Just a Reminder: Your Congressmen are Weak

Not that they were ever cooled down, but the congressional races are officially heating up with only three weeks to go before voting.

The only local Representative who is facing any kind of challenge who is almost assured a victory is Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose district includes part of North Dade, and why souldn't she be? In only two short terms she's become a political powerhouse. According to Roll Call's 2007 Congressional Power Rankings she's the most powerful congressman from Florida, the most powerful in her electoral class, 22nd in her party and 24th overall in the 435 member House of Representatives. To give you an idea of how impressive that is, her power ranking in the House is comparable to Joe Biden's in the Senate.

As for the other three facing challengers? Well, it's a good thing they're not staking their re-election efforts on effectiveness alone.

Now obviously Wasserman Schultz benefits from being in the majority party, where as Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Mario Diaz-Balart's overall individual power is limited due to being in the minority (and lets be clear, voting solely for a candidate of the majority party in the hopes of increasing a districts influence in congress is Irresponsible, though voting against a relatively ineffectual incumbent is not). However when you look at their rankings even within their own party it's not impressive.

Ros-Lehtinen fairs the best, but is only the 16th (out of 25) most powerful from Florida, 288th in the chamber, 114th in her party, and 13th and of 17th for her electoral class. However in 2005, when her party had the majority, she was ranked 53rd overall.

Lincoln Diaz-Balart has been in congress since 1992, but is only the 358th most powerful congressman, 19th in the state, third to last in is class, and 132nd in his party.

In their endorsement of Mario Diaz-Balart The Herald cited his "overall record of engagement on policy issues and for delivering resources and jobs to the district," but Mario, out of all our congressmen according to these rankings, is the least powerful. 20th in the state, 38th in his class, 150th in his party, and 379th overall.

--Kyle Munzenrieder

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