The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

October 16, 2012

Voter ID law vote keeps Masser from perfect score

SUNBURY — A conservative organization released its report card for state legislators in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, and most Valley lawmakers earned perfect marks as being “Defenders of Freedom.”

Only state Rep. Kurt Masser, R-107 of Elysburg, failed to march in lockstep. He earned a B-plus from the Washington, D.C.-based American Conservatives Union. Masser’s error? He voted against Pennsylvania’s voter ID law.

“I have no regrets, and I’d vote the same way today,” he said Tuesday night. “I think I made the right decision, and the courts agreed with me, as it turns out.”

Masser voted against the bill, not because he necessarily disagreed with the basic concept, “but it was rushed through and could have denied some people a vote.”

Rep. Fred Keller, R-85 of Kreamer, and Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver, R-108 of Sunbury, both voted for the ID law and had perfect 100 percent conservative ratings.

The ratings were based on the voting records of Pennsylvania House members on eight bills, including HB 1977, Taxpayer Funding of Abortion, allowing the state to opt out of abortion funding allowed under the national health care law, HB 934, the voter ID law, and SB 1466, the budget bill, which increased spending over the 2011 budget, but included “new efficiencies to government programs.”

Voting “yes” to the eight bills was the litmus test that earned legislators a 100-percent conservative score.

On the Senate side, Gene Yaw, R-23 of Williamsport, had a 100 percent rating, and John Gordner, R-27 of Berwick, had a rating of 80 percent.

For years, the conservative organization only rated U.S. senators and representatives on the issues. Two years ago, it expanded the rating system to include state legislators in the battleground states of Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. This year, Pennsylvania was added to the list.

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