is important to vote, but do your due diligence before marking your ballot.

Barbara Groner