AFP-NJ Defends Its ‘Scorecard’ Methodology

This year’s Americans for Prosperity, New Jersey (AFP-NJ) scorecard wasn’t kind to (most) supporters of last October’s massive gas tax and debt increase legislation, Save Jerseyans.

Politics 101: When you don’t like the message? Kill the messenger.

So we’ve heard some gnashing of teeth from a few quarters over how the scorecard is compiled.

On Thursday, AFP-NJ followed up on its own results by attempting to shed light on how the grades are compiled, emphasizing how legislators’ scores “are based on official actions, not campaign promises, and our Scorecard is created independently, without any input from any legislator, politician, or political party….”

Before any key vote, AFP-NJ gathers the positive and negative consequences of each bill, as well as relevant background information, like economic impact studies, and distributes the information to all New Jersey legislative offices.

AFP-NJ focuses solely on fiscal policy and issues of economic freedom and does not weigh in or score votes on social issues, gun rights, or any other matter that falls outside of our mission.

How the most recent scores were determined:

  • Recorded votes in committees and in legislative chambers affect scores;

  • Lawmakers earned points by sponsoring bills that would make New Jersey a more prosperous state; and

  • Lawmakers lost points for sponsoring bad bills.

“Assembly or State Senate members with high scores on this edition of our Scorecard voted against raising taxes, wasteful spending, and favors for special interests, and took the lead in introducing legislation that would help move New Jersey’s economy forward,” AFP-NJ concluded in its statement.

A number of primaries have broken out this cycle, and at least one (LD26’s Assembly contest) is being driven by GOP base resentment of significant albeit minority Republican support for the measure.