Like many of us who are unhappy with Congressman Steve Kagen I've been quick to tie him to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, since I don't believe she and her views are in line with the people of WI-8.
I read something today, though, that gave me pause. The OpenCongress blog noted that many marginal Democrats are being targeted by the GOP with a campaign to tie their voting records to Nancy Pelosi's. The only problem is that this record can get inflated by lots of meaningless votes, things like naming post offices and congratulating sports teams. They argue that when you take these votes out of the mix, some of these Democrats don't appear to be as in-line with Pelosi.
OpenCongress.org is a source for information on legislation and legislators. It is dedicated to transparency in government and has a dedication to the facts rather than a partisan agenda.
OpenCongress also provides a tool to address the question of these meaningless votes. It is a head to head comparison of legislators using only votes on substantive legislation. So I ran the numbers for Steve Kagen and Nancy Pelosi.
When you look at just the votes on substantive legislation, Steve Kagen votes with Nancy Pelosi 96% of the time.
For some people, this may be a positive. I believe that the majority of voters in WI-8 find this really disappointing.