Is the South "Unconnected" in Congress?
Inside the Beltway via Political Wire reports on political scientist James Fowler's attempt to determine the "most connected" legislators in the 108th Congress. "Specifically, higher-ranked individuals tend to be much more successful at getting their own amendments passed on the floor."
Southerners don't make a great showing, save one exception:
Top 5 Senators: John McCain R-AZ); Orrin Hatch (R-UT); Jeff Bingaman (D-NM); Charles Grassley (R-IA); Russell Feingold (D-WI).
Top 5 Representatives: James Saxton (R-NJ); Ron Paul (R-TX); Christopher Smith (R-NJ); Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA); Charles Rangel (D-NY)
Rep. Ron Paul? Yes, Ron Paul, one of Congress's fiercest critics of the Iraq war, the Patriot Act and attacks on civil liberties, military torture, and the War on Drugs.
Chris Kromm is executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies and publisher of the Institute's online magazine, Facing South.