WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Club for Growth today announced its Defender of Economic Freedom awards for Idaho state legislators — 15 House members and 0 Senators — whose voting records distinguished them as champions of economic liberty for their high score on the new Club for Growth Foundation’s 2020 Idaho State Economic Votes Scorecard. In addition, the Club for Growth Foundation released its new Missed Votes Scorecard for Idaho, which sheds light on which state legislators are doing their jobs by voting and which ones are not.

The Club for Growth recognizes elected officials who, on the Foundation’s scorecard, score 90% or better in a given calendar year and maintain lifetime scores of 90% or better as Defenders of Economic Freedom. The following Idaho state representatives won the award:

  • Chad Christensen (HD-32B) – 100%
  • Barbara Ehardt (HD-33A) – 100%
  • Priscilla Giddings (HD-07A) – 100%
  • Ron Mendive (HD-03A) – 100%
  • Dorothy Moon (HD-08B) – 100%
  • Tammy Nichols (HD-11B) – 100%
  • Julianne Young (HD-31B) – 100%
  • Christy Zito (HD-23A) – 100%
  • Bryan Zollinger (HD-33B) – 100%
  • Thyra Stevenson (HD-06A) – 96%
  • Paul Shepherd (HD-07B) – 95%
  • Tony Wisniewski (HD-03B) – 94%
  • Steven Harris (HD-21A) – 93%
  • Timothy Remington (HD-02B) – 93%
  • Heather Scott (HD-01A) – 91%

“Idaho has a supermajority of Republicans in its state house and state senate, but only 15 lawmakers truly defended economic freedom. Members of the Idaho Legislature can and must do better if the state wants to deliver economic growth and freedom to its citizens,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh.

“This scorecard will help inform citizens and entrepreneurs about which members support policies that foster economic prosperity. We were disappointed to find so few true defenders of freedom, especially in the state senate. Voters in Idaho are being let down by those who claim to be conservative but then trade away their principles and vote for legislation expanding the size of government and catering to special interest groups. We applaud those who are fighting for freedom in the state legislature, and we know voters will hold those accountable who aren’t. Sadly, some members aren’t even showing up to take tough votes, and that is why the Foundation compiled a Missed Votes Scorecard for Idaho. It is unacceptable that members, who get paid to vote, often miss vital votes because of political expediency.”


Key Takeaways on Idaho’s 2020 Economic Scorecard:

Idaho Senate

  • Average Republican Score: 47%
  • Average Democrat Score: 34%
  • Highest-Rated Republican: Sen. Regina Bayer (SD-21) – 76%
  • Highest-Rated Democrat: Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb (SD-19) – 41%
  • Lowest-Rated Republican: Sen. Bert Brackett (SD-23) – 27%
  • Lowest-Rated Democrat: Sen. Grant Burgoyne (SD-16) – 16%

Idaho House

  • Average Republican Score: 66%
  • Average Democrat Score: 18%
  • Highest-Rated Republican: Multiple with 100%
  • Highest-Rated Democrat: Rep. Elaine Smith (HD-29B) – 32%
  • Lowest-Rated Republican: Rep. Neil Anderson (HD-31A) – 26%
  • Lowest-Rated Democrat: Rep. Melissa Wintrow (HD-19B) – 8%

Idaho’s Missed Votes Scorecard

The Club for Growth Foundation also released its new Missed Votes Scorecard for Idaho’s 2020 legislative session.  This scorecard simply calculates how often lawmakers show up to vote and how often they miss votes.  For 2020, the results were:

Idaho Senate

The average Idaho state senator missed 4% of the total 409 floor votes.  Senator Scott Grow missed the most votes – 107 votes out of 409 – for a score of 26%.  By not missing a single vote, the following senators received perfect attendance scores:

  • Sen. Don Cheatham (SD-03)
  • Sen. Jim Guthrie (SD-28)
  • Sen. Mark Harris (SD-32)
  • Sen. Mark Nye (SD-29)
  • Sen. Steven Thayn (SD-08)

Idaho House

The average Idaho state house member missed 4% of the total 419 floor votes.  Rep. Steve Berch (HD-15A) missed the most votes – 67 votes out of 419 – for a score of 16%.  By not missing a single vote, the following house members received perfect attendance scores:

  • Rep. John Gannon (HD-17A)
  • Rep. Marc Gibbs (HD-32A)
  • Rep. Steven Harris (HD-21A)
  • Rep. Gary Marshall (HD-30A)
  • Rep. Dorothy Moon (HD-08A)
  • Rep. Tony Wisniewsky (HD-03B)
  • Rep. Christy Zito (HD-23A)

NOTE:  Lawmakers miss votes for a whole host of reasons, including medical issues, family concerns, or prior commitments.  But they may also miss votes because they are purposely ducking an issue or do not want to upset leadership.  The Club for Growth Foundation makes no judgment on why a lawmaker misses votes.  The Foundation simply publishes this quantified information for educational purposes only.