Time names Allard among the worst senators
the associated press
WASHINGTON ” Colorado Republican Sen. Wayne Allard is one of the five worst senators in Congress, according to this week’s issue of Time magazine, which also chose the 10 best senators.
“In a Senate full of ambitious members, Colorado Republican Wayne Allard is so bland that his critics have dubbed him ‘Dullard,'” according to the article, which criticizes him for “almost never” playing a major role in legislation despite being a Republican on the powerful Budget and Appropriations committees.
Allard’s chief of staff Sean Conway decried the assessment as “more like a popularity poll” based on little other than opinion.
“I think it’s a disservice because of its lack of objectivity and specific criteria,” Conway said.
Time said it based the rankings on interviews with academics, political scientists, and current and former senators.
The magazine wrote that Allard, in his 10th year in the Senate, has already been eclipsed in terms of legislative output by Colorado’s junior Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar, who was elected in 2004.
Allard “rarely speaks on the floor or holds press conferences to push his ideas,” according to the Time article. “Few of the bills he has introduced over the past year have passed.”
But Conway said the magazine is wrong: Allard has played a significant role in recent debates. Earlier this month, he was involved in a heated floor debate about the Iraq war with former 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.
Conway also credited Allard with getting an increase in transportation funding for the state last year, working on a number of Colorado-specific projects and passing a bill signed in 2005 by President Bush that helps first-time homebuyers get down payments.
“The U.S. Senate is composed of two types of individuals: work horses and show horses,” Conway said. “Senator Allard is proud to be a work horse who is more interested in getting things done for Colorado than getting attention from the national media.”
Among the senators on Time’s best list were Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz.
Others on the worst list included Montana Republican Conrad Burns, who has faced intense scrutiny for his relationship with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and Hawaii Democrat Daniel Akaka, whom the magazine described as “a master of the minor resolution and the bill that dies in committee.”
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