Walberg, Conyers ranked most-effective Michigan House members

    Tim Walberg (left) and John Conyers (right)

    No Michigan U.S. House member made a national group’s list of most-effective lawmakers for the 2017-18 session.

    U.S. Capitol | Creative Commons

    U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Tipton) came closest, ranking 30th of 244 U.S. House Republicans, according to rankings from the nonpartisan, Charlottesville, Va.-based Center for Effective Lawmaking. On the Democratic side, now-former U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) had the most-effective record, coming in 44th of 204 members.

    The group’s analysis is a joint initiative between the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University that rates each member of Congress based on 15 metrics, including the bills they sponsor, how far those bills move through the legislative process, and how important their policy proposals are.

    As the Advance previously reported, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) was named the fourth-most effective Democrat in the Senate last term by the group. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) came in 31st of 48 senators.

    Justin Amash

    For Michigan Republicans, the least-effective member was U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade Twp.), who was 230th of 244. For Michigan Democrats, former U.S. Rep. Brenda Jones (D-Detroit) was the least-effective member at 200th of 204.

    Jones, who is now back in her role as Detroit City Council president, won a special election for the 13th District on Nov. 6, 2018. She was only in office for roughly six weeks. She replaced Conyers, who resigned over a sexual harassment scandal in 2017. Jones did not win the nomination for the current term. That seat is now held by U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit).

    The group looked at 15 members of Congress. Michigan has a 14-member U.S. House delegation, but the list included both Conyers and Jones, who served during the 115th Congress.

    Brenda Jones

    For Republicans, Walberg was followed by:

    • U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland): 90/244
    • Former U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Rochester): 100/244
    • U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet): 118/244
    • U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Dryden): 120/204
    • Former U.S. Rep. Dave Trott (R-Birmingham): 131/204
    • U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph): 157/204
    • U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Midland): 219/204
    • Amash: 230/244

    For Democrats, Conyers was followed by:

    • U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn): 89/204
    • U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield): 135/204
    • U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint): 143/204
    • Former U.S. Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Royal Oak): 181/204
    • Jones: 200/204
    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.


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