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8B Northwest Arkansas TIMES, Sun., Oct. 90, ITT* FAVITTEVILLI, ARKAN9AI " Voting Records Are Publicized Congressmen Don't Like ^Rating Game' By RICHARD J. MALOY 'TIMES Washington Bureau WASHINGTON -- A growing number of special interest groups arc keeping close labs on how congressmen cast their votes and the lawmakers don't, like it at all.' Congressmen are especially sensitive about what they call "The Rating Game" as election day nears and the special interest groups publicize the voting records. In a fit of pique, just before they recessed last week to campaign for re-election, t h e Congressmen slipped through a new law which will require all groups Which rate congressmen to file reports disclosing the source ol their finances. The measure was dubbed the "Common Cause Amendment" because it was aimed directly at Hie citizens lobby which has been pressing for congressional reforms. But it will affect a wide range of other organizations which rate Congress. Among those engaged in the rating game are The National Education Association, the million-member t e a c h e r s g r o u p ; T h e Consumers Federation -of America; The League of Conservation Voters, .... environmental lobby; The League of Wonlen Voters; The National Council of Senior Cili- zens; The AFL-CIO which m o n i t o r s votes affecting organized labor; The National Farmers Union which represents agricultural interest; Americans for Constitutional Action, a right-wing conservative group; and Americans Democratic Action, a left-wing liberal organization. KEY VOTES Using a dozen or more votes on key issues each year, these groups rale individual congressmen on a scale of zero lo 100. A high rating indicates a lawmakers voted for measures supported by the special interest group; a low score indicates he voted against measures endorsed by the group. Here are the latest ratings given Rep. John P. Hammerschmidt (R-Ark.) by nine spe- cjal interest groups which monitor congressional votes: AFL-CIO 12 NEA 40 Farmers Union 53 Senior Citizens 40 Women Voters 20 Conservation Voters 9 ACA 78 ADA 4 Consumers Federation 0 gressman'i draw a no Here is how four of Ihe groups"rated your stale's two U.S. SENATORS: Sen. J.W. Fulbright: ACA 23. ADA 55, AFL-CIO 51, Consumers Federation 22. Sen. John McClellan: ACA 71, ADA 15, AFI.-CIO 21, Consumers Federation 22. Taken together, the series of report cards issued on a con's voting record help political profile for con- stitnants seeking guidance on election day. RATINGS HELPFUL Ratings are most helpful in assessing congressmen. with strong philosophic leanings. For example Rep. Robert Drinan, D. Mass., a liberal Jesuit priest, gets a low rating of 10 from the conservative ACA, but a perfect score of 100 from the liberal ADA . and four other rating groups. In contrast, Rep. John Ashbrook. R-Ohio, a national leader of the conservative movement, gets a near- perfect score of 97 from the ACA, a low 12 from ADA, and zero from three other rating groups. It is more difficult to use the ratings to assess the political philosophy of a middle-road congressman. . regardless of party. The individual scores iend to cluster around 50; but the moderate core from because of may get a low (he AFL-CIO votes affecting organized labor and a high score from the League Women Voters because of voles on the progressive reforms advocated by that organization. Â· S o m e congressmen have attacked the rating . systems, with most criticisms coming from Republicans who claim the special interest groups .are Democratic oriented. "The issues which most of these groups use to rate- congressmen point up as much as anything like partisanship, with votes selected to make Republicans look like bandits and Democrats heroic," charged an article in the Republican Congressional Committee Newsletter. But Sen. Thomas Eagleton, D- Mo., put it this way; "Like most members of Congress, I suppose I have mixed feelings about the ratings -- I like them when they help me and I don't when they hurt, me." RESULTS DEBATABLE It's debatable whether the rating game helps or hurts an individual lawmaker. Often it depends on where he is from. A high ADA score is a plus n liberal Massachusetts, according to Rep: Mike Harring- on, 'D-Mass.i but a low ADA score is welcomed by Rep. Trent Loll, R-Miss., who says lis conservative Deep South constituanls would be upset if he liberal group liked him. Often more important is what the rating can mean in terms of financial aid and volunteer iclp at re-election time. A good score from the AFL-CIO can Unconventionality Emphasized Clark Campaigns As Underdog ATOP MOUNT MARCY, N.Y. (AP) -- From the state's highest peak, Ramsey Clark wondered about the future. ; The former U.S. attorney general had made a tortuous climb up Mount Marcy, and the effort seemed synibolic to the handful of campaign aides with him. For Clark had triumphed recently in a primary election over the Democratic leadership's , endorsed candidate, and on Nov. 5 he'll try to conquer another mountain -- Republican Sen. Jacob Javits, a third-term incumbent who always leads the GOP ticket in the vote count. "My judgment is I'm an underdog," Clark concedes. "Javits has been around for a long time . . . He has a lot of money, and he has stayed through the years. I guess I've got some catchin' up to do, and I guess 1 will." In the Adirondack Mountains near Lake Placid, three reporters and 10 others, mostly bis staff, made the seven-mile ascent with Clark in. cold rain and fog. It took the candidate from the porliurn lo the pine trees. I dramatized his relative youth -- 46 years to Javits' 70. It gave him a chance to talk about ecology. As much as anything, it emphasized the unconventionality of a . candidate Â·variously called the Democrats conscience, a radical, a popu list, an idealist, a carpetbaggei from Texas. LONG WAY From Ihe start of his primarj campaign, Ramsey Clark had a long way to go. Bucking a par ty organization that refused to support a reputed radical, his campaign has had the flavor o populism -- reminiscent of for mer Sen. Eugene McCarthy': bid for president in 1968. Young . volunteers shunnei summer tans lo work for Clark They filled his whimsically mi: raled headquarters -- stuffin envelopes, making lelephon calls and writing press release in cheerful disorder. To put hi name on the primary hallo they collected 52,000 signature -- more than twice the numbe required. The money trickled in. Alon among the candidates, Clar bad declined individual conlr butions greater than $100. Stil he raised' $230.000 from 11,50 persons. Imposing the sam rule on his current effort. Clar at best will raise half the million that his opponent seeks "My campaign will go as fa as the people want it to. go," h is fond of saying. One victory behind him, h presses the campaign, travelin between cities by commercia airplanes and by automobile too small for his long legs. Th former Georgia Welch, his wil of 25 years, is often at his side One of their two grown childre also helps. Mrs. Clark started up Moun Marcy, but turned back. Whe her husband returned, she em braced him in a big bear hu and offered, in jest, to tote him on her hack. She's given I phrases like "groovy," and I helping her husband in lilt! ways like waiting in line to bu plane tickets while he holds a airport news conference, offei ing him her plastic cup of blac coffee while he travels betwee shopping centers in the cam paign's leased van. "Good morning, I'm Ilamse Clark, Democrat for U.S. Sen ate," he intones. Only som times does the warmth, of rec ognition or support reward him At a breakfast, he speaks party unity. He reviews a p; rade. Talks issues. Shake hands,. Smiles and talks. SO IRRATIONAL "Campaigning is so irration^ in so many ways, so artificial, Clark declares. "I'm so used substantive things, and you ca go days without ever discussin anything substantive. Schedule seem to have a higher prio ity." Reserved, he's hesitant abou plunging inlo a crowd and laking hands. In the tranquil isls outside a Jamestown fae- ry, he watches three local tindidates thrust a hand to- ard the dull black lunch boxes cading for. a time clock. But ark, even after weeks on the ump, hangs back until en- mraged. , "I'm really a private person. bad to learn the value of alking up and introducing my- 11 and shaking hands"., He "So often you feel like ju're imposing. On the other and, you find it can be a very g thing to people -- that ou're out there, and you care, t a time when government iems so remote, it's valu- blc." Clark's campaign is based on "ing responsive to people and king up their causes. Clark endures the label of adical uncomfortably. He's the only U.S. attorney eneral ever to have spoken out gainst capital punishment, he radical label stems from us, Clark says, and from his insistence on enforcing civi ights laws through busing ant ither means. The label has trailed Clark Tost markedly since 1972 vhen lie made the wartime trip o North Vietnam that then-vice ^resident Spiro Agnew and oth r administration officials oriti- feed. While there, Clark inler- 'iewed American prisoners o var, reported they were being reated humanely and said on Radio Hanoi that he was op ;osed to U.S. bombing of the ountry. "I can't fudge on these is lies," he says, "Right or vrong, if we're going to solve irpblems we have to stand foi things. . "1 believe in dmnesty. I think unconditiona woman ha: fundamental human right ti ibtain an abortion. If.it's radi cal to believe that price am ivage controls are needed t prevent inflation when specia nlerests oppose them, then I'n a radical." SAME MAN The way Clark sees it, th man who entered governmen m 1961 fresh from law practic m Dallas is essentially th same man now running for U.S senator. Then, he was nominated b the late President John F. Ker nedy as assistant allorney ge: eral. H was the late Presiden Lyndon B. Johnson who mad him attorney general in 1967. .The Vietnam war was raging and Clark was opposed to i But, he didn't resign his office he said, because he had battle to fight against police viblenc and a'gainst violations of civ rights laws. "I always felt that major p fential for change has lo com from within the system," Clar says. That is why he chose th political office route, rathe than public interesl , orgai ization like Ralph Nader's an Jchn Gardner's. Clark left .the Justice Depar merit in 1969, when the Nixo administration took over a wrote "Crime in America," best-seller that linked the qual ly of health care, education, 11 biinging, nutrition and enviro merit to crime. Then searched for a place to live. "I didn't want to be in Wash mgton because I'd seen a those oldlimers from formi administrations and thought wasn't what I wanted to do wi my life," says. "What 1 lov in life is experience and solvin problems, and New York ju seemed like the place to do it The quest to effect chang has taken him to this mountai 5,340 feet high. The underdo] breathing deeply of the ra moist air, holds the highe news conference ever in Ne York and talks about th stale's beauty. He urges a "nalional com milment to nature, that w don't tear things up, that w love nature and build with n. lure." , He swigs water from ream and starts a rugged de- ent, moving past the timber ne into the advancing gloom, r a moment catching sight of slant peaks. Someone offers m a Clark candy bar. With a lyish 'grin, he declines: "I ale 'em." Hours laler, he is in ' New York City for a parade. Aching from the climb, he must attend. Waving shyly at the passing panoply, a. hand plunged in a pocket, he squints in the harsh fall light. Far down the.avenue he gazes. Past the bands. Pas the floats. Past the crowds. On Nov. 5, he'll know. , butions from 'organized labori whila business groups and professional associations can be expected to respond to a good ACA score by making hefty campaign contributions. What really concerns critics of the rating . g a m e is the sophisticated methods used in scoring congressmen by the special interest groups; Wise in the ways of .Congress, these groups select votes on key amendments offered during mean sizable campaign contri- floor debate on legislation, and not the pro-forms votos on final passage of a bill. Often congressmen vole one way on amendments to gut a bill or make it stronger, then switch positions lo be recorded differently on f i n a l passage. Votes selected for Ihe ratings generally reflect the interests of members of the special interest groups. The NBA charted votes during the debate on extending the Federal Aid lo Education Bill, on funds for HEW and on the school lunch bill. The Consumers Federation monitored votes on creation of the Cons u m e r 'Protection Agency, weakening auto emission standards, oil price rollbacks and regulation of real estiile settlement costs. The ADA charged the and 'ACA often same votes, but had differing positions on such issues as school busing, creation of a Legal Services Corporation, minimum wage and food stamps for strikers.. I will listen to you, consider your thoughts and those of others, and then I'll work for what is right. Let's get the job done and done right in Little Rock. for a change... 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