Here’s a new one of those congressional report cards: one rating representatives based on 14 House votes and senators based on 18 Senate votes.  Food Policy Action’s Scott Faber says the group is being “incubated” by the Environmental Working Group, and its board is made up of people “across the food sector.”
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All Illinois Democrats and some Republicans did well. The five Republicans who represent most of Downstate scored poorly, from the 43 percent by both U.S. Reps. Tim Johnson (R-Urbana) and Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) to the 7 percent by Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Leaf River).  Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) rated a 29 percent, but his spokesman, Steve Tomaszewski, said, “In difficult financial times, choices have to be made between sometimes two worthy programs, but there just isn’t enough money for both. We have a $16 trillion national debt that must be taken into account, and some of these votes scored are appropriations amendments. Secondly, the 19th District is rural, and agriculture is vital to our local economies. Some of the votes scored are pro-farmer, but this group holds the opposite position. The congressman supported farmers in one of the worst drought years in generations, yet this group wanted a no vote.”
The spokesman for Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria), who scored 36 percent, called the group “partisan.” Steve Dutton said, “Congressman Schock sides with the interests of farmers in Central Illinois, his constituents, over this group and will continue to do so.”  U. S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) scored 83 percent. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) scored 33 percent, though that was based on just three votes, as Kirk has missed much of this year because of illness.
(Copyright WBGZ / )