It turns out that Martha McSally does stand for somethin’: Trumpism (Updated)


Last week I poked some fun at Tim Steller’s Politic Notebook column at the Arizona Daily Star in which he described Rep. Martha McSally as a “fence sitter.” ‘Fence Sitter’ Martha McSally has got to stand for somethin’.

In a letter to the editor today, Linda Horowitz makes a more pointed criticism of Steller’s column:

Tim Steller did not report on McSally’s votes – only her words. She has voted to give guns to the mentally ill in a district that witnessed the attack on Gabby Giffords. She voted against medicare, social security and Planned Parenthood. He ignored her vote to allow medical insurance companies to charge more for women than men.

McSally is not behaving like she feels she is between a rock and a hard place.

Ms. Horowitz is absolutely correct. The GOP-friendly local media in Tucson that routinely portrays Rep. McSally as a reasonable and rational “moderate” Republican is misleading the voting public with their fawning, while ignoring her actual voting record in Congress which demonstrates that she marches in lock-step with the Arizona House GOP Caucus.

Last Monday Nate Silver at 538 launched a useful “dashboard” for Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump with which our our local Tucson reporters should be required to acquaint themselves. Silver explains Before You Call Your Senator, Read This On How Our Trump Scores Work:

The caution is simply this: For the time being, these calculations aren’t based on very many votes. Therefore, they’re likely to bounce around over the next few weeks until more votes are taken. As of Monday, they included just four votes in the House and six votes in the Senate. It’s also important to note that we aren’t tracking all votes — only those on which Trump takes a clear position.2 So they represent a small sample size, for now.

Another unique feature of our dashboard is the plus-minus scores. The basic idea is to compare how often a member of Congress voted with Trump against others where the 2016 presidential vote was similar. For instance, you’d expect members to support Trump most of the time if they come from a state or district that voted for Trump by 30 percentage points, but not very often if they’re from one where Hillary Clinton won by that margin.

These estimates are calculated on a bill-by-bill basis.

Technically speaking, our projections are calculated by probit regression. For each bill, we run a regression in which the input (independent variable) is the presidential margin in each member’s state or district and the output (dependent variable) is the member’s probability of voting for the bill.

* * *

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be adding some new features to the dashboard — for instance, pages allowing you to see a detailed list of votes for and against Trump for all members of Congress . . .  And by later this year, after we’ve collected several dozen votes, we may place them into different categories. Do some members of Congress support Trump on key votes but oppose him in cases when their votes don’t matter much — or vice versa? Do some agree with him on economic policy but oppose him on expanding the federal government’s powers? Without any exaggeration, this year should be among the most important in the history of the U.S. Congress, and we’ll be covering what they do closely.

OK, with this caution in mind, and the limited number of votes taken in this Congress so far, where does Rep. McSally currently stand?

Despite coming from a “swing” district in which Democratic voter registration outnumbers Republicans and Hillary Clinton having carried her congressional district, Rep. McSally has voted with Donald Trump 100% of the time (so far). That’s a whopping +50.8 over her predicted score (you know, the “moderate” Martha from a “swing” district who exists only in the imaginations of the local media).

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 11.24.55 AMScreen Shot 2017-02-06 at 11.26.05 AM

So Rep.  McSally does stand for somethin’ — she stands for Donald Trump and “Trumpism” 100% of the time. (So does the rest of the Arizona House GOP Caucus: David Schweikert, Andy Biggs, Trent Franks, and Paul Gosar).

I assume Rep. McSally is comfortable voting this way because she knows that she is protected by a fawning GOP-friendly local media which will gloss over whatever she does in Congress, if they even bother to report it at all.

I am told that Rep. McSally is hiding in the chicken bunker again, avoiding scheduling any town hall (Congress on Your Corner) events with her constituents in her district. Could it be that she wants to avoid what Senator John McCain did to Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick last year, using video of Kirkpatrick leaving a Congress on Your Corner event  after it was disrupted by rowdy Tea Partiers in 2010? This has now been happening to Tea-Publcans around the country. See, Unhappy crowd shows up at Mike Coffman’s regular meeting with constituents; McClintock exits with police escort after raucous town hall meeting in Roseville; The Art of Evasion: Republicans in Congress and Their New M.O.

UPDATE: Group asking McSally to host town hall:

A local group is expected to deliver a petition signed by 2,000 people to Congresswoman Martha McSally, demanding she participate in a town-hall style meeting with her constituents.

The Make McSally Take a Stand organization argues that for last three months, several groups as well as thousands of individual constituents have been contacting her office asking her to schedule meetings with voters.

McSally has refused to schedule any public meetings, they argue.

* * *

[T]he list of public activities offered by McSally’s office does contain meetings with limited interaction with the general public.

A meeting at Raytheon Missile Systems, for example, had McSally talking to employees from the state’s largest private government contractor and members of the press.

* * *

Members of the Make McSally Take a Stand organization are not currently asking any other member of the Southern Arizona congressional delegation for a similar public town hall-style meeting.

The request coincides with increased demands on various congressional offices for public statements and action since President Trump took office.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 5.55.34 AM


  1. McSally announced Town Hall in Saguarita on Thursday 2/23/17 at 4 pm.

    Email questions ahead of time for McSally to Green Valley News editor Dan Shearer at:

    The Town Hall will be at 4 p.m. at The Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, 17750 S. La Cañada Dr., Sahuarita. It holds about 300 people; doors open at 3 p.m. No signs will be allowed in the building.

    A healthy turnout from Tucson would be nice!

  2. Can we point out that McSally was living on the largess of the United States Government even BEFORE she was elected to Congress. She got her advanced education up too and including a Masters degree from Harvard, a military retirement, paid for medical care for life, BX and Commissary privileges for life, paid for travel if she chooses to travel in a military plane, reduced rate vacation rooms in military establishments (i.e. Hale Koa hotel on Waikiki Beach) , and many other around the world, and probably more perks that we don’t even know about. All of this she has earned for her military service, and I don’t begrudge her these, but for her to turn around and vote to remove any of the benefits we, ourselves, have paid for all of our working lives is hypocrisy to the maximum. We pay taxes to provide HER with all these benefits she receives, and also pay for our own benefits…. the ones she is voting to take away. I don’t believe that Gabby would have voted against her constituents needs or best interests. Martha McSally needs to be retired from Congress in 2018 and let some one else run,who actually has the best interests of their constituents at heart, and not someone in the pocket of big business and ceding to the interests of the Koch brothers and the Republican party .

  3. the republican version of kyrsten cinema. she is just waiting around to run for mccain’s senate seat or be appointed to it if he dies. what is krysten cinema waiting for?

  4. Congresswoman McSally having a Tele Town Hall tomorrow:


    I want to invite you to participate in a live telephone town hall I will hold tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. This event allows me to keep in contact with you about the important issues affecting Southern Arizona while I’m in Washington, D.C. It runs for about an hour, and you can call in at any point.

    The information to participate in the telephone town hall is below.

    Telephone Town Hall

    Tuesday, February 7
    1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

    Participant Dial-in Phone Number:
    (877) 229-8493
    PIN: 114341

    Please note that due to the amount of participants, I likely will not be able to get to all questions. If I am unable to get to your question, there will be an opportunity at the end of the call to leave a message and your contact information so that my office can get back to you.

    You also can always email me your thoughts and opinions through my website,

    Thank you, and I hope you can join the town hall tomorrow.”

    In service,

    Martha McSally

  5. So Moderate Martha’s Trump Score = 100%. That is exactly what I would expect. Martha toes the line.

    This is an excellent tool provided by 538. Votes don’t lie, it’s yea or nay or don’t vote.

    Democrats need to direct their energy toward unseating this vulnerable “representative”.

Comments are closed.