A group of left-leaning Republican legislators are smoldering-mad about the work being done by Ed Butcher (Winifred) and Lonny Bergstrom (Lewistown) to quantify party loyalty through their ingenious Legistats scoring system. Their impartial algorithm factors in only partisan votes and then tabulates an automated score on party loyalty based upon the number of times each legislator crossed party lines to vote with Democrats. However, apparent misinformation created reportedly by Rep. David Bedey (Legistats Score F) of HD86, and forwarded to others by Rep. Bruce Grubbs (Legistats Score F) of HD68, has wound up on the fake-news anger-blog, The Extremist Chronicles.
The Extremist Chronicles seems to be an anonymous WordPress site dedicated as a vent for Solutions Caucus Republicans to demonize conservatives. Castigating the majority of Montana Republicans as “extremists” and “zealots” and “radicals,” the name-calling site posts material aimed at Republican legislators who more times than not line up with the beliefs of Montana voters. On the site are several blog posts featuring the work of Bedey in an attempt to mischaracterize the accuracy of Legistats.
The Montana Daily Gazette has acquired emails sent from Rep. Bedey taking credit for the factual mischaracterizations (see below).
The email recipients you see above represent members of the Solutions Caucus. Rep. Grubbs has also forwarded this material on to others (see below).
Upon review of the information provided in Bedey’s presentation, the work of Legistats has been grossly mischaracterized. For example, the following graph was provided as a part of Bedey’s presentation.
It is entirely unknown what Bedey is referring to as the missing 400 partisan votes. A review of the empirical data demonstrates this is inaccurate, and Bedey doesn’t go into detail with what the supposed missing 400 votes are comprised of. That is, with 24 exceptions.
Bedey gives a list of 24 votes that he alleges were “missed” by the Legistat’s computer algorithm. The circles on the screenshot show his errors.
Here is a list of his errors:
HB132, HB231, HB355, SB266, SB307, SB325, HB2 and SB48 were all bi-partisan bills. Bedey then listed HB147, but it is actually HB146 and it was, in fact, scored by Legistats. He also listed SB239, but that was also scored by Legistats. Literally every bill given as an example by Bedey should not have been scored by Legistats.
It seems that Bedey’s mischaracterization of how Legistats works is intentional. In the first screenshot from Bedey’s work (provided at the top), he placed “620 partisan votes” in red, later alleging that 400 are missing. Apparently, Bedey either doesn’t know what “partisan” means or he is being purposeful in his obfuscation. Other errors, as explained above, are the result of his own clerical errors.
Legistats’ scoring system, although unique in Montana in regard to party loyalty, is not unique in discriminating against irrelevant bills. For example, the Montana Family Foundation has told the Montana Daily Gazette that Republicans should not defend their vote on Medicaid Expansion by touting their Foundation scorecard because it did not factor in that vote into the score.
Republicans who caucus with Democrats (commonly called “RINOs” for “Republicans in Name Only” in social media) are scurrying away from the consequences of their voting record this primary season. However, Legistats’ impartial, unbiased, and computer-generated algorithm is a hard obstacle for them to traverse. They’re going to have to do better than fuzzy math obfuscation and clerical errors to prove their case.