The Hall of Shame includes the state legislators most out of step with their constituents, and most closely aligned with corporate and special interests that exploit Californians. To make the list, a legislator needs to have a Courage Score of 59 or lower — resulting in a grade of “ F ” — and represent a district which clearly supports more progressive policies than the legislator. By clicking “Read More” on each Hall of Shame profile a user will be able to see the legislator’s top corporate contributors, as well as a narrative describing how the representative failed his or her constituents.
METHODOLOGY: The process for developing the Courage Scores began with outreach to every major progressive advocacy group in Sacramento, collecting a comprehensive list of priority bills from healthcare, to environment, to consumer protections, etc. Courage Campaign staff researched not just every one of those bills, but every vote on those bills — in committees and on the floor. As any observer of the Legislature knows, bills can change dramatically throughout the legislative process. For instance, voting “aye” after a bill has been weakened substantially, or adding an “aye” after a bill has safely passed hours before, is not the same as being a champion for that bill or casting a vote when the stakes are greatest. Courage Campaign painstakingly investigated, by communicating with allies and Capitol staffers, not just the bills themselves, but which votes on those bills were most important to ensuring that those bills passed in their strongest form. And Courage Campaign focused it’s analysis on close votes, where bills either passed by 60% or less, or votes where bills failed. Courage Campaign did this exhaustive research to drill down on those key votes where legislators were deciding to use their vote to either to stand with corporate lobbyists or with their communities. Courage Campaign gave “abstentions” the same weight as “no” votes, since the consequences of both are the same. In the various tabs in this document, you will find all of the votes used to calculate the Courage Scores. “N/E” indicates that a legislator was “not eligible” to cast a vote on a given bill because they do not sit on a certain committee.